You are currently viewing Rustic and Modern Contemporary – What’s the difference?
IMG 9799

Rustic and Modern Contemporary – What’s the difference?

As many of us here browse Pinterest for interior design inspirations or choosing the easier way out by typing in the keyword to search in Google to get reference photos, sometimes the search results may come out differently as what we searched, for instance, the design is so close and it may appear twice for the 2 different design styles. Hence there are people who are still quite uncertain of the differences between these two styles – Rustic and Modern Contemporary.

So what is it actually? Let’s start off first by taking a look at this project which we handed over recently in December 2020 – 406A Northshore Drive (Northshore Residences I).


1. Rustic Interior Design Style 

Clearly, this Rustic interior design style gives off a very warm and organic feel, it takes its influence from nature. Although there can be as many different arrays of organic elements such as wood (unfinished or reclaimed wood), stone, metals, textured fabrics like canvas. The whole feel usually creates a calming, welcoming effect on the home. Rustic interior design style can be intertwined with country style, vintage or industrial vintage but the main principles are the same.

What makes a home Rustic?

To begin, there’s always a mixture of both simplistic accessories and the usual traditional furniture elements that carry a “very personal handmade feel” for example that very vintage looking pendant lights at the dining and bar counter area which depicts the traditional part as well as the carpentry finishing details. Here we have a mix of decorative elements such as wall decor (photo frame), wooden TV console, and brick-looking wallpaper that gives off a very raw feel.

Next, what’s key to rustic style is a mixture of materials, which usually ranges from unfinished (raw) or reclaimed wood to metals and natural textures, such as leather, cowhide, and jute. With all these, it is often mixed with a cozy palette of warm tones, earthy neutrals. It all adds up to a space that’s surprisingly clean-lined, serene, and still hugely inviting.

The kitchen totally nailed it, with its distinct choice of material and that set the right mood for a Rustic interior style. The subway tiles laid evenly with each unique piece with its gradients and grains, perfectly created a symphony of patterns. Details can be seen especially with its offset trimming on the kitchen cabinet doors, complimented with contrast-adding door handles.


406A Northshore Drive
406A Northshore Drive


2. Modern Contemporary Interior Design Style

The next question that is so often being asked is, what is considered a Modern Contemporary design? Many people might think it just means the whole house mainly consists of black and white color palettes including its soft furnishings and decorative items or a squarish home with boxy/blocky design elements, We beg to differ, and think this is just half-correct as the Modern Contemporary design actually adds up to the entire interior feel of a home that has these 3 elements – Minimalist, Clean architectural lines, open-space feel.


  1. Minimalist – Though it is very similar to modern interior design and involves using the bare essentials to create a simple and uncluttered space. It’s characterised by simplicity, clean lines, and a monochromatic palette with colour used as an accent.
  2. Clean architectural lines – Very often it is created by clean lines, basic shapes, and forms. Thus, simple, plain, geometric forms, rectangular shapes, and linear elements make the characteristics of modern architecture
  3. Open-space feel – With an open space, you have lots of creative freedom to carve out distinct areas that serve specific purposes for the area and utilize every corner of the house, and transform the open-space into something that can fit into any occasion.


Modern Contemporary style also means striking a balance with the appliances, furnishings and not-so-over-the-top in terms of how much items to be displayed or decorated as a clutter-free description would define the style more appropriately.


View more – 60 Marine Parade Road (Cote D’Azur)

60 Marine Parade Rd (Cote D'Azur)
60 Marine Parade Rd (Cote D’Azur)


The project was done at 60 Marine Parade road, which clearly shows the traits and exact elements of a Modern Contemporary interior design style. Even though the black and white color is heavily used throughout the entire house but the clean lines, uncluttered open-space feel and minimalist element can be clearly visible and prominent here. Especially with the decorative items such as dining light, kitchen appliances, that falls into the “modern” style and with a tinge of raw/industrial element (black trimmings/framing).



60 Marine Parade Rd (Cote D'Azur)
60 Marine Parade Rd (Cote D’Azur)

Keep the house clutter-free can also significantly improve the liveability, ease of tidying up to have peace of mind especially when WFH (working from home) seems to be the norm these days. Imagine having to stay home 8 to 9 hours a day staring into the laptop screen in a clutter-free environment, certainly boost your morale to perform better at work and helps you lighten up the load after work without having to mull over tidying up (housework). Lately, there are more variants of a Modern Contemporary style, in terms of tapping on the warm tones to create a fusion if you don’t fancy an all-black-white theme. Warm tones such as oak, cherry, mahogany and hickory can be used as it makes the house even more cozy when the warm light shines directly on the wood flooring or furnishing, creating a whole new outlook for a Modern Contemporary home.


One example which we can see here is the usage of warm tones infused into a Modern Contemporary style, which can be found in our previous project 34 Anchorvale Lane (Rivercove Residences),

Clean lines and stark contrast effect is heavily used in this home, with a mixture of raw finishing and wood tones that shows the Modern Contemporary style with fine details at its best.


Black accent can be seen and it is being used as a secondary choice of color palette,  while the soft furnishing blends well together with dark tones and warm tones in an intrinsical fashion. In a nutshell, Modern Contemporary interior design style can have variants as a different color scheme affects how exact the overall design theme would turn out to be and there is no right or wrong way to go about doing it. We hope this article gives you certain insights on these 2 design styles – Rustic and Modern Contemporary. Drop us an email if you would like to obtain a free consultation with no obligations, simply hit this link and submit the form to us and we will get back to you!