Modern furniture for living rooms - the ultimate style guide

How to use modern furniture for living rooms

The space you spend most of your time in is one of the best spaces to showcase your design aesthetic, and modern furniture for living rooms can add an instant style update without the effort of redecorating.

See also: Modern furniture ideas – from age-old classics to the latest furniture trends

Placing modern elements in a rustic or traditional backdrop creates a confident, eclectic fusion. Or if you’ve already embraced contemporary style in your lounge, a new show-stopping piece of modern furniture can act as a focal point.

“The living room is where we relax and unwind, it should be inviting, comfortable and full of style,” says Andrew Vick, Head of Buying and Merchandising at dwell. “For a functional modern look, strike a balance between contemporary design, comfort and personality.

“One of the best ways of achieving that is choosing furniture that has sleek, minimalist silhouettes, and expressing yourself with colour and texture.”

Here are all the modern furniture ideas for living rooms you could need to inspire your next style refresh.

See Also: Modern living room ideas: 24 decorating tricks to inspire

1. Green upholstery

The exposed brick wall and large monochrome abstract artwork set the stage for this sleek, ultra modern sofa from Swyft Home. The deep rainforest colour chimes with the houseplants in a nod to the going-nowhere trend for bringing the outside indoors. Team with statement terrazzo cubes and a dramatic curved floor lamp for extra of-the-moment style points.

(Image credit: Sofa, £1095, Swyft Home)

See Also: Living room colour ideas

2. Multi functional

Investing in furniture that doubles up as storage will keep your space streamlined. The stone Pod coffee table from dwell combines contemporary design with functionality. By raising the oval table’s walnut-veneered top it reveals hidden storage space and converts it into a small table, perfect for wfh or eating. Andrew Vick, Head of Buying and Merchandising at dwell, says “modern furniture is evolving as the way we live and use our homes changes, and multi-functional design is a key part of that.”

(Image credit: dwell)

See Also: Small living room layout ideas – and how to get it right

3. Open shelving

You’ll have seen these shelving units on your scrolling adventures. With its famous wire panels, the Scandi-designed modular system from string creates an ultra-modern framework on which to project your personality. The classic walnut and black colour scheme allows you to be bold with monochrome patterned rugs, large sculptures or maximalist art.

(Image credit: Modern furniture for living room: From £72, string Furniture.)

See Also: Small Living Room Ideas

4. Up-cycle

Making a modern statement doesn’t have to mean forgoing classic design. Interiors blogger Emily Murray of The Pink House revamped this armchair and upcycled the corner dresser. “True modernity lies in vibrancy. This Sofas & Stuff snugger is a modern take on a classic button-back sofa, upholstered bespoke in blue spotty Samoa Velvets fabric from Osborne & Little, with a fuchsia Designers Guild trim.”

(Image credit: Photo by Susie Lowe)

See Also: Moody Blue Living Room Ideas

5. Go for glamour

Furniture doubles as art in this lounge, where touch-me textures catch the eye from every angle. Designer Jonathan Adler says “the Brigitte sofa looks like it’s floating and makes you feel as if you’re dreaming”. Teamed with the Scalinatella cocktail table (£1950) and Puzzle Circles lamp (£1250), it is an inspiring celebration of modernity.

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

See Also: Gorgeous Grey Living Room Ideas

6. Industrial edge

The living room can set the tone for the rest of your home’s decor. An industrial element like this modular open-and-closed storage unit from West Elm, with its blackened steel frames and mango wood, adds a raw edge to a softer look that can be picked up in other accessories. It also provides the living room with much-needed storage, something that’s vital in a space that has lots of footfall, helping it stay de-cluttered.

(Image credit: WestElm)

See Also: Storage ideas for small living rooms

7. Sophisticated minimalist

Complementary dark tones, clean lines and brass accents create a balanced feel to this serene living space. The Bardot coffee table and side table – appropriately named after the sultry actress and model – are paired with the boudoir day bed, all from Gabriel Scott. Neutral walls and sumptuous fabrics give a masterclass in grown-up modernity.

(Image credit: Gabriel Scott)

See Also: Living room curtain ideas

8. Mid-Century Modern style

The Remi Sideboard from Heal’s offers practicality as well as creating a focal point for a living space. Elena Paparozzi, Senior Furniture and Brands Buyer at Heal’s, says “its slim, slender lines and gentle curves balance to create a sophisticated finish. Solid oak is timeless, but when paired with white marble it creates a refined, contemporary look. Light walls let the beauty of natural materials shine.”

(Image credit: Heals)

See Also: How To Get The Mid-Century Modern Look In A Modern Home and The Best Shops For Mid-Century Modern Furniture

9. Simply Scandi

“The minimalist nature of Scandi design is a great way to create a modern base with furniture in your living area,” says Jenny Johnston, Sales and Marketing Manager, at JYSK. “You can update the space over time, switching different accessories and textiles to fit in with emerging trends and your own evolving design aesthetic.” Grey or white tones and sleek black metal shelves instantly modernise, add in warm shades and natural materials such as rattan or wood to soften what could otherwise be a stark look.

(Image credit: JYSK)

10. Monochrome magic

This living room’s clever mix of neutrals with black creates a simple, relaxed scene that still has the wow factor. The bold, abstract wallpaper contrasts with sharp minimalist lines of the Arteriors Wallace Chair. The pitch fabric adds visual texture, while the lights (both also Arteriors) bring drama to play. Best styled with softer shapes and additional furniture with rounder edges for a considered and harmonious look.

(Image credit: Arteriors)

See Also: Living Room Wallpaper Ideas – From Contemporary-Cool To Chintzy Chic

11. Polished statement

The Gemma leather sofa from Perch and Parrow in caramel makes a big impression with its textured, plump and polished appeal. Its slender arms create a modern silhouette, and the gold stainless steel legs are mirrored in the metallics of the corner box and coffee table. Dark walls express personality and muted soft furnishings add warmth in this chic scene.

(Image credit: Perch & Parrow)

See Also: Living room ideas: 24 decorating tricks to inspire

Emma Ledger is not only an esteemed lifestyle journalist but is also an illustrator. Her words appear in publications such as Livingetc, The Independent, The Mirror, The Sun and Fabulous magazine, while her drawings have made it onto maps and cards. She is also a mentor at Centrepoint.