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The Best Modern Coffee Tables for Any Home

If you are creating a modern living room design, a good place to start is with a modern coffee table. Modern coffee tables are at the core of modern living room design. They tend to be the centerpiece of the room and can really set the tone for the entire space. But not all modern coffee tables are the same!

For example, maybe you need a furniture piece with storage…or one that’s kid-friendly…or one that compliments your unique style. For some people, being able to set beverages on a coffee table’s glass surface is key. Other people are less concerned with the table top material and more with how heavy or light the coffee table looks. If you’re feeling uncertain about which direction to take with your modern coffee table, don’t fret!

We polled our stylists to find out all about their favorite modern coffee tables for all kinds of styles and needs. Get to know their picks for every need and see if any are right for you!

modern coffee tablesMinimal Modern Coffee Tables

These modern coffee tables are perfect for those who love Modern style but want sleek furniture in their living room. Modern and minimal design go hand-in-hand and these tables will help bring the look together with finesse. Here are our picks for modern coffee tables with a minimalist vibe.

modern coffee tables

Harrison Lift Top Coffee Table White, Scout Home

This versatile coffee table works with any color palette you choose. It has sleek and clean lines and drawers that close flush for a handsome profile. The style and materials play on proportions—it’s lifted, but visually heavy on top. The added hidden storage is perfect for a minimal, clutter-free aesthetic and the contrast of dark wood and lacquer white give a mid-century modern flair. The clean and crisp surface is ideal for styling! You can have one or two items “pop” on the table top – such as a sculptural object or artistic coasters.

This modern coffee table is perfect for someone who likes modern style but wants a piece that is functional as well.

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modern coffee tablesMoon Shot Coffee Table in Brown-Bronze-Rust, Cyan Designs

The rounded triangle shape of the Moon Shot Coffee Table adds interest to its minimal form. The natural wood finish also adds warmth and a feel of organic modernism while the black tapered metal legs add contrast and keep the table feeling classically mid-century modern in style.

This is a great coffee table for adding simple storage on the shelf below so the tabletop stays free of clutter. Not to mention, the rounded form and visual lightness of this furniture material piece make it perfect for a small space!

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modern coffee tablesParkin Coffee Table, Scout Home

This table is visually light with thin metal legs and crisp 90-degree angles. Its black and white look is versatile enough to match with different tastes in furniture, but we think it would pair perfectly with a design featuring leather and earth tones.

The attached magazine rack is a funky and unexpected addition, allowing you to incorporate a bit of personality to a minimally designed space. It also makes a subtle, tasteful storage solution! And the large surface area is perfect for entertaining (lots of room for guests to set down their drinks) or for the minimalist who is also a proud bookworm.

A sleek stone top adds dimension and contrast with black structure—plus, the marble table top material is super trendy right now! This is definitely a table that feels “avant-garde” and gives a nod to unconventional design. All in all, it’s perfect for someone who loves to entertain or wants to bring an unexpected element to their home with the funky, asymmetrical design.

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modern coffee tablesRustic Modern Coffee Tables

For those who want to balance out their taste for modern design with some more down-to-earth vibes, a rustic modern coffee table might be just the right thing. Modern rustic is a super trendy style right now and a great choice for satisfying all your style cravings. Here are our stylists’ 3 picks for modern rustic coffee tables!

modern coffee tablesFarmhouse Coffee Table, Jamie Young

This farmhouse style coffee table features a classic rectangle shape updated with unexpected modern legs. The metal legs also bring a masculine/raw element, making this table versatile in style—it could be beautiful in an industrial-style space. The sleek cut of wood brings an airiness to an otherwise heavy piece of furniture and it has a timeless honey tone that adds warmth to any space.

We love how versatile this piece is, and can easily imagine it pairing beautifully with a mix of styles or with saturated earth tones. We also like that it’s high off the ground, so you could add baskets underneath for layers and depth, blanket storage, etc.

This table is durable, perfect for a rustic style interior—especially a home with older kids or pets!

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modern coffee tablesHavana Coffee Table, Scout Home

This table has a cool, blocky form that nods to traditional rustic style. Knots and grain are visible in the weathered wood and add an organic element, perfect for pure rustic spaces, but it also works in more modern rustic homes. The natural wood and geometric form are a nice contrasting combo for those who like something unexpected.

Overall, this table is super versatile and the design compensates for the “bulky” wood with the contrast of open space underneath. The shelf adds a place for open storage/decor, and could even double as a place to rest your feet!

This table is perfect for long and narrow living spaces and the sturdy and durable construction means it can hold its own in high traffic areas.

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modern coffee tablesSilas Coffee Table, Uttermost

This table puts a beautiful spin on true rustic and raw material and makes for a show-stopping conversation piece. The lightweight iron frame visually balances the heaviness of the wood, while the two open levels allow for interesting styling options. You could layer on the surface of the wood like a shadow box or simply place styling elements to the glass surface.

There’s definitely an industrial era/factory feel to this furniture piece, but it is modernized with thin legs and the clear glass top. Try pairing it with a linen sofa for some beautiful soft/hard contrast.

This coffee table is a great furniture piece for those who like to display their prize belongings and decor. It would also fit perfectly in an open studio/loft with an industrial rustic vibe.

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modern coffee tablesTransitional Coffee Tables

If you don’t want to go pure modern, consider modern coffee tables with a transitional vibe. These tables have modern undertones with a contemporary edge and tend to be super versatile and easy to style.

Mesquite Coffee Table, Sunpan

This coffee table oozes simple, sophisticated elegance with a nod to modern design. The Acacia wood top and bottom shelves feature a subtle chevron pattern, complemented by an antique brass steel frame. The clean, timeless form and antique frame exude the sophistication of transitional style. You can dress the table up or down depending on how you use the bottom shelf and other elements you include in the room design.

This is perfect for those who want a standout piece with its eye-catching chevron pattern and combo of materials. It is also a perfect fit in a living room with a neutral color palette.

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Round Capiz Coffee Table, Ludlow Living

This Round Capiz Coffee Table is transitional in style with clean lines, a simple round form, and sophisticated sheen. Round coffee tables are perfect for conversational living rooms because you can pull furniture all around it. They’re also great for kids because there are no sharp corners!

We love how this table nods to the glam/chic look with lacquered sheen and capiz shell encrusted wood form. You can also push the look more transitional coastal in style. The dark wood base and the multidimensional off-white covering is a classic pairing and goes with multiple color palettes. Adding a simple piece of greenery would be a beautiful polishing touch to this table—keep your styling simple and let the table do the talking!

This table is great for busy families who want high style—it’s easy to clean up spills because of resin finish.

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Costa Coffee Table, Nuevo

The Costa Coffee Table has a modern look, but is very transitional in its use of simple materials and shapes. The glass top material allows the unique geometry of the base to shine through (literally) as the star of this piece. It also maintains a visually open space despite being a substantially sized coffee table. This look works best if you style the glass top with lighter items, like a tray layered with books, small vases, and small plants.

It’s a perfect table for someone who wants a statement piece in their modern or contemporary living room.

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Eclectic Coffee Tables

Eclectic coffee tables are a great way to show off your inner bohemian in your modern living room. These tables definitely have modern vibes but they also showcase a unique flair. Check out our stylists’ picks for eclectic coffee tables below!

