27 Modern Living Room Ideas for a Contemporary Yet Timeless Feel

In contrast to the ornate detailing and fussy design of older aesthetics, modern design is known for its emphasis on sleek silhouettes, functional layouts, and natural materials. Wood and leather accents, organic shapes, and earthy hues make this style a relaxed, practical, and pretty option for many homeowners.

The living rooms on this list pull together all the key elements of modern design: slim seating, low-profile sofas, striking artwork, crisp geometry, and lush textures. The resulting spaces offer form and function that works as well for family movie nights as for adults-only cocktail parties.

Perfect Symmetry

Brian Wetzel

The symmetry of this room’s clean lines and furniture placement complements the curved chair, gold pendants, and rounded architectural details, says Christina Boschetti, of interior design firm Widell + Boschetti. She chose solid fabrics to keep the attention on the modern shapes.

Graphic Prints

Brian Wetzel

Boschetti renovated this French Colonial home with an emphasis on layered textures and patterns, including graphic black-and-white prints on the walls and furniture. Natural white oak cabinets and shelving complement a hand-carved wooden light fixture from Thomas Newman.

Natural Curves

Marco Ricca 

The precise angles and intricate decorative molding of a narrow Brooklyn townhouse are set off by non-traditional curved seating, stools, and tables, says Boschetti. “We love making opposites talk to each other,” she says.

Clean Lines, Tonal Color

Brian Wetzel

For the great room in this 1925 French Norman home, Boschetti worked with a monochrome color palette for the walls and trim, matching furniture, a string light chandelier, and vinyl mirrored paper on the ceiling. “Symmetrical layout, clean lines, and tonal colors modernized the space dramatically,” she says.

Cozy Industrial

Brian Wetzel

The concrete ceiling, industrial windows, and sleek fireplace could leave this room feeling cold and austere, so Boschetti kept it inviting and cozy with custom wallpaper, soft sheepskin textures, and curved accents.

Retro Meets Modern

Brian Wetzel

To show off a client’s collection of colorful glass wall art, Boschetti added subtly patterned wallpaper, a contrasting shelf unit, retro décor objects, and natural leather and floral accents.

Balanced Whimsy

Brian Wetzel

The symmetry of this room’s raised ceiling, glass doors, and square-armed sofa is balanced by the striking curved chairs, fun wall art, and coffee table.

Statement Art

Brian Wetzel

In a room where neutral fabrics and colors call attention to modern shapes and materials, an oversized piece of wall art—made with bold hues and lighted accents—defines the overall aesthetic.

Novel Seating

Brian Wetzel

Textured seating placed back-to-back allows for unobstructed views from this living room, while wall-mounted, lighted artwork and a vintage poster are bold, graphic additions.

Function and Form

Brian Wetzel

A deep green shelving unit offers functional space for a dry bar in this sunny room, while the large coffee table is a visual accent with practical use. An Élitis wallcovering ties together the colors in the furniture, says Boschetti.

Cozy and Warm

Sarah Stacey Interior Design

This living room from Sarah Stacey Interior Design focuses on furniture with crisp, sleek silhouettes in deep neutral shades, while a live edge coffee table, natural fiber basket, and glowing fireplace keep it comfortable.

Traditional Meets Modern

alvarez/ Getty Images

The traditional elements of this room—original hardwoods, an elaborate mantel, ornate crown molding—are paired with rich textiles, slim-line furniture, and color-coordinated styled shelves.

Earthy Pinks

Courtesy of Article

A colorful seating space feels sleek and modern in complementary shades, from rose to burgundy to a deep terra cotta brown. White tabletops, metallic accessories, and reflective glass keep the atmosphere light.

Mountain Modern

Getty Images/Gremlin.

The mountain modern style takes its cues from a “minimalist-meets-rustic aesthetic.” Natural wood and stone elements, peak-inspired architectural details, and oversized windows give the room an elegant lodge atmosphere.

Crisp Lines

Elizabeth Bolognino Interiors 

Oversized trim on the floor-to-ceiling window creates a modern grid pattern that mirrors the artwork, dramatic marble fireplace surround, and built-in shelves. A tufted ottoman softens the crisp lines of the sofa and accent chair.

Pops of Color

Katie Charlotte

A low-profile sofa, built-in bench seating, patterned rug, and modern butterfly armchair in subtle, neutral fabrics are accented by a black console table, gold accents, and bold teal and green accents.

Curated Collection

Nick Parisse

A curated collection of art, books, and decorative objects fills the built-in shelves in this space—a purposeful decision that makes the television less noticeable. Abstract art, slim seating, and a live-edge table bring texture and color.

Contrasting Styles

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

While the detailed fireplace surround and shimmering frames in this living room could make the space skew traditional, the modern furniture, table lamps, pendant, and decor keep it fresh and contemporary.

Sleek Shapes

 Matti Gresham | Designer Traci Connell

This modern, open-plan living area incorporates a neutral sofa, loveseat, and rug alongside organically shaped coffee tables, contrasting black accents, and natural wood elements in the adjoining kitchen. A metal, glass, and wooden staircase is an added modern touch.

Retro Color

Justin Cole for NJA Interiors

While modern design often relies on a neutral color palette, this room blends the streamlined shapes and rich textures of the aesthetic with bold avocado, burnt orange, and gold textiles. The geometric rug anchors the distinctive elements into a cohesive whole.

Open Plan

Thomas Richter of The White Arrow

In this coastal home, a plush velvet sofa provides a prime spot for relaxing with a cocktail after a day at the beach. White walls, a flat-weave rug, and cool kitchen tones provide an airy contrast.

Wood and Color

Blythe Interiors

This San Diego home, designed by Blythe Interiors, relies on a textured gray sofa, natural wood and cane accents, fresh greenery, muted artwork, and a modern chandelier to create a relaxing space for the family to socialize.

Layered Textures

Lauren Miller

Timeless textures and details—a leather sofa, an oversized fireplace surround, an ornate mirror—pair perfectly with luxe pillows and blankets, modern art, a chic coffee table, and loads of natural light in this Toronto home.

Waterfront Views

Haris Kenjar

A soaring planked ceiling allows for endless waterfront views at this Pacific Northwest home, but the high-contrast window trim, dark gray furniture, Eames-style lounge chair, and natural fiber rug keep it from feeling like a traditional rustic cabin.

Outside, In

Kozy Kasa

A wall of windows allows plenty of natural light into this space—and offers views of the homeowners’ colorful flowering shrubs. The clean lines of the upholstered furniture, hidden media storage, and dark metallic accents keep the focus on the great outdoors.

A Balanced Mix

Kimber Collective

With the right balance of modern elements, including a long, low sofa, a leather chair, and custom-cut shades, this room’s more traditional pieces—like the seascape over the fireplace and the iron candlesticks—add a cozy touch.

Modern Meets Rustic

Courtesy of @virtuallyherestudios

The balanced furniture placement in this high-ceilinged space gives each piece a purpose, from the curved coffee table to the storage-friendly sideboard. A modern chandelier stands out against the rustic plank ceiling.

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