What Makes a Modern Living Room? - post image background.

What Makes a Modern Living Room?

The interior design of living rooms has evolved over the decades. The change in interior design can be demonstrated as popular styles have shifted from Victorian to Art Deco and on to mid-century modern and contemporary.

From its heavy reliance on high-quality materials and lavish decor to its current incarnation as a simple, modern retreat from the day-to-day, the living room has transformed dramatically over time. Modern elements have been added gradually, creating a perfect balance between beauty, functionality and elegance.

The modern living room concept was born as part of the early twentieth century’s growth in private spaces. Rejecting multi-purpose spaces, modernist designers began to consider rooms as singular, complete entities. This movement toward focusing on single rooms blossomed into functional and simple designs revolving around the idea of “less is more.”

Today, many homes feature a modern living room design, but what does that mean exactly? Discover what makes a modern living room and how to design one with this guide from Minotti London.

Modern Living Room Essentials

The modern living room essentialsThe modern living room features several key pieces of furniture that all add to the room’s design and functionality | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

A modern living room is simple, sleek and elegant. High ceilings, layered lighting and minimalistic furniture are all essential aspects in creating a modern living room for everyday enjoyment and relaxation.

Of course, furniture plays a key role in designing a modern living room and there are a number of essential pieces that no living space can do without.


Perhaps the most important piece of furniture for a living room is the choice of sofa and modern living room sofas come in a range of shapes and styles. From urban loft to mid-century modern to contemporary, there’s a modern sofa to fit every taste and lifestyle.

Sofas with clean lines and simple designs work well in minimalistic spaces, while leather or suede sofas with curved lines create a more elegant and luxurious look.

The colour of the sofa is one of the most important factors in selecting original and tasteful modern living room furniture. For many, the most popular colours for modern living room sofas include black, grey, white and navy blue.

Coffee Tables

Modern living room ideasHere, a Superquadra Bench and Coffee Table have been coupled to create a uniquely functional and stunning setup | Designed by Marcio Kogan / studio mk27 design for © Minotti London

The design and materials of coffee tables in a modern living room add an aesthetic value to the entire space and become an essential piece of furniture. Like the sofa, these functional and stylish pieces have an innate ability to set the tone for an entire space.

While marble and glass coffee tables complement a sleek and modern living room, geometric coffee tables without additional decorative motifs work particularly well in minimalist spaces.

Console Tables

The modern design of console tables in the living room often feature eclectic designs, shapes and colours. The modern look of these tables is designed to be a statement, as it adds a touch of personality and elegance to any room.

Because of their eclectic nature, modern console tables work well in many different styles of decor. They also have many different uses, serving as a place for decorative objects, such as picture frames, sculptures and additional lighting.

Modern console tables are generally defined by clean lines and geometric shapes, featuring a wide range of finishes, such as high gloss lacquers and edgy metals like brass and stainless steel.

Living Room Lighting

The primary source of light in many modern living rooms is usually natural daylight, but this does not mean that artificial lighting is not needed, especially in winter. The living room lighting should create a feeling of comfort and become an element in the decoration of the interior.

Modern often living rooms often feature floor lamps with adjustable heads, track lights in the ceiling, backlights, or sconces along the walls.

Modern Living Room Ideas

Some of the most popular design trends in modern living rooms feature bright or neutral colour schemes. Modern living rooms decor is often a combination of geometrical and minimalist styles, sometimes with Art Deco or mid-century modern furniture.

With that in mind, let us explore some of the design trends found in modern living rooms.

A Dash of Colour 

Some modern living room ideas move beyond the traditional palette of beige, brown and grey by adding bright splashes of colour and vibrancy for a more contemporary and playful aesthetic.

The combination of bold colours, such as yellow, green and blue can be enhanced by the use of several different materials like marble, wood and glass to create a lavish living space. The overall look in this modern living room design trend is fresh, fun and lively.

Neutral Colour Scheme

Contrary to the previous point, for sleeker and possibly more minimalist living rooms, a neutral colour scheme can give the space a sense of sophistication and understated functionality. Such a palette features a blend of colours chosen to suit natural warmth, such as shades of brown, white and warm grey.

Placing statement furniture in darker colours, such as a pencil grey sofa and lighter coloured items like table lamps and accessories will give the room a soft and harmonious appeal.

Minimalist Living Room Design

The increasing popularity of minimalist interior design styles, such as the Scandinavian style, gives way to most modern living room design ideas. The key here is to focus on simplicity, symmetry and order to create a clean yet stylish space.

Neutral, contrasting colours, such as black, white and grey, work exceptionally well in minimalist living rooms. This modern living room decor can be complemented by the use of bright colours, especially in the range between red and orange. However, these accent colours should be used sparingly to avoid overpowering the minimalist decor.

Monochromatic Living Room Design

Monochromatic Modern Living Room DesignThis living room, featuring a Yang Sofa, boasts a striking monochrome design that brings a balanced contrast between dark and light that is further complemented by the book-matching marble | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London

Monochromatic colour scheme in shades of black, grey and white is a popular pick amongst homeowners and interior decorators looking for modern living room ideas, as it creates visual depth and dimension.

Adding visual interest with geometric shapes in the form of stripes or dots will fill the blank space on the all-white walls and draw attention to the height of the space.

The monochromatic black and white interior can be enriched by graphic elements in bold colours, such as orange chairs, yellow pillows and turquoise decorative elements. This will create contrast and make this design style more appealing to the eye.

The Foundations of Modern Living Room Design

A modern living room design may have characteristically clean lines, bold colours and lots of layers for texture and interest. The modern living room decor is meant to strike a balance between creating a space that feels fresh and uncluttered and one that still feels cosy and inviting.

To summarise then, here are some modern living room design ideas covered in this guide:

  • Dashes of Colour
  • Neutral Colour Scheme
  • Minimalist Living Room Design
  • Monochromatic Living Room Design

To discover Minotti London’s collection of furniture and accessories ideal for modern living rooms, visit our London showroom or contact our team for more information.

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