Style guide

Modern living room ideas

Are you ready to introduce some of the latest styles to your home? Bring your living room up to trend with my modern living room ideas.

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The thought of a ‘modern’ home may conjure up images of plain rooms, bare walls and obscure artwork, but a modern living room needn’t be stark or stuffy.

It may have less emphasis on fuss but a modern home can still show off some frills.

I'd like to show you how you can create a contemporary living room that’s warm and inviting whilst boasting some uber-cool elements.

Keep it cosy

From kids’ play dates, movie nights, weeknight box-set binges and catch-ups with friends, your living room is often the setting for everyday life and as such, needs to be as functional as it is stylish. 

Choose furniture that is going to suit your lifestyle.

An irresistibly squishy sofa will look inviting and ooze luxury.

Look for deep sofas with sumptuously soft fabric, big plump cushions and long arms with added bolster cushions or oversized saddle arms for ultimate comfort.

To make a statement with your sofa, choose one in a rich, opulent colour or with metallic details for a glamourous feel.

Top with cushions in clashing colours or prints for a cool, eclectic finish.

The most important thing when styling your modern living room is that you’re not trying to make it look perfect but in-keeping for your lifestyle.

Sammy Fabric 3 Seater Sofa

Aruba Wall Unit

Clear the clutter

Clearing away clutter is key to keeping your modern lounge looking neat and tidy.

Keep your collectables, toys, books and other items stored neatly away in a stylish sideboard or unit.

Choose a glass-fronted cabinet if you wish to show off carefully chosen accessories or some sleek shelving to house books and potted plants.

Having clutter hidden away is especially important in a small modern living room in order to keep it looking sleek and fuss-free. 

Insta-worthy accessorising

To keep a living room modern, take a less is more approach when it comes to accessorising.

Curate a collection of carefully chosen pieces of different shapes, sizes and heights on a bookcase or shelf unit.

Once you’ve placed your items, take a step back and look at your creation.

If it doesn’t look right, rearrange until perfectly placed. 

It can be easy to get carried away with pretty accessories.

Don’t over-do the knick-knacks but instead complete your modern living room look with larger pieces like interesting rugs, artwork and lighting.

Knightsbridge Tall Bookcase

Brighton 3 Seater Sofa

Go for bold

Going modern doesn’t mean modest.

Don’t be afraid to put your personality out there with some pops of on-trend paints, prints and wallpaper patterns.

Make a statement by painting the entire room in the same colour, including the skirting boards, windowsills and doorframes (ensuring you use the correct type of paint for each surface e.g. wood paint for the skirting boards and emulsion for the walls).

Doing this will streamline the room and is particularly effective in a smaller room as it extends the walls, making the room feel taller.

If you prefer a pale colour scheme, complement muted shades with an eye-catching feature wall in a bright colour or modern mural.

Or, paint the walls white to create a blank backdrop for some attention-grabbing artwork or bold furniture choices. 

The modern Scandi style

Taking inspiration from the minimalist aesthetic, the most modern version of the Scandinavian interior design involves all-white walls with wood elements providing an earthy accent tone.

Choose pieces with clean lines for a cool, fuss-free feel.

The addition of some black and white accessories will add a contemporary twist on the understated trend.

Learn more about the minimalist style with myMinimalist Interior Design article.

Everly Grey Oak Long Coffee Table

Harrogate standard chair & 3 Seater Sofa

Mini maximalism

Who said quirky can’t be cool? One of the biggest interior trends of the year, maximalism is all about embracing personality and celebrating eccentricity.

Mix clashing colours, contrasting prints and layered patterns to create a stylish living room.

The new modern maximalism encourages the integration of both old and new.

Pair vintage furniture with modern elements such as contemporary, industrial style floor lamps or a distressed metallic style rug.

If bold colours and leafy wallpaper feels too full-on, frame some quirky, floral or botanical prints to decorate a neutral background or add some funky, contrasting cushions to your sofa.

Go easy on the accessories and focus on placing meaningful pieces around the home.  

I hope I've given you enough modern living room inspiration to bring your home up to trend with the latest styles.

For this year’s biggest trends, read my article, Top Interior Trends 2023.

Victoria Foster

Written by:

Stylist & Visual Merchandiser

at ScS

22nd May 2023

Victoria is a stylist and merchandiser based at our in-house photo studio. Having been part of the ScS family since 2012, Victoria styles stunning home sets with the latest trends to showcase newly launched ScS products. With over 25 years of experience in styling and merchandising, she loves to keep an eye on the latest trends in the interior landscape. Victoria's favourite interior scheme is the Boho trend and loves to layer a mixture of different textures in her home. Her styling top tip is to always create a focal point in a room. Whether it’s a feature wall, a piece of artwork, or a bright patterned rug, having a focal point can help to drive the decisions on the rest of the rooms layout.