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40 Manifold Contemporary Living Room Ideas That Inspire

Contemporary is probably the only style that can evolve and change constantly. Don’t confuse it with modern, though, as its aesthetic was a thing of mid-last-century. The difference? Modern style doesn’t change. It is a certain aesthetic that you can recognize from clean undecorated interiors with lots of natural wood, plastic, leather, and linen. Simple furnishings is another important element of mid-century modern style. Contemporary, however, can have all that and then some. Think clean white walls, huge windows, unconventional furniture shapes, and open layouts. If you are into an idea of an airy living space filled with peculiar offbeat accents then here are 40 contemporary living room ideas that will reanimate your home.

Minimalist Contemporary Living Room Ideas

Minimalist contemporary may sound redundant but when you see how different contemporary interiors can look like, you’ll know what we mean.

Clean simple lines, neutral color schemes, and streamlined furnishings are quite easy to work with. Put them all together and add a few statement accents like chandeliers or artworks. That’s all it takes.

Interiors by Steven G
Clean white living room design by Interiors by Steven G
Contemporary Living Room by Eduard Climan
Minimalist living room by Eduard Caliman with a glass chandelier and floor lamps
Company KD
Neutral living room design by Company KD is punctuated by brown and navy striped rug and Lucite furnishings

Open Layout Contemporary Living Rooms

Open layout is probably one of the most prominent and defining elements of contemporary design. It offers a sea of possibilities. At the same time, it’s easy to create as well as decorate. Many designers use sectional sofas to effortlessly demarcate a living area, but it’s not the only way. Think console tables, rugs, and half walls, which can hold TVs and bookshelves.

Brown Design Group
Brown Design Group used a sectional sofa and a console table to divide a living room from a seating area
2id Interiors coastal living room
Blue accents play into the coastal theme in this 2id Interiors‘ contemporary living room
ACDF Architecture
ACDF Architecture created a separate cantilevering box for this living room that still comes in an open layout
Daniel Cassettai Design
This contemporary living room by Daniel Cassettai Design shares space with a matching sleek kitchen

Sophisticated Contemporary Living Room Ideas

While contemporary design is all about clean lines and minimal decor there isn’t a rulebook that forbids making things a bit fancier. Stone inclusions are often used in fireplaces and tabletops as luxury accents. Statement chandeliers also bring their fair share of glam. But you can never underestimate how much colors and textures can do for design.

Raymond Chen's sophisticated living room design
Raymond Chen’s sophisticated living room design via Home Designing
Ashley HomeStore
Ashley HomeStore‘s contemporary living room with traditional elements
Jenn Feldman Designs
Jenn Feldman Designs dressed this contemporary living room up with a wooden console and a brass coffee table
Jodie Cooper Design
Jodie Cooper Design‘s neutral living room exudes sophistication with beautiful furnishings and carefully chosen colors
Claire Paquin
Claire Paquin masterfully combined hues and furnishings to create this contemporary living room

In each of these interiors muted neutrals are punctuated with velvet and leather textures. Present patterns don’t attract as much attention, whereas accents are also quite subtle.

In sophisticated design every little detail has its place. No extra elements or furnishings are cluttering the space. Even coffee tables in Claire Paquin’s living room are transparent. Keep this in mind when striving for sophistication in your interior design.

Small Contemporary Living Room Ideas

We often see contemporary living areas fit into rooms the size of a skating rink. But homes with smaller square footage can too enjoy the benefits of contemporary design, which are open layout and conversation-starting furnishings.

Haddad Hakansson Design Studio
Small contemporary living room by Haddad Hakansson Design Studio dressed with ombre rugs
Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola
Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola‘s small living room uses Egg chairs in place of a sofa
Michael Habachy
Michael Habachy designed a contemporary small interior in a straight combination of black and white
Geremia Design
Metallic ball-shaped hanging is a statement accent in this equally adorable living room by Geremia Design
Tara Benet
White is your best bet when it comes to tight spaces. Design by Tara Benet

Contemporary style works when it comes to shoe-box apartments. Plenty of white reflects any natural light from the windows enhancing the area visually while clean lines cut out all unnecessary elements that would otherwise clutter a tiny room. And the right open plan design can simply make small apartment feel more spacious.