Lincoln Nesting Coffee Tables, Hyde Park

These nesting coffee tables are edgy and fun for those who want a playful element to their living room design. They are perfect for eclectic spaces that lean towards rustic/industrial due to the metal hairpin legs and raw wood top.

The natural shape and live edge teak wood bright the outdoors inside. They are visually light and minimal, perfect for a versatile space because they can be moved/arranged easily. To make them pop even more, set them atop an eclectic and colorful area rug!

These tables act as a functioning art piece that can be used in indoor or outdoor spaces. Just make sure not to overdo it with decor on top—the unique style of the tables speaks for itself!

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Bone Inlay Coffee Table, Baylin

This eclectic oval coffee table is just right for lovers of truly unique “functional art” pieces. Intricately cut and inlaid bone, along with stunning blue resin, line the entire coffee table and the slightly curved cross base make the oval shape more unique. It is definitely a statement coffee table that will pop out in any room you place it in!

To make it stand out even further, consider styling it with minimal, eclectic touches—think small plants, brass coasters, simple trinkets, or a functional bowl. You could even lean into coastal vibes or even go all out with Morrocan/global flair!

The blue is so striking, this table works best in a more neutral space so it is sure to stand out as the shining star.

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Lexa Rattan Bunching Table, Scout Home

We love this fun and whimsical dome-shaped coffee table! It’s super light and airy with a nod to bohemian–70’s eclectic style and can be used alone or in a pair of two. The natural, organic color and shape give any space an earthy vibe. Light styling with plants or a tray would polish the look of this coffee table—though the intricate cage-like weaving requires no further decoration.

This table would look perfect in a casual living room or sunroom lounge or more mid-century style living spaces.

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Storage Coffee Tables

Any good modern living room is as stylish as it is functional—and one of the most important parts of function is plenty of storage! A coffee table that doubles as a secret storage solution is a huge win as far as we’re concerned. Here are our picks for modern coffee tables with inner storage.

Miriam Table, Euro Style

This Euro Style coffee table is perfect for living rooms where you don’t want to compromise on sleek style but also need the extra storage. The two-toned woods and gold plated legs bring added dimension and a touch of chic. The 47” length offers plenty of surface area and the combo of open and closed storage is perfect for both displaying decor and stashing items you want to keep out of eyesight.

Try a minimal approach to styling by adding a small stack of coffee table books in the open shelf, hiding items like remotes/electronics in the drawer and keeping the top bare. This table would be great in any contemporary, mid-century modern, or even minimal living room. And to top it off, the size makes it perfect for entertaining!

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Maynard Lift Top Coffee Table, C2C Home

This lift top coffee table offers an updated take on a classic storage trunk. It’s a substantial form with durable with wood and metal construction—great for living rooms that get lots of use. The lift top and drawers are great for storage and the honey finish adds warmth to any room. It might come in handy in playrooms/basement living rooms where you can store bulkier items like toys, blankets, games, etc. Style it with simple items like your favorite candle, coffee table book, or decorative bowl for a simple and classic look.

This table works well with modern furnishing for a modern rustic vibe or you can even go completely traditional for a cozy, homey feeling.

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Fulton Storage Coffee Table, Ludlow Living

This is the storage coffee table for living rooms where you want to keep the extra storage a total secret. It’s a dimensional, cylindrical table with teak mosaic pieces covering the entire body. The white coloring is versatile and looks like an art piece in any living room! The top lifts off directly to expose storage and the base is wide so it can fit a good amount of stuff. Style the top with a round tray to make moving accessories easy when you need to access the storage inside.

This coffee table is super versatile and would be perfect in coastal, eclectic and classic glam spaces.

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Kid-Friendly Coffee Tables

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to give up your modern style! You might just have to give up sharp corners and glass tops to keep your kiddos safe. Check out these 3 picks for modern coffee tables that are great for family-friendly living rooms.

Bern Large Coffee Table Gray, Hyde Park

This table is made of reclaimed elmwood, which goes well with any color scheme and adds a soft, cozy warmth. The beautifully carved wood drum base is sophisticated and sturdy—meaning it can handle a home with older kids. The smooth round shape makes it great for preventing owies (no sharp corners here!). And it’s large enough for the family to gather around, do homework, or play games.

This is a great coffee table for parents who want high style without sacrificing durability. It’s very versatile and works great for classic, rustic, transitional, and even coastal styles!

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Bates Upholstered Square Coffee Table, Scout Home

This table features a modern take on rustic and timeless style while being 100% practical. The soft base top is perfect for little ones and adds warmth to any living room. The open bottom is ideal for storage—stash away your board games, toys, and kid stuff in easy reach. You can opt to set trays on top of the upholstered top for functionality. And its substantial size makes it great for large living rooms and large families.

This coffee table is perfect for refined, rustic living rooms and for those who want a stylish coffee table but need something that is uber-functional and kid-friendly.

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Barrett Storage Ottoman, Crate & Barrel

This classic coffee table features a versatile dark grey fabric that can pair with multiple color schemes—it would look great with a linen slipcovered sofa or a leather option for a modern yet cozy living space. It’s also soft to the touch and can stand up to both kids and pets with its spill- and stain-resistant fabric.

This coffee table/ottoman is perfect for young kids because it has no sharp corners and is padded all around. It’s also an excellent blend of form and function—the top hinges up to expose storage interior.

This coffee table is just right for the total carefree family home!

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Layout Guide: Ideas For a Large Open Living-Dining Room

In our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we take on the challenge of designing an open dining and living room layout, where the possibilities seem endless—and overwhelming.

The Space: A large open living-dining room with big windows and an amazing fireplace

The Style: Inviting Industrial

The Challenge: Designing an open living room layout that is functional, comfortable, and has a cohesive style across the different areas.

More space, more design opportunities, right? True, but that’s also part of the challenge when it comes to designing an open living-dining room. While you have more space to work with, it’s also easy to suddenly get caught up with all sorts of design and decor ideas.

What if I placed my sofa away from the fireplace? Is that weird or just impractical? A sectional and two chairs make the most sense, but what if I just stick to a sofa and go for a bigger communal dining table?

These are common questions that come up when you’re working with a spacious open living room. To provide some guidance and inspire your open living room design, we explore two different layout ideas for open concept spaces that offer style, function, and big comfort all at once. Read on to see the layouts and get our tips for setting up your space.

Layout Idea #1: The Relaxed Gathering Living Room Layout

Equal parts modern, industrial, and livable, this layout is the perfect setup for a casual family home today. The emphasis is on laid-back comfort and simple style, and the boldly neutral palette adds warmth and an approachable vibe to the large open room.

 

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Why This Relaxed Layout Works

Family-Friendly Seating. If you’re working with an open living-dining room and want to keep a casual vibe, a large sectional sofa is a perfect choice. It’s family-friendly since it gives everyone tons of room to kick back and stretch out, and it also acts as a divider for your living and dining areas. Pull up a pair of armchairs and you’ve got a layout that’s big on comfort with good flow.

Casual Dining Area. With a smaller round table, you’ll have a relaxed dining area that’s simple and perfect for easy sit-down dinners. It’s great for a family of four with grown-up kids, or for those who prefer more free-flowing meal gatherings, like potlucks and pre-dinner snacks.

Good TV Placement. The TV mounted above the fireplace makes this an ideal layout if you love hosting movie nights or enjoy spending time keeping up with all the latest shows. The best part about this placement is that it makes watching TV easy from anywhere in the room, but it’s not the main focus in the space.

