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25 Contemporary Living Room Ideas Shine Light on Design

Contemporary living room design favors symmetrical relationships to keep things in perspective.

Contemporary refers to what’s “current” in design. It’s not the same thing as modern living room design, although many people use the two terms interchangeably.

Part of the contemporary living room design aesthetic is smoothness. Large surfaces should be smooth, with minimal variation in texture and ideally use of only one color. The concept enables designers to combine large smooth surfaces with single colors to create extremely colorful living rooms.

In choosing a coffee table, art, couch, or other furniture, opt for smooth textures with a single color. Avoid anything remotely kitschy, such as corduroy or plaid, and tread very carefully with woods and leathers. The latter materials can work in a contemporary living room, but it’s all dependent on how the light hits them.

Light has a major role to play in contemporary living room design. The smoothness of the space shows best when it can receive natural light from largewindow sources. The flow of natural light should determine how everything is set up. 

Scroll through our curated collection of current contemporary living room designs.

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1. Natural Light Illuminates Space in Contemporary Living Room

Living room features a high ceiling with glass walls to bring in natural light which works with the hardwood flooring to soften the modern look. A large, rustic wooden trunk coffee table sits in the middle of the room surrounded by three modern lounge chairs.

Living room features a high ceiling with glass walls to bring in natural light which works with the hardwood flooring to soften the modern look. A large, rustic wooden trunk coffee table sits in the middle of the room surrounded by three modern lounge chairs.  Designed by: Fabelta / See more of this home here.

2. Contemporary Living Room Designed with Neutral Scheme

A stone accent wall, mounted with a TV, adds texture to contemporary living room designed with a neutral scheme.

A stone accent wall, mounted with a TV, adds texture to contemporary living room designed with a neutral scheme. Source: Architectural Designs / See more of this home here.

3. Contemporary Living Room Opens Up to the Outside

Contemporary living room, designed for seamless access to the backyard pool, features a marble and metal coffee table, with a wall-mounted TV fixed over a modern console table.

Contemporary living room, designed for seamless access to the backyard pool, features a marble and metal coffee table, with a wall-mounted TV fixed over a modern console table. Source: Architectural Designs / See more of this home here.

4. Stone Accents Add Contrast to Contemporary Living Room Design

The beige walls of this spacious living room feature large stone pillars that match the stone face of the fireplace. An indoor balcony, with black metal railings, looks over the space.

The beige walls of this spacious living room feature large stone pillars that match the stone face of the fireplace. An indoor balcony, with black metal railings, looks over the space. Source: Architectural DesignsSee more of this home here.

5. New York Townhouse Displays Consummate Style Notes

Light and airy living room with a fireplace and modern white sectionals flanked by a pair of wooden coffee tables over a beige rug. The room features a large round mirror as well as a candle chandelier that hangs from a tray ceiling.

Light and airy living room with a fireplace and modern white sectionals flanked by a pair of wooden coffee tables over a beige rug. The room features a large round mirror as well as a candle chandelier that hangs from a tray ceiling. Once owned by Gloria Vanderbilt, see more about New York townhouse at TopTenRealEstateDeals.comSee more of this home here.

6. Contemporary Living Room Evokes Peace and Tranquility

Living room with transparent glazed patio entry brings the peace and tranquility of the forest inside. The space features a black accent wall mounted with a digital fireplace against a gray L-shaped sofa. A wooden coffee table sits on a rustic rug over the tiled floor.

Living room with transparent glazed patio entry brings the peace and tranquility of the neighboring forest inside. The space features a black accent wall mounted with a digital fireplace against a gray L-shaped sofa. A wooden coffee table sits on a rustic rug over the tiled floor. Designed by: Paul Bernier ArchitecteSee more of this home here.

7. Glass Wraps Around Expansive Living Room

Sleek Contemporary living room features an L-shaped sectional white sofa paired with a comfy white lounge chair and a glass-top coffee table over a cream shaggy rug. Glass walls make the room appear bigger and brighter.

