Living room design has evolved over the decades from formal sitting rooms to a nexus of family entertainment to casual multipurpose rooms. One common thread throughout this evolution is that living room design is centered around creating spaces for people to gather. The elements in the space, finishes, and style of furniture all influence the look and feel of a living room. Whether the intent of the design is to create a strong first impression, to provide a cozy study space for the kids, to entertain guests, or all of the above, consider incorporating some of these five contemporary living room design ideas into your home.
1. Contemporary color trends
One of the latest living room trends is to create a space that is largely monochromatic without being boring. Adding texture with different materials provides depth to the space while maintaining a sense of calm. However, contemporary trends are not just about having a muted color palette. A carefully placed pop of color can also be used to catch the eye. This could be a vibrant piece of artwork, a patterned accent wall, or a piece of statement furniture.
2. Luxuriant lighting
Harsh overhead lights are a thing of the past. Contemporary living room design incorporates ample natural light and provides options to create various moods with interior lighting. Some of the creative lighting strategies that can be used to produce different types of environments include:
- Soft, cozy lighting for a quiet evening at home
- Eye-friendly task lighting for reading and hobbies
- Welcoming diffused light for entertaining
- The ambient glow of a fireplace
For many modern living room designers, lighting is not an afterthought. Rather, it is one of the primary strategies used to achieve a specific environment.
3. Clean, elegant lines
Many contemporary living room designs shy away from ornate details in favor of sleek, clean lines. Trim around doors, windows, floors, and the ceiling is simple but elegant. Angles throughout the space are crisp and defined. Fireplaces are seamlessly integrated into walls or corners. Furnishings also have fewer curves and are less plush, trending toward linear forms and more refined textures.
4. Low-key media
Living rooms are still the primary place for family entertainment, but as televisions have taken on a lower profile, so has the desire for them to be the centerpiece of the room. Contemporary living room design calls for flat-screen TVs that blend into the wall or are recessed into cabinetry so they can be easily hidden when not in use. Similarly, modern sound systems are both essential and invisible in a contemporary living room.
5. Fireplaces are still statement pieces
One principle that hasn’t changed over time is that the fireplace is still the heart of the home. However, the look of a fireplace in a contemporary living room has evolved significantly. Instead of ornate, dark, heavy wood hearths, modern living rooms are centered around elegant fireplaces with minimal surrounds. This is made possible with technology that keeps walls cool without requiring brick or stone, allowing designers to create a seamless look that blends perfectly with modern decor. This technology also allows you to place entertainment systems above the fireplace, so you have the freedom to use the space in multiple ways without compromising on design.
Contemporary living room design doesn’t have a single definition—it can be whatever you want it to be. The same can be said about luxury fireplaces. They can be designed to impress, provide warmth, complement the surrounding decor, or do all of the above. If you are interested in learning more about how to incorporate a fireplace into your modern living room design, read the Buyer’s Guide: Selecting a Luxury Fireplace for Your Next Project for ideas and tips.