Tips AU

35+ Modern living room ideas

By Elise Hodge

Updated: June 13th, 2022

Want to keep your living room up to date with the latest trends? Here's our ultimate modern living room ideas.

Your living room is the hub of your home so it should be a warm and inviting place, which has a true reflection of your personality and style. But trends change over time, so I’ve put together my favourite modern living room ideas, which will keep your living room always looking fresh.

So what are the keys to creating a living room that you love to spend time in? First things first, you need to bring your space into the 21st century. You can do this with so many different styles – from Scandinavian to bright colours, to adding a bit of warmth with lighting, rolling out a new rug, or hanging pictures on the wall. With so many ideas, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But sit back and relax, because I’ve done all of the research for you.

1. Keep it simple

The last thing you want to do to your living room is to overcomplicate it. Sometimes keeping things simple is best. And this design does this so well with a consistent earthy colour scheme throughout.

modern-living-room-neutrals
Source: Photo by Sarah khan on Unsplash

2. Give everything a place

The quickest way to let your living room fall to the wayside is to leave it untidy. But if every item has a place, you won’t have this problem. Either completely eliminate all clutter, or use clever shelving and storage to make sure everything can be tucked away out of sight!

3. Play with colour and texture

Modern living rooms don’t have to be boring, and they certainly don’t have to be all white. Don’t be afraid to play around with different colours and textures that will make your space pop. It’s these little, unique touches that make a huge difference to your space.

4. Choose a patterned rug

One way to completely transform your living room with hardly any work is by adding in a rug. If you have floorboards or tiles, the rug will serve as something comfortable and soft under your feet. But not only that, the rug also sets the tone for the room. Use the colours in your rug to build a theme for the room, picking out colours to use throughout the rest of the room in your couch, wall art, and décor.

modern-living-room-rug
Source: Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels

5. Include a bench seat

If you’ve got a little extra space that you need to fill, add in a timber bench seat. These are all the rage right now, and they’re so handy! Use them as an extra seat, or stack books or plants on them for visual effect.

6. Green velvet couch

This is the choice for a chic living room. The good thing about velvet is that it can be glam when combined with gold or brass hardware, or it can be dressed down with casual timber accents.

modern-living-room-velvet-couch
Source: Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

7. Bar cart

These are absolutely on-trend right now. If you want to make your space feel a little fancier, add a bar cart and some beautiful drinks. This is especially helpful to fill a blank wall with some colour and texture. Fill each level of your bar cart with something different – one with drinks, the other with fancy glasses, and the other with décor.

modern-living-room-bar-cart
Source: Photo by Taryn Elliott

8. Combine leather and black

You can’t go wrong with this combination! Leather and black have long been used in living rooms. Traditionally, they are used in darker spaces to create a moody, masculine feel. But you can also add them to a light and bright living room with white walls all around and large windows. This softens the otherwise harshness of a black and brown leather room, and strikes the right balance between feminine and masculine.

9. Glass coffee table

Nothing says modern more than glass. So if you’re wanting to swap out one piece in your living room for something new, why not ditch your old coffee table for a glass one? I love this one with the black metal edging, it brings this living room into the 21st century. And I love how the timber has been integrated into it for a unique look.

modern-living-room-glass-coffee-table
Source: Photo by Connor Home on Unsplash

10. Choose a TV unit that you love

A TV unit is one of the main pieces of furniture in your living room. If it’s old and rusty, it can look really bad. Similarly, if it’s too small for your TV or too large for your small living room, it can feel really out of place. When thinking about your modern living room design, take the time to research TV units – after all, you’ll probably keep one for a while! Also, remember to take measurements of your space, so you know exactly what will fit best.

11. Make it cosy

When I think of a living room, the first thing that comes to mind is cosy cushions and a comfy spot to sit. The last thing you want is a hard, cold surface that no-one is going to want to sit on, especially not for hours on end. So think about small ways that you can update your living room to incorporate cosy elements. Take this modern living room, for example. It includes a large grey sofa with textured and patterned cushions. And there’s a huge shaggy rug underneath to provide a soft surface for your feet.

modern-living-room-cosy
Source: Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash

12. Go for Scandinavian minimal

A neutral-themed, Scandi-style living room is always a breath of fresh air. The minimal style is always very warm and inviting, thanks to the typical copious use of textured, cosy textiles and furnishings.

13. Hang a statement light

Transform your space with light! Apart from the practical side of things, this multi-armed mid-century style piece adds interest and style to this plain living room.

modern-living-room-statement-light
Source: Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

But this isn’t the only lighting option you should look at, there plenty of floor lamps, wall sconces and downlights to think about. Here are another bunch of inspiring living room light ideas.

14. Embrace stone

Even if your living room is very clean and minimal, adding stone will give it a rustic touch. If you’re lucky enough to have a cement wall, exposed brick, or a stone wall, embrace it and turn it into a feature wall.

15. Keep it natural

Create a seamless modern space by keeping your colour palette natural. This is the easiest way to avoid your living room looking busy, and to keep it looking fresh.

modern-living-room-naturals
Source: Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels

16. Light a candle

Sometimes it’s the little touches that make the biggest difference in your space. And it can be as simple as lighting a candle or placing a fresh vase of flowers on the coffee table. It’s these touches that make your living room feel inviting and cosy for guests. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make this happen. You can find plenty of affordable candles and fake flowers and greenery at IKEA.

17. Dark and moody

You don’t have to go all bright and light to have a modern living room. You can incorporate dark features to make your space feel more moody and masculine. You might like to tastefully add black with lampshades, a dark couch, or your sofa cushions. Remember to add white elements to provide the right amount of balance.

18. Busy and eclectic

If you’re a maximalist at heart, this is the choice for you. Don’t hide your personality – let it shine by putting it on display. A gallery wall is the ideal way to add interest to your eclectic modern living room.

