inspiration4 min read

6 stylish modern living room ideas

WordsMegan Lambert


Don’t be fooled by the name, the modern decor trend refers to an interior design style dating from the 19th century to the mid-20th century. Though there are similarities, there are key differences between modern and contemporary decor in both period and materials. Modern decor flourished in tandem with the industrial movement and the result was a design style that favoured a streamlined approach to decor, with a preference for new, industrial materials like concrete, glass, and steel. 

Influenced by the German Bauhaus school of design, modern decor prioritises function over form, always. So, if you want to take a more streamlined, fuss-free approach to your life, why not take a look at these 6 stylish modern living room ideas.  

Modern living room idea: predominantly neutral color palette

It will surely come as no surprise that a modern living room calls for a clean and simple color palette and our timeless neutrals color palette with Kelly Hoppen is just what the doctor ordered. Grown-up, grounding, and very soothing, these clean whites and deep greys will stand the test of time. If you want to you can inject a bit of color sparingly, through your furnishings or artwork, but remember to avoid patterns and go for blocks of color.

Shop our neutral paint collection by Kelly Hoppen or check out our living room paint colors.

Modern living room idea: well-defined, clean lines

A modern living room is all about streamlined living and creating that sense of simplicity and flow, therefore open plan living is a popular floorplan. Whether you have an open plan home or not you can still achieve the look through clever decor choices. For example, if you’ve got large sliding doors, leave them bare and avoid blocking them with furniture. You could also opt for furniture with simple lines, like an infinity sofa or long, low coffee table.

Modern living room idea: minimal clutter

Clutter is the nemesis of any modern living room, so keep it to a minimum with clever storage options. Tidy away your mess with streamlined built-in storage. This is no more apparent than in the modern trend for ‘shy tech’. And remember, keep cushions and throws to a minimum.

Modern living room idea: industrial accents

In keeping with its industrial roots, the modern decor trend champions industrial accents, so if you’ve got wooden floorboards or exposed brick walls, showcase these. Polished concrete is another popular option, though this should be used sparingly in the living room to avoid it feeling too austere. Crittal windows and metal and glass fixtures—like a steel and glass coffee table are all part and parcel of a modern decor living room.

Modern living room idea: abstract art

Speaking of blocks of color, abstract art is a great way to introduce a bit of color into your modern decor living room. The principles of modern decor and modern art are no more apparent than in Mondrian’s most famous work ‘Composition with red, yellow, and blue’. Its straight lines and simplicity embody the movement. Whilst we might not all have the budget for a Mondrian, look out for works that exemplify his style.

Modern living room idea: statement furniture

Because modern decor centers around function over form, it tends to steer away from ornamental trimmings.. Instead, designers of this period created furniture that was a design statement in itself. The names of Le Corbusier, Florence Knoll, and Marcel Brauer are as popular as ever. From sleek glass tables to large leather sofas, or the classic Barcelona chair—they will all look right at home in a modern decor living room.

Like the sound of these stylish modern living room ideas? Then you’ll love these sleek modern kitchen ideas.