Defined by clean lines, natural materials and minimalist decor, modern home design is one of the most well-known interior design styles. In the living room, the aesthetic translates to a space that feels airy and uncluttered, yet cozy and welcoming. Here, we’ve rounded up dreamy modern living room ideas that showcase steal-worthy design trends and functional layouts for casual family time.
Whether you’re designing a family-friendly living room or looking for small living room ideas, there are many design avenues that can be taken to achieve a fresh and elevated space. Sleek sky-high shelving, custom fireplaces and grand architectural elements can create a modern living environment filled with both visual interest and functionality. The right accessories, like stylish area rugs, colorful accent chairs or statement lighting fixtures can quickly modernize a simple interior. Patterned wallpaper, pops of colorful fabric and a fresh coat of paint can all result in a modern, chic and inviting space.
As you scroll, you’ll find there’s something for everyone — even if your design style strays a little more traditional, rustic, boho or coastal. There are endless ways to infuse a touch of modern design into your living room design, no matter the overall feel of the home. For those designing an apartment living room, we’ve sprinkled in plenty of renter-friendly ideas (think artwork, peel-and-stick wallpaper and ultra-modern furniture).
Decorate Sky-High Shelving
Not only do these striking shelves take advantage of vertical space, they showcase collectibles, books and artwork and infuse color into the interior. Here, JAM Interior Design uses a mix of modern, traditional and vintage pieces for a curated look.
Designed by Ali Budd, this elegant living room is outfitted with a statement chandelier, blue velvet curved sofa and multiple marble coffee tables (six to be exact). For even more contrast, there’s a gallery wall comprised of white and black artwork.
Find a Colorful Couch
Pair neutral walls and floors with a colorful couch for a pop of personality. Take note from design firm ballonSTUDIO, which goes for a forest green fabric and a modular design.
Make the Most of Vertical Space
Not only does this modern space — by designer Kristen Elizabeth — feature floor-to-ceiling windows, but the striking two-story fireplace also maximizes the room’s the vertical space.
RELATED: Stunning Fireplace Decor Ideas That’ll Make Your Home Chic and Cozy
Follow the “Rule of Three”
Many interior designers embrace the “rule of three,” which states that objects and art grouped in threes appear more interesting and intentional. Here, LP & Co. displays three similar but different paintings, accompanying each with a picture light.
Make Windows a Focal Point
Let large windows be the center of interest, which is particularly easy when there’s a great view. To welcome natural light and stick with the organic aesthetic, designer Christina Kim hangs brown textured blinds.
Display Art on the TV
This light-filled living room designed by Reena Sotropa features a wall-mounted TV that blends seamlessly with the modern style. Disguise your TV as a piece of artwork, whether with a beautiful landscape or black-and-white abstract print featured here.
RELATED: Samsung The Frame TV Review: Is the Popular Picture Frame TV Worth It?
Design an Accent Wall
To contrast the surrounding white walls, Kirsten Blazek of A1000XBetter installs a whimsical wallpaper to forge a moody accent wall.
Position a Grand Piano
Take a cue from LP & Co. and make a grand statement with a high-gloss black piano — whether someone in your house can actually play or not.
Here, designer Kristen Elizabeth swaps harsh lines for gentle curves. Add an element of drama to an interior with curved furnishings, from sofas and armchairs to coffee tables and wall decor.
RELATED: Best Curved Sofas to Ensure a Chic Living Room Design
Introduce a Moody Hue
Although we often associate modern rooms with bright, neutral paint colors, there’s a case to be made for dark, moody interiors. This dreamy modern living room, designed by Keyanna Bowen, features deep blue walls.
Design a Light and Bright Interior
White walls, trim and ceilings help guarantee a space feels bigger, brighter and more airy. To stick with the white color palette, designer Christina Kim brings in a large, white sectional sofa.
RELATED: White Living Room Ideas for Every Home Style
Combine Black and White
The black-and-white color palette is sophisticated and timeless — plus, there are endless ways to recreate the classic look. Here, House of Nomad uses crisp, white paint for the walls, a mix of black and white seating, a black light fixture and a unique wall decor display.
Hang Oversized Art
Take note from designer Lauren Jayne and hang large, abstract artwork over the sofa — an easy way to create intrigue and dimension in a smaller space.
Transform Walls With Wood Paneling
While wood paneling was once an outdated trend, interior designer Rob Diaz proves the style can feel modern and trendy. Upgrade your walls by installing wood paneling, whether you go for shiplap, tongue and groove, wainscoting or flat boards.
Pair Green and Gold
With deep green walls and a surge of gold accents, this living room — designed by Jenn Feldman — feels cozy, warm and inviting.
RELATED: Light and Dark Green Living Room Ideas for a Relaxing Refresh
Add Abstract Armchairs
While you may choose a more timeless fabric for your sofa, consider a daring pattern for the accompanying armchairs. Here, designer Mary Patton anchors this space with two black-and-white patterned accent chairs.
RELATED: Best Reading Chairs That Don’t Skimp on Style or Comfort
Keep It Minimal
Embrace a “less is more” ideology by keeping decor at a minimum. Opt for a spacious sectional topped with throw pillows, a large coffee table and simple, framed artwork on a crisp, white wall.
Mix Modern and Vintage
Designing a modern space doesn’t have to be void of thrifted, antique and vintage pieces. For this balanced interior, designer Kristen Elizabeth pairs a modern sofa, a geometric area rug and white side tables with retro leather armchairs and an antique console table.
