Have a Minute? Consider These Modern Lighting Ideas for Your Living Room

In every room, there's that one, perfect finishing touch. The countertops in your kitchen. The flooring in your bathroom. And in the case of living rooms, specifically modern living rooms, it's all about the lighting — the centrally located space calls for just the right fixture to tie the entire look together.

Modern style, which has its roots in midcentury modern design, became popular during the 1950s and has evolved into an au courant aesthetic. Characteristics of this approach include circular shapes, glass and natural materials, and surprising silhouettes.When gathering living room lighting ideas with a modern touch, be sure to keep an eye out for these unmistakable traits. More than likely, your furniture, textiles, and decor already echo the same shapes and sensibilities. And if you're ever unsure, simply imagine how Betty Draper might decorate her home in 2019.

Keep scrolling for a dash of living room lighting inspiration with undeniable modern flair.

1. Mid-Mod Wall Sconces

living room lighting idea with midcentury wall sconce next to gray drapery at window
credit: Brady Tolbert

Brady Tolbert's living room is a study in how current design can be meshed together beautifully with midcentury accents. You can do the same in your home by giving the period a nod with some oh-so-modern wall sconces.

2. A Small But Mighty Chandelier

living room lighting idea with small chandelier above coffee table and sofa
credit: Juniper Home

Although large-scale living room lighting is certainly attention-grabbing in modern spaces, we're all for small chandeliers as well. If you'd prefer not to overwhelm your diminutive living room, opt for a small fixture with modern flair, like the one in this space designed by Jenny of Juniper Home.

3. A Globe-Shaped Table Lamp

We all know what a "classic" table lamp looks like (and they certainly have their place in some spaces). But for a modern living room, we think you should kick things up a notch. Go with a fixture that showcases both curvy silhouettes and clean lines, a look that definitely works in this living room belonging to Teri of The Lovely Drawer.

4. A Natural Pendant Light

Back in the day, midcentury modern style frequently embraced natural materials like teak, walnut, and rattan. If you're searching for living room lighting ideas that are both modern and free-spirited, look no further than a pendant light in an easy, breezy, natural material and a geometric silhouette. The fixture in this living room belonging to Jessica Honegger and featured on The Effortless Chic is a perfect choice.

5. A Streamlined Semi-Flush Mount

living room lighting idea with semi-flush mount ceiling fixture
credit: Studio McGee

Living room lighting ideas don't need to be showy or elaborate to complete a modern space. Keep it simple with an under-the-radar fixture like a semi-flush mount. This look still has style but doesn't steal the show, as seen in this space designed by Shea of Studio McGee.

6. An Eye-Pleasing Flush Mount

Living room lighting ideas are a great way to anchor the visuals in your space, and the flush mount in this room styled by Kate of White Lane Decor is proof positive. The fixture has a modern shape and reinforces the white palette and gold touches throughout the room