While some refer to the kitchen as the heart of the home, most of us find ourselves spending the majority of our time lounging around, watching TV or sitting down for a tea, coffee or even dinner on the sofa. Where do all of these activities take place? In the living room. This is the reason that we always encourage taking living room design seriously and ensuring that the space appeals to you. You don’t want to spend your free time in a room you don’t like, after all. If you want to approach the space with a modern design style, there are certain guidelines to follow to ensure that you remain within the parameters of this interior design discipline. However, it’s also about incorporating your own personal taste and ensuring that the end result meets your requirements visually and practically.
Each person will give you a different description of what a modern living room looks like. If you explore the wide range of options presented by the professionals on homify however, you’ll start to see some common patterns and styles emerging. From the use of technology to create elegant lighting and smart, practical solutions for everyday living to the implementation of minimalist style furniture that is simple, orderly and functional. Modern living rooms overwhelmingly have a feeling of spaciousness and tranquillity with a distinct aesthetic look that makes them ideal for all types of activities. Whether you want to use the space for work, laying down and reading a book or even enjoying a romantic dinner, a modern living room should cater to all needs.
When choosing the living room floor, you should keep in mind what appeals to you most and what is most practical. If you have pets, carpet might not be the best choice, if you don’t like cleaning, black floorboards will probably drive you insane, if you want a soft surface to sit on with the kids, tiles are likely not the go. It’s all about finding the balance between aesthetic and versatility.
Tiles: Modern, porcelain tiles will help to achieve a cutting-edge, somewhat avant-garde look, which will definitely tick all boxes regarding the achievement of a “modern” look. There are endless colour and size combinations to choose from but for the most striking and on-trend results, opting for large pieces is your best bet. The price will range dramatically depending on the exact material (porcelain, ceramic, wood-look, terracotta etc.) you choose and how much you need installed, but you can generally expect to pay somewhere between R150 and R300 per m².
Floorboards: Timeless, classic and ever with a sprinkle of modern feeling, wooden floorboards are always a classy option in terms of interior design. For an extra modern approach, opting for deep, dark tones will give a serious edge, but even white floorboards are beginning to make an appearance. The exact cost, as with tiles, will depend on the specific type of wood that you go for. With “real wood,” laminate, bamboo and vinyl being the most common options in South Africa, you can expect to pay between R100 per m². for the latter to R2000 for the former.
Carpets: Although a little off the books at the moment, carpet can also be an exceptionally modern choice for the floor of your living room, bringing with it an incomparable sense of cosiness. If you’re not willing to commit to a completely carpeted space, a rug can do the job visually and practically. There are many styles of carpet to choose from, with the fabric itself to the length and durability varying drastically. Along with the variance comes an equally fluid price bracket. From the cheapest possible carpet to the most expensive, you can expect to pay between R95 and R1000 per m².
As the exact definition of the modern living room is ever changing and evolving, the colours present within them are also flexible. In terms of a 2017 outlook, the most popular, considerably modern colours, as defined by Pantone, are millennial pink, autumn maple, bright yellows, courtyard green, oval room blue, olive, stone white, mushroom, dusk blue, black chiffon, poised taupe and a range of lighter shades of purple. If you work with any of these colour palettes as the basis for your design, your visual result will undoubtedly meet the standard you’re looking to attain. If you can’t paint the entire room, we recommend a feature wall or simply adding some touches via accenting such as throw cushions.
Unless you are particularly talented in relation to interior design, piecing together any room can be difficult. However, with the right planning and with a clear design style in mind, it is totally achievable. There are three basic principles to stick by during the design process, whether the room is large or small. Firstly, you need to stick to a colour palette, then you need to commit to a style and then you have to create a visual flow. If you’ve already settled on “modern” as your design style, you might like to take a few influences from some other looks to craft the perfect, personal space. However, if you stick to just one theme, your result will be as cohesive as possible. That being said, don’t buy all your furniture from one place or it will look like you pieced the whole thing together from a catalogue. In modern living room design there are five key things to focus on: the sofa, the window treatments (curtains etc.), the rugs, the side chairs and the coffee table. Get these five right, adapt them to your space and your 90% of the way there.
Creating a visual flow is the more challenging aspect, but it can be broken down into subcategories. First, think about what invites you to a room, it could be a striking rug or some stand-out fabrics for the curtains and throws. Next you need a piece that brings a sense of cosiness to the entire space, this could be a really big, warm-tone sofa or a plush carpet. Following this, think about something that will take the eyes to other levels, such as an artwork or even a floor lamp. Every modern living room will also need a “wow” item, or the most interesting, striking piece in the room. Think an impressive piece of photography or every a knockout mirror. Perhaps the most important addition is the piece that will make the room feel the most important to you, but it will also represent to all visitors that it is indeed a living room and not just a modern-magazine copy. When finishing the room off, make sure to include a natural element. The easiest way to achieve this is through some pot-plants, but you might also like to keep a rotation of fresh flowers on a table, for example. The final element comes in the form of “the finishers” aka the little touches that will elevate the room to the next level. For some, this might be the vases on a side table, for others it might be the addition of a box full of family photos. Whether your room is large of small, applying this design process to it will ensure that you get a modern, stylish result that suits your personal tastes while adhering to the latest, trending principles.