A small modern loft in a luxury residential complex, a small villa in a quiet residential area, an elegant cottage surrounded by nature.
There are many different types of housing and, in any case, whatever the size of your living space is, there will always be a need for special care in terms of furnishing.
This, especially when the apartments are small in size: the space is small, but the arrangement options and furnishing proposals are not.
However, there are several furnishing solutions that can optimise the little space available by providing everything you need in terms of functionality, and without neglecting the aesthetic side and the overall harmony of the room.
These solutions are available for any furnishing style, but especially for contemporary style, which, by definition, is based on the modern concepts of rationalisation of space, multi-functionality, versatility and the ability to adapt to sudden changes in the market and people's needs/habits.
Furnishing a home in contemporary style does not mean creating an environment in which the only focus is functionality and practicality of use, as this would mean an aseptic interior, a cold, ‘soul-less’ and decidedly unwelcoming composition.
Actually, this style is anything but cold. Contemporary furniture uses innovative materials and process technology to create dynamic scenarios, open to sharing and change, creating unique and original compositions, precisely because they are customised to the real needs of those who live in the home.
Nor does it disdain stylistic admixtures, with combinations of furnishings, decorations and lavish details that interpret the canons of classical beauty in a modern key, creating refined and cosy environments in which luxury and functionality are perfectly balanced.
In this in-depth article, we will see how to choose furniture and sofas for the contemporary living room when space is at a premium.
In addition to choosing the most suitable furniture to enhance a small living room, in these cases it is also important to know a few tricks to make the most of the floor spaceand to increase the perception of space.
- Main characteristics of contemporary style
- Modern living room: contemporary shapes and timeless elegance
- How to furnish a contemporary living room in a small flat: 3 useful tips
- Contemporary living room sets for your small flat: the Adora collections
Main characteristics of contemporary style
As mentioned,a living room - or any other room - in a contemporary style, requires a type of furniture inspired by convenience of use in everyday life, rational organisation of space, flexibility, innovation and technology.
The watchwords that distinguish this style are:
- Simple lines and shapes
- Attractive design
Furthermore, contemporary-style living rooms are recognisable by their stylistic uniformity, brightness and, where possible, the absence of dividing elements (doors, walls).
If in the past, houses were designed by dividing the space into many rooms (the entrance hall, the corridor, the dining room, the living room, the kitchen), today we tend to do exactly the opposite: it is better to have one large, airy and bright room, thanks to the presence of several windows and the absence of visual barriers, rather than many dark and cramped spaces.
Therefore, even in smaller homes, the trend remains to design the living room as an open, shared space where light can be used to visually broaden horizons and give the illusion of greater perspective.
Materials used in contemporary style
The most commonly used materials for modern wall and floor coverings include:
- Rectified stoneware
- Porcelain stoneware and ultra-thin stoneware
- Single-fired tiles
The first three are mainly used to cover floors, giving them a striking (and ultra-modern) visual and stylistic uniformity. The smooth, seamless surface appears perfectly homogenous and compact, reinforcing the minimalism and practicality of contemporary style.
Other coverings, especially stoneware and ceramics, are popular because they are durable, easy to clean and very versatile. Stoneware, together with laminates, can take on a variety of guises, thanks to the various wood and stone effects.
The latter - wood and stone - are evergreen materials: they know no styles or eras.
Parquet floors can be adapted to any furnishing style, simply by varying the wood essence, colour and graphic 'pattern'; the same versatility applies to stone floors, which, depending on the nuances and surface finish, can decorate any furnishing context with charm and stylistic sophistication.
Contemporary furniture surfaces are also characterised by a mix of design, innovation, durability and practicality. They range from innovative materials such as Fenix, Corian and Silestone, to refined screen-printed or lacquered finishes. One of the most suitable solutions for contemporary furnishing is the lacquered finish (glossy or matt) on MDF panels.
Colours used in contemporary style
On the podium of the most used colours in contemporary style are white, black and grey, mixed in a balanced way, taking into account the different shades, combinations and the 'golden rule' of contrasts.
