The contemporary living room is a convenient, beautiful, and incredibly functional room. The advantage of the contemporary style consists in, that having no strict canons and representing some mix of different stylistic concepts of the interior design, it can satisfy airy dreams and idea of comfort esthetic of owners with any budget and living room geometry.
Features of the Contemporary in Living Room Design
Contemporary design is comprehensive and flexible, there are no strict rules in decoration, there are only recommendations and useful pieces of advice regarding composing harmonious and functional interior. Contemporary design absorbed motives of such trends as hi-tech, avant-garde, minimalist, modernist style, loft, and eclectic. To one extent or another the concepts of these styles of room design influence the contemporary design formation.
This is only your decision, how far minimalist, eclectic, or industrial your living room shall be, but there are several features of the contemporary in living area designing:
- сlight and space are main characters of contemporary design (big windows, wide door openings, use of open plan and minimal decoration of window area with textile, all this promotes unobstructed spread of natural lighting);
- all home decoration is functional, easy to use and clean;
- pieces of furniture most commonly are made in laconic, comfortable, and even a little bit linear manner, simple and clean lines, shapes prevail;
- as color schemes most commonly people choose neutral colors and shades, bright spots are used as accents;
- hi-tech materials are used as finishing materials, shortening clean process;
- a combination of finishing materials and ways of surfaces decoration results in the creation of unique design even along with the most neutral color schemes and texture solutions;
- modern equipment easily blends with traditional furniture and fits in the overall picture of a room;
- decorative components are assigned an insignificant role, however, the contemporary cannot be referred to the follower of genuine minimalism. Pictures and photos as wall mounted decorative components, houseplants, decorative pillows on the upholstered furniture are used as functional decoration.
Color Palette for the Contemporary Living Room
Neat work, careful selection of every component are hidden in seeming simplicity and laconism. And the first step in drawing a picture of living room design is a choice of color palette. A room, where all family members will get together for home parties, take in guests, shall be comfortable in terms of visual perception Not everybody will like pretentious print, bright colors, multicolored ornament in family room deign. But it doesn’t mean, that only pastel, neutral shades will be suitable for living room design. Any room requires bright accents, and many interior designs have been based on the contrasting combinations for decades.
The following factors will influence the choice of color palette for your living room:
- Room location with regard to the cardinal direction (it is better to design room, locating at the north side of the building, in warm, beige shades and to use orange, terracotta, chocolate shades as accents; for south room, you can use chilly color schemes, namely, grey, blue shades);
- Sizes and form of room, as well as number and scales of window areas, the wider and lighter the room is, the darker and brighter colors can be used in its decoration;
- Availability of other functional segments in the room, in other words, very often living room shares area with kitchen and dining room, and sometimes with a study and workroom.
Light Shades Are Always Popular
The white color is rightfully considered to be the king in designing contemporary rooms and a living room is nor an exclusion. Well, there is a great many of advantages of using white color as a basis of decoration, more specifically, visual space extension, perfect background for any furniture and wall mounted decorative components, easy to combine with another color scheme of the interior.
All gray shades are urgent for the contemporary design of a living room. Light-grey and silver shades are popular among the rooms with tiny areas. They blend with dark spots of devices, snow white surface of a ceiling (and sometimes, walls) and light wood-like floor covering.
Contrasting Combinations for the Contemporary Interior Design
Use of contrasting combinations for a creation of dynamic and original interior is as old as time. Contemporary design easily adapts traditions of many years, consisting of an optimal variant of combinatorics, in this context, combination of white and black color shades. Moreover, the intermediate gray shade is very popular in interior designs these latter days.
The combination of a warm colors palette, in particular, dark chocolate with light beige colors, is also glamorous. For the north rooms, such color schemes can be an optimum alternative for decoration and creation of warm, cozy atmosphere of a living room.
