Top interior designers share their tips to create stylish and contemporary living rooms.

Reduce clutter

“Life can sometimes be overwhelming. We find a minimal, pared-down aesthetic is the best way to create a suitable space for modern living. This means a clutter-free environment where only the items that serve a purpose are included. This extends to a limited quantity of pieces of art and pieces that are there because you love them.” – Lane Reeves, interior designer and founder of Metaphor Design

Metaphor Design

Incorporate curves

“Clean lines are still wonderful but we do love a curve. Humans are craving softness and simplicity and pieces that meet these criteria are met. Sharp edges are making way for arches in architecture and rounded corners on furniture pieces.” – Lane Reeves, interior designer and founder of Metaphor Design

Metaphor Design

Create layers

“Create layer upon layer of rich and textured velvets, fabrics, soft underfoot rugs, art and wallcoverings with coveted contemporary furniture and custom-made pieces and balance with a deliciously dark palette.” – Schanè Anderson, creative director at Olala Interiors

Olala Interiors

Introduce textures

“Mix natural wooden elements alongside highly polished, contemporary pieces to create an eclectic, yet classically contemporary, mix. Using exceptionally high-quality materials, with superb design selection and attention to detail, ensure a signature home.” – Schanè Anderson, creative director at Olala Interiors

Olala Interiors

Consider configurations

“Choosing the correct configuration of the seating in your room is very important. A sectional sofa will create a lot of extra seating for the whole family and looks clean and modern. Comfort and the flow of the space is just as important.” – Charlet Roux, owner and head designer at Studio Roux

Studio Roux

Confident in colour

“Colour is one of the most important aspects of a stylish contemporary living room. It is a common misconception that a modern interior is all about bright white. In fact, contemporary living rooms should have a strong contrast in the colours used, even if you use mainly white with one important piece of furniture that intentionally stands out.” – Leanne Van Niekerk, designer and owner of LVN Interiors

LVN Interiors

Monochrome magic

Express luxury through a simpler, more elegant look. Monochromatic palettes provide more opportunity to experiment with colour and allow for creativity with artwork and deco objects and accents. Texture can be introduced through soft furnishings – think bouclé, wool and faux fur. A contemporary design aesthetic is about innovation and adding one’s own personality to your living space.” – Karin Cawthorne, owner of KARE Johannesburg

KARE Johannesburg

Keep it neutral

“For a living room that is stylish and contemporary, neutral colours are a timeless choice, especially if you are not a big fan of bright hues. Just be sure to pair neutral furnishings with a wide range of textures, from smooth surfaces and comfortable fabrics to soft woven accents. Consider pieces made from natural materials like wood, jute and metal, as well as organic fabrics such as linen and cotton to add depth and dimension to your space. Consider a range of neutral palettes from charcoal greys to creamy off-whites, which will give your space a sense of warmth and comfort.” – Leanne Van Niekerk, designer and owner of LVN Interiors

LVN Interiors

Add natural elements

“Natural organic elements are the easiest way to liven up a contemporary living room from plants to natural fibres and woods. Alongside sleek shapes and minimalist design, lush greenery and natural textures provide rich contrasts that instantly add warmth and a bright, airy feel to your living space. To achieve a balanced look, spread these organic textures and accents throughout your living room.” – Leanne Van Niekerk, designer and owner of LVN Interiors

LVN Interiors