Modern and Comfy. Streamlined furnishings often can feel overly sleek and spare, but the pieces here are minimalist without feeling cold, thanks to the restrained color palette. The hint of brown in the dining chairs, the solid blues, and the subtle patterns all help to balance out the clean lines of the furnishings with touches of warmth.

Will This Open Living Room Layout Work In Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Enjoy casual gatherings that are laid-back and relaxed.
  • Love to host friends with kids for movie nights where everyone gets a seat.
  • Prefer having people over for no-fuss pre-dinner drinks instead of long dinners at the table.
  • Are all about a family-friendly space that can stand up to busy daily lives.

Layout Idea #2: The Formal Entertaining Living Room Layout

Elegant and contemporary in style, this layout leans formal and is thoughtfully arranged for conversation. It has a high-contrast palette of dark grays, white tones, and light woods, all of which give it a polished and considered look and feel. The mix of luxurious materials helps tie together the different areas and adds to the elevated appeal of the open room.

 

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Why This Formal Layout Works

Symmetrical Seating. By placing two facing sofas in the living area, this layout instantly takes on a more formal look while keeping the flow of the room open. It’s an arrangement that’s great for conversations but is equally inviting and comfy for leaning back and putting up your feet.

Serious Dining Area. With a larger dining table that accommodates six people, the dining area is more primed for hosting long dinner parties. Combined with the formal seating area, it makes the overall room perfect for all sorts of entertaining, be it intimate book clubs or big fancy soirees. The fully stocked bar cart in the living room corner adds the finishing touch!

Lots of Vertical Storage. To keep the airy look and feel in this formal layout, the bookcases flanking the fireplace provide convenient vertical storage that opens up the floor space. It also acts as a showcase for accessories, photos, and objects while drawing focus to the fireplace.

Elegant and Cozy. This layout proves that you can have both formal style and comfort in an open space. The neutral color palette of varying gray and wood tones plays up a contemporary look that also feels warm and welcoming. Materials like velvet and sisal paired alongside wood graining add to that cozy feel.

Will This Living Room Layout Work In Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Enjoy a little formality in your living and dining space that’s still inviting.
  • Love hosting a good game night as much as you love a cocktail party.
  • Are a big home cook who likes hosting long sitdown dinners with family and friends regularly.
  • Appreciate a space that feels curated and collected when you come home each day.

 

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Ace Eclectic Style: 7 Living Rooms That do It Right

Ever feel like your interior design preferences include a mash-up of styles? Maybe you like the clean lines of mid-century modern, but you also like the natural materials of rustic style. Or you love the causal nature of boho style but still like to keep things minimal. Perhaps you love over-the-top glam but also more reserved traditional elements. Don’t worry: these seemingly at-odds styles don’t make you crazy. They just mean there’s an eclectic nature to your preferred interior design style.

What is Eclectic Interior Design?

But wait. Let’s back up a minute. What exactly is an eclectic style? Eclectic interior design is a style that artfully mixes elements of multiple design styles into one space. It involves an informal mix of furnishings and decor and pulls from a wide variety of styles. Often, eclectic decor combines bright colors and patterns and mixes in unexpected elements.

What are the Key Elements of Eclectic Decor?

Some key elements of eclectic style? Mixing patterns and colors and materials and textures, with a nod to vintage pieces and global-inspired patterns. This look definitely tends to be more maximalist than minimal. But this mash-up of styles isn’t random—to really nail the eclectic look, you still want your space to feel cohesive. While there’s no one way to do eclectic—as you’ll see below—it tends to be a style that feels very organic and like it came together over a period of time.

7 Ways to Style an Eclectic Space

Ready to create an eclectic look in your home? From modern to classic, we’ve got looks that combine all sorts of styles in different eclectic ways. Read on to get inspired by these seven ways to embrace eclectic style in your space!

1. Modern Rustic Style

Modern Rustic is an eclectic style that mixes mid-century modern, rustic, and boho styles. The result is a look that’s very chic and approachable. This space has a clean and fresh vibe, while still offering plenty of personality.

Key Elements:

To get this modern rustic look, you’ll want to start with mid-century modern furniture and mix it with rustic materials and natural textures. While there are a lot of different colors and patterns mixed together in this space, you’ll notice that the patterns have a more organic approach—no geometric shapes or sharp lines here.

Design Tip: Layer Textiles

To really nail this look, you want to focus on layered textiles. Layers are key to eclectic style. So, pile on the pillows, layer propped art on the mantle, and even consider pulling multiple rugs into the same space and layering them! All of these layers create dimension and contrast while maintaining livability. Because livability is also key to acing eclectic style.

2. Boho Minimal Style

As the name suggests, boho minimal style is on the more minimal side of eclectic style. But, as you can see, it’s a masterful blend of casual and elevated, for a space that feels both curated and serene.

Key Elements:

With boho minimalism, you’ll notice the muted color palette, featuring a wide range of neutrals, with pops of earthy desert hues. This style also features a lot of natural materials and finishes. While this space features a good deal of patterns, the muted color palette keeps it from feeling overwhelming. So, you can layer patterns on patterns, between rugs, pillows, and wall art. With this style, much of the wall art should lean geometric or abstract.

Style Tip: Opt for a Casual Layout

To drive home this look, consider a casual layout. Eclectic style is all about the unexpected, but formal layouts feel at odds with casual style. Going for an off-center arrangement, using poufs instead of chairs, or pairing two side tables in place of a coffee table are a few creative approaches to making this space a little more casual and relaxed.

3. Glam Eclectic Style

Glam eclectic mixes all sorts of furniture styles—traditional, modern, minimal, and glam. This look is bold, even for an eclectic space. It’s just the right amount of over-the-top while staying rooted in its traditional influences.

Key Elements:

One of the keys to this look is texture. Lots of it. Think leather, velvet, marble, jute, and so much more. This mix of textures and materials gives a high-low contrast that is key to this look. You’ll also see a lot of patterns on patterns—in this space, they’re mostly found in the wide-ranging mix of throw pillows and the heavily patterned rug. The furniture shapes and materials found in this space give it a vintage feel, but the key to this look is presenting it in a fresh way—whether that’s in the colors you choose, the mix of patterns, or the wall art and decorative accents.

Style Tip: Design a Gallery Wall

A must for this look? A gallery wall. Gallery walls are a staple of eclectic style, but there are many ways to approach them. For this style, we like pushing the look with mismatched frames and approaching it with a more eclectic layout. But to keep it from feeling too random, consider unifying it around a color palette or themed subject-matter for a note of consistency and order.

4. Tropical Boho Style

Tropical boho style is vibrant and unique, and it certainly lands on the more maximalist end of eclectic. As you can see, there’s a lot going on in this look, with its loud mix of furniture styles, materials, colors, and patterns.

Key Elements:

A key element to tropical boho style is bold color. Specifically, rich jewel tones bring this style to life. And we’re not talking one accent chair in a jewel tone. We’re talking about the walls, furniture, pillows, and rugs. This look does not shy away from color! Also, key to this look is quirky accents that give the space personality—like the hanging chair or the tiger rug. It’s pieces like these that make this look so unique!

