Many people refer to the kitchen as the heart of the home. While it is a space that brings people together, fosters connection, and physically nurtures us – it isn’t the only space that conjures memories of good times with those we love. It is our living area where we often open gifts on Christmas morning, host sleepovers with gaggles of friends, and cheer on our favorite teams. The living room is where we rest, read, and snuggle close to family members. If you are looking for ways to ensure that your living room is an inspiring gathering place for years to come, here are six tips to modernize your living area.
1. Contain Clutter
One of the hallmarks of a modern home in order, serenity, and a sense of minimalism. Spaces that are overcrowded with furniture, children’s toys, and collected items contribute to distraction and overstimulation. They are more difficult to keep clean and can make a house feel tired or even a little oppressive.
To prevent clutter from taking over in your living spaces, be selective about what you bring into your home. Take stock of what you have – furnishings, books, decor, etc. – and pare it down to the items you need or those that bring you joy. Organize and contain what you keep so it takes up less visual space.
2. Camouflage the Television
An increasing feature in modern living rooms is hiding or camouflaging the television. As flatscreen TVs get bigger and their picture quality continues to improve, they can become an overwhelming and commanding feature in your living space.
To avoid your television taking over your living room, build a cabinetry system that can hide your tv when not in use. These cabinets can double as hidden storage for other things in your space that you don’t want visible.
3. Update the Furniture
Old, tired furnishings are a sure way to date your home, so modernize your living area with newer sofas, sitting chairs, and coffee tables. Investing in contemporary living room furniture can have a transformative effect on your space, making it look and feel like a whole new room. The variety of colors, fabrics, shapes, and styles available today is greater than ever before, allowing you to create a collection that is unique and impactful.
To maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, consider how you will arrange your new furniture in the room. Experiment with different placements and orientations, paying attention to how they change the way that you use and move about the room. Push sofas and chairs against the wall for an enlarged, open space, or cluster pieces together to create a cozier, more intimate atmosphere.
4. Experiment with Color, Texture, and Pattern
Modern living areas don’t have to be pallid, cold, or austere. The best modern homes take advantage of a wide range of colors, textures, and patterns to create interesting and inspiring spaces. Notice how these elements bring a warm and inviting vibe to the modern living room in the photo above.
While the walls, fireplace, coffee table, and some of the art is a neutral white, there are notes of red, brown, and green throughout the room that give it an exotic feel. There are a variety of textures to add dimension and visual interest – greenery, wood, brick, leather, velvet, metal, glass, and the chunky weave of the rug. Finally, subtle patterns in the rug, planters, and artwork add some extra flavor to the room, like a sprinkle of salt on an entree.
5. Refresh Your Decor
To help breathe fresh air into your living area, make sure that you occasionally update your decor. Think of your decorations as a medium through which you capture and display memories, experiences, and values. As you create new memories and have new experiences, your home should reflect the changes that happen in your life and the things that are most important to you.
Consider these ideas for making your decor a more accurate reflection of your life:
- Display photos of cherished people, places, and travels
- Collect and hang artwork from favorite artists or locations – look for pieces that capture emotions or depict places and things that are meaningful to you
- Keep a stack of books that reflect your thoughts, philosophies, and values on your coffee table
- Proudly display items connected to your history – family heirlooms, objects representing your ethnic heritage, and photos of your ancestors
- Thoughtfully (and sparingly) place objects that communicate your favorite pastimes throughout your living room – books, a vintage camera, souvenirs from your travels, an autographed baseball, etc.
6. Bring the Outdoors In
In the past, our homes were often a collection of clearly delineated spaces, each with its own function and fully separated from other areas of the home with walls and doors. Modern homes increasingly seek to create open, multifunctional spaces that bring people together and blur the lines between “inside” and “outside.”
Bringing the outdoors into our living rooms connects us with nature, exposes us to fresh air, and can even improve our physical, mental, and emotional health. Some ways you can invite nature into your living spaces include:
- Bringing live plants into interior spaces
- Adding more windows or increasing their size
- Replacing walls and single doors with french doors or large sliding glass doors
Elevate Your Lifestyle with a Modernized Living Area
Creating a modern home that reflects and elevates our lives can feel like trying to hit a moving target. Using this guide as a reference, look for ways to modernize one of the most important and impactful spaces of your home. By following the steps you find here, you can curate a modern and welcoming living area that does what living rooms are meant to do – bring peace and comfort to your life, surround you with what you value most, and create memories with your loved ones that will last a lifetime.