White and its variants (cream, ivory, pearl white, cream) is widely used for furniture and sofas; dove grey and the whole scale of greys (including silver) is popular for wall colours, while black is used for accessories and decorative objects.
Obviously, this is not a paradigm; not infrequently, white walls and black furniture, the latter in both glossy and matt finishes, are chosen to create a chic and modern contrast.
Other times, black is used to create a focal point and emphasise the prominence of a furniture design, as in the case of the Allure collection corner sofa.
The contemporary style tends to favour contrasts (not only black and white, but also white and red, white and orange, etc.) and/or bold combinations (purple and acid green, blue and red, etc.), rather than soft, pastel colours.
The exception is the scale of beiges and browns, used for walls as an alternative to grey and white, when you want to dilute the 'coldness' of contemporary minimalism by giving the living room a more intimate and cosy dimension.
Modern living room: contemporary shapes and timeless elegance
The modern contemporary living room is governed by a geometric arrangement of accessories. Combined furniture can thus create a precise composition.
When refined details of classicist taste meet the simplicity and essential forms of modern furniture, this creates, a combination so sophisticated and special, that any attempt at classification seems reductive.
On the other hand, how could we define an environment in which different inspirations and atmospheres coexist, none prevailing over the other, but cohesive to create a balanced, harmonious and unique image?
If we really wanted to assign a label, we could go for 'classic-contemporary style' or 'contemporary-chic'.
The essence is the same: when contemporary minimalism draws on classic luxury, we are in the presence of a timeless style that eludes definitions as well as fashions, and which reinforces the idea that, regardless of trends and stylistic strands, what cannot be missing in a successful interior design project is good taste, quality and the ability to embrace beauty.
In its most sophisticated and classicist declination, a contemporary living room remains true to its essentiality - the forms are simple, linear, mostly square and with few frills - but is enriched with decorative elements typical of the classical expression, such as frames, friezes, golden details, gleaming surfaces and lavish graphic motifs.
A perfect example of the contemporary-classic combination can be found in the Adora collections, in which classical references are indeed present, but framed within a scheme with a modern imprint, i.e. repetition, which is functional to emphasise the visual-stylistic continuity typical of the contemporary world.
In the Poesia collection for example, what is repeated is the contrast between the glossy ivory marble finish and the luxurious Emperador Dark effect screen-printed glass surfaces. But we also find a leitmotiv in the geometric shape of the metal handles, which can be found in all rooms, from the living room to the lounge to the bedroom.
In the Diamante collection the references to the classic luxury style are even more evident, as is the decision to use them as a recurring element to create visual uniformity: both handles and legs, whose shape is inspired by the cut of the precious stone from which the collection takes its name, are repeated in the same way in all the furniture and in all the rooms of the collection. We can say that each piece of furniture is a jewel.
Also the sofa in this collection with its fan shape, is inspired by the design of the first sofas of the Neoclassical era, taken in turn from the Empire style of the Fantasia collection by Arredoclassic.
The one proposed by the Adora brand is a contemporary-chic reinterpreting the icons of classicism in a modern key.
The background atmosphere of the collections, understated and sophisticated, is 'lit up' by sudden flashes of colour - think of the striking peacock blue-gold combination of the Atmosfera sofa or the Sipario chaise longue in plum and gold edging -, by details in gold, bronze and marble finishes, and by the use of original decorations, such as the leitmotif we find in the Sipario collection, perhaps the brightest and most shining of all those of the brand.
In Sipario, every piece of furniture - the sideboard, the jewellery cupboard, the coffee table, the large dining room table - is embellished with a sophisticated diamond-decorated outer frame, a feature that makes the collection instantly recognisable.
How to furnish a contemporary living room in a small flat: 3 useful tips
When creating the furnishing of a living room in a small apartment, it is a good idea to choose furnishings that can give personality to the environment but that do not overload the space both visually and spatially.