Style Tip: Load Up on Plants

To take this look to the next level, load up on the plants. A heavy dose of plants, in varying shapes, sizes, and varieties, gives a major boho vibe. Plants, along with some of the natural materials in the space, balance out some of the more glam pieces in this style.

5. Mod Collector Style

When you combine mid-century modern and eclectic, you get a style we call mod collector. Because of the eclectic edge, this style tends to be more playful and a little edgier than traditional mid-century interiors. It’s the perfect style for those who love those MCM vibes but want a space that feels a little more personal, unique, and approachable.

Key Elements:

With this style, you want to stick to the clean, timeless lines of Mid-Century Modern design. But don’t stop there. This style is all about unexpected design elements that offer pops of retro drama—like an eye-catching green sofa, that bookshelf with slanted shelf dividers, or opting for two side-by-side tables in place of a single coffee table. We also designed the space with coordinating (but not matching) chairs. Both side chairs have wood bases and black upholstery—but the completely different styles plays up the eclectic vibe, which adds a playful edge to this space.

Style Tip: Mix + Match Materials

Eclectic style is all about mixing and matching. And the mod collector style really embraces mixing materials, specifically. From velvet and marble to metal, wood, leather, and linen, combining multiple materials into one space will keep the mod vibe alive while giving it that eclectic flair.

6. California Casual Style

Classic meets modern with a decidedly eclectic twist with California casual style. This chic style captures the relaxed vibes of coastal California—featuring comfy furnishings, natural textures and materials, and bright, neutral hues.

Key Elements:

You’ll notice a classic flair to many of the decorative accents—like the mirror, sconces, and the bust on the mantel. But the mix of geometric patterns throughout the space roots this look as something more casual. A neutral color palette keeps this space from feeling too bold, and furniture with a focus on comfort keeps it approachable.

Style Tip: Add Texture

A wide mix of natural textures and materials bring this space to life and give it an eclectic vibe. From the mix of woven baskets to the woven pendant light and natural wood coffee table, the natural textures ground the style and give it some added personality.

7. Minimal Eclectic Style

Minimal eclectic style, also known as “minimalist maximalist,” plays with a minimalist’s design principles (think: “less is more”) and a maximalist’s love of patterns, luxe materials, and bold colors (AKA, “more is more”). The result? A look that is somehow both bold and subdued.

Key Elements:

This style relies on bold designs. Because of that, it also uses fewer pieces. So, while this look doesn’t have many furniture pieces or decorative objects, each piece in this space is bold, unique, and intentional. This look focuses less on a specific color palette and more on bold shapes and a luxe mix of materials.

Style Tip: Mix Furniture Styles

Since this look is focused more on shape and material than a specific design style, you can mix furniture styles to play up the eclectic nature. This space features pieces that are mod, industrial, glam, traditional, mid-century. The result? Très chic.

Ready to add some eclectic interior design to your home?

Have some burning questions about how to bring eclectic interior design into your space? Head to our Interior Design 101 page, where we’ll walk you through the interior design process and what it’s like to work with a Modsy designer! We’re pretty confident we can make all your eclectic style interior design dreams come true!

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Everything You Need To Know About Modern versus Industrial Interior Design

modern versus industrial designWhen it comes to decorating your home, there are tons of different design styles to choose from. Which one is right for you? Well, that question can sometimes be more difficult to answer than it might seem. Because when it comes to interior design styles there are so many options to choose from and many of them can be difficult to distinguish between. What’s the difference between modern, contemporary, minimal industrial… It can be a little dizzying! To help sort through some of the noise, we’re taking a closer look at two very popular styles—mid-century modern versus industrial design—and how you can blend the two together to create a space you love.

industrial designWhat is Industrial Interior Design?

When you hear the term “industrial interior design” you might picture spaces with distinct architecture. Think unfinished concrete, exposed brick, steel/metal beams, exposed ductwork, and factory windows. And in fact, industrial interior design is a style that looks a lot like how it sounds. At its core, it’s a warehouse look that celebrates a rugged, industrial past. It’s also often associated with artist studios, loft spaces, and converted warehouses.

Outside of architecture, industrial interior design is characterized by vintage decorative objects that feel at home in factory settings (think: old fans, steel stools, drafting desks, etc.) and new objects inspired by vintage industry. You’ll find a lot of materials that show off what they are including raw and untreated materials or ones that show signs of aging. Steel, brick, concrete, leather, and stone all feel at home in industrial spaces.

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The furniture is often constructed with industrial methods and features a distressed feel. Likewise, reclaimed wood furniture is a great choice for this style. The palettes tend to be neutral and the use of color is sparse.

This look is perfect for those who like an upscale but unfinished look that is effortlessly cool and low-maintenance with lots of open space.

modern interior designWhat is Mid-Century Modern Interior Design?

A design movement that began in the mid-twentieth-century, Mid-Century Modern interior design is a super popular style that is easily recognizable today. These spaces are full of natural woods, bold primary colors, organic and whimsical shapes, and geometric patterns. The furniture of this style is often designed to cradle the body and features little ornamentation. The edges are often rounded, eliminating hard angles, and lines are tapered for a smooth and cohesive look.

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Mid-Century Modern interior design is comfortable—it encourages lounging or relaxation and conversation. The decor often includes vintage materials like blonde wood, teak, chrome, walnut, tweed, leather and vinyl. This style also incorporates graphic patterns with geometric (asymmetrical and symmetrical) and organic designs. Think of shapes like diamonds, starbursts, boomerangs, half-circles, and line drawings.

This style is perfect if you love a mod look with extra character and want a stylish living space that’s warm and inviting.

atomic industrial interior designMeet Atomic Industrial Interior Design (AKA Mid-Century Modern + Industrial)

If you’re having trouble deciding on mid-century modern versus industrial interior design, Atomic Industrial might be the perfect compromise. This style incorporates the materials and colors of mid-century design but sticks to a minimal color palette to keep the industrial vibe going. It also blends in the shapes and features of mid-century modern, like pieces with retro shapes rendered in industrial materials.

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Atomic Industrial is extra funky because it features a blend of elements from the two different styles all in one space. It’s an eclectic combo of weathered, vintage, reclaimed, atomic, retro and modern/industrial materials and furniture. If the industrial look is too harsh for your tastes but you like its rugged vibes, soften it with a pop of patterns, warm woods, and curved/organic MCM shapes! Plants help add life to the space as well.

This is a great option if you like more than one style or if you are merging tastes with a partner and have a diverse array of furniture to choose from!

Want to see modern versus industrial design ideas in your space?

Still stumped on the differences between modern and industrial style interior design? Since modern industrial interior design can come to life in so many different ways, it can be helpful to have an interior designer to guide you through the process. Head to our Interior Design 101 page to learn more about what the Modsy design process is like. Then start creating your modern industrial interior!

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14 Awkward Living Room Design Challenges and Their Solutions

split-level living dining room with a grey sofa facing two leather armchairs

At Modsy, we love helping our customers take on the many challenges of interior design. The most common room our customers struggle with? The living room. Since they’re usually at the top of the list in terms of rooms to decorate, we’ve encountered our fair share of awkward living room designs and helped our customers find solutions for them.

Awkward living room layouts come in all shapes and sizes—from slanted walls to tiny spaces, we’ve designed it all. The living room is the hub of the house, but when it’s oddly shaped or has quirky features, it can feel impossible to make it work with the living room furniture and style you want. That’s why we’re rounding up some of the most common design challenges right here in one place. Read on for some great living room layout guides and awkward living room design solutions!

