Ways to Modernise your Living Space

Creating a modern looking living room can be a very effective method of giving a home a revamp, and can create a very welcoming yet neat and tidy heart of the home. What elements are essential in a modern living space?


A modern look is usually a very minimalist one, offering uncluttered, clean lines, with a restricted main colour palette complemented by splashes of bolder tone from accessories. Key colours are usually neutrals; greys, browns, blacks and whites, with plain or no patterns for the main pieces in a room, such as sofas, chairs and display cabinets. Pictures, rugs and cushions can be used to introduce some contrasting colour or bold accents in a few spots around the room. Walls should be painted in neutral shades, though one wall can be decorated in a brighter hue – a deep burgundy, for example – as an accent wall if required.

Furniture should be simple and unfussy

When looking to create a modern living room, think about what type of furniture the room needs. Is it a family home, in need of large sofas to seat everyone, or is it home to a couple that like having their own space? If visitors are frequent, does the room need flexible seating that can efficiently accommodate an expanded number of guests? There is no use falling in love with a beautiful white suede two-person lounger if a house is home to several toddlers, a dog and frequently welcomes visitors.

Consider starting from scratch

If redecorating an existing room, consider starting completely afresh; remove everything from the room and only replace those pieces that fit with the modern style. Creating a modern look for a room will usually require focusing on a smaller number of pieces of furniture, all which have unfussy lines and simple shapes. This doesn’t mean the room will be sterile or unwelcoming; for example, reclining sofas can add an air of relaxation to a room without detracting from the clean, uncluttered lines of a modern look. Modern pieces often incorporate long, straight lines; pieces such as a metal and glass side table or long, low, wooden coffee table would be appropriate. Sofas and chairs should be neat and tailored in design, maybe with a metal frame, and those decorating a small space should look for clear acrylic side tables that look very modern yet seem to take up less space than wooden or metal versions.

Accessories add the lived-in feel

Modern design is sometimes criticised for looking sparse, but that need not be the case: adding some decorative touches such as glass sculptures or vases on mantelpieces or fireplaces, geometrically patterned rugs or bold print art will add warmth and individuality to the space.  They are also easily changed to give a different feel if required. Think about adding some variety to the overall feel with floorings and curtains – a deep grey curtain against white walls and furnishings will add warmth, as will new wooden or even painted concrete flooring.

Finally, don’t forget the lighting. Modern light fittings can be a feature in themselves. Elegant spotlights, sculptured shades or even a bold glass chandelier will complete any elegant modern look.

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

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