Sleek Contemporary living room features an L-shaped sectional white sofa paired with a comfy white lounge chair and a glass-top coffee table over a cream shaggy rug. Glass walls make the room appear bigger and brighter. Designed by: DADA PartnersSee more of this home here.

8. Ambient Lighting Sets the Mood in Contemporary Design

Contemporary living room with inset niche walls and a stunning tray ceiling lined with dark wood beams. Ambient lighting sets a cozy vibe for the room.

Contemporary living room with inset niche walls and a stunning tray ceiling lined with dark wood beams. Ambient lighting sets a cozy vibe for the room. Source: Architectural DesignsSee more of this home here.

9. Contemporary Living Room Adapts to its Surroundings in Montana

Spectacular contemporary living room with rustic touches features a long black sofa facing two gray single couches over a black rug. 

Spectacular contemporary living room with rustic touches features a long black sofa facing two gray single couches over a black rug. The Big Timber Riverside House in Montana was designed by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects to fit in with its environment. See more of this home here.

10. House in Ukraine Makes Environmental Statement with Living Green Wall

Eco-friendly living room with glass windows and dark-colored wood panel wall over hardwood flooring.

Environmentally friendly living room in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, features glass windows and one green wall with vegetation growing to ceiling. Soil at the base of the wall can support growth of plants on a trellis. Designed by: SVOYA StudioSee more of this home here.

11. Australian Reno Cultivates Close Relationship with the Outback

Black glossy wall with a flat panel television adds elegance to contemporary living room in this deluxe Australian reno project.

Black glossy wall with a flat-panel television adds elegant touch to contemporary living room in this deluxe Australian reno project. Designed by: LSA ArchitectsSee more of this home here.

12. Glass Walls Allow Natural Light to Permeate Space

Minimalist living room covered with wooden panels from top to bottom, accentuated by white modern chairs and a round coffee table. The space is diffused with natural light coming through the glass walls and augmented by recessed lighting.

Minimalist living room covered with wooden panels from top to bottom, accentuated by white modern chairs and a round coffee table. The space is diffused with natural light coming through the glass walls and augmented by recessed lighting. Designed by: LSA ArchitectsSee more of this home here.

13. Splash of Color Adds Pop to Contemporary Living Room

A circular concave ceiling, with recessed lighting, makes a bold statement in this stylish contemporary living room. The long purple sofa, with a pop of yellow back pillows, contrasts spectacularly with the neutral colors elsewhere in the room.

A circular concave ceiling, with recessed lighting, makes a bold statement in this stylish contemporary living room. The long purple sofa, with a pop of yellow back pillows, contrasts spectacularly with the neutral colors elsewhere in the room. Designed by: NC Design and ArchitectureSee more of this home here.

14. Contemporary Living Room Locked and Loaded with Design Elements

A huge round, almost brutalist, chandelier hangs on a wooden ceiling  over an L-shaped sofa wrapped around a large center table. A large canvas painting added a pop of color.

A huge round, almost brutalist, chandelier hangs on a wooden ceiling over an L-shaped sofa wrapped around a large center table. An abstract/figurative painting adds more interest to a room loaded with design elements. Designed by: Sanders Architecture

15. Living Room Features Textbook Display of Contemporary Design

Contemporary living room with gray fireplace and white sofas.

Minimalist space keeps living room area clean and simple with white furniture, concrete gas fireplace, and wood/metal coffee table with bright orange décor pieces. Area rugs help to define separate areas of the room in a textbook display of contemporary design.

More Living Spaces: Family Rooms | Formal Living Rooms | Great Rooms | Libraries | Sunrooms | Bars | Man Caves | Game Rooms | Home Theaters

Related: All Contemporary Homes | Contemporary Foyer Ideas | Contemporary Landscaping Ideas | Contemporary Dining Room Ideas | Contemporary Kitchen Ideas | Contemporary Bedroom Ideas | Living Rooms With Dark Wood Floors | Craftsman-Style Living Room Ideas | Contemporary Primary Bathroom Ideas

16. Contemporary Living Room Uses Natural Light as a Design Feature

Contemporary living room design favors symmetrical relationships to keep things in perspective.