Read Next: Check out our living room checklist for all of your must-have living room furniture pieces.

attic loft design with sloped ceilings, two sofas, and a TV

1. An Attic Loft Living Space

This attic loft is a funky, cool space with a ton of low-key hangout potential. The slanted ceilings create an immediately cozy vibe, and the big window at the back of the room lets in a lot of natural light for sunny afternoon reading and naps. However, sloped ceilings do tend to make for pretty awkward living room designs.

The key here is to find living room furniture that will accommodate the short and slanted walls—but this can be a challenge. It can be equally tough to fit everything in without making the room feel too cluttered and cramped.

To make the most of this awkward living room design, we went with a double sofa layout. The seating is super comfy and geared toward chatting and lounging, but the design also makes it easy to watch TV. We added a small desk in the back corner and propped artwork against the wall to make the most of the limited wall space.

See More Attic Layouts

awkward long and narrow living room design with a sectional and two poufs

2. A Long and Narrow Living Room with Full Walls of Windows

If you have a long and narrow space like this one—which stretches lengthwise, with two full walls of windows and one side open to the rest of the home—you might be struggling to find the right layout and furniture.

Often, a long, narrow space doesn’t leave you with a ton of layout options. In a space like this, if you want a comfortable room with plenty of seating for watching TV, the TV will probably only fit on one wall, which limits your layout options. But if you don’t need TV to be the focal point, use the awkward living room design to your advantage and create a cozy space to read, cuddle up, and relax—TV watching optional. 

We found a large comfy sectional that fits perfectly against two walls for an extra cozy feel. And instead of a traditional coffee table, we used two poufs that can double as extra seating/footrests. They take up the same amount of space, but provide so much more in the way of function—a must-have for all awkward living room designs!

See More Narrow Room Ideas

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split-level living space with a sofa and two chairs below and a modern dining room above

3. Split-Level Living and Dining Room

This split-level living and dining space is awesome because you get a living room and dining space with an open, airy flow. It’s an awesome set-up for those who love entertaining but this unusual space can also be an awkward room to design.

A split-level room means you are left with a quirky half-wall, and this is the greatest design challenge to contend with. Consider placing shorter furniture against this wall, so as to not draw attention to it. Here we opted for a bench but you could also try a credenza for extra storage.

We arranged the living room furniture in a conversational layout, with a tailored look that’s equally great for both casual hangs and more formal dinner parties. The polished color palette ties both rooms together for a cohesive look. And the sofa and facing chairs make for easy conversation while the bench against the partition wall maximizes that tricky wall space.

More Layouts For This Room

small living room design decorated in modern rustic decor

4. Super Small Apartment Living Room

The architectural details of this space beg to be used for entertaining, But the main issue here is, of course, size. We needed to maximize the space to make room for chilling out, entertaining, watching TV, functional storage, and more. And we also wanted it to look good!

We gave this space plenty of seating and a style that is small-space friendly. This design works because it allows for open traffic flow into the room and leaves plenty of space to navigate around furniture. The sofa has a built-in side table so you can skip the extra piece of furniture, and the wall-mounted desk and bookcase combo offers plenty of convenient storage to free up more floor space.

More Layouts For This Room

oversized living room with a large, 3-piece sectional sofa

5. A Wide Open Living Room

This living room is HUGE, with a beautiful fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows on every wall—design features that are highly sought after but also present their own challenges. With windows on every wall, landing on a furniture layout is extra difficult.

We addressed this conundrum by embracing the idea of floating furniture—aka pulling furniture away from your walls and letting it “float” in the middle of the room. Here, we floated a huge sectional sofa in the center of the room. This helps fill the space and also makes for killer TV viewing. Pulling the sofa away from the walls is a great interior design solution for the windows, too. And, the room is big enough to add a cozy convo circle around the fireplace and a tucked-away space for kids to play—giving you multiple uses in one space.

See More Large Room Layouts

long living room open to the dining room and kitchen. A beige sectional divides the space into separate areas

6. A Long, Open Living and Dining Room

This open-flow space is long and airy—but there’s so much space you might not know where to start, especially if you want to create distinct spaces for lounging and dining in a space like this. When creating this open living/dining room layout guide, we wanted to make sure the space also had adequate seating and functional traffic flow to get the most use out of the space.

To address these challenges, we created a layout that features a relaxed and inviting space with both a formal dining room and a loungey living space. The sectional sofa offers plenty of seating and the back of the sofa acts as a partition between the two “zones” of the room. But it still feels open to the dining area and kitchen, with a coordinating color scheme to tie together the two spaces.

More Layouts For This Room

small awkward living room with one window, a sectional sofa, and a TV

7. A Petite Living Room with Multiple Doorways

When you have a small living room, it can be challenging to find a layout that gives you all the functionality you need in this type of space. And when the space also has multiple doorways to other spaces in your home, it can feel extra challenging.

The best solution here is to use living room furniture that’s proportionate to the space—so, go for an apartment-sized sofa, a smaller media console, an open and airy coffee table, and small poufs as extra seating options. And, if you’re looking to maximize storage space in your small living room, try wall-mounted bookcases. They take up less floor space than a typical bookcase while still offering a space for organization and display.

See 3 Small Room Layouts

living room design with slanted walls and a small desk area

8. An Awkward Living Room With Angled Walls

While we’re really digging this modern and edgy space, designing it posed a bit of a challenge since the walls are set at less-than-right angles. Slanted walls?? Talk about an awkward element to design around! The quirky, awkward room shape creates lots of hard-to-handle nooks and crannies that can be difficult to fill without the space looking hodge-podge.

We opted for a conversational layout in this space with a sofa and armchair for more seating versatility. It offers a comfortable space for lounging, working, playing and watching TV. This arrangement uses one of the small, awkward corners as a sunny home for plants, which helps brighten the space and detract from the weird angle. We also included a desk/workspace to maximize the functionality of the room.

More Angled Room Layouts

living room with 5 walls, a fireplace, and a modern decor scheme

9. A Small Living Room with a Fireplace and Five Walls

Not having a lot of space doesn’t have to be a buzzkill, but it does mean you might have to get creative with your design choices. This modern living room design makes great use of a small space, with tons of hangout room and lots of comfy seating. But the challenges don’t stop at a small space for this living room. This space also has a small fifth wall! This can be an imposing shape to work with, along with the challenge of having lots of doors and windows to work around.

Read Next: The Modsy Layout Guide for Designing a Living Room with a Fireplace

This design works because it features a cozy sofa and extra comfortable chairs that optimize TV viewing but also make for easy conversation. Small space solutions help fill out awkward spots, like wall-mounted bookcases adding vertical storage along a narrow wall and the two poufs adding seating options without taking up a bunch of floor space. And the short, fifth wall is easily integrated into the design of the space by hanging curtains that match the others in the room and placing a large plant in front of the window-wall to fill out the space!

More Layouts For This Room

eclectic living room design with a gray sofa and gallery wall that makes use of an awkward space

10. A Small Living/Dining Room With a Slanted Wall

The awkward living room design challenge here was working with a funky, narrow room with an awkward, slanted corner. Maximizing a small, narrow space can be tough—especially when you want both a living room area and a separate dining space.

bird's eye view of an awkward living room room layout

To make the awkward, acute corner work, we pulled two armchairs up perpendicular to the sofa. This creates a functional living room set-up and also visually “squares-off” the back corner. Then we popped a few potted plants in the corner to round it off and make it functional.

