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Living Room Furniture for Your Lifestyle

You spend a lot of time in your living room, and you need it to be functional for your life—but it should also reflect your personality and aesthetic. It's not just about what furniture you select, but also color choices, material and shape that ultimately make great design. Here are a handful of living room furniture ideas that will get you on the right path.

Select Color Wisely

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In a small living room a lot of bright colors can be overwhelming. Instead, try layering in various textures, like a roughly turfed rug, and woven sofa in neutral colors. Pick a few coordinating elements, like matching wood tones, to help set the scene, then use curated artwork to add visual interest and color.

Pair Pieces To Set Style

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A simple way to add cohesion to any modern living room design is to select a coffee table and side table(s) from the same design family. Choosing simple, streamlined shapes that immediately indicate a modern design aesthetic set the tone for the room, no matter what other furniture you include.

Separated, Yet Similar

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When your living room has to share a room with your workspace, defining specific areas is key. However, to make the room feel like a planned design, work on coordinating elements between the various furniture pieces. Similar open metal legs, for example, or ultra modern simplicity can help keep the room feeling cohesive and planned.

Counter with Complementary Colors

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A great way to counterbalance the sometimes-harsh coolness of a black and white room is by coordinating color tones with the furniture, accessories and the flooring. For example, a soft gold sofa brings out the warmth of the wood flooring and ties in with the richness of a natural sisal rug.

Synchronize the Tones

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Furniture items don't have to be from the same design family, or even genre, to feel coordinated. Pieces from different design styles will still feel harmonious if you keep them the same color or wood tone.

Small But Mighty

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Multiple-use furniture items are a great solution for a small living room design. Look for pieces like a couch that can double as extra sleeping space. When floor space is tight, having other integrated components like reading lights, storage pockets and side tables included are a great asset as well.

Double Up Duties

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A modular sectional sofa is a great way to provide flexibility in your living room seating options. The ottoman can serve as an extension of the couch for lounging while watching TV, or it can be pulled out separately to serve as overflow seating for guests, as well as additional coffee table space.

Make it a Feature

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Wrapping a large sectional sofa around a coffee table is a great way to add a functional focal point for your living room layout, especially in a large, open-concept space. The arrangement helps define the structure of the room, as well delineate the traffic flow. add to the dramatic effect and give the room more visual interest and contrast.

Color Palette is Key

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The contrast between traditional styling and modern decor can make for a visually interesting juxtaposition. The key is to set a color palette for your design, and keep tones similar to any already existing in the room. The harmonious palette brings the room together, so the different styles don't seem jarring or incongruous.

Tuck It Away

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The clutter of everyday life can seem to take over a living room, and in a modern design style where you want everything to be clean and streamlined, that can be challenging. Look for coffee tables and other accessories that look beautiful but have storage areas that can help keep the mess out of sight.

Hosting Versatility

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Hosts with the most will want living room furniture options that provide overflow seating without sacrificing design style. Large coffee tables, footstools, sofas with square arms and long fireplace benches are great ways to be able to seat more people in a small space without adding the clutter of additional furniture.

Color Carefully

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Bold colors can be fun, but they can also overwhelm a room. Instead of turning your room into a multicolored circus tent, pick a few small items—be it a chair, a blanket, accessories or artwork—to bring in some bright pops of color. Small items can then be changed out seasonally, giving you even more flexibility in your design scheme.

Map the Wheel

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Bold colors can be a great way to create a personality in the room. Using a color wheel for reference can be a great starting point. Contrasting colors that are directly across the color wheel from each other, like navy blue and burnt orange, are naturally complementary, as are colors either immediately next to each other or spaced in a triangle.

Get Down-to-Earth

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In a rustic modern or farmhouse design aesthetic, layer in various materials in complementary earthy tones. A complements black metals, and natural wood tones bring out the warmth of a brown leather chair. Using a number of textures and tones adds a depth and harmony to the design.

Not Just for Coffee Anymore

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Ottomans that double as coffee tables are a great way to get multifunctional usage and beautiful design in one package. A large square ottoman serves the daily coffee table needs, yet can turn into overflow seating in a scenario (like a party) where more seating is required.

Practical and Beautiful

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Form and function go hand-in-hand in modern design, particularly for statement pieces. For visually appealing feature pieces, look for well-crafted items with attention to detail that show artistry in their styling. Geometric patterns on the front of a TV console, for example, add a touch of detailed craftsmanship, while the structure itself is straightforward, modern and simple.

Cut the Couch

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Not every living room has room for or even needs a large sofa. Depending on what you use the room for, you may want a cozy loveseat for two or single reading chairs by a floor lamp. If space is limited, consider adding additional small pieces like stools or ottomans that can double as side tables.

Go for the Bold

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If color is your thing, the best way to keep it stylish is to work against a neutral background, like cream or gray, and select two or three bright colors. Feature those colors in pieces like ottomans, rugs or art that provide whimsy. The neutral elements in the room keep it grounded and prevent the color from being overwhelming.

Whether your personal style is farmhouse chic or ultramodern, selecting the right balance of components for your modern living room and your lifestyle is the key to a successful design. Keeping some basic design tips in mind, and choosing the best quality and craftsmanship you can afford, is key to creating a beautiful living room.