Get someone to help you put it up with picture hanging help.

modern-living-room-maximalist
Source: Photo by Steph Wilson on Unsplash

19. Include a couch for the whole family

When designing your modern living room, it’s important to think ahead to the future. Who do you envision spending time in your space? Do you have a big family? Will you entertain a lot of guests? If so, make sure you choose furniture that everyone can fit on, like a generously oversized couch.

20. Colourful living room

If you’re not afraid to inject a little colour into your space, why not go all out? The truth is that every piece doesn’t have to be bright. You can choose one colour to ground your space, like a dark couch. And then add in colour with a rug, pillows and key pieces of décor.

21. Don’t forget the corners

The corners are often the most forgotten parts of a room. But with some help, they can look beautiful. When it comes to these little spots, consider practical elements like side tables and lamps, and add in something pretty like flowers.

22. White with touches of black

This is a modern twist on a classic living room because the more white you can integrate into your living room, the better. Think white couch, coffee table, lamp and more. And then add in pops of black with pillows, picture frames, or even a dramatic black marble coffee table. The result is a grown-up room that is perfect for entertaining.

modern-living-room-monochrome
Source: Photo by Jasmin Ne on Unsplash

23. Mix and match furniture

Add a modern touch to a vintage space by combining different style elements. To achieve this look, uses a mix of clean and curved lines, and a combination of block colours and softer tones.

24. Colourful statement chairs

Cushions aren’t the only way to add a pop of colour to your modern living room. Another way to incorporate colour is by adding one or two coloured sitting chairs. For instance, you might add two vivid blue armchairs to modernise a brown leather couch.

25. Frame around your fireplace

If your living room has a key feature piece, like a fireplace, then frame your furniture around it. This will help your space feel finished, as it gives it a centre point.

modern-living-room-fireplace
Source: Photo by Jorge De Jorge on Unsplash

26. Mix old and new pieces

If you don’t want to completely overhaul your space, you can start by combining a few new pieces with what you already have. You might like to keep higher-priced items like TV cabinets or couches. And then add in a new rug, a single sitting chair, or pieces of art.

27. Hang pictures

You can’t go wrong with a stunning gallery wall. And the best thing about this is that it’s not only an art piece but it’s very personal too. This gives you the opportunity to hang pictures, including your favourite family photos for guests to see. You can include old memorabilia, your favourite quotes or special items that have been passed down through the generations.

modern-living-room-gallery-wall
Source: Photo by Lasse Møller on Unsplash

28. Stick to a colour scheme

The most simple way to make your living room feel like a completely modern space is to stick to a few key colours and textures. In this instance, your design might incorporate natural tones of ecru, sand and mustard yellow. These colours could be brought in with rugs on the floor, a woven lampshade with a timber stand, a bench seat, mustard cushions, or a gorgeous piece of art.

29. Let the light in

It’s no secret that natural light can help make a space feel larger and breezier than it might otherwise. That said, if your space has large windows that let the light in, don’t do anything to inhibit the light source. If you’ve got dark curtains, ditch them! Instead, select a lighter option like white, cream or even something sheer. And be sure to hang the curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible, as this will open up your space. And be careful not to place any tall pieces of furniture up against the light.

30. Create atmosphere with lamps

Speaking of light, while you may have plenty of windows to filter light through your home in the day, you need to remember what your living room will look like at night time. When it comes to your electric light sources, don’t rely on one single ceiling light. Any parts of the room left in shadow will recede from view, making the room feel smaller. Use floor and table lamps to bring in multiple light sources and create a layered, warmly-lit space.

modern-living-room-lamps
Source: Photo by Maiar Shalaby on Unsplash

31. Paint half the wall

Maybe the only thing your living room needs is a quick coat of paint. This can completely change the dynamic of your space. For example, you might paint a feature wall halfway with turquoise-blue paint. This provides a really interesting backdrop for your furniture.

When straight lines and a steady hand is needed for bespoke paintwork, it’s best left to the professionals for all your painting needs.

32. Keep the exposed brick

You can’t go wrong with exposed brick, especially when it’s combined with contemporary touches like slick black and plenty of white.

modern-living-room-exposed-brick
Source: Photo by Thita Homnan on Unsplash

Does a feature wall tickle your fancy but you’re not sure if this is the right one for you? Don’t sweat it, because I’ve put together a whole list of feature wall ideas just for you.

33. Choose two different couches

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to stick to one type of furniture for your space. If you have a large living room, there’s certainly more freedom to mix and match styles. So feel free to include a white couch plus a brown leather couch if that takes your fancy!

34. Add a side table

This is a simple addition to your modern living room, but it’s often overlooked! Add a contemporary side table, like this round timber and metal one, to up your living room’s appeal.

modern-living-room-side-table
Source: Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

35. Create a coastal vibe

Use timber, blue and white to make your home feel like your dream beach house. Keep white as the base, and add touches of blue in your couch, paintings and cushions.

36. Make it green and leafy

Another way to make your living room more modern is to incorporate greenery of all shapes and sizes. And honestly, when it comes to this sort of thing, the more the better! This design has used green as a base – you can see it in the chair upholstery and with the potted plants all around the room. And I love how a touch of mustard yellow has been added in with the rug.

modern-living-room-leafy
Source: Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

37. Don’t forget the decor

If your living doesn’t feel quite right, then it might be missing something. Little additions like vases and baskets can make a huge difference to your space. Place these items on top of blank surfaces, like your TV unit or coffee table, to make your living room feel more like home.

Looking for some more inspo? Check out these living room ideas!

I hope these modern living room ideas have given you the inspiration to get started on your own project. Which one’s your favourite? Comment and tell me!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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