Explore 2 Ideas For This Room

huge living space with a large sectional placed in front of a TV

11. A Large, Rectangular Living Room

This rectangular space is large and open—a great quality in a living room, but also a challenge in terms of filling out the space. A room like this needs more than one zone or purpose to best use the large space.

The primary purpose we gave this living room layout was for TV viewing. This is perfect for those who love hosting movie nights or having people over to watch your favorite sports. The large, three-piece sectional grounds this living room and, along with the area rug, defines the TV viewing area.

To further fill out the space, we placed a console against one wall for storage and decor and created a reading nook by the fireplace on the opposite wall. We used furniture to create these distinct zones, but we kept the style and colors cohesive throughout so the room feels like one space rather than multiple disjointed rooms.

Explore 2 Ideas For This Room

awkward living room with a corner fireplace open onto the dining area

12. An Open Living/Dining Room with a Corner Fireplace

A corner fireplace, combined with a full wall of windows, can make furniture layout pretty tricky. On top of that, the living room is open to not only the dining area but also the kitchen—making it one big room with several distinct uses.

The way to tackle this type of space is to work in zones. We opted for a sectional vs sofa to maximize seating without cramming in extra furniture pieces. We then paired the sofa with a console table behind it to act as a visual divider. By floating the sofa and facing it into the living room, we separated the living area from the dining area. Plus, with this layout, there’s an open walking space from one zone to the next.

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living room design with awkwardly high ceilings

13. A Living Room With Vaulted Ceilings

Wondering how to design a living room with high ceilings? We get it. Tall ceilings can be awkward, since we tend to decorate at eye level and below. But that can leave a lot of extra wall and ceiling space when you have 10-foot or vaulted ceilings. In cases like these, we recommend balancing the room layout with the height of the ceiling so it doesn’t feel off-balance.

What better way to balance out tall ceilings than a row of tall bookcases that fills up your empty wall space? The living room shelves pictured here function as practical storage while minimizing the cavernous look of the tall walls. It’s a great use of vertical and horizontal space—giving you both storage and a focal point that connects the lower half of the room with the upper ceiling.

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open living room with a fireplace and awkward set-up for TV viewing

14. An Open Living Room with No Solid Walls

This living room doesn’t have many solid walls that you can put furniture against, which can make creating a functional layout feel daunting. Where do you put furniture that looks intentional rather than awkward?

In these cases, we recommend pulling furniture away from the walls and floating pieces to create a seating area “shell” within the space. Use an area rug to establish and anchor the furniture grouping. This helps the space feel less open and awkward and instead feel more cozy and purposeful. Then, bundle the furniture together, creating a seating area somewhat centered around the fireplace. This makes conversation the primary purpose of this living room, while a TV and console on the one solid wall still allows for TV viewing. (Bonus: the accent chairs are swivel chairs, so they can turn around for additional TV-viewing seating.) As you arrange your living room layout, keep a walking area around the furniture to make moving through the space easy.

See Layouts for TV Viewing

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This post was updated May 20, 2021

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8 Ways to Bring a Mid-Century Modern Look to Your Living Room

modern living room ideasThe Mid-Century Modern interior design style may have begun in the 1950s but this timeless look is more popular today than ever! Defined by simple forms, organic influences, and minimal ornamentation, the look is so versatile that it can blend in with a variety of different interior design styles. It’s the perfect choice if you’re merging tastes with a partner/roommate or if you want to showcase multiple styles in one design! And if you’re looking for modern living room ideas, this post will walk you through 8 rooms that show just how many ways you can bring a mid-century modern living room to life!

modern living room ideasThe Pure Mid-Century Modern Living Room

Up first is a room that showcases pure, undiluted Mid-Century Modern style at its best. Think of this style as the look popularized by shows like “Mad Men” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” It’s all about the classic, retro look.

The key mid-century elements in this space are the use of primary and secondary colors and the perfect blend of organic shapes and abstract patterns that really polish off that Mod, 1950s look. Also don’t miss all the tapered legs, which are another notable staple of iconic Mid-Century Modern style.

minimal modern living roomThe Minimal Mid-Century Living Room

If you like mid-century style but don’t want to go overboard with it, take a cue from this minimalist-inspired look. This living room mixes mid-century with minimal design elements for a space that feels crisp and clean.

The muted, neutral palette is minimal but the use of natural woods adds just the right amount of warmth to the space. Sculptural forms, like the light fixtures and coffee table, help keep the design clean and refined and there is no additional ornament on any of the furniture items. While mid-century styles love patterns, if you’re going for this look try only incorporating them into your decor. This will help preserve a minimal vibe in your modern living room design.

The Transitional Mid-Century Modern Living Room

For a more approachable take on modern living room ideas, try mixing mid-century with transitional design. The key elements of the Mid-Century Modern style are at the core of this look, but we mixed them in with more contemporary vibes for a fresh look where comfort is on par with style.

Need an example? Look to the gold/marble coffee table, wall art, lamps, patterned pillows, and sofa to see what we’re talking about. This style is a great choice if you like to dabble in trends but don’t want to go all-out with any mid-century modern living room ideas.

modern living room ideasThe Eclectic Mid-Century Modern Living Room

If you want to amp up the already bright personality of mid-century style, add in a little eclectic flair. This is a look that shows off your individual taste with a unique approach to art, layouts, and decor. You can see all the essential mid-century forms and design principles topped off with a twist. Think bold colors, pops of pattern, and tons of texture for a more vibrant and eclectic look.

The Industrial Modern Living Room

Elevate modern living room ideas with the edgy, raw elements of industrial design. This room, for example, features industrial materials, like metal, raw woods, and leather which give it a more rugged appeal. This is a perfect complement to the clean, modern sophistication of mid-century style and a great way to merge two seemingly distinct looks together.

modern living room ideasThe Bohemian Mid-Century Living Room

For those who want a fun, trendy modern living room design, try this bohemian approach. Sometimes called “modern rustic,” this look is a mix of eclectic, rustic, and mid-century styles all combined into one cohesive design.

Check out the bold colors, patterns, natural materials, and textures galore. All of these pieces combine to make the room feel cozy, approachable, and very on-trend.

This Chic Mid-Century Living Room

This modern living room idea offers a chic, upscale take on the mid-century aesthetic. Glamorous touches are woven throughout the room—from streamlined silhouettes to playful geometry on the pillows and art. The room has a super refined and serene feel thanks to the neutral decor. Don’t miss the pops of pink and blue which bring it to life in color.

The Organic Modern Living Room

This is one of our favorite modern living room ideas because it incorporates the natural, organic trend we’re loving so much right now. The look mixes up industrial elements with an eclectic arrangement of different styles and shapes. Create this bold look with a blend of organic and curved shapes and a neutral color scheme with lots of contrast. Earthy materials and textures are also a perfect complement to the mid-century shapes and design elements!

 

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Layout Guide: A Rectangular Living Room Done Two Ways

rectangular living room layoutIn our Layout Guides series, you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we take on the challenge of designing a rectangular living room layout with limited space. 

The Space: A tiny living room with a rectangular shape and one wall-to-wall window.