But how is it possible to achieve such a balanced result?
Just follow these 3 guidelines:
- Measure the area of the living room and the height of the ceiling
- Create a moodboard with the help of an interior designer
- Choose and combine furniture in a composition of great comfort and style
Let us continue by analyzing each point individually.
1. Measure the area of the living room and the height of the ceiling
This first step will be essential for designing and furnishing your living room. Measuring the area will allow you to determine right away the space available and then guide you on the best furniture to choose.
While the measurement of the height of the ceiling will help you understand which lighting solutions you may install. In this manner, you will know if it is necessary to opt for wall lamps rather than ceiling lamps, choosing a ceiling light instead of a chandelier.
The latter tends to radiate light downwards, which is exactly what we must avoid in a small space.
In small rooms, however, ceiling lights are more functional, as they help to radiate the light evenly and diffusely, and floor lamps and directional wall lights, with which we can direct the light upwards, avoiding the 'cone of shadow' effect, which is detrimental to small living rooms.
It is essential to create a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere in terms of visuals and perception.
2. Create a moodboard with the help of an interior designer
Who said that there is no room for style in designing a small flat? Even the smallest spaces can be tastefully furnished without sacrificing functionality.
If you ask a planner or an interior designer, you will have the opportunity to define the right concept for your living room: from the choice of wall color to the upholstery of the seats, decorations and selection of the most suited rugs or carpet.
The moodboard helps you to create a coherent and well-defined style, to find ideas and inspiration, to organise spaces, to choose the colour palettes most in line with the project you have in mind and shows you the way to choose the right furniture, complements and accessories.
Such a tool becomes even more important when trying to enhance a small living room. When space is at a premium, one cannot afford to overload the room or make gross stylistic mistakes, such as choosing a dark palette. This should be ruled out, as it would make the environment even smaller.
A small living room needs light more than ever, so green light to light and bright colours.
The choice of furniture is also important: preferably few and targeted pieces, in light colours and with compact, space-saving shapes. In small rooms, the priority is to instil lightness and airiness.
3. Choose and combine furniture in a composition of great comfort and style
After creating the moodboard, you will have a clear idea of the overall design of the furnishing project and you can give free rein to your creativity.
Our recommendation is to combine furniture from the same collection, perhaps customizing the final composition with accessories of your choice, always combining comfort and style.
If you wish to dare, you can still combine elements from different collections, taking care to create an atmosphere of harmonious shades and textures.
Contemporary living room sets for your small flat: the Adora collections
The Adora Collections are the perfect combination of contemporary aesthetics and functionality, guaranteeing maximum comfort without weighing down on the space they occupy.
Below you will find the collections and their specific features:
The Poesia living room combines the visual harmony and simple forms of contemporary style with the innate elegance of classic style.
The contemporary concept is evident in the design of the armchairs and sofas, characterised by compact shapes, square lines, smooth, unadorned fabric, and, above all, by the special 'L' shape of the armrests, which creates two convenient side storagecompartments that can be used to store books or magazines.
Warm earthy nuances dialogue with light and refined colours, creating a sophisticated mix of luxury and familiarity, warmth and austerity.
It is precisely the contrast between the 'cosy' shades (beige, brown, bronze) and the bright colours (ivory, cream) that make the Poesia living room an example of pure contemporary-classic style.
This striking colour combination also applies to the other furniture in the living room, where the colour contrast between the light-coloured top and the geometrically shaped bronze handles is always present.
The surfaces of the TV cabinet and the coffee table, as well as the entire Poesia collection, are also available with a dark top in the warm Emperador Dark shade: in this case a striking tone-on-tone effect is achieved with the bronze handles.
Ambra is the living room designed for those who love spaces that combine comfort with elegant style.
The composition is neat, clean and symmetrical, in full contemporary spirit; on one side we have the sofa corner and the coffee table, on the other the wall unit, formed by a low TV stand and two columns-windows on the sides.
