inspiration4 min read

6 chic contemporary style living room ideas

Black, white and green contemporary living room

WordsMegan Lambert


Although colloquially,  the terms ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ can be used interchangeably, when it comes to interior design they refer to two design styles from very different periods. Whilst modern decor has its roots in the 19th century, contemporary decor refers to what is happening in the world of interiors today. It’s a warm and fresh take on the more restrained modern decor style, with some fun and colorful flourishes that create a curated space and showcase your individual style​​—a great look for the living room.

Ensure you know your modern from your contemporary design and take a read of our blog on the difference between modern and contemporary decor style. Like what you see? Get inspired by these 6 contemporary living room ideas to get the look in your home.

Contemporary living room idea: neutral color palette with pops of color

Whilst you can use pops of color through choice artwork or furnishings, the backdrop for your contemporary style living room should be a warm and neutral color palette. Not only does is create a relaxed and soothing environment—perfect for a living room—it provides a blank canvas for your artwork and furnishings. Think barely there greys, beiges and greiges with warming whites on your woodwork. You can create contrast with black accents, for example, black picture frames or a statement Black  01 staircase. You can also incorporate neutral hues through a liberal use of natural materials. Parquet flooring looks right at home in a contemporary style home whist terrazzo tiles or Murano glass will add a pop of color.

Shop living room paint colors

Large Contemporary Living Room with yellow accents

Contemporary living room idea: a mix of straight lines and curves

A playful mix of straight lines and curves is a distinctive feature of contemporary design today. Try juxtaposing a rectangular coffee table with an enveloping Saarinen womb chair. Or replacing a traditionally linear sofa with a curved bouclé one. And it doesn’t just stop at the furnishings. Orb lighting is a big favourite right now as are Ultrafragola (wavy border) mirrors and bobbin chairs. Not only does this contrast of straight lines and curves look gorgeous, but there’s an argument that gentle, curved furnishings create a more inclusive and inviting space. Again, ideal for your living room.

Soft contemporary styled living room
This contemporary BOUCLE chair and marble coffee table contrast beautifully against the darker wall.

Contemporary living room idea: statement artwork

A key component of the contemporary decor trend is statement artwork. This is where you can get a little experimental with your color palette. Go with your gut. “It’s about finding those up and coming artists that you love and buying art that you look at and smile,” says Vogue Williams, when she showed us around her art-filled London home. ​​Whether you go for a curated gallery wall or use one piece to inform your decor, contemporary decor is all about statement artwork.