The Style: Industrial Minimal

The Challenge: Designing a rectangular living room layout with limited space that is stylish, fun, and functional.

One of the best ways to make a home feel both elegant and inviting is designing a living room layout that works for your space. If you have a rectangular living room, the right layout helps to create space to entertain guests, kick back with your family, or comfortably enjoy games and activities at home.

With two walls longer than the shorter walls, a rectangular living room can easily start to feel narrow and claustrophobic. But with a little strategic planning, you can overcome this challenge and make a rectangular living room layout feel warm, welcoming and friendly. Here’s our guide to designing a living room layout that makes the most of a rectangular space.

rectangular living room layoutLayout #1: TV-Viewing Living Room

Living Room Layout #1 is all about creating a casual, family-friendly spot where you can lounge, kick back and watch TV. The sectional sofa is placed directly across from the television for optimal viewing and extra seating. And the room feels open and airy with plenty of room to navigate around furniture.

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The Key Elements in This TV-Viewing Living Room Layout

Plenty of Seating: The large sectional sofa is a great choice for a rectangular living room layout because it offers enough space for your whole family to stretch out. The armchairs provide extra seating and can be easily moved for TV viewing or conversation. And the pouf acts as a footrest but can double as a chair when needed.

Prime TV Setup: In this design, the seating is geared toward watching TV so you won’t have to crane your neck or miss any of the action while you’re lounging! The sectional and chairs create a cozy space for chilling with a good movie or binge-watching your favorite show.

Extra Storage: The dresser against the back wall offers tons of extra storage to tuck away all your clutter. There’s also a stylish bookcase for vertical storage/display next to the TV. These storage options help make sure you can keep the room uncluttered but still have access to the things you need.

Warm and Livable: The industrial minimal style makes a great balance between fun and functional. The neutral palette with high-contrast accents is streamlined but not cold and the dark accent wall makes the space immediately cozy and inviting.

Will a TV-Viewing Layout Work in Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Need a cozy, family-friendly space to lounge.
  • Have a family that loves TV and movie time.
  • Like a sparse, stylish look that’s still warm and inviting.
  • Want extra seating on hand in case friends drop by.

rectangular living room layoutLayout #2: Conversational Living Room Layout

This rectangular living room layout makes the most of the space by creating two distinct areas in the same room. The main space set up for easy conversation and entertainment, with plenty of room to navigate around furniture and seating options you can move around as needed. This layout also leaves room for a full dining setup in the back with a dining table and four chairs.

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Why This Rectangular Living Room Layout Works

Ample Seating: The key to fostering conversation is proper seating that is centered around interaction! This layout features a cozy sofa placed on one of the long walls directly across from two comfortable armchairs along with a stylish bench in front of the window. There’s no TV in the room and the circular seating setup creates a warm conversation circle for guests.

Small Space Hacks: Every small room can use a few optical illusions! This layout features a large, circular mirror above the sofa that helps to make the room look much bigger. Likewise, the sconces on either side of the mirror are a great lighting alternative because they don’t take up floor space but still offer tons of light. And the bench and coffee table are open-base to avoid any visual heaviness in the room.

Sleek Style: Industrial minimal style is perfect for a small room because it is visually light and uncluttered. This room makes great use of clean lines and abstract art, neutral tones, and vibrant pops of color to create a super sleek and sophisticated look.

Dining Area: Not only does this living room layout create a cozy convo space, it also offers a cool dining area. The grey area rug helps to distinguish it as its own separate space and the metal chairs and white table create a visual lightness so it doesn’t feel too crammed with furniture.

Will a Conversational Layout Work in Your Space? Yes If You…

  • Are more into chatting and interaction than watching TV.
  • Prefer seating options you can move and shift around the room.
  • Love a minimalist, stylish space.
  • Want a dedicated dining area in your home but don’t have a separate dining room.

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Home Decor Tips from the Set of The Holiday – Are You an Iris or an Amanda?

Writer, director, and producer Nancy Meyers is known and beloved not only for her romantic comedies with strong female leads—but for the beautiful homes in which her characters live. From the Banks family home in Father of the Bride, to Erica Barry’s home in Something’s Gotta Give, along with so many others, America has long been obsessed with Meyers’ impeccable style and ability to create movie homes that are basically as important as the cast. Her spaces always have that special something that instantly makes us want to move in!

But this time of year, we’re particularly obsessed with her movie, The Holiday, which also happens to be one of our all-time favorite Meyers films. The film has two amazing females leads—Cameron Diaz as Amanda and Kate Winslet as Iris. But the real showstoppers of this film are their homes—Iris’ cottage in England and Amanda’s mansion in LA.

Love the decor and style in The Holiday as much as we do? Bring some of it into your own home! Our stylists broke down the elements of each leading lady’s style so you can figure out if you’re an Iris or an Amanda, and bring some of their iconic style to life in your own!

The Holiday Amanda's houseAmanda’s LA Mansion

The Style

Cameron Diaz’s character, Amanda, works in the film industry in LA, and her Spanish-style mansion is quite the showstopper. Flooded with natural light, the interior has a minimal, contemporary style, and we’d describe her taste as a modern spin on classic design. The furniture features classic shapes and streamlined forms; no frills here! It’s an elevated version of California cool—and we are here for it.

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the holiday styleThe Key Elements

For a modern-but-classic home, you want to keep the color palette more neutral. But it’s not all bright whites here. We love the contrast in Amanda’s home, where dark wood tones against light upholstery add depth to the space. Don’t forget the pops of burgundy and green that she (or more likely her interior decorator) has scattered throughout the house.

The house is also full of decorative elements and plants, but they’re chosen and styled in a way that feels polished and curated, never cluttered. Ultimately, this home is minimal but with some of those personalized items, along with a mix of natural textures, it still feels cozy and comfortable.

This Look Is For You If…

You like a contemporary style with classic underpinnings. Or if you want a space that looks as zen as you want to feel! This style embodies a sense of LA executive luxury, along with those serene southern California vibes.

The Holiday Iris' houseIris’ Rosehill Cottage

The Style

Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, is a journalist in London who lives in a little cottage in Surrey. From the outside, this quaint, rustic cottage is dreamy and it gets even better when you go inside. The small space is eclectic and cozy—pretty much the opposite of Amanda’s style and her expansive home. It’s the type of space that you want to curl up with a book and a steaming cup of tea. (Or pour some wine and belt out the lyrics to Mr. Brightside.)

Shop Iris' Style

The Key Elements

Iris’ eclectic and cozy cottage style involves a lot of patterns and textures. Think: granny florals (the good kind), paisley, plaid, and even ruffles. Really, any cozy pattern with a sense of nostalgia will do. For furniture, opt for classic styles, like skirted or slipcovered sofas, rolled arms, and tufted ottomans—all with some sort of applied ornamentation.

To compliment the classic patterns and textures in this style, we love a color palette of yellows and blues, with pops of red. It creates a look that’s both cheery and cozy. When decorating in this style, you can take a “more is more” approach. Cover surfaces in decorative objects that tell a story, along with plenty of books. These could be decorative objects you’ve collected on your travels, found at antique stores, or even hand-me-downs from your grandmother!

the holiday interior designThis Look Is For You If…

You like cozy spaces that are full of personal touches. This is not a style for minimalists, because there’s a lot going on. But if you love getting cozy, surrounded by objects and books that you love, this look is for you!

