Eight Ways to Add Color and Flair to a Modern Room

Updated on May 14, 2019

There is something so timeless and chic about a modern living room. The minimalist approach adds extra space, the black and white furniture pieces can coordinate perfectly with anything, and everything always seems to have a nice, clean look.

Those crisp lines can easily become cold and unfeeling, though. The square edges of that modern furniture can halt conversation in its tracks and make people feel like going elsewhere.

Having a modern living room that belongs in the centrefold of a magazine can leave homeowners feeling anything but cozy. It may have seemed like a good idea at first, but most homeowners wind up wanting to add a little bit of energy to their homes after a few colorless months.

These awesome ideas can help add more energy and color to those cold, modern living rooms.


Picking up a few decorative pillows is the easiest way to add more color to an area. They are available in every shape, size, and color. Toss some lime green, circular pillows in the corner of the couch for some more energy. Adding a couple of rose pink pillows is a great way to add a touch of elegance. For a cozy feel, go with traditional colors like browns and maroon.

Remember, any accent color will look great with both white and black.

Create an Accent Wall

An accent wall is the perfect thing to add some color and personality. For those that don’t know, an accent wall is one feature wall that is usually a different color. Go with a color that will stand out and grab a person’s attention when they walk through the doorway, like cyan or a gorgeous olive green.

Painting is just the first step for creating an accent wall. This wall should feature beautiful artwork, shelves with vases on them or at least a few family photos. It should be enough to give an area that wow factor all on its own.

Go Green

Plants are a great way to make a living space feel cozy. Pick up a few gorgeous flowers to give a modern living room some color. If you just can’t seem to keep a plant alive, stop in the florist to ask them what plants are low maintenance. If that’s not going to work, check out some plastic options that you just have to dust.

Fake flowers have a bad reputation for looking fake and tacky, but the market is changing. There are fake flowers that look as real as the ones in your neighbor's garden.


Rugs add some color and texture to a living room to give it a lived-in feel instead of making guests feel like they just set foot in a doctor’s office.

Go with geometrical patterns to keep the modern/contemporary look. Purchasing a rug with blues or purples is the perfect splash of color in a living room. Try to avoid damask patterns that your grandma would probably buy.

Put rugs in key places, such as under the coffee table or the entertainment center to help them grab a person’s attention.

Avoid places that are usually walked on, such as entryways and walkways. Most people expect rugs to be there, so they pay them no attention.

Re-Upholster Furniture

Just because the area started out in black and white doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way, and homeowners don’t have to go buy all new furniture, either. Instead, this cost effective way to brighten up a colorless room will help you keep more money in the bank.

Pick out an armchair, and go have it upholstered in a fun, new color. A red armchair will stand out and help make guests feel more welcome. Lighter blue is another fun color for furniture, and it will make a great conversation starter. You can go with whatever color you want. Even tie-dye can work in a modern living space.

Professionals have the skill and experience to re-upholster just about any piece of furniture to make it look like new again.

Artsy Appeal

Everyone has a tiny artsy side in them somewhere, and it’s time to let that side shine through. Check out local galleries for beautiful pieces of artwork that will help make the room look more put together, and colorful.

If you want to save some money, pick up some canvas and paints to create your own artwork. You don’t have to have a lot of talent to splash some baby blue and black paint on a white piece of canvas and call it contemporary. This can be done in less than a day, is cheap and the kids will have a blast with it.

Curtains and Window Treatments

Curtains are a great way to add some personality. Go with navy blue or deep reds for a dramatic look that will remain fashionable for decades. Layered looks never go out of style. This is also a great place to bring a pattern into a room, or to use a pattern to bring multiple colors together in a room.

Window treatments are another great option. Blinds with sunset scenes can add enough color that there will be no need for accent pieces. Solid colors are still a great option, too. Pick up some navy blinds to add color without adding too much.

When it comes to curtains and window treatments, there is something for everyone that wants to add color to a modern living space.


Yes, that’s right, books. These are the perfect thing to add color to a living room. The great thing about using books as an accent is that they can be switched out if the color gets boring. This is a nice way to play around with color to decide what you really like.

You don’t even have to build a bookshelf to use books as an accent. Instead, simply stack them horizontally on the bottom shelf of a coffee table, end table or entertainment center. Floating bookshelves are another great way to display stacks of books.

Usually, books are thought of as a traditional accent piece, but more and more modern home decorators are using books as their signature choice to add pops of color or to help balance out the color in a modern living area.

Modern living rooms don’t have to be crisp and colorless. Crisp is good, but colorless can get boring after awhile. It can be a bit intimidating to suddenly bring a bright orange chair into the house, though.

If that sounds like you, it’s always a good idea to start small. Instead of getting the furniture re-upholstered or spending a few hundred on a new rug, go with a small accent piece that will add a little bit of color. Start with some books or a lampshade.

After that, slowly work your way into bigger accent pieces throughout the home, like vases and artwork. As you add more color, you’ll wonder why you were scared to go with that lime green pillow or those beautiful blue pillows.


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