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Simple. Sleek. Stylish. These three words are the descriptive pillars of modern design, and when it comes to designing a living room, they serve as invaluable style guidelines. Above all else, modern design balances its use of space with a straightforward style focused on functionality, straight lines and solid colors. If you’ve been dreaming of transforming your out-of-date family den into a modern living room, start with these five essential elements:
It is essential to choose furniture built with clean, straight lines; heavier patterns tend to be trendier and fall out of style quickly, whereas simplicity is timeless. Modern designs incorporate sleek materials like hard plastics, glass, metal, or recycled products. It balances open space with functionality, creating visual interest with understated pieces. Depending on the size of the room, a couch usually offers the best choice for formal seating. It needs to be functional without any ornamental features, but definitely comfortable enough for residents and guests to sit on as well. When possible, try to open up space with the furniture positioning; try facing the couch towards a window, a fireplace, or – best of all – opposite other seating. Placing too much furniture in a small space will detract from the cleanliness of modern design; the room should not appear too full or overdone. Keep it simple and avoid any bulky furnishings. Consider looking for European designer couches, because these almost always possess modernist designs.
Functional Coffee Table
A coffee table is essential in a modern living room. A functional coffee table serves multiple purposes. It’s a hot spot for friends to gather for cocktails or games on a weekend, as well as an office area for working on at home. Like the other furniture, the coffee table should combine clean lines with a low, streamlined look. From a two-tiered designer glass table to hard plastic storage bins topped with a heavy piece of tempered glass, a functional coffee table can reflect your personal sense of style.
Luxurious Area Rug
A rug is often one of the only accessories to use a soft texture or a patterned design in a modern living room setting. Hints of the rug’s pattern or color often reappear in artwork or another artistic accessory to give the room a cohesive look. This serves an important purpose, as the placement and color of the perfect rug can pull the key elements together. The rug is often positioned in front of the couch or under the coffee table. The size of an area rug is important; it needs to be large enough to place under the front edge of the couch and extend just beyond the chairs on the other side of the coffee table.
If space allows, place two small chairs directly across from the couch for the purpose of additional seating. Coordinate or contrast the solid color of the couch with the chairs, or – if you’re feeling ambitious – opt to use an abstract or geometric pattern. Look for straight clean lines for these extra pieces, as minimalistic chairs are an unmistakable element of modern interior design. Extra seating can also reflect your personal taste and creativity; if you have carpentry or furnishing skills, try to repurpose another item – like a small stool – to serve as a seat. You can use your imagination to think of items to use for making extra seats, just remember to keep it functional and streamlined.
Just the right amount of accessories is essential in modern design. Use accessories sparingly to accent colors and designs in the room. Artwork on walls should be large, but still small enough that they refrain from “taking over” the room. Choose an abstract piece reflecting a hint of color or pattern found in the area rug. Avoid filling up the wall; one large piece on either side of a window is all you need to add visual appeal. A few solid pillows can also splash color in the room as long as you are careful to keep the look simple.
Focusing on these five essential elements can help you create the modern living room of your dreams. Just clear out the room, paint the walls a solid color and start designing! You can find all kinds of great design sites on line. Browse through some modern furniture sites and check out couches and chairs to get an idea for your own modern living room.