Photo Gallery: Contemporary & Modern Living Rooms
Be inspired by sleek spaces.
Vintage and modern furniture and accessories bring colour and texture to this space.
Stylist Claire Stubbs entertains dinner guests frequently, so she had Toronto firm Anthony Concrete Design make the clever fireplace hearth, which runs long enough to become seating for her 12-person dining table. White walls, recessed baseboards and an absence of trim and mouldings create a gallery-like setting for her collection of paintings by local artists.
See more Contemporary & Modern Living Rooms in our photo gallery.
Floor-to-ceiling windows make this room feel immensely spacious.
A cosy sectional delineates the living area, featuring a large-scale cedar and stone fireplace — the same materials used on the exterior of the home. A coffee table by Vancouver artisan Brent Comber offers a rustic touch.
A white-resin Oly Studio coffee table pops against neutral furniture with a clean-lined, mid-century modern feel.
A love of natural materials, organic shapes and superb artistry creates a tactile and visual feast in the home of fashion designers Joe Mimran and Kimberley Newport-Mimran. The Martha Sturdy ball sculpture, David Hicks style geometric rug and twig side table create texture and visual interest in this space.
Different woods and cosy textiles warm up this room.
In this upstairs den, photography by Colin Faulkner and a whimsical area rug create a personalized context for iconic mid-century pieces such as a Noguchi table and Arco lamp.
A palette of black, white and grey adds graphic punch to this living room’s simple setup.
Low-profile furniture keeps the eye focused on the fireplace, which is framed by a wall hand-finished with a high-sheen, two-tone polished plaster treatment and a wide granite hearth.
Colourful printed pillows offer an eclectic, cosy note in an otherwise sleek space.
To keep the living room's neutrals from reading as bland, homeowner and stylist Sabrina Linn used pieces with texture and tone-on-tone prints, including the herringbone sisal area rug, animal-print art and striped floor-to-ceiling drapes.
Different textures combine for visual interest.
This 1970s home on Calgary’s Lake Bonavista was renovated into a contemporary space that maintained the integrity of the original architecture. The sunken living room shows the house’s retro personality. Design firm McIntyre Bills added a flamed granite slab to the original stonework of the fireplace, creating a juxtaposition of different textures. The smooth hardwood and shag rug also add to the play on texture.
See more designs from McIntyre Bills in our photo gallery.
Designers Nathalie Bouchard and Annie Horth describe this space as “a little bit monsieur.”
A seductive play of tones, textures and silhouettes evokes a lounge-like vibe in this living room. A New York flea market yielded the ageless tufted-leather sofa and chairs, contrasted against a pale antique rug and glass-and-metal tables. Sexy black lamps and an abstract wood sculpture offset the linear window frames.
An open condo with a classic, masculine aesthetic.
A striking fir ceiling evokes a warm loft look. Clean-lined sofas arranged around a large rug create the intimate feel of a cosy sectional. A large plant adds texture and helps divide the open space.
An oversized chandelier adds drama to a warm space.
This living room is flooded with light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Homeowner and designer Ashley Botten’s challenge was to create a cosy, inviting space for her young family; she accomplished that with grey-green walls, softly hanging grey drapes and ethnic textiles.
Watch a tour of this home on H&H Online TV.
For more lighting options, see our Statement Lighting photo gallery.
Demarcate a hallway with a sofa, leaving room on both sides for access.
Graphic black and white accents, a shag rug and a sleek waterfall coffee table enhance this style-savvy room. A window bench provides extra seating without cutting into floor space, and features Marimekko’s Joonas cushion cover on either end, by designers Maija and Kirstina Isola, and the Bottna cover by Anna Danielsson.
For more rooms with Marimekko prints, visit our photo gallery.
Homeowners Krista and Chris Cooper renovated this Whistler chalet to accommodate their family of four.
Warm, neutral fabrics, durable wood furniture and a textured rug are dog- and kid-friendly. “I love having kids running around and we encourage all of our friends to bring their pets,” says Krista. An open-concept living-dining area allows them to spend more quality time together.
Get more decorating ideas in our Family Friendly Homes photo gallery.
Practical firewood adds an artistic touch when stacked to maximum capacity.
Maude Arsenault and Eric Tessier painted the exposed brick in their Montreal home the same colour as the walls to give the room a seamless look, while floating white shelves allow selected objects to stand out.
Build a firewood nook for convenience and a graphic hit.
On chillier days, designer Peter Fleming’s double-sided fireplace helps heat the living room and principal bedroom. To give the metal surround a warmer look, Peter rusted it with a solution of rock salt and warm water, then waxed it to a dull finish. A rehabilitated Russel Spanner chair, saved from a junk store, contributes to the house’s mid-century modern vibe.
Warm wood floors and white walls bounce natural light across the room.
