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9 Modern living room ideas

Restful, uncluttered and beautifully elegant, modern design is a great way to add style to your living room. Whether you have a smaller space or a large lounge, it’s possible to create a calming contemporary feel through your interior design. To help get you started, we’ve put together nine tips and tricks for making a modern style statement.
Design Inspiration Hints & Tips
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1. Designing your space.

The key to creating a modern living room is great design. From full remodels to smaller interior updates, it's important to think carefully about how your space can best work for you.

Sleek lines and a feeling of roominess define contemporary design. Before you begin choosing your colour palette and furniture, it's a good idea to go back to basics. Begin with a blank canvas if you can. Without the distractions of furniture and accessories, you will be better able to see how to introduce modern design elements.

Try mapping where you plan to place your sofas, coffee tables and storage solutions. Think about how to make use of the light you have available, as well as how to maximise floor space to ensure an uncluttered look.

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2. Choose a contemporary colour palette.

Modern design is often associated with stark white walls. While these can look stunning in the right setting, there’s no need to limit your colour palette. When thinking about modern living room ideas for your home, there is plenty of room to experiment with colour.

Neutral tones are often the go-to wall colour for contemporary design. Soft greys, bright whites and warm taupe can look fresh and innovative in your living room. They also provide an inviting backdrop for experimenting with brighter colours in your furniture and accessories. Lighter neutrals can help to create the illusion of space in smaller rooms too.

Contemporary design lends itself well to a more colourful look as well. If you prefer a bold wall colour, think about incorporating a unique palette. Navy blues, deep berry tones and mustard yellows can look on-trend and vibrant. Be sure to pair neutral-toned furniture with your brights as a calming counterpoint.

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3. Incorporate textures, prints and patterns.

While modern living room inspiration is all about sleek lines and minimalism, it’s important to think about texture and pattern too. These can really add depth and interest to your contemporary living room.

Natural textures are a great place to start introducing character. Wood, metal and exposed brickwork all work well with contemporary design and can give an on-trend industrial feel to your living room.

As well as textures, prints and patterns can help to create a warm and inviting living area. Remember to choose patterns carefully. Avoid fussy prints that interrupt the simple lines of your design. Rather, choose two-toned patterns in simple formations. Stripes, chevrons and understated animal prints can help to anchor your space.

4. Choose contemporary sofas and armchairs.

Your sofas and armchairs are the focal point of your modern living room. That’s why it’s so important to choose your furniture with care. With the right style, your sofas can become integral to your overall design.

Modern sofas come in a wide range of styles, fabrics and proportions. For smaller rooms, sofas that are lifted from the floor work well. These help to create the illusion of space and help prevent your living room from feeling cluttered. Try to choose pieces that add interest to your room, such as tapered legs or buttoning.

For larger spaces, corner sofas with clean lines and a clean, simple design look particularly exquisite.

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5. Add interest with your coffee and side tables.

While free from clutter and defined by simplicity, your modern living room ideas should be practical too. Whether to sit a cup of tea or to display beautiful books, a well-designed coffee table is a must. Depending on the room available, you may wish to introduce side tables too.

Choose tables that are clean-lined and elegant. Glass coffee tables work well in a contemporary setting, particularly those with a bold and unique design. If you prefer a more textured finish, wood coffee tables are a great way to introduce natural elements. Remember to avoid fussy or complex designs. Opulent detailing and elaborate styles are likely to detract from the beautiful simplicity. Instead, look for tables that have strong, visible lines and look structural.

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6. Think about clever storage solutions.

When it comes to contemporary design, less is more. Your modern living room inspiration should be motivated by restfulness, minimalism and space. With that in mind, it’s important to keep everyday clutter from taking over your living room.

Clever storage solutions can help. Items like children’s toys, extra blankets and throws, entertainment systems and books can all detract from your design. It’s a good idea to think about how you can keep these out of sight or display them well.

Storage footstools and ottomans are a great option for hidden storage and are versatile and functional, doubling as extra seating for larger gatherings. They can also help to add interest, particularly if you choose a contrasting colour or fabric.

If you have the space, a well-designed sideboard is another great storage option for your contemporary living room. Think about clean lines and simplicity when selecting your sideboard. There’s no need to directly match it with other furniture. Instead, think about how the textures, colours and lines work in harmony.

While shelving can be a useful storage option, it’s usually best to keep these clutter-free. Instead, use your shelves to display framed photographs, art, plants and well-chosen ornaments.

7. Create a brightly-lit space.

When planning your modern living room, lighting is one of the key ways of keeping your room fresh and inviting. A brightly-lit room works to create a sense of space and will help to highlight the clean lines of your design. If you can, introduce as much natural light as possible. Large windows will extend your room and light flooding in is always restful and calming.

For your ceiling lights, look for pieces that complement your overall contemporary design. In line with the modern living room ideas discussed above, metal ceiling lights introduce texture and interest. Look for pieces with a structural quality and strong lines. Try to avoid lights that are too opulent or fussy, although there is opportunity to make a statement with your lighting design here too.

In terms of lamp lighting, floor lamps usually work best in contemporary living room design. Try choosing lamps that are slim in style and won’t take up too much room. Again, metal materials work well, although wood floor lamps are another great way to add texture.

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8. Accent your room with soft furnishings and rugs.

Modern design is often thought to be cold and uninviting. However, it doesn’t need to be. For a warm and welcoming living room, it’s important to incorporate soft furnishings. Rugs, scatter cushions and throws are inviting, comfortable and layer textures beautifully.

When choosing your soft furnishings, it’s a good idea to think about how these work with your colour scheme and your furniture choices. If you have a neutral palette, cushions and rugs can be a stylish way to add a pop of colour. Look for simple patterns or plain designs and don’t be afraid to mix and match textures and colours.

If you have brighter colours on your walls or furniture pieces, a neutral palette can be a great way to encourage cohesion and simplicity.

9. Accessorise your modern living room.

When thinking about your modern living room ideas, you may feel that accessories are counterintuitive to minimalist design. However, carefully chosen accessories can help to elevate your space and really make it feel like home.

Art, of course, is an important feature of any contemporary room. Look for abstract prints that complement or contrast your colour scheme. It’s usually best to avoid wall art that is too intricate or traditional, as these may feel disconnected with your overall interior style. Framed art also tends to look more cohesive but be sure to choose simple frames that don’t detract or overpower the design.

Plants can also bring style and a fresh, contemporary feel. For contemporary living rooms, it’s usually better to choose larger plants that make a statement, as opposed to small plants that can look cluttered. Remember to keep your plant pots in line with your overall design; these can be a way to introduce a pop of colour too.

Modern living rooms are undeniably stylish. With the right design, they can be welcoming, restful and comfortable too. Whether you prefer bright and bold or luxuriously neutral, we hope our modern living room ideas have helped to inspire you to create a contemporary space that works for you.

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