There is something to be said for the clean lines and simplicity of modern interiors. Mid-century modern, like Pop and Mod, can also be filled with bold colors and a mix of patterns. To achieve the look you can add one or two period pieces of furniture or go all out and go for kitsch. Either way, area rugs serve to warm up a space, dampen echoes as you can imagine occur in the room above, and define areas in the room.
A major trend for all things Retro really took off when Mad Menstarted airing on TV. Hipsters and Millennial trying to capture the cool of the era began scouring the thrift shops and consignments stores for authentic pieces. But Boomers are embracing, or re-embracing, the decor of their childhood. We have seen this wave of nostalgia a lot as the early Boomers begin retiring and downsizing. They come looking for rugs to either start their projects or ones to incorporate into existing schemes, often as an addition to the collection of Modern furniture and accessories.
The lines and shapes of modern styles, while lovely in their simplicity, can be a bit sterile if there isn't something to contrast with them in order to set them off to their best. Here's why bold pattern, both traditional or tribal rugs, and modern rugs are great choices. Geometric rugs work especially well as a background.
And let's not forget two options that go with everything and are closely related to the modern period, especially the 60's. Shags and animal prints. See how accepting this decor style is? Finding the right rug to go with a modern space is much easier than many would think.
Now consider the top room photo again ... really lovely furniture, gorgeous light, great open space, but after seeing rugs used wouldn't you agree that the addition of an area rug, whether tribal, geometric or shag, finishes off the design and space quite nicely?