Modular leather sofas flank a Niels Bendtsen glass coffee table in this sparsely furnished space. Vancouver architect Clinton Cuddington modified a prefab fireplace unit,
removing its faux-brick insert, to create the clean-lined wood-burning fireplace and its twin log storage cubby.
For more inspiration from western Canada, see our Photo Gallery: The Best Of The West.
Layers of colour and texture elevate a clean-lined space.
This Calgary condo’s living room has a low-profile sectional sofa and backless chaise to keep views unobstructed. The glass coffee table with a geometric chrome base complements the space’s clean, minimal aesthetic, while a rustic cowhide rug, luxurious velvet pillows and a seagrass basket layer on warmth and texture.
For more inspiration from western Canada, see our Photo Gallery: The Best Of The West.
West-facing windows are softened with sheer roman blinds.
The '60s abstract by Robert Swain cues the subtle pink, purple and blue accents. Two big sofas give the effect of a sectional, while the Barcelona chairs keep the space open and welcoming.
This 1920’s Toronto residence captures the owners’ passion for art and architecture.
In this living room decorated by Lloyd Ralphs Design, a contemporary sofa, chairs and ottomans are juxtaposed with standout pieces like a Gae Aulenti coffee table, an Ashley Hicks cocktail table and sculptural accessories. Splashes of burnt orange and animal print pillows complement the room’s warm palette.
Use a retro colour palette to recreate a vintage looking space.
White cabinets were placed on either side of this fireplace to hide electronics, CDs and photo albums. The fireplace’s red bricks were painted white, and a spare surround was added, allowing the room’s key pieces, such as the mid-century modern Eames lounge chair, to stand out.
See more stylish spaces in our Vintage Chic Photo Gallery.
Brad Ford designs a soft, layered space.
This living room exemplifies 2011’s new layered look, with luxurious textures like velvet, faux fur, leather, sisal and well-curated books, plants and objets to give modern style a cosy update. Nods to classic modernism endure with timeless furniture and crisp white walls, but the overall look is softened with hand-thrown pottery, ample pillows, tufted upholstery and lots of wood. Silvery blue keep the palette au courant, while warm earthy tones enhance the homey vibe.
See more 2011 trend looks in our photo gallery.
A curvy chair with nailhead trim offsets the sleek lines of this room’s pewter grey-green furnishings.
“This home’s boldness gives it a real western Canadian feel,” says homeowner and designer Douglas Cridland. From his Calgary home’s coffered walnut ceiling and arched windows, to its olivewood built-ins and honed black granite floor, the luxe materials reflect Doug’s well-travelled tastes.
For more design & decorating ideas, browse our Inspiring Calgary Interiors photo gallery.
Mix classic furniture with contemporary touches for a modern family home.
Tracey Lebedovich and Josh Fehr of North Vancouver won ‘Best House’ in our 2009 Design Contest for turning a dated, wood-panelled ranch house into a stylish, functional home. In the living room, natural light pours through two walls of windows, keeping the main level open and bright all year round. A retro colour scheme and mid-century Eames chairs nod to the original style of the house.
In this 520-square-foot condo, glass walls delineate the living area and bedroom while allowing light to infiltrate the entire space.
A streamlined sofa, sheer drapes, white washed brick walls and glossy flooring combine to create a sleek and modern loft space.
A graphic fireplace wall and shapely modern furniture add character to this living room.
"I'm a big fan of Scandinavian design," says New York-based interior designer Brad Ford. "It’s simple and uncomplicated, yet functional and stylish."
Elegant furniture contrasts with exposed pipes and beams.
The home of DwellStudio founder Christiane Lemieux and her family, this SoHo loft in New York perfectly blends old-world style with industrial accents. Matching black columns and lamps add punch in an otherwise neutral space. Gilt offers a feminine note.
See more photos of Lemieux’s glam and graphic New York loft.
Crisp windows without mouldings, clean lines and a light palette keep this 828-square-foot condo open.
With a bleached-hardwood floor and an architectural mantel and fireplace, this living room has a mix of modern furniture and vintage finds, like the candleholder above the fireplace. Leggy furniture emphasizes the airy feel.
Create a bright and inviting multi-functional space with a mix of furniture styles.
“The leather sofa was from Arriz’s old loft; it’s actually a collector’s item,” says House & Home editor Suzanne Dimma. “The den was the only place in the whole house where it would fit, so we had to make it work. I love it when someone gives you a challenge and you have to work around it.” Suzanne saved space by combining the den with a home office, and added offset cabinets above the desk to add interest to the office area.
See more rooms from Suzanne’s new house, plus her old house, in our gallery of Suzanne’s houses.
Cement ceilings add an organic note to this otherwise refined space.
Embrace the raw elements of condos and lofts, but add your own personal touches. The contemporary walnut wall, built-in bookshelf, shag rug and purple accent cushions lend a feminine touch to this industrial space, for instance.
Architect couple Christine Ho Ping Kong and Peter Tan transformed a back-alley concrete shell into a sleek, family space.
