Decorate Your Living Room The Contemporary Way

By Adam Peters

The living room is the most difficult room in the house to decorate, because most families… in it! It has to be all things to all people. In the contemporary style, this effect is easy to achieve.

If you’re like most people, you and your family spend most of your time at home in the living room. That’s where you have the couch and chairs, the television and entertainment center, the bookcases and the ornaments. It’s the living room, therefore, that can be the most difficult room to decorate.

The essential item to remember when doing any kind of decorating is to have each room as livable as possible. If you have a lot of young children you won’t want a lot of breakable bric-a-brac in your living room. No matter how many times you impress upon them not to touch, there’s always a chance that they will touch, and break, your breakables. That’s one reason why the contemporary style of home decorating advocates having only a very few accessories placed around the room.

Another reason for having only a few accessories – from flower vases to statuettes to decorative cups or plates – is simply that the contemporary design style advocates minimalism. An absence of clutter. Not only does this make it easier to keep the room clean – no need to dust all your dust-collecting knick knacks – but it also makes the room look neater.

What is the focal point of the room? For most people, that’s usually the entertainment center – complete with large-screen TV, DVD player, CD player, and storage areas for DVDs and VHS tapes. However, contemporary design doesn’t insist that you have an entertainment center – so if you’re not into television don’t worry about it!


The principle behind decorating a room is to center everything around a focal point – whether that’s the entertainment center, a fireplace, or a lovely sofa. Of course in the living room you may well have a fireplace and an entertainment center, in which case you’d probably choose the entertainment center as the focal point.

Around the entertainment center you’ll have furniture. The traditional couch and two armchairs…and if you entertain a great deal perhaps another chair or two. But if you don’t entertain, don’t bother to get those extra chairs! They just add clutter. So does having three or four decorative pillows for each chair as well as for the couch. Simplicity is the watchword, let each piece of furniture speak for itself, don’t try to hide it or “dress” it.


Windows come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on how large they are can be that focal point of the room that we were talking about earlier. What is the size of your windows? In which direction do they face? (Do you have the sun streaming into the room in the morning, or in the afternoon?) And what is your view? Do you have a pleasant view across a greensward, or are you looking at someone else’s house across the street? Each of these factors determines whether you’ll decorate – or “dress” your windows for privacy, for light control, or to complete the design of your room. Whatever the purpose, the window “treatments,” as decorators call it, will be simple ane elegant, in the contemporary style.


It’s a given that light, solid colors are the best for walls – such colors make the room appear larger and brighter, and show off any and all wall hangings – from paintings to posters to masks – to best effect. Beige and white are the easiest colors to work with, and blend in well with the rest of the room.


In contemporary interior design, the lighting comes not from a central fixture in the ceiling, but rather from stand alone lamps of elegant metallic design, and a few desk lamps – which can be in bright colors to add a splash to the room.


Leave yourself plenty of room in which to move around, and don’t overstuff your living room with furniture or decor that you don’t need. With contemporary design, simple is always best!

About the Author: Adam Peters contributes adding content to . For additional information on floor lamps or contemporary decorating subjects have a look at his web.


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