Living rooms come in all sizes, colors, materials, textures, lighting, and styles. They also serve different purposes. Some homes have a formal living room in addition to a more casual family room, while other homes have one living room serving as both family room and living room.
But, what elements make a modern living room…modern?
Related: All Modern homes
Modern Living Room Elements
Different than contemporary
Contemporary living rooms are current designs. Modern is a set style – not one that changes to current times.
Most modern living rooms are minimalist in design and decor
It’s also important that the room is not cluttered whatsoever and is cleaned regularly. White is a commonly used color in modern living rooms, and regular cleanings help to get out those tough spots and stains. It also helps the colors to stay crisp and contrasting.
Floor-to-ceiling glass windows or walls
Using crown molding helps to give the appearance of floor-to-ceiling walls. It makes the room seem as if it were custom, while also creating a luxurious and modern atmosphere.
Often plenty of white
Choosing a vibrant color palette creates the modern aura that you’re trying to achieve. For example, bright reds, black doors, and stark whites is a popular color scheme. Painting the doors black throughout a modern living room give it an elegant and expensive look.
The modern look calls for a kind of high style that most other living rooms don’t, and it can get a little pricey. The most simple way of saving money on decorating your living room is by shopping online. Check out our massive list of 107 online furniture stores.
The walls, windows, and furniture are straight lines. Very little curves and ornamentation.
Whatever your living room tastes, you’ll find something you like below. Enjoy our gallery below.
Be sure to check out our modern sofa gallery below:
This bright modern living room is highlighted by the amazing city skyline view that is presented by the surrounding glass walls. These also bring in an abundance of natural lighting that brightens the large brown L-shaped couch that matches with the brown area rug.
Modern living room furnished with a beige sectional sofa against the wood-paneled wall along with marble top coffee tables that sit on a gray area rug over white tiled flooring. It includes a wall-mount TV and a baby grand piano by the panoramic window bringing plenty of natural light in.
Gray sectional sofas flank a rectangular coffee table over high gloss tiled flooring. It faces the long console table that’s accented by a large artwork on top.
This is a bright and airy modern living room that is brightened by the abundance of natural lights coming in from the tall glass windows and doors that lead to a balcony. The living room has a gray comfortable sofa paired with small coffee table and a couple of colorful ottomans that stand out against the white woven area rug.
Isn’t that an amazing living room? The towering glass walls with the curved room is one of my favorite designs. See the rest of this home here.
Above is a simple modern living room in an urban glasshouse flooded with light. The spacious living room includes ultra-modern armchairs, a midcentury modern style sofa, and bench surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. Photos: Redfin / Wicklund Real Estate
This modern living room looks larger than it actually is because of the large wide wall to wall windows and a light color scheme décor. The choice of art, clean lines of the ceiling and couches are all modern elements of design.
This living room comes off as a cozy family room with a large L shaped couch. True to modern design, it has minimal décor and plenty of natural light from floor to ceiling windows and skylights.
The sleek, sharp edges of the furniture paired with a stylish contemporary gray/black/white theme make this a perfect example of contemporary design. But what cements this as a modern masterpiece is the sleek fireplace that looks like a piece of art.
The thing that stands out most here is the statement spiraling chandelier. Using one or two modern pieces in your décor can add a contemporary twist to your living room even if the rest of your design is simple.
A common component of modern design is minimalism. This living room is minimalistic as it gets. The clean design gives a sleek, futuristic vibe but it’s not cold and detached at all. There’s warmth from the leather chairs and wooden ceiling and the tasteful addition of color from the orange lamps adds a softness to the otherwise simple theme room.
Natural light, natural light, natural light! As you can see, the abundance of windows is a strong feature in modern designs. This living room is fairly plain with white, black, and gray as the main color scheme and little to no décor. But the presence of plentiful natural light livens up space.
This breezy living room overlooking the pool gives a very beachy vibe thanks to its neutral-toned furniture. The room’s design is all straight lines and low ceiling, but the room itself is given character with funky modern décor that makes it seem less clinical than it would have otherwise looked.
While this living room follows the same general trends of modern design, such as large windows, minimalistic design, and cool-toned color schemes, it also uses its furniture to add some contemporary flair. The dining table, in particular, is incredibly modern in design with a mixture of chairs for a casual, stylish look in an otherwise coordinated, symmetrical room.
This living room has brilliantly fused modern interior design with nature’s elements. The paneling is all warm wood and the mossy green couch reflects the abundant green of the trees outside. This is the kind of modern design that is far from the trend of robotic grays and blacks and focuses more on blending in with nature’s colors and design.
If you want a modern living room design that’s slightly more urban, this is a great example. Natural light and a modern color scheme are present but are made more personal with the addition of comfy cushions and plenty of art and plants. This makes for a really trendy, urban finish.
