How To Create Contemporary Living Room Style on a Budget

Contemporary style is all about clean space, crisp design and monochromatic palettes with splashes of bold accent color. While it may be nice to buy all new modern furniture, a contemporary living room can often be redesigned using what you already have, just by changing the approach. Here are some tips that will help you achieve contemporary style without breaking your budget on all new furniture or accessories.

Step 1

Tip 1: No more clutter.
Remember that contemporary design focuses on streamlined looks and clean open space. Use just a few appropriate accessories atop otherwise clean tabletops and find a place to store games, mail, newspapers, magazines and everyday items that have a way of surfacing in the living room.

Step 2

Tip 2: Go with slipcovers instead of new furniture.
Take your existing furniture from floral to modern with cotton twill or microfiber slipcovers. Choose neutral shades like taupe or cream or go with dark colors like chocolate or espresso.

Step 3

Tip 3: Modernize your palette.
Contemporary paint colors on the wall will instantly modernize your living room. Neutrals like cream, taupe or gray are good choices. You can add a pop of color on one wall with a trendy shade like apple green, or just use the trend in accent pillows, wall art or retro pieces from the thrift store.

Step 4

Tip 4:  Simplify form and pattern.
Look at magazines or catalog photos of contemporary rooms and you’ll find that the lines and shapes of items in the room are more important that a lot of detailed patterns. Patterns are simple basic geometrics and shapes are repeated and echoed: For example, you may find a grid of square framed photos on the wall, square shaped vases on a console and lamps with square bases.

Step 5

Tip 5: Decorate on the cheap.

Black and white photos in simple frames on the wall add a contemporary edge to the living room. Print out your own digital photos in black and white or download images online. If you can sew, make your own throw pillows from bold colored fabrics in geometric designs. Choose simple modern window treatments with paper, fabric or matchstick shades from a discount store.

Step 6

Tip 6: Rearrange with contemporary attitude.
Contemporary living rooms focus on open space; if some of your pieces don’t work in the room, this is the perfect excuse to designate them for a garage sale or resale shop; what you earn can be recycled into modern accents for your living room. Play with the arrangement of the remaining furniture so that the room seems open and expansive. Think less about symmetry and more about balance.

Step 7

Tip 7: Create a focal point on the wall.
Create a bold modern canvas art for next to nothing. Buy a blank canvas and several colors of acrylic paint at a craft store and create an abstract art built on fluid shapes and circles. Or block off portions of the canvas with masking tape and create sharp angled geometric shapes.

Step 8

Tip 8: Change out the lamps.
Your old-fashioned lamps will look totally out of place in your contemporary living room. Replace them with lamps sporting clean straight lines and clear glass or metallic bases. Browse a few discount stores or look for a sale at a higher end furniture store. Don’t buy all matching lamps; find a variety that have something in color – such as a color or finish – that ties them together.

This article was written by the authors at - an online wall art store featuring hanging wall vases, wrought iron wall plaque and large mounted candle holders.

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