Contemporary rug designs are generally characterized by stark contrasts, bold uses of color, and geometric or free-form style elements. By and large, they’re architectural and modern in their look. Contemporary rugs can feature retro patterns. Typically, these designs are references to the art deco and arts and crafts periods. In other words, while a contemporary design can nod to the past, the look and feel of a contemporary rug is very different from the traditional style.