This living room also boasts panoramic views of snowy mountains. The geometric lines of the paneling and fixtures and stylish steel gray paint are what add a modern look to a classic mountain cabin. You don’t need to renovate everything to get a modern look, you can work with what you have and add elements of design tastefully for that overall effect.
This living room is very neutral in its color scheme, keeping with modern color palettes. But it still manages to be trendy instead of plain and dull. Carefully selected hanging lights and art can add life to your living room without taking away from a clean, minimalist design.
This small space is trendy and artistic while still being modern. You don’t need to give up all elements of oddly shaped décor for a minimal touch. This design incorporates many unusual knickknacks such as marbled coffee tables and fun patterned cushions.
This small living room gets the benefits of high ceilings and tall windows. The design is kept simple but when working with small spaces, you want to make sure that there’s a statement element you work your design around. In this case, it’s the wooden coffee table that adds character.
This living room is modern not only in the color scheme it chooses but in the careful symmetry of the design. Notice the white lamps and the placement of the couch, the chandeliers, and the black and white pieces on the table. Symmetry adds a modern, organized touch.
Another angle from the living room in the picture above shows how the couch also follows the symmetry from taking the traditional L shape and mirroring it on the other side for a U shape.
This living room is impressive not just for its interesting color combinations, but for how it has turned walls into pieces of art on their own. Using existing elements in the room to add to the overall design, instead of adding elements is a great option for smaller spaces.
This softly decorated living room is cozy and warm and keeps things simple. Once again, statement lights are used as a décor piece to add life to an otherwise simple room.
Another example of how using walls can be an element of the design itself. This living room is small and keeps the décor to a minimum using hanging lights and wooden walls to create a simple, but modern design.
This mustard and white living room uses the inclusion of curved and rounded shapes and slanting lines to create contrast. This is a great element of design where you play with shapes instead of just colors alone to create a modern outlook.
Notice the symmetry once again. From the plantation to couches and sofas, this large living room uses symmetry and a sleek monochrome design as modern décor elements of choice. And it pulls it off brilliantly.
To create a cozy, but clean vibe in this small space, the design uses light colors for furniture, flooring, and paint, but adds color and character through cushions, art, and décor. The key to keeping it minimal but not empty-looking is to make sure your décor is spaced out, not cluttered.
This living room almost uses the trees outside as décor, leaving the walls plain and the windows bare to frame the nature outside. It’s a great way to use your surroundings as inspiration for the design.
Large windows are a staple in contemporary design, but large mirrors take the look of this living room to another level. Sleek, stylish furniture and a soft neutral theme with some feminine accents and a delicate but trendy chandelier make this living room modern chic.
This living room has used the curves in the walls as inspiration for the kind of furniture it uses. From curved couches to circular lights and fixtures, it’s harmonized with the design of the room itself. Who says you can’t use curves in modern design?
This living room with its own multiple screen bars keeps the design very simple and clean. Though there isn’t a lot of décors, the design still incorporates a lot of symmetry that makes for a polished finish.
This living comes dining room is expertly partitioned off. And while the living room is small, it makes use of the space to add warmth through furniture and rugs in contrast to the cooler paint.
Again, notice how the trees outside look almost like a painting.
A different perspective of the room shows how the stacked wood for the fireplace has been artfully placed to make it seem like an art installment.
Despite a small window and low ceiling, this living room comes off as modern because of its minimalistic style and dominantly white color scheme.
When there are no windows to play with, using creative lighting can add dimension to space. This living room uses modern furniture, colors, and craft fully placed lights to make the living room look almost futuristic.
This living room and attached outdoor dining area use marble, wood, and spotlights together to create a beautiful finish.
Once again, hanging lights stand out as statement pieces. This one looks even more modern because of the thin hanging which makes it seem like it’s floating in midair.
This living room using repetitive elements like potted plants and art to create a different kind of symmetry throughout the room. This serves to give a stylish finish.
This room keeps it simple with a neutral theme and minimal décor. But the unique pieces that are used are modern in their nature, from the bronze side table to the spiny legged orb lamps – these more than makeup for the simple furniture.
Though the overall décor follows a minimalist modern theme, the light green walls serve to stand out and make this room unique.
This living room plays with placement by putting the couch to one side, placing the TV at an angle to the seating options and using a uniquely shaped rug and mismatched floor cushions as stars of center stage.
The addition of a little gold in this living room through the stools, painting and décor pieces makes it look instantly more luxurious.
The brick fireplace is once again an example of how walls can be part of the décor themselves!
Large open spaced living rooms look even larger with an all-white color scheme like shown here.
This modern room has a variety of curves from the furniture to the walls to the funky skylights. These act as décor elements that give off a sci-fi level vibe.
This living room proves you don’t need completely bare windows to be modern. The simple blinds harmoniously blend with the window panes, while still looking modern.
This living room’s overall modern color palette and minimalist design also use some classical elements for a good touch, such as the lamps with traditional shapes. It makes the surroundings look even more modern.
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.