This award-winning Toronto home features an open concept kitchen that separates the living room from the office area. A plywood and teak veneered island is equipped with a cooktop and sink while the teak-covered range hood also houses lighting. Varnished plywood ceilings and walls create warmth and keep the sun-drenched space from feeling too bright. Poured-concrete flooring gives the home an industrial vibe.
Mod vintage furniture and ornate mouldings combine to create an eclectic living room look.
“My current home completely lacks architectural detail — despite it being almost 100 years old — so the mouldings in this space have me oozing with jealousy,” says Kim Johnson, co-author of the popular Desire to Inspire blog. “They are so glamorous and elegant. I love the juxtaposition of their classic vibe with the mid-century furnishings — quite an unexpected pairing.”
See more Desire to Inspire favourites in our photo gallery.
Concrete columns were left unfinished to preserve this loft’s industrial flavour.
In the formal living room of Toronto developer Peter Freed, carved grey Philippe Starck sofas and a quartet of conversation provoking stools add whimsy and theatre to an otherwise pared-down space.
Built-ins define this space and add vertical interest.
Artwork, shelves and full-length drapes draw the eye upward, making this space appear larger. Interior designer Mazen El-Abdallah, of Mazen Studio, designed his 900-square foot rowhouse to feel like a chic New York townhouse.
Green design and salvaged furniture delivers maximum style with minimum environmental impact.
This family room’s south-facing windows provide passive solar heating and plenty of natural light. The modern rustic cube tables are made from salvaged maple.
The white fireplace and accents pop against walls painted a warm shade of dark brown.
Erika Federspiel of Toronto won “Best Living Room Transformation” in our 2008 design contest for this character-filled space. Erika had the Danish chair and ottoman refinished and reupholstered to work with the room’s black, grey and brown palette.
See more of Erika’s dramatic living room in the April 2009 issue.
Use grey, brown and taupe hues to create a zen vibe.
Toss pillows and a fur throw add a luxurious touch to a modern linen sectional in the living room of ET Canada's host. The low seating of the couch creates the illusion of higher ceilings in the space.
Multi-purpose living room/ bedroom furniture proves versatile in a compact studio.
Featuring a pivoting TV stand and revolving end table, this cleverly designed console serves both the living room and bedroom areas of this small open-concept space.
Modern elements meet classic details in this eye-catching space.
This glamorous black and white living room is grounded by a graphic patterned rug. A chunky wooden side table adds warmth and a visual break from the bold palette. Curvy bergere chairs are an opulent antique counterpoint and the large pencil drawing of the homeowner’s children adds a personal tone.
For more beautiful interiors by Lloyd Ralphs Design, see our photo gallery.
Reclaimed and recycled furniture looks chic.
This modern living room has a green side — the wood stools are made of reclaimed wood and the leather and chrome armchairs are vintage finds that have been re-upholstered and renewed.
Black and white makes this large living room all glamour.
Inspired by a Chanel suit, polished marble flooring and a wood-burning fireplace clad in Carrara marble set the tone of luxury in this stylish living room. A large area rug, which is actually six smaller rugs stitched together, anchors the space. Black and white is a timeless palette and by simply switching the colour of accessories you can change the look of the room.
Art objects and a rug warm up a sleek mantel.
The design of this living room is simple and streamlined, yet there’s a nod to cosiness. A horizontal piece of wood delineates the fireplace mantel and echoes the horizontal lines of the shelving. Touches of texture, like the rug, leather chairs and caned chairs, prevent the space from seeming austere.
A bright and modern space.
A finished basement feels more like an upstairs oasis when it’s packed with so many great design ideas. Floating walnut shelves, a gas fireplace with a rolled-steel surround, and a textural shag rug are just a few of the elements that elevate the space.
To see a full list of our reno trend predictions, view our 2011 Reno Trends photo gallery plus, find out which trend looks Lynda Reeves and Suzanne Dimma like most. Plus, watch a tour of this basement on Online TV and learn more Budget Basement Decorating Tips.
White walls and minimal decorating are the classic backdrop to any formal living room.
With an energy-efficient fireplace as its focal point, the seating area is grounded by a hide rug. A white sectional sofa is a blank canvas — echoing the rest of the room — and an ever-changing display for toss cushions in new palettes.
Vintage teak furniture sets a minimalist tone in this well-designed living room.
Wall-to-wall sliding glass doors framed in Spanish cedar allow light to flood this sparse yet calming room. The walls are painted in the creamy Dune White (CC-70) by Benjamin Moore, which complements the warm tones of the mid-century modern Danish furniture pieces.
Connect indoor and outdoor spaces with style.
Large, factory-style windows add drama to this airy, light-filled space designed by New York-based interior designer Steven Gambrel. Low furniture keeps the space open. Orange storage boxes displayed on shelves reference the slatted wood wall seen through the window, creating a connection between the indoor and outdoor rooms.
See more inspiring Gambrel designs in our photo gallery.