Let us Add Brilliance to the Contemporary Living Room
Not everybody likes light rooms, using exceptionally pastel shades for decoration and choice of furnishings of the living room. In particular, this concerns the owners of apartments, located in the industrial district of a city. The grayness of the ambient environment depresses, that is why people want to see bright colors, picturesque design approaches in own apartments. But in this case it is important not to overdo in order not to achieve an inverse effect, in other words, not to overdose with multicolor surfaces or to use color very intensively, that can violate relaxing atmosphere of the room, its harmonious nature.
Bright color accent in the contemporary living room, decorated in neutral shades, can be any piece of furniture. For example, picturesque upholstery of sofa or a pair of armchairs will introduce not only color variety in the room design but also will create a necessary focus to build the interior layout around it.
Textiles such as soft furnishings (if any), cushion covers can be a picturesque accent in a light living room. No less success can be achieved by means of bright color carpet. After all, even not the brightest colors look glamorous, contrasting against the background of light finish and furniture of neutral shades.
Contemporary Design Living Room Decorating
Any of the traditional ways of the ceiling decorating is suitable for contemporary. Perhaps, only the ceiling in the living room surface papering is gradually fading. Dyeing ideal smooth surface with snow white color is always urgent, use of suspended structures, including with the recessed lighting fitting (and sometimes, with ventilation system), stretched ceiling, and use of ceiling panels, all these methods can be considered in the contemporary design. Choice of finishing material in a greater or lesser degree will depend on the ceiling condition (is it necessary to level or smooth it) and your financial possibilities.
Multilevel suspended structures with built-in accent lighting are still popular. Their design became simpler, more laconic, but the main concept was not changed, in particular, a creation of both practical and beautiful ceiling with functional accent lighting becomes a priority of contemporary interior design.
Not every room can afford to finish the ceiling with wood paneling. The room shall be quite spacious, well illuminated, and, of course, have a quite high ceiling, so that wood lining visually will not put pressure on people in the room. Such decoration can hide not only rough surfaces and differences, but also wires of a lighting system, and, probably, ventilation system.
Ceiling beams made of wood require the same ceiling height. Very often such details of the interior are the only component of living room image, decorated not only with natural material but in somewhat rustic style since beams look like they have never been processed. Such natural warmth of wooden decorative components of ceiling brings variety in the interior, and city image of the room becomes closer to nature.
Walls in the contemporary living room, as a rule, represent light, neutral surfaces. Textured surfaces can also be used but only in big rooms. Wallpapers with print are almost not used, very seldom they can be used as decoration of accent wall. Most often vertical surfaces are painted and finished by means of decoration plaster or liquid wallpapers. Wall boards enjoy great popularity, able to imitate different kinds of materials. Textured or 3D panels are mostly used reasonably as decoration of accent surfaces, or to emphasize one or another functional segment within the living room.
Wall tile, imitating masonry construction or brick laying, is often used in the contemporary interior design of living rooms to create both color and textured accent. Against the background of the decoration of other surfaces in light shades such method of finish looks gorgeous, plays a role of contrast, even when using non-colorful, neutral shades. Similar finishing material can be used to decorate the area around a fireplace.
Wall boards made of wood or its imitation are also popular. Natural wood grain brings warmth and coziness into the room atmosphere. This finish is convenient to use in order to conceal built-in storage systems in from of big wardrobe, from floor to ceiling, so only the owners know, where the finish ends and wardrobe begins.
Optimal alternative for floor covering in a contemporary living room is fabricated wood block flooring or materials, imitating natural materials. Simple and laconic contemporary design requires tinges of the warmth of natural wood grain. It’s always easier to achieve a heating color temperature of the area by means of parquet or laminated flooring (even in prejudice of ecological properties of material).
Choosing Practical and Nice Furniture for Contemporary Living Room
The basic principle of selection of furniture for a contemporary living room is functionality. You will never see the current interior designs of family rooms home decoration, being in the room only in order to create a peculiar nature of the interior. If there is a chair in the living room, so then people will sit thereon, if in the living room is a big corner sofa, it will be used not only as a seat for family members but also as a sleeping accommodation for guests.
