Modern living room designs

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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The best modern living room designs blend functionality with exceptional beauty
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The stuffy, seldom-used living room has been replaced with usable modern designs

Many of us remember growing up with a living room that was "only for company." It may have been in our home, or in a relative's home, but these perfectly decorated rooms featured sofas that were used only a few times a year and carpets that seldom saw a footstep.

Thank goodness, those days are gone!  Modern living room designs incorporate beauty, exceptional contemporary furniture design and fine decorating with functionality and an inviting attitude. These living rooms are meant to be used, enjoyed and occupied by the whole family, not just Aunt Martha on her twice-a-year visit.

So what are the specifics that define modern living room designs?  Here are a few ideas that appear in most of these new versions of the living room:


A large, comfortable sectional sofa, over-stuffed love seats or couches that curve gracefully to cradle the human form have replaced the under-padded, overly-ornate couches of years past. Leathers and easy-to-maintain microfibers in solids or subtle patterns dominate the upholstery choices -- a vast improvement over scratchy synthetics or overzealous florals.


Modern living room designs have adapted the ugly but functional recliners of yesteryear, and turned them into beautiful yet equally functional elements of a new living room. Often renamed a "lounger", these supremely comfortable chairs have been incorporated into sectional sofa designs, as well as developed as free-standing chairs that bear no resemblance to your father's recliner, except in comfort.

A variety of art furnishings have transformed the "extra chairs," so common in earlier living room designs, into works of functional art. Taking their cue from mid-century designers, the use of lightweight materials, soft neutrals or bold primary colors and interesting shapes for legs, arms and seats make these chairs easy to move into place for guests and beautiful as accent pieces when unoccupied.


Once upon a time, coffee tables and end tables were heavy, dark wood furnishings that filled up the space between sofas and chairs, or held a lamp at the end of the couch. And that was about it.

Modern accent tables can also serve as the resting place for a lamp, a cup of tea or a magazine, but they are also a lovely addition to the decor. The use of glass and metals allows them to transmit and reflect light, making modern living room designs brighter and airier than their traditional counterparts.

And as with the chairs, standard legs have been replaced with sweeping curves, complex shapes and new materials that add an artistic element to the furniture.


Traditional living rooms often lacked adequate lighting.  Small lamps on end tables, sconces and other decorative lights did little to illuminate a large room. Modern living room designs open up the room with a variety of light sources, from up-lights behind furnishings, to torchiere floors lamps and tabletop lighting.

Accessories and wall decor

Whether you prefer a minimalist look, or opt for natural fibers and warm accents, contemporary interior design focuses on the impact of accessories and wall accents, in context of the whole room. Larger format modern art work, bold mirrors and dramatic sculptures typically replace figurines, walls covered with framed school pictures or mass-produced collectibles.

These are the specifics.  But in reality, modern living room design can be summed up in a few words:

Clean lines
Minimal Clutter
Functional furnishings
Artistic innovation
Generous lighting

In these days when "the world is too much with us," simple, modern living room designs might be just the antidote we need. 

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