Modern Interior Design for your Living Room – An Easy Guide

By Maria Dinshaw | Sep 2021

The word ‘modern’ is heard often in the realms of art, architecture, and design. But what does it really mean?

Modern design has its roots in the art and design movement of Modernism. Modernism came about in the late 19th and early 20th century. This was around the same time as the rise of industrialization that valued efficiency and productivity. Modern design mirrored these values and believed in simple, functional design. This was a move away from the excessive, ornate, and artificial decor of the previous century. A huge part of modern design is creating design where form follows function. In luxury interior design, this means creating homes, furniture, and decor that have clear, distinct usage.

modern interior design

Modern interior design in residential spaces also borrows a lot of elements from Scandanavian design. This school of thought uses simple, unadorned decor which is optimized for comfort. Modern homes often showcase clean aesthetics, warm textures, and fuss-free design. Sound familiar? Many elements of minimalism as we know now traces its origins to modern interior design.

A top luxury interior designer in Mumbai, Nitido Design often uses modern interior design in its residential projects. If you are wondering how you can make your living room more modern, you are in the right place! 

An Easy Guide to Modern Interior Design in your Living Room

Create an Open Plan

The most noticeable element of modern interiors is an open plan. This characteristic trait in a living room allows it to be free of excess furniture and clutter. An open plan encourages an organic flow of movement through the space. Your living room is often the first room you step into when you enter your house. The tone of this space impacts the rest of your home too. The living room is also likely to be the single biggest area in your house. Why not make it feel even more spacious? Let the space breathe by removing unnecessary structures, walls, and furniture. Such an open plan in interior design can especially benefit small houses. Find out more tips and tricks on designing small houses here!

This idea of stripping down a space is a key component of minimalism and modernism. Minimalists do favour the “less is more” ideology. But that does not mean creating an austere or bare home. “Less is more” refers to having less of what is not needed to make space for the truly important things. It is about letting in the right amount of something in your homes. So, choose furniture that you love. Pick decor items that connect with each other and with the space. Create a sense of calm and harmony by designing your living room with intention.

Incorporate Clean Lines

Having an open plan of your living room allows you to see the form of the space with greater clarity. Enhance the existing architecture of the room by using clean lines and distinct geometry.  During its inception, a lot of modern architecture experimented with better, stronger materials. Architects and interior designers could now build new elements such as flat roofs and cubic structures. Modern interior design in residential spaces recreates the clean, geometric structures of the external building on the inside.

As luxury interior designers, we like to add a bit of flair to our designs. In larger spaces, we use stairs, panels, and columns to add crisp and neat lines that are easy to notice. While designing interiors of small houses, we use large windows to maximize natural light coming in.

natural light

We also keep window panes and dressing to a minimum to make the space look brighter and bigger. Understanding how lines work allows you to play tricks on the mind. Using vertical lines makes the room look taller, while horizontal lines make the room look more spacious. It is a win-win situation!

Confused about how you can add modern design in an existing living room? Take a second to notice all the horizontal and vertical lines in your living room. Try and arrange the furniture parallel to those lines. Before you know it, you are one step closer to a streamlined and clean modern living room!

Use Industrial Elements

Industrial elements may sound daunting. But it is a rather crucial part of modern interior design. This particular school of design was influenced by the distinct look and feel of industries, factories, and warehouses of the 20th century. So, it includes a lot of industrial materials such as concrete, glass, and metals. These are sturdy, long lasting materials but also highly malleable. They can be shaped into a range of beautiful furniture and decor.  The allure of modern furniture comes from its exposed framework. This celebrates the way the piece was built and gives it a sleek, streamlined finish.

This idea of exposing details can also be applied to the architecture itself. Leave your brick walls, pipes, ducts, beams, and concrete floors exposed. Skip the molding and extra embellishments for a grounding and raw look. Watch how it fits right in with your open plan layout.

With most of our modern residential interior designs, we like to create balance. If we are using cold materials such as steel and glass; we balance it with the warmer elements such as wood, leather, and natural textiles. You can play around with this spectrum in your living room in many ways. Arrange a wrought iron coffee table on a comfy woven wool rug. Paint your brick wall with rich, deep colours to add a touch of luxury to a naked element. Infuse warmth and grandeur to a cool industrial room with some gorgeous yellow lighting fixtures. Experiment with different reclaimed wood panels, antique furniture, and vintage decor. Create your own brand of modern living room design!

Add Primary Pops of Colour on Neutral Walls

This may sound like an oddly specific element of interior design. But hear us out. Paint your walls in a neutral palette such as white, grey, and beige. These understated shades form the perfect canvas to add a tasteful pop of primary colours. Go bold in adding statement pieces, accent lines, and lively hues in an otherwise subtle living room. Highlight the calm cream tone of your walls with a tangerine burst of wallpaper. Bring home a solid beige couch and throw on a primary colour patchwork blanket or sprinkle it with bright red and blue cushions. Get inspired by the Pantone Colours of 2021 – a thoughtful Ultimate Grey and the bright Illuminating Yellow – to shake up the visuals of your living room.

The underlying message here is that the rules of modern interior design are mere guidelines. Do not shy away from unconventional colour choices. Embrace them. You can always add playfulness and spontaneity into a modern living room. In fact, we encourage it – which brings us to our final element.

Decorate with Modern Art

No modern living room is complete without a modern art piece. Modern art includes many different styles and variations. Impressionism, as seen in Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Cubism, made popular by none other than Pablo Picasso. Surrealism, Abstraction, Art Deco, Bauhaus, and many more. The common thread that runs through all of them is creative and individual expression. Modern art is all about expressing how you feel without worrying whether it is right or wrong. Logic and function drive modern residential interior design. Modern art can be that small but necessary pump of personality.

Being a luxury interior design firm based in Mumbai, we live in a melting pot of art and culture. We want the homes we design to reflect that. We encourage our clients to show off your sense of style and culture by hanging up modern art in their luxury living rooms. Put up a colourful abstract painting over the sofas. Place a whimsical clay sculpture on your shelves. This can serve as a vital focal point and a fun conversation starter. It does not matter if the art is famous or recognized. If it speaks to you, that is enough. So, if you find yourself contemplating buying art, take a cue from modern art. Be bold, do the unexpected, and be completely unapologetic.

Modern Interior Design in Residential Spaces: Minimal, functional, but with personality

Modern interior design is a multi-faceted design movement. The beauty of such a diverse and accessible aesthetic is that anyone can try it at home, quite literally! There may be a lot of jargon associated with this style – Minimalism, Scandanavian, Industrial, Bauhaus, and so on. But the core tenets remain quite simple.

Establish clean, crisp lines. Clear up the space by avoiding unnecessary items. Go for practical and affordable materials. Opt for simplicity and comfort. Most important of them all, let your personality shine through in every element.

Whether you want to try out modern interiors in your living room by breaking a wall, by buying a chic and sleek sofa set, or painting your version of a Van Gogh – we are here to help you out. Reach out to Nitido Designs with any and all questions, comments, or concerns about modern residential interior design!

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