What Is A Contemporary Style Living Room?

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The contemporary style living room is modern, sleek, and constantly evolving to reflect what’s currently trending. At its core, this design style features clean lines, a neutral color palette, and a touch of minimalism. It perfectly blends current day trends with timeless principles, open spaces, and functional furniture.

Your contemporary living room should be a space that fits your needs while maintaining a sophisticated vibe. To achieve a contemporary look, furniture with simple silhouettes, geometric shapes, and sculptural details is key. Pops of color, layered lighting, mixed materials, and texture are used for depth and interest. While clean lines are emphasized, quality materials and construction are equally important to achieve a stylish and inviting space.

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on minimalism with clean lines and sculptural silhouettes.
  • Neutral color palette with intentional pops of color.
  • Mixed materials and layered lighting for depth.

This post is all about the contemporary style living room.

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contemporary style living room with white furniture

What Are 3 Characteristics Of A Contemporary Design Style?

Three characteristics of a contemporary design style are current trends, mixed materials, and minimalism. At its core, it is all about creating a space that is both stylish and functional.


  1. Current Trends: Your contemporary living room should reflect the latest styles without being too trendy. Sleek lines, neutral color palettes with occasional pops of color, and natural light are key. Functional layouts with uncluttered spaces encourage connection and flow.
  2. Material Mix: A variety of materials like glass, stone, metal, and wood are common in contemporary spaces. These materials are molded into geometric and asymmetrical shapes that are functional and stylish.
  3. Minimalism: Minimalism is at the center of the contemporary design style. Furniture and decor are intentional with purpose and comfort while combining form and balance.
contemporary abstaract artwork in living room
contemporary black chairs with woman artwork

Designing a contemporary-style living room is about finding the perfect balance between clean lines and personality, light and warmth, and comfort and style. It’s about using these principles to create a space that reflects your personality and lifestyle.

mitchell gold furniture ivory sofa, black coffee table, and taupe modern rug

Where Does The Contemporary Style Originate From?

The foundations of the contemporary style originated from the late 1900s. During this time there was a shift toward simplicity with an emphasis on “less is more” creating a sense of calm and order.

curved sofa in contemporary living room design
contemporary curved sofa wit blush pink accents

Contemporary style is not confined to one specific region. Cultural influences from around the world are combined for an eclectic and vibrant look. Global influences often inspire sustainable materials, handcrafted elements, and bold textures.

Contemporary Style Living Room Furniture

When designing your living room, the furniture you select will set the vibe for the entire space. Shop for pieces that are functional, cozy, and reflective of your personality.

What is contemporary furniture style?

  • Sleek silhouettes: Forget ornate carvings and busy details. Contemporary furniture emphasizes clean lines, curved edges, and geometric shapes. Think boxy or curved sofas, sculptural accent chairs, and coffee tables with sharp angles.
  • Uncluttered surfaces: Embrace the idea of “less is more.” Avoid bulky pieces and unnecessary clutter. The focus is on functionality and creating a sense of openness.
  • Sculptural elements: Contemporary furniture often incorporates sculptural details like curved armrests, unique leg shapes, or interesting geometric patterns. These add visual interest and elevate the design.
curved sofa with channel tufting
contemporary style living room with neutral color palette

Materials and Textures In The Contemporary Style Living Room

Materials and textures in the contemporary style include slim silhouettes and furniture that highlight natural wood grains or sleek metal details.

Velvets, boucle, and leather are used for texture, dimension, and contrast. The contemporary style blends mixed materials and novelty textures for visual interest.

  • Leather for sleekness
  • Metal for an industrial touch
  • Wood for warmth
  • Plush fabrics for comfort
  • Acrylic, glass, and chrome for a modern edge
contemporary living room with neutral colors
bone inlay coffee table
console table with running sculpture

Furniture with Purpose And Style

The mantra for modern living is simplicity with a purpose. Choose furniture that has storage solutions such as ottomans with compartments or coffee tables with drawers.

Modularity is key for a dynamic space, so look for sectional sofas that can be reconfigured or pieces that serve multiple purposes. Your furniture needs to work for your lifestyle, not just look good.