Contemporary Living Rooms With Bright Accents

Bright accents can help liven up a sleek contemporary aesthetic that can at times give off a sterile vibe. Using them is not as simple as throwing in some pillows, though. You have to add neutral hues to soften harsh contrast between pristine white and intense brights.

Grace Blu Designs
Grace Blu Designs added blue accents to this neutral living room
Claire Paquin living room design
To add more dimension to it Claire Paquin paired similar blue accents with purple ones
Jonathan Rachman
Jonathan Rachman colored this white contemporary living room with bright pink and royal blue
Contemporary living room by Sally Wheat
Sally Wheat diluted the accents here with watercolor patterns
Vaucluse Residence by Horizon Habitats
Vaucluse Residence by Horizon Habitats has the most contemporary sofa, which comes in glam chartreuse

Contemporary Art in Living Room Design

Contemporary style is very art-friendly. In fact, those empty white walls call for some decor and drama. One of the designing techniques is based on coordinating artwork colors with an interior’s color scheme. And it’s quite popular, probably because it ties decor together without effort. It’s a sure way to a tasteful and eye-catchy contemporary design.

Another technique is to choose a piece that would create an inimitable focal point in the room. Usually it is a painting or a portrait rather than an abstract color painting.

Middle Cove Touch Interiors
Middle Cove project by Touch Interiors features open layout and a color scheme borrowed from an artwork
Brian Patrick Flynn Atlanta living room
Brian Patrick Flynn’s Atlanta living room has the best art for a contemporary interior
Benjamin Cruz
Benjamin Cruz went with unconventional framed art
Mirador Group
Mirador Group‘s living room is spacious enough for two big watercolor artworks
Amy Elbaum
This artwork creates a focal point in a living room designed by Amy Elbaum

Luxurious Contemporary Living Areas

We’ve stressed at the beginning that contemporary living areas are usually clean and minimal, but since the style is still evolving it’s subject to whatever changes your soul demands. Fill it with premium materials and high end furnishings, if you like. There are no rules that say you can’t.

Chairma Design Group
Luxury with a character is what makes this Chairma Design Group’s design stand out
DKOR Interiors
Luxurious but sophisticated design by DKOR Interiors
Platinum Building Group
Platinum Building Group use polished wood and animal hide to create a picture of understated luxury
Mirador Group contemporary living room design ideas
A mix of the most contemporary living room ideas in one spacious design by Mirador Group
D2 Interieurs dark living room
Stone and velvet is always a winning combination. Design by D2 Interieurs
Morgante Wilson Architects
Right metallic accents create that luxury look in Morgante Wilson Architects‘ living room
London apartment by Falchi Interiors
London apartment by Falchi Interiors

Luxury may manifest differently, but it always has to do with premium quality. Other elements that bring luxury to any interior are rare materials like natural stone and recognized designer/brand styles like Barcelona or Eames chair.

Modest Contemporary Living Room Ideas

Going back to more affordable, small-spaced contemporary living room ideas, it can be a stylistic choice as well. For instance, if your interior architecture is comprises of numerous windows, beams and arches your room decor doesn’t have to be that expressive.

Besides, simpler cleaner furnishings and color schemes allow other things to stand out. Take potted trees, for example. They look terrific and will set you back a fraction of the cost of a designer chair.

Eisner Design
In this living room by Eisner Design windows and fireplace get all attention anyway after that palm tree
D2 Interieurs
D2 Interieurs went for a toned down design for a low-ceiling living area
Modal Design
Modest but not plain design by Modal Design

Natural Materials in Contemporary Design

Modern interiors are heavy on natural wood and molded plywood in particular. But since contemporary style borrows a lot from mid-century modern aesthetic, natural materials are being used extensively in contemporary interiors as well. Wood looks good and versatile, however, its high cost is a serious downside.

Susanna Cots' contemporary Barcelona apartment
This wooden feature wall in Susanna Cots‘ contemporary living room looks fresh and tasteful
The Ranch Mine
The Ranch Mine show off intricate wood texture with these wall panels
2id Interiors
2id Interiors created a dynamic TV wall using wood planks of different shades

Contemporary living room ideas aren’t one-look-fit-all. They can look very different and quite exceptional if you explore the style a bit further. With extraordinary designs on the market and creative ideas on the web you have to really try to create something completely unremarkable.


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