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Modern Living Room Ideas

Inspired by the modern living room look — that perfect combination of luxe comfort and minimalist style — but not sure where to start? We can help. Read on for our 7 modern living room ideas for sofas, storage furniture, accessories and finishing touches along with brilliant designer tips and tricks from top interior stylist Lucy Gough.
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1. Get really, really comfy: Essential seating for your modern living room

Nothing says fabulous modern living room quite like a big squishy sofa. When you’re shopping for a modern sofa, make sure you think about real-life living — family gatherings, kids and dogs, movie nights and pizza nights — and pick one with really deep cushioning, straight wide arms and contemporary details.

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2. Conceal the clutter: Insider tips for keeping everything in its place

Keep your modern living room neat and tidy with multifunctional storage like a display cabinet with a cupboard and shelves, or a roomy sideboard. (New flash: they’re not just for dining rooms).

For magazine-worthy accessorising, choose statement shelving and create an arrangement of paperback books, a ceramic vase, and a couple of house plants.

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3. Get clever with contrast: Mix tone and texture in your modern living room

Love that bold and eclectic modern living room look? It’s all about mixing, matching and layering different colours and textures. Lucy says, “Pair a metal industrial storage cabinet with some high-gloss shelving, or contrast a metallic finish with soft fabric — think the chrome legs of a linen-upholstered sofa.”

This approach also works in a minimal and monochromatic modern living room. Simply layer texture in a tone-on-tone Scandi-style way with blond wood furniture, a cream-coloured rug, a rattan accent chair and linen cushions.

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4. Accessorise to perfection: Choosing finishing touches for your modern living room

Accessorising a modern living room is precision work. It’s all too easy to over-do the ceramic bits and pieces and coffee table books. Instead bring in warmth and personality through rugs and lighting — larger statement pieces that are functional as well as decorative.

Floor lamps are perfect for a small modern living room — no side table required — and are a great way to enhance a sense of space. Lucy says, “Rugs are another easy way to accessorise a room. Choose a geometric or abstract pattern for an instantly modern design aesthetic.”

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5. Play with shape, size and scale: Expect the unexpected in your modern living room

Think of your modern living room as a blank canvas and let your creativity run riot. (Hint: there are no rules). Furniture doesn’t have to match — an oversized modern armchair looks great next to an elegant circular or hexagonal side table — and feel free to choose pieces that are just a bit different, like an oval-shaped coffee table or an asymmetric shelving unit.

If you’re stuck for modern small living room ideas, Lucy says: “Enhance the feeling of space in a small modern living room with a simple colour palette, and make larger rooms feel cosier by positioning framed prints lower on the wall”.

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6. Make contemporary colour choices: The latest bold, interesting and on-trend hues

Contemporary living room ideas don’t have to be based on minimal arrangements of pale greys and off whites. Lucy says, “Colour can feel very contemporary in a modern living room. These days I’m loving burnt orange, russet red, forest green and petrol blue for walls and floors as well as sofas”.

If you’re not ready to commit, try a restrained version of a bolder tone, like pale pink, terracotta or sage green and dial up the modern volume with modern or abstract wall art.

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7. Transform the traditional: Clever ways to update an older-style home

Traditional-style home with quirky original features? You can still have a modern living room. The trick is to embrace, not disguise.

Bay window? Add a window seat with a heap of cushions. Wooden beams and doors? Pull the look together with a contemporary wood sideboard. As Lucy says, “Behind every design problem is a very cool modern living room solution that you’re going to love.”

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Ready to relax in your own super-stylish modern living room? We hope we’ve given you the ideas and inspiration you need to create a gorgeous and relaxing space. And we’d love to see how it looks. Please share your revamped modern living room on Instagram with #MYFVHOME.

Be sure to check out our Home In One gallery for more modern living room ideas.

And if this article hit the style spot, we think you’ll also enjoy:

Summer 2021’s biggest interior trends with Lucy Gough

How to choose a statement chair: 5 must-read tips

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