The understated colours convey elegance and brightness, while the visual contrast is provided by the bronze finish of the table legs and seat feet.
The design of the armchairs and sofas is distinguished by its clear, square shape, softened by a detail that makes it unmistakable: the vertical quilting that runs along the armrests and backrest, further defining the elegance of the silhouette.
Also noteworthy is the similarity in colours and shapes between the coffee tables and the sofas, which emphasises the aesthetic continuity of the collection.
The Essenza sofa shares with the Ambra model the vertical quilting for the armrests and backrest, while it differs in the legs style, more regular and geometric, and in the finish, which is gold instead of bronze.
The design of both models responds to the need for comfort typical of the contemporary world - the seat is wide and cosy, the backrest is ergonomic -, and, at the same time, it offers a reference to the luxury details of the classical universe: in addition to the quilting detail, precious fabrics and inserts in gold or bronze finish to frame the base and the armrests.
The Essenza sofa is also distinguished by its flexible character: it is modular and customisable. This feature increases its compositional versatility and contemporary mood. The relaxation corner is completed by comfortable benches and ottomans to match the sofas.
The TV corner recalls the symmetry of the Ambra collection, while it differs in the colour of the furniture, which in Essenza is darker and contrasts with the gold finish. The TV unit is modular with doors in wood, glass or with an open compartment, while the top can be customised with a glass or marble finish.
The Sipario collection has a strong, well-defined personality and is perhaps the one in which the luxurious grafts inherited from the great classical Made in Italy tradition are most evident.
The sofas and armchairs of the Sipario collection have a more marked design consisting of slightly curved lines that flow into the pointed profile of the armrests with gilded inserts and, in a single embrace, envelop the entire seat.
The coffee table of the Sipario collection has an ivory shade interspersed with gold inlays that break up the chromatic continuity, only to find it again at the base with the gilded chromium-plated finish of the feet. A refined lozenge motif along the edges is the finishing touch to this piece of furniture.
The Diamante chairs have a slender shape with a light, curved line that finds linear continuity in the armrests, completed with gilded inserts, and in the feet with a gilded chromium-plated finish, recalling the shape of precious stones.
A bold and sophisticated chromatic contrast defines the design of the Diamante coffee table with its ivory-coloured surface and elm finish, with squared corners, completed by feet in a bold gilded chromium-plated finish.
The Allure living room is the perfect synthesis of contemporary style: versatile design, modular and customisable elements, simple and essential lines, as well as large and comfortable shapes that evoke the idea of comfort, which, as we know, is the basis of the modern furnishing concept.
Allure makes it possible to create corner compositions and thus creating different customized lengths that are ideal for setting up all kinds of spaces and environments.
They are characterized by an enveloping outer frame that entirely embraces the soft padding inside, thus creating a game of volumes and softness that highlights the comfort and shape of the seats.
A plinth profiled with polished metal that adds a shiny touch to the whole and seduces the eye completes the bases.
The shape of the coffee tables recalls the sofa concept and is defined by the contrast of different volumes. Each model is offered in two different porcelain stoneware finishes, which are both extremely versatile.
The Atmosfera sofas and armchairs not only pamper the body, but also captivate the eye with the golden reflections of the front plate and charm the touch with the defined quilting that runs along the back, creating vertical and horizontal geometric patterns.
The coffee tables in this collection are characterized by a sophisticated structure, strong and shiny thanks to the gilded satin-finished powder coating.
To finish everything: a solid top in real marble, available in two precious finishes, both able to give different and refined personalities to the element.
Adora Collections: the best contemporary living room sets to furnish your small apartment
Now that you know the guidelines and secrets for furnishing the living room of a small flat in a contemporary style, all you have to do is apply them to enhance your space and make it cosy and sophisticated.
In what way? By choosing the Adora collection that best reflects your aesthetic taste.
Do not be afraid: even in the smallest spaces there is room for style and comfort, but above all it is possible to create a comfortable and ergonomic atmosphere as well as a refined and attractive furnishing set-up.