Try The Holiday Style on in Your Home

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Great Layout Guide: 2 Layout Ideas for a Living Room in a Small Apartment

small living room layoutIn our Layout Guides series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. This week we take on the challenge of designing a small living room layout, with two multipurpose designs that save space and look good.

The Space: A small living room in a city apartment

The Style: Southwestern Chic

The Challenge: Creating a multipurpose living room layout that saves space and looks good.

When it comes to decorating a home, the blank space of a living room can feel like a very daunting challenge. Creating a space where you can chill out on your own or with family, entertain guests, watch TV, display art and photos, find room for storage, etc. takes some serious strategizing!

And if your living room is on the smaller side, then you have to be even craftier in your design work. A super tiny space, like a city apartment for instance, requires a small living room layout that checks all these boxes. Read on for our guide to designing a multi-purpose small living room layout that saves space and looks good.

small living room layoutLayout #1: Entertainment Layout

This small living room layout is all about entertaining. The design allows for open traffic flow into the room and leaves plenty of space to navigate around furniture. Instead of a coffee table, we used two poufs for the centerpiece of the room. They can double as a footrest, extra seating or a coffee table. The sofa has a clever built-in arm/side table so you don’t have to bother with an extra piece of furniture. And the wall-mounted desk/bookcase offers plenty of space-saving storage, leaving the floor free.

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Key Elements in This Small Living Room Layout for Entertaining

Ample Seating: This layout features a large, cozy sofa and a deep armchair as the traditional seating options. But the two poufs centered as a coffee table can also be split apart and used as additional seats for when extra guests swing by.

Optical Illusions: Both the mirror and the open-base furniture are great small space hacks. The mirror makes the room look much bigger. And open, airy furniture creates a sense that space is larger because it’s not bulky or visually heavy.

Chic Style: The Southwest chic style is trendy and very small space savvy! White walls and a light wood floor help keep the space feeling minimal, clean and uncluttered. And the exposed brick, neutral accessories and natural materials give it a warm, welcoming quality.

Can an Entertaining Layout Work in Your Small Living Room? Yes if You…

  • Love to entertain and want to easily make room for more visitors
  • Prefer a conversational area over TV viewing
  • Enjoy a sparse, beautiful and clutter-free space
  • Want your space to feel cozy and warm

small living room layoutLayout #2: TV Viewing Layout

Design #2 is a multi-purpose small living room layout with an emphasis on TV viewing. The sofa fits perfectly against the back wall so it doesn’t take up extra floor space by jutting out. Having the TV mounted against the wall directly across from the TV is optimal for viewing and also saves space. This layout offers a cozy spot for you to kick back and see what’s new on Netflix.

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Key Elements in This Small Living Room Layout for TV Viewing

TV Viewing Space: In this small living room layout, the sofa is positioned so it faces the TV and offers prime viewing ability. You can stretch out on the sofa and use the tucked away pouf as extra seating when needed.

Smart Storage: The large credenza under the TV provides tons of extra storage inside the small living room. Because the TV is mounted on the wall, it leaves room for such a large furniture item below it so you can make sure all your excess clutter is hidden away.

Fun Furniture: The small coffee table is perfect for this room because it is big enough to hold decor, beverages, remotes, etc. but it also doesn’t take up a ton of floor space—something important in a small room! The credenza doubles up as storage and the stylish pouf can be used for extra seating but also tucks away under the coffee table when you’re not using it.

Can a TV Viewing Layout Work in Your Small Living Room? Yes if You…

  • Love a cozy space to watch TV
  • Live alone or don’t need a lot of extra seating
  • Need your space to be beautiful and clutter-free
  • Love a sparse, minimalist design with a cool and relaxing vibe

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9 Ways to Make the Most of Your Small Living Room

If you feel like your living room is always cramped and cluttered, you aren’t alone. Let’s face it—small living room design can be a struggle. Especially in light of the fact that it’s the room you likely spend the most time in and also needs to be super functional. But don’t let your small living room cramp your style!

Some people say the only way to make a small living room work is by avoiding dark wall colors or certain types of furniture. But we disagree. You don’t have to sacrifice your personal style to make the most of your small living room. Here are a few tried and true tips from our designers that are sure to help you ace your small living room design for a space that’s big on style and functionality.

small living room tips1. Use Your Walls

If your living room is short on floor space, it’s time to get creative by using your walls! Wall-mounted storage options are amazing and they give you all the same functionality without taking up floor space. Think about using a bookcase to double as a side table or even try one with a built-in desk option. It reduces clutter, maximizes storage, and means you have one less piece of furniture to buy.

small space hack2. Go for Clear Furniture

One small living room design trick that often goes unnoticed is to use clear furniture. Clear, or even mirrored, furniture helps to reduce visual clutter which is a must-have in a small space. The optical illusion creates a more open and airy look instead of dense, heavy pieces that sit directly on the floor. You can get the same effect using furniture that sits on tall, tapered legs, as well. (Ever wondered why Mid-Century Modern design is so popular in urban spaces? Because it’s a great style for small rooms!)

small living room design3. Use an Organic Shaped Rug

Sometimes it can be a struggle to find a rug that fits into your small living room design. They often seem way too big or awkwardly small for tight spaces. Rather than drawing attention to the small size of your room with a rug that doesn’t fit, try using one with an organic shape. We love options like this cowhide rug. It has the same function and doesn’t need to follow any rules as far as room shape and size.

4. Hang Your Curtains High

One easy trick for making your small living room seem larger, is to hang your curtains up high! This gives the impression that your ceilings are extra tall and will draw the eye up rather than down. It’s a clever optical illusion that will make your space seem much larger than it is.

small living room design5. Skip the Coffee Table

In a room that’s already packed to the max, skipping out on unessential furniture items is the way to go. So we say get a little crazy and skip the coffee table. If you’re short on space, you can benefit from the open area to use in other ways, like this living room that uses two poufs to double as footrests and a makeshift coffee table. And they can be used as extra seats in a pinch!

6. Use Your Sofa to Divide the Space

If you’re doubling down on your space to create both a living and dining area, use your sofa to divide up the room. The back of a sofa creates a “zone” by partitioning the space into different areas. Having a makeshift wall like this helps to create a sense of rooms within rooms.

small living room design7. Make It Multi-Purpose

Having limited living room space means you need to get the most bang for your buck. Opt for furniture pieces that serve multiple functions—such as using a bench as a coffee table, or a bookcase as a room divider.

8. Maximize Every Square Inch

Another way to make your small living room look great is to make sure you’re using every square inch of space. Tuck in storage where you can, like these baskets hiding behind the open door in space that would have otherwise gone unused. Think about ways to work in extra storage, tuck in a desk, or even extra seating.

small living room design9. Add Sneaky Storage

You’d never guess that this coffee table has interior storage, would you?! Pieces like this are a great hack for small living room design. Instead of adding more clutter with bulky storage pieces, add furniture items that serve multiple functions. Enclosed storage is also great because it’s super low-maintenance—no one knows what kind of mess you’re hiding in there.

Need Help With Your Small Living Room Design?

Want some extra interior design tips for your living room? When it comes to interior design for small living rooms, sometimes it helps to bring in the experts. Our Modsy designers are pros at maximizing space while bringing your style to life. Browse our Interior Design 101 page for more info on how we can help!

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