  • Form and function: Every piece serves a purpose and caters to comfort. Sofas are deep and inviting, accent chairs provide ample support, and storage solutions are integrated seamlessly.
  • Versatility: Look for furniture that can be moved around and adapt to different layouts. Modular sofas, nesting tables, and sculptural swivel chairs are all great options for creating a focal point.
contemporary modular sofa
Modular Sofa
contemporary swivel chairs
Swivel Chair
ivory sofa with nesting coffee tables
Nesting Tables

Color Palette and Lighting In Contemporary Style Living Rooms

When designing your contemporary living room, the color palette and lighting will help create the overall look and feel.


  • Consider the size of your living room when choosing a color palette. If you have a small living room, light colors will make the room feel larger.
  • Think about the mood you want to create in your living room. If you want a relaxing space use cool colors. For an energetic space use warm colors.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and lighting options. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to decorating a contemporary living room.
kelly hoppen design living room with curved coffee table and round area rug

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What are the colors for contemporary style?

The colors for a contemporary-style living room are neutrals in a monochromatic palette. These include:

  • beige
  • white
  • grey
  • black

They create a calm and sophisticated base, allowing pops of color to shine through in accents and accessories.

contemporary living room design with ivory boucle sofa

Your furniture can become statement pieces if you choose designs with unique shapes and textures. To keep it from feeling flat, introduce bold accents through vibrant throw pillows or a singular art piece, which add personality without overwhelming the calming base.

What is contemporary lighting style?

The contemporary lighting style is all about layers. It should include general, task, and accent lighting. Start with ambient lighting, like recessed lights, a chandelier, or a ceiling fixture, for general lighting.

contemporary style living room lighting

Next, incorporate task lighting with a floor lamp in a reading nook or table lamps on a side table for reading or working. Finally, add accent lighting like a picture light over a piece of art, sconces next to a mirror, or LED strips along a bookshelf.

Designing with layered lighting will help set the vibe and create ambiance in your living room. Use dimmer switches to control the brightness for any occasion. Use lighting to create a polished look… it’s the jewelry of your room.

Contemporary Decor and Accessories

When decorating contemporary living rooms, the decor and accessories you choose will set the vibe. It’s all about creating an inviting living space that reflects your style with comfort and functionality.

neutral color living room affordable curtains

Use Minimalist Decor In Your Contemporary Style Living Room

Prioritize quality over quantity while using a minimalist decor approach. Choose pieces with simple lines and neutral colors.

contemporary black and white decor

Investing in a few well-made items will make your room feel open and cohesive. Add a set of organic vases in the center of your coffee table for a focal point.

Show your unique style and personality with statement art, sculptural accessories, or a vibrant rug.

Contemporary canvas glass coat artwork from Leftbank with gray velvet channel tufted bench and fur rug

Integrating Technology

Smart furniture has come a long way and is great for contemporary style living rooms. Tech-friendly styles include a coffee table with a fridge, a console with an electric fireplace, or an end table with built-in charging ports. They’ll not only make a statement but they’re the perfect blend of function and style.

Mount your TV on the wall for a sleek look or encase it in a smart media console that complements your room’s design. Remember, your tech should enhance your lifestyle, not dominate the space.

tv with floating shelves


The contemporary interior design style is about creating a space that’s sophisticated but simple. Neutral palettes, clean lines, and sculptural silhouettes are key characteristics.

Your living room should be a sanctuary where simplicity meets elegance. Select furniture with unique shapes for a touch of visual interest. This isn’t just about beauty… it’s about designing a functional space that feels like home.

Don’t forget the importance of textures for depth and dimension. Layer plush rugs with smooth leather, or combine soft throw pillows with a sleek sofa. It’s these subtle contrasts that create a contemporary vibe.

Choose quality materials to elevate the look and feel of your space. They might cost more, but they’ll last longer and look better. Remember, your contemporary living room should reflect your style and make you HAPPY!

This post is all about the contemporary style living room.

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Last Updated on May 12, 2024 by Nicole DelaCruz

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