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12 inspirational modern living room ideas

As staying in becomes the new going out, and working from home becomes all the more commonplace, there’s no doubting that 2021 is the perfect time to optimise your living room for every new activity. And we’re ready to embrace the new year as the freshest and most stylish yet. Here, you’ll discover the latest trends and decorating tips to guide your aesthetic choices, from major overhauls to quick and easy changes that make a big style impact. Our team of decorating experts have compiled this list of 12 living room design ideas that you can recreate at home.

Let’s take a look!


1. Cover your walls with the Dulux Colour of the Year 

In case you haven’t already heard, the Dulux colour of the year is Brave Ground. This neutral shade with a warm undertone is a beautiful and versatile colour that can complement any personal style. Designed to create a calming and welcoming ambience, this is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to add a touch of sophistication to their visual palette. In the image below, we’ve paired Brave Ground with Acorn Cap to add a sense of modern elegance to the room.

2. Make a statement gallery wall 

Here’s a creative way to display your character and tell a story: a statement gallery wall! Start with a blank wall painted in a colour of your choice – here we’ve chosen the complementary tones of Forest Shade and Stonewashed Blue – and use the blank wall space as an exciting opportunity to curate a gallery wall to show your love of art and decorating. Your gallery picks can even be changed with the seasons to give a feeling of the current natural world outside. 

3. Bring the outdoors indoors

The great outdoors brings out a sense of calm and vitality. And who doesn’t want that in their living room? Plants and natural elements continue to grow as a design trend in 2021. Leafy friends are a wonderful addition to any space and create a feeling of renewal, life and serenity. Other natural elements, such as wood materials, are also perfect for giving your living room a sense of connection to the beauty and peace of the natural world.  

4. Try a neutral colour scheme

Modern living room colours embody minimalist design, and this trend is continuing to grow in 2021. Neutral colours are a great option for anyone wanting a simple and sophisticated vision of comfort. To help you create the perfect space for relaxation, we recommend choosing a neutral shade with a warm undertone to capture the feeling of warmth from the sun, even on those overcast days. In the example below, we’ve combined Brave Ground and Tranquil Dawn on the walls to provide a sense of warmth to the room. This colour palette also pairs wonderfully with simple, rustic furniture.

5. Soft, Scandi colour schemes 

Light blue and white continue to grow as part of the minimalist style trend. Taking inspiration from Scandinavian culture, light colours and simple furniture offer a light and sophisticated vision of personal comfort. We recommend using Absolute White as a neutral base, and pairing your light colour palette with plenty of natural texture to give your living room an extra dash of depth and dimension. A few touches of vibrant colour also make a playful addition to your living room. 

6. Embrace a bold carpet 

Statement, eye-catching designs can bring a warm focal point to the room. Using texture is a wonderful decorating method that can not only bring warmth and depth to your space, but also a pop of unique character. A cost-effective way to find a one-of-a-kind statement rug is to use resources such as online second-hand stores and marketplaces.   

paint: Nordic Sky

7. Emphasise comfort  

Busy lives call for peaceful living rooms, so comfort and cosiness are at the heart of this design. Choosing the perfect, comfortable settee truly transforms your space into the ultimate place of relaxation for everyone in the household. Throws and cushions are also great additions for adding extra comfort as well as texture. Faux fur and soft fibres are perfect for cuddling up to.

 8. Incorporate natural textures  

Want a minimalist design that’s not too stoic? Natural textures are the way to go. Bringing a touch of nature to your living room has great mental benefits, as it ties our space back to the tranquillity of nature. To emulate this growing design trend of 2021, we recommend choosing wooden accents for your tables, chairs and picture frames.

Paint: Teal Lux

9. Focus on your entertainment area 

With staying in becoming the new going out, your living room space should be comfortable and optimised for entertainment. Whether it’s playing games, watching shows or listening to music, it’s important to consider how you can improve your current space to suit your entertainment needs. Make the area warm and inviting with a light pastel paint like Floating Petal, then keep your furniture modular with the use of wheels or light materials to help you rearrange your space to suit every setup. 

10. Revisit art deco opulence

Luxury has a new look this year, with vibrant colours and understated furniture. It’s been 100 years since the beginning of the art deco period in 1920s, and this style is an ongoing source of design inspiration thanks to its timeless beauty. This design era is characterised by the idea that every item can provide aesthetic pleasure regardless of its utilitarian purpose. Bold angles, unique shapes and luxurious textures such as velvet and gold metallics are a staple of the art deco style, and Olive Tree is the ideal backdrop for your furnishings. Perfect for anyone wanting to create a Great Gatsby fantasy!

Paint: Heritage Olive Tree

11. Maximise space with large lighting

Creating the illusion of a bigger space can come down to some very clever lighting. Large light fixtures help your living room feel bigger with two key factors. Firstly, their size helps to create the illusion of a larger space by playing with our sense of scale. Secondly, the larger bulbs also create better light coverage, reducing the appearance of dark and enclosed corners. Statement lighting is an excellent addition that can bring plenty of wow-factor and unique personality to your space. 

Paint: Copper Blush

12. Add practical, built-in features

This year is the year to focus on the functionality of your living room. Maximising your wall-based storage with shelves and built-in cabinets works wonders for freeing up valuable floor space. With your floor free of clutter, you’ll get a wonderful feeling of openness. More shelving also means more display room for your treasured possessions and artwork! Reflect the geometric lines with some clever painting techniques. Here we’ve used Brave Ground and Woven Nest for an understated, clean-cut finish.

Whether you choose bold or neutral colours, it’s important to think about the everyday use of your space. Optimise your living room to best serve the activities that you enjoy, and don’t forget to add plenty of comfort with textures and leafy friends.

Want to continue your inspiration journey? Discover more modern living room ideas with this round-up of 4 unique approaches to transforming your design.  

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