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Selecting a Sofa Set for Your Modern Living Room

Updated on December 23, 2014

Choosing a Set That Works With Your Colors

  • Grays work with everything
  • Color opposites give your room an exciting feel
  • Similar colors give you a feel of continuity and boldness

Never choose colors outside your color palette. Always have other objects which are the same color or of a similar hue in the room. Trim, other furniture, curtains or even statues will help bring out your palette.

How to Choose a Sofa Set Based on Style

Style is an important part of modern living room design. You shouldn't use anything that is too retro or too contemporary. That takes away virtually 60% of all choices. Lucky for you, there are still around 40% of all sofa sets to choose from. What it comes down to then is simply the other furniture, the color and the personality of the room.

There are roughly around 18 different types of sofas. However, since we are dealing purely with modern style sofa sets, we'll stick with eight.

Sofa Features

An L-shape or U-shape
Rolled arms with movable pillows
Mid-Century Modern
A squared shape
Small rolled arms with a high back
Pull-out Sofa
Pull out the bottom for a bed
Folds down into a bed
Love seat
Two seater
No arms

Cabo Sectional Sofa

A beautiful Cabo sectional sofa by Norwalk
A beautiful Cabo sectional sofa by Norwalk | Source

Sectional Sofas, not Just for Corners Anymore

Modern designs allow your otherwise one trick pony to move around the room freely. Create a socializing feel by moving it out of the corner and into a prominent location. Just place a center table (or coffee table) in the middle and at least one more chair on the side facing inward for a nice and comfortable talking area.

Don't get carried away, though. Some sectionals can get enormous and take up too much room. Be sure to leave room for your other furniture.

Comfort Has Been Found

Bishop Lounge Three-Seat Lawson Style Sofa
Bishop Lounge Three-Seat Lawson Style Sofa

This particular Lawson sofa is a three-seater and will fit almost any color scheme and bring comfort to your entire family.


The Comfortable Lawson Design

The Lawson design's signature is its movable pillows and its rolled arms. It can come in many different styles and colors. It is also great for different settings.

This is a perfect match for almost any color palette and allows for a great personal touch of the living room.

This type of design is seen as great for families with children of all ages.

This mid-century modern divan allows for great contrast to your walls while providing the needed comfort your family craves.
This mid-century modern divan allows for great contrast to your walls while providing the needed comfort your family craves. | Source

Mid-Century Modern Sofas not Retro Anymore

The mid-century modern sofa was popular between the 1940s and 1970s. However, recent designs have allowed this great looking design to come back with a vengeance.

There are many different styles of the mid-century modern, but the one thing they all have in common is a boxed, square shape. For a modern design, this is a fantastic attribute as long as you provide the rest of the room with perfect right angles.

A rolled arm English sofa in the sun
A rolled arm English sofa in the sun | Source

English Sofas Aren't Just for Brits

English sofas are known for their low rolled arm look and a high back. The sofa is generally highly cushioned and with tight upholstery.

These sofas offer comfort and uniqueness that can allow you to design your modern living room the way you always wanted. With the right center table and chairs, this can easily go from a traditional feel to a more modern and updated look.

DHP Microfiber Double Undfolding Sleeper Sofa Chair, Black
DHP Microfiber Double Undfolding Sleeper Sofa Chair, Black

This double unfolding sofa bed is perfect for your small apartment, dorm, or home. It gives a new modern look while adding that extra place for your friends and family to sleep the night away.


Pull-out Sofa Beds not Only for Parents

Pull-out sofas come in a lot of different styles. However, as you've guessed they simply have one thing in common: they can all be pulled out into a bed in no time.

This feature is often overlooked in today's modern living room. However, it is an important one and is great for small apartments and small homes. If you are having friends or family over, it's a great place for them to crash.

Just watch out, with the perfect modern living room, they may just want to stay a couple more nights.

Futon's can Look Great

A great looking futon ready for any modern home.
A great looking futon ready for any modern home. | Source

Futons: the Pull-out Alternative

The futon is highly underrated for living rooms. Many parents like to have them around for their children's bedrooms and college students like to have them as an extra place for friends. However, there are many great designs for the perfect modern living room.

The futon adds needed space and with the right look, can be the perfect addition to any home.


Love Seats for Small Places

Some people hate them. I love them. Love seats are fantastic for any and all small living rooms.

They come in a large variety of colors and styles. The trick is then to choose one which fits everything else in your living room. It should go with the rest of your furniture, the colors and of course, the modern style.


Divans: Roman or Otherwise

A divan is any sofa that doesn't have arms or doesn't have a back. Of course, in Roman times these types of sofas were used as an eating area. But today, most people who buy divans without backs put them against the wall and place pillows at the back.

Divans without arms promote a great modern look and can add extra flavor to your living room. I highly suggest using these types of divans instead of the ones without a back.

What is your favorite sofa design?

See results

Does it fit the Room?

Never take up too much space with your furniture. Like all designs, white space (also called empty space) is important and is just as, if not more important than the rest of the design.

When buying a sofa set, the space of your living room should be taken into consideration. Be sure to measure your living room along with all the furniture you have or are thinking about buying.

Also, keep in mind the right color combinations that will blend well with the color of your sofa set.

What Should Your Set Include?

Any sofa set needs to include, at a bare minimum, a sofa and a coffee table. This is when buying. Once you bring it home, you should then add to your set by putting carpet, side tables and any additional chairs you may need.

A quality set will likely already include the additional furniture. If not, don't worry. You can easily add to it yourself by keeping with the design and color scheme.

Coaster Regatta 3-Piece Set
Coaster Regatta 3-Piece Set

Choosing a sofa set like this one allows for ease of mind as it already includes a sofa, love seat and chair.

Buying your set at one place makes it easier on you and your design as you already know they have been matched by professionals.


Tip: Add Pillows!

A great addition to any sofa set is pillows. By adding the right amount and the right color, you can even transform a very traditional set into a new modern look. Just don't overdo it.

Pillow styles are great for your modern living room. The best styles of pillows include:

  • Stripes
  • Bold colors
  • Bright colors
  • Flowery designs
  • Artistic designs
  • Plain colors which match the sofa

Once you have a great match for your pillows, it will create a magnificent makeover of your living room.

What is Your Favorite Sofa Set Design?

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    • lindacee profile image

      Linda Chechar 

      4 years ago from Arizona

      This is the perfect Hub for anyone looking for a sofa to go in a modern or contemporary space. Very thorough and informative. I like the look of the new futons--much better than the one I had in the '80s! Thanks for sharing your sofa knowledge!

    • garyrh1 profile image


      4 years ago

      I like the mid-century modern and the Lawson model the best for a modern living room.

    • Ahdilarum profile image


      4 years ago

      Good suggestion for selecting nice sofa set. I prefer Lawson model.


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