Whether you're starting from scratch or are just looking to update your current design, you can never go wrong with a contemporary living room style. Neutral color palettes, smooth surfaces, and clean lines are some of the highlights of a contemporary space.
But that's not the main reason why interior designers love contemporary designs so much. It's the fluidity and ever-evolving characteristics that make this style stand out from the rest.
Contemporary design is all about mixing different style elements from past eras with current trends. It is about achieving a balance between the two and turning it into one cohesive space.
Designing your living room with a contemporary style in mind will always result in something unique and fresh. So if you really want a living room that will impress your guests, go contemporary.
But what exactly is a contemporary living room? How is it different from a modern or a minimalist living room? And what kind of furniture do you need to achieve the perfect contemporary look? This style guide provides all the information you need to achieve the perfect contemporary living room design.
What Exactly Is Contemporary Living Room Design?
Contemporary style is often mistaken for modern or minimalist interior design. Although it does take a few design cues from these two styles, they are all separate styles with their own unique characteristics. Modern and minimalist designs are often more limiting and restrictive than contemporary.
A modern living room follows a strict format of balance, clean lines, and minimal decor. Although this sounds very similar to contemporary design, modern living rooms are bound to design styles used in the 50s and 60s. This is also why modern design is also known as mid-century interior design.
Contemporary design, on the other hand, is not limited to any era or period. It focuses on the popular trends happening right now. And since trends are constantly changing, contemporary design is also changing. What is contemporary today is not the same as what was considered contemporary five years ago.
Because contemporary design is always evolving, it gives you more freedom to explore different trends and define your own space. If you have design elements from previous eras that you'd like to add to your living space, you are free to do so with contemporary design.
In fact, you'll find plenty of contemporary living rooms with elements inspired by modern interior design, Art-Deco, futurism, and deconstructivism. The fact that contemporary design today uses so many design elements from the modern era is why people tend to confuse the two so much.
But while the modern living room is restricted by certain design elements, contemporary can be more eclectic and bend the rules that modern design can't.
The Top Furniture Ideas For Your Contemporary Living Room Design
When designing a contemporary living room, you want the result to be sleek and clean—but that doesn't mean boring. To avoid designing a living room that is too cluttered, or too stale, you want to make use of a neutral backdrop and combine it with some eye-catching contemporary furniture.
Most contemporary furniture comes in neutral colors such as white, black, and grey. These types of furniture tend to be made from wood, metal, leather, or plastic. For a better idea of what contemporary interior design looks like, we've listed down examples of the top contemporary living room furniture below.
Contemporary Entertainment Centers For The Living Room
Every contemporary living space needs an entertainment center. These are multi-purpose stands that are used to display your TV, record players, or plants. They are also great for extra storage.
A wooden media console is a timeless piece that every contemporary living room needs. You can line this up in front of your sofa with your TV and make this a space for watching your favorite shows. Or, place it against white walls and arrange it with some intricate wall hangings or picture frames to really give your living room some character.
Contemporary Side Tables For The Living Room
Contemporary living rooms favor a combination of different materials and textures. End tables that mix marble and glass with a wood or metal finish together with vintage sofas are exactly what you need to give your living room a contemporary feel.
Mixing and matching the shapes of your living room furniture can also make your living space look more contemporary. For example, pair a square end table with an oval coffee table and a circle end table with a long rectangular coffee table.
By pairing curved lines with straight lines, your living room looks more organic. This helps you avoid the symmetric and strong lines you usually see in a modern living room.
Contemporary Storage Cabinets For The Living Room
Most people put function over aesthetics when it comes to storage cabinets. They are often left with either a boring old storage cabinet or something that looks completely out of place and throws off your entire living room's design.
But, with contemporary style, you can get the best of both worlds. Contemporary design is all about bringing style to function. Bring your living room to life with these accent cabinets that also double as an end table, sideboard, or console table.
Contemporary Coffee Tables For The Living Room
You can't have a living room without a coffee table. It's the one thing that ties the living room together. And if you live in an open-concept apartment, it can also act as a way to delineate your living room from the kitchen and dining area.
In a contemporary living room, a sleek coffee table is a must. A coffee table with a metal frame and legs with a solid stone top is usually the go-to for contemporary living rooms. For an extra contemporary touch, you can slide a geometric rug underneath.
If you live in a small apartment and you want to make your living room look bigger, a coffee table can help you achieve that effect. Choosing a coffee table with lots of leg space underneath gives a small living room the illusion of being bigger.
Contemporary Bookcases & Shelves For The Living Room
In a contemporary living room, you want to avoid anything that looks bulky. Oversized shelves and bookcases can make the room seem crowded. You don't want your living room space to feel as if the walls are closing in on you.
A contemporary living room is all about being open and inviting. Instead of buying huge bookcases and shelves, opt for a ladder shelf with sleek metallic accents. Not only do these look incredibly stylish, but it also saves you more space as well.
Contemporary Ottomans For The Living Room
Ottomans are a great accent piece in any living room. They not only give texture to the space but also makes your living room appear cozier. To make your living room even more contemporary, buy an ottoman that also doubles as extra storage. You can kick your feet up and relax with these.
These Contemporary Living Room Ideas Are Just A Few Clicks Away At Nathan James!
If it's quality, versatility, durability, and affordability you're after, look no further than Nathan James. We've curated the best selection of contemporary living room furniture for apartment dwellers and first-time homebuyers at an affordable price. If you're designing a small living room space with a contemporary feel, you're in the right place.
Our collection has everything, from contemporary TV stands, coffee tables, end tables, storage cabinets, bookshelves—you name it! We have all the furniture you need to bring the perfect contemporary living room to life.
The best part is that each of our pieces is no more than $250—unbelievable, right? Contemporary furniture can get as high as $2,000. But here at Nathan James, we believe in providing quality, design-first furniture that doesn’t break the bank. Plus all our furniture is incredibly easy to assemble—what more could you ask for?
All of this has contributed to our reputation as the number one furniture company online. Our customers keep coming back to us and you sure will too once you experience the difference for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Start designing your living room with contemporary furniture from Nathan James today.