Play With Pattern
From the geometric wallpaper and abstract area rug to the textured fireplace mantel, designer Michelle Boudreau doesn’t shy away from pattern.
Embrace White Marble
Layered with white tones, this cozy living room features flat white walls, bouclé furniture and a marble fireplace, which “brings interest through the veining,”according to Gillian Segal of Gillian Segal Design.
Hang Meaningful Artwork
In this well-decorated living room, designer Emily Henderson puts heirlooms and collectibles on display instead of store-bought artwork. A few ideas include records, vintage postcards, love letters and Polaroids.
Create a “Room” With an Area Rug
When designing an open-concept area, position a large rug to carve out the living “room.” Here, designer Reena Sotropa finds an area rug large enough to fit a sofa, two accent chairs, an armchair and a number of tables.
Go for Gorgeous Green
Often seen as a tie back to nature, the green velvet sofa has been trending for a while. Here, designer Katie Davis pairs two modern sofas with a charming green daybed and pulls the colors together with an assortment of throw pillows.
Weave in Rustic Elements
Match a clean, white sofa with reclaimed wood side tables and coffee table to add personality to an ultra-modern interior.
Consider an Acrylic Coffee Table
We love how Collected Interiors makes the most of natural light by opting for white textures and an acrylic coffee table.
Keep It Cozy
Despite what you might think, modern and cozy can exist simultaneously. Adding in warmer tones and natural materials like stone help strike a balance in a living space.
Stick to Classic Colors
Black and white is as classic as it gets. When those two colors are incorporated into a space with clean lines and natural light, it really elevates a room.
Make It Sleek
The sleek, sharp lines in this space make for a modern and streamlined living area. Styled in a minimalist approach, the space is orderly and inviting, yet ready to be lived in.
Consider Modern and Minimalist
Less is more in the world of modern interiors. Minimalist design doesn’t have to be boring however. Grand focal points, clean lines and big windows keep things interesting.
Get Creative With Wallpaper
Wallpaper is back and better than ever. With so many design choices (and the option of peel-and-stick) it’s a fool-proof way to elevate your living room.
RELATED: Latest Wallpaper Trends That Designers Are Loving
Distract From the TV
Mount your television for a more modern look and draw the eye elsewhere, like to a statement fireplace mantel. Add open shelving and eye-catching decor, and a TV will quickly fade into the background.
Infuse Modern Neutrals
You can still stick to a neutral color palette when aiming to design a modern living room. Weaving in different textures and materials will keep the space lived-in and inviting.
Incorporate Statement Fabrics
Statement fabrics add a fresh, warm take to a space. Window treatments and throw pillows are a great place to start.
Make It Modern Glam
Intricate touches like a marble fireplace, brass sconces and custom built-ins create the perfect combo of modern and glam.
Create a Gallery Wall
A gallery wall is a fun and easy way to showcase art and photos that are meaningful to you. It adds a personal touch to a room and can help extend the modern feel depending on what you chose to display.
RELATED: Unique Photo Wall Ideas to Display Family Photos and More
Mirrors serve more than just functionality. Add a grand mirror over a fireplace to make not only a design statement, but also create the illusion of a larger space.
Bring in a White Sofa
Chic and of-the-moment, an all white couch is a statement that will bring modern flair to any living room. Performance fabric is key and will ensure the longevity of your sofa.
RELATED: The Best Couches of 2023 for Comfort and Style
Don’t Forget Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important design elements in a space. If you’re striving for a modern look, pick light fixtures that feel contemporary and chic.
Make a Statement Wall
Feeling bold? A statement wall can add a modern design element to a living room. Pick a primary wall and add a daring paint color or eye-catching wallpaper to create a focal point behind the TV.
RELATED: Top Paint Color Trends to Keep on Your Radar
Turn the Fireplace Into a Focal Point
A grand fireplace makes for a great focal point in a modern living room. Not only is it beautiful, but it draws the eye up, making any space feel loftier and grander.
Keep It Simple
Straight edges and defined lines give this living room a modern feel. The dark rug also adds some moodiness to the space.
RELATED: Best Rugs to Tie Your Living Room Together
Install Built-In Shelving
Custom built-ins are the key to elevating any space. They provide both storage and serve as a beautiful display case — what more could you want?
Embrace Floor-to-Ceiling Windows
Nothing is more breathtaking than a good view through floor-to-ceiling windows. They provide the illusion of being outdoors, while still maintaining the comforts of home.
Pick a Statement Color
Adding a bold color to a room keeps things playful. Consider using a piece of art or furniture to incorporate a pop of color, like this purple arm chair.
Bring the Outdoors In
A living space surrounded by windows invites the outdoor landscape in and blissfully merges both indoor and outdoor living. Complete the look by bringing natural woods and textures inside, like a raw wood coffee table.
Design With Clean Lines
Clean lines are a key modern design element. Straight and sleek lines of furniture, architectural elements and lighting add to the contemporary feel of this living room.
Go for Bold Paint Colors
Painting the walls a dark color is an easy way to make a statement. Keep the rest of the design clean and simple to prevent the space from feeling overwhelming.
Merge Architecture and Art
A striking architectural element can be both beautiful and functional. This grand staircase looks as though it’s a piece of art on display, while also serving a specific purpose.
Add Custom Paneling
A design detail as small as wall panels can completely transform and update a space. Add a fresh coat of paint on top to make it even more chic.
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