Inspiration Station - Living Room

Tips to create a modern living room look

A modern living room should be a fuss-free space that looks and feels luxurious while inviting you to sit back, cosy up, and relax. By using the right combination of modern furniture and décor, you can create a contemporary space that’s trendy and irresistibly welcoming.

From statement-making pieces to subtle finishing touches, explore our expert tips on how to decorate your living room to create a modern scheme that feels comfortable, looks stylish, and promises to maintain its timeless quality.

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Set the mood with a timeless sofa

The sofa is the focal point of your living room and will instantly set the tone for the rest of the space. As well as looking stylish, it should (of course!) be comfortable, so you can truly enjoy kicking back and socialising with loved ones.

When choosing a sofa for a contemporary living room, look for something that has a simple shape and clean lines. This will create a structured feel that's undeniably modern, allowing you to get creative with statement-making pieces across other areas of your layout.

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The selection of sofas and armchairs in the Chelsea fabric sofa range have a low design and a modern appeal, inviting you to sink in and relax. Wide seat and back cushions create a generous yet understated shape, perfect for dressing up with colourful throws and cushions or styled next to a patterned rug to create contrast.

For more tips and advice on choosing a sofa, check out our sofa buyer's guide.

Be playful with those essential pieces

When we think of ‘modern art’, many of us will imagine geometric shapes, interesting patterns, and unexpected contrasts. Add a little intrigue to your living room by choosing pieces that boast playful curves and lines, allowing you to inject an unorthodox feel into your layout.

For a truly contemporary look, express your creativity through the essential living room pieces, such as an unconventional bookcase or display cabinet in a unique shape. Making these the focal points will create a modern theme without overwhelming your space with too many accessories.

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A side table is a must-have for every living room, useful for holding a lamp, stack of books, or your afternoon cuppa. To enhance your contemporary theme, look for something slightly unusual, such as the Tokyo natural solid oak side table, which perfectly contrasts gentle curves with straight lines.

Alternatively, the bold, chunky shape of the Mantis Light lamp table has an artistic quality that will integrate easily with your other pieces of furniture, while bringing a bold edge to your layout.

Choose the right colour scheme

Contemporary design uses colour in a subtle and clever way, to build an atmosphere that feels simultaneously fresh and laid back. White walls are perfect for a modern living room, as they’ll instantly make your layout feel bright and energetic while providing a versatile backdrop that allows your furniture and other décor to stand out.

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Inject grey into your layout to add another dimension of contemporary style to your space. Choose a soft shade, like ash or putty, which will bring a subtle edge without making the space feel dark or cold.

A grey feature wall will add depth and help break up the rigidity of the room and looks great when offset by matching pieces styled across your layout. A painted grey TV unit offers the perfect balance of modern and traditional, making a subtle statement while maintaining a timeless appeal.

If you’re desperate to add a pop of bright colour, a piece of statement furniture is a great way to bring fun and character to your scheme. The Sydney fabric armchair has just the right amount of wow factor and will stand out beautifully in a stripped-back, contemporary room. Alternatively, you can paint a bookcase or set of shelves in your favourite shade to bring an extra splash of personality to the room. Check out our tips on using pattern in a contemporary home for more colour inspiration.

It’s all about the accessories

While smart furniture and a sophisticated colour scheme will give your living room a cool and modern feel, it’s the finishing touches that will really set it apart and create the contemporary finish you’re after. Choose a few coordinating accessories that will showcase your personality and add something special to your layout.

The pieces you choose should showcase your individual style – think a large piece of statement artwork, an oversized wall clock, funky sculptures dotted across the room, or a light fixture that will turn heads. In line with a modern art feel, look for accessories that offer a creative take on shape and structure.

Lamps are another one of those living room essentials that you can get creative with to enhance the contemporary look in your living room. The Tampere floor lamp has a sleek, edgy design that will bring decorative flair to any corner of your layout, while the Helsinki lamp contrasts bright copper against black to create an urban, artsy vibe.


Designing a contemporary living room is all about balancing simplicity with creativity. Look for furniture that makes use of clean lines and interesting shapes, and choose a colour scheme that is both subtle and welcoming. And don’t forget to include your own personal touch by adding colours, patterns, and statement pieces that reflect who you are.
Explore our furniture guides for more home design tips and advice.


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