Modern Living Room Ideas

LAST UPDATED: Jan 31, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Aug 30, 2018 | By: Julie Blanner

This post is sponsored by Lowes

Affordable modern living room ideas and tips including how to decorate a modern living room, affordably!

modern living room ideas

Aside from all the fun we have at the lake cottage, one of the most exciting things about having a second home for me was to be able to decorate in a different style. While our primary residence is traditional, the lake cottage gives me an opportunity to indulge in a slightly more modern style.

Of course I feel like I need a mountain home, Southern home, beach house and while we’re at it, country house as well – at least to decorate!

modern living room ideas

I’m so excited to share modern living room ideas with you today and even more excited about how practical and affordable they are! A modern living room can be warm, cozy and inviting with these simple decorating ideas.

modern living room ideas

But first, let’s take a look at the before! As a lower level living space, it is not a formal living room and we didn’t want it to feel as such. Just a cozy, comfortable living space we could relax and enjoy.

It was dark and dated and lacked high ceilings and identity.






Living Room Decorating Ideas


We started by painting the room from floor to ceiling in a single paint color. Not only did it brighten the space by reflecting light, but it gave the illusion of space.


The next step to modernizing our lake cottage was replacing the existing carpet with low profile patterned carpet. It completely transformed the space making it feel fresh and up to date while adding warmth. The pattern added a modern element and added interest.

It’s so soft on foot you’d never realize it’s a basement with concrete floors! I chose a cream to add warmth while making it feel light and airy. The pattern helps hide inevitable dirt and of course you can count on Stainmaster is so forgiving and backed by a lifetime warranty.

modern carpet


With the foundation laid (carpet), it was time to layer – with more contemporary furniture!

modern living room chairs

I was pleasantly surprised to find beautiful modern living room furniture that are so reasonable. these cozy navy blue chairs with clean lines are so reasonable and so comfortable! Seriously. Don’t tell the girls, but they even roll, offering a flexible floor plan, which is perfect for this modern living room as we’re sometimes overflowing with guests and need to utilize an air mattress in the space.

navy chair

This gorgeous coffee table is less than $200. The glass top not only feels modern, but allows the eye to see beyond the table creating the illusion of space. Metal adds a touch of modern into the living room.

glass coffee table

We also included a sectional IKEA Ektorp Sofa and some folding chairs for a little texture!


The room is large, but somewhat awkward with venting, the area under the stairs we recently completed, a bump out for the water closet, doors, stairs and windows, so I chose a single large painting as a focal point, centered on the wall to complete the space.

canvas painting

Window Treatments

We eliminated window treatments to allow the light to pour in.

The final layer in a modern living room are throw pillows. They add detail and comfort and are interchangeable. You can find links to shop these modern living room ideas below! Get tips to mix and match pillow covers here.

throw pillows

Products Used to Create this Modern Living Room:

lake living room

How to Design a Modern Living Room:

  • Commit to the style. Since it’s minimal, rustic or traditional pieces will tend to stand out.
  • Create a strict color palette.
  • Look for clean lines as seen in the chairs and coffee table above.
  • Less is more. Simplicity is key for modern design.
  • Incorporate polished metal.
  • Use abstract wall art.
  • Play with pattern as showcased in the carpet and pillows.
  • Use a dark/bold color to accent.

For reference, a few before and after photos of the space:

lower level lake living room before

modern living room

lower level lake living room before

The under the stairs nook was previously a small space that was underutilized. Now it’s one of our favorite spaces in the lake cottage!

modern living room ideas

lower level lake living room before

how to design a modern living room

More before and after’s of the lake cottage and all the details about our carpet installation coming soon!