You can use upholstered furniture from different collections within the contemporary living room. For example, you can put two sofas parallel to each other instead of a standard pair of armchairs. However, sofas can be upholstered with fabrics of different colors and texture, but both shall have a simple and laconic design.
The advantage of contemporary design consists in flexibility and opportunity to combine both various forms, materials of home decoration. For example, peacock chairs, similar to garden furniture, can blend with the ensemble of the furniture upholstered with linen or cotton fabric.
So-called wall cabinets, massive and monolithic, fell off the edge of the earth a long time ago. Light-weight suspended cabinets and open shelves. Modularity in the design of storage systems comes to the fore together with the utility, convenience, and ease of use.
An open bookcase is unique opportunity to unite living room and home library and creates a certain color variety in the interior design. Colorful book backs in themselves are picturesque elements of sitting room design. Bookcases are mostly presented in white color in order to make massive construction look light-weight and not to load the room image (shelves usually are spread from floor to ceiling).
Additional Pieces of Furniture
The rare living room can go without a coffee or occasional table in the middle of the leisure zone with the upholstered furniture. In some cases, ottoman functions as a table and a seat for guests. Big upholstered hassock becomes a kind of multifunctional island in the contemporary living room.
Use of surfaces made of glass and mirror for coffee tables allows creating pieces of furniture, which faithfully exercise their basic functions and promote visual space expansion and creation of light, contemporary image of the room.
Along with the coffee table, the leisure zone of the living room can be completed with small tea tables near sofa or armchairs. High commodes against free walls can be used as additional (and even single) storage systems.
Decoration of Living Room with the Contemporary Design
Despite the tendency of the contemporary design to simplicity and even somewhat minimalism, that is not to say, that decoration is paid less attention. But more frequently quite functional home decoration such as lighting units, clocks, mirrors, cushions, and sometimes live plants are used as decorative components. The exclusion is wall-mounted decorative components, for example, pictures, panel pictures, and framed photos. But even these details of decoration most often are in small quantities and of simple color schemes.
A lighting system for the contemporary living room is not only ceiling lamp, hanged in the center of the room. Zoning by means of lighting equipment takes place not only in living rooms, united with kitchen and dining room, where every functional segment is illuminated individually. In an ordinary living room, you can define the reading area by means of standing lamp or table lamp, whereas main space is illuminated by the built-in system of lamps on the suspended ceiling or ceiling lamp upon any other variant of ceiling finishing.
Light, semi-transparent fabrics, almost not preventing the spread of sun rays are used to decorate windows. Often in the contemporary living rooms, you can see window area without any soft furnishings. It’s just so to create maximum illumination. But in case, if the windows of your room look to the south, it will be necessary to provide protection against sunlight. Most commonly people use self-colored thick sun blinds made of natural (or semi-natural) materials.
It depends on your perspective, whether to use carpet as a functional decorative component in the contemporary living room or not. In contradistinction to minimalism, the contemporary easily adopts such details of the interior, aimed at the creation of comfortable and convenient room. For the apartment, where heating systems do not work during the transitional season, tufted carpet can become an irreplaceable assistant in creating a warm and cozy atmosphere in the living room. You can isolate the living room from other functional areas by means of carpet in the open plan premises.
Fireplace ceased to be exceptionally functional interior design item a long time ago (since the central heating appeared) and became its decorative component. In the majority of foreign interior designs of the contemporary living rooms, fireplaces are an integral part of the interior. Use of firebox as a way to raise the temperature in the room and its decoration became very popular. A fireplace can be faux, operate on mains power supplies, or simply be a dummy, but at the same time influencing the sitting room image-building.
Space above the fireplace is ideally suited for a TV set. Therefore, both focuses of attention will be in one zone. There is only one thing to do is to move upholstered furniture, namely, sofa and armchairs, towards them to create leisure zone facing the fire or TV set.