Contemporary living room design favors symmetrical relationships to keep things in perspective. Large wall of windows bring natural light into room furnished with muted colors.

17. Contemporary Living Room Playfully Adds Classical Touch

On-trend contemporary living room introduces classical elements to make a singular statement. The maroon sofa adds a touch of color (and old-world stylistic anomaly) to a room otherwise firmly rooted in the present with marble fireplace and muted tones.

On-trend contemporary living room introduces classical elements to make a singular statement. The maroon sofa adds a touch of color (and old-world stylistic anomaly) to a room otherwise firmly rooted in the present with marble fireplace and muted tones. Designed by: Audax

18. Living Room Design Creates Organic Space

This living room is as contemporary as it gets, but what really cements the design is a gorgeous, sleek fireplace. Elements like that can really add a modern touch!

Contemporary living room design works with natural light, wood finishing and views of the outside environment to create an organic space. Inside, a modern fireplace and flat-screen TV provide focus for the room.

19. Simple, But Chic, Elements Add Flair to Living Room

Once again, a sleek fireplace acts like its own piece of art. But what’s interesting here are these blank paintings above the fireplace. They seem simple but they add a lot of chic to your design.

Blank paintings hung above a sleek fireplace makes an artistic statement in this contemporary living room. Simple, but chic elements that add flair to the space.

20. Area Rug Defines Open Living Room Space

Spacious contemporary living room boasts a modish gray sofa set with a large flat-screen TV on the wall. A large rug also helps to define the area.

Spacious contemporary living room boasts a modish gray sofa set with a large flat-screen TV on the wall. A large rug also helps to define the area in an open space floor plan. Designed by: Chango & CoSee more of this home here.

21. Sofa Serves as Both a Seating Area and Landing Pad

Contemporary living room features a metal slide that comes through the ceiling from the second-floor. The room also has a large two-way cushioned sofa in the middle of the hardwood flooring that acts as both a seating area and a landing pad.

Contemporary living room features a metal slide that comes down through the ceiling from the second-floor. The room also has a large two-way cushioned sofa, in the middle of the hardwood flooring, that acts as both a seating area and a landing pad. Designed by: Ki DesignSee more of this home here.

22. Contemporary Living Room Features White-on-White Décor

Contemporary living room area features a massive fireplace facing white-on-white design elements, including a coffee table, area rug, sofa and armchairs.

Contemporary living room area features a massive fireplace facing white-on-white design elements, including a coffee table, area rug, sofa and armchairs. Designed by: Alva Roy ArchitectsSee more of this home here..

23. Contemporary Living Room Adds Splashes of Color

Contemporary living room features gray tufted sofas, a patterned area rug, and a large TV. Bold, colorful artworks add distinctive touch to the room with otherwise muted tones.

Contemporary living room features gray tufted sofas, a patterned area rug, and large TV. Bold, colorful artworks add a distinctive touch to the room with otherwise muted tones. Source: Architectural Designs / See more of this home here.

24. Contemporary Living Room Embraces Open Spaces

Massive contemporary living room space features a tall ceiling, clerestory windows, and a fireplace, topped with a TV.

Massive contemporary living room space features a tall ceiling, clerestory windows, and a fireplace, topped with a TV. Source: Architectural DesignsSee more of this home here.

25. Contemporary Living Room Makes Artistic Statement

Minimalist contemporary living room uses natural light and and a few elements to make a dramatic statement. An elevated entrance adds a distinctive touch..

Minimalist contemporary living room uses natural light, curves and circular design elements to make a dramatic statement. An elevated entrance adds a distinctive touch to the Hana House designed by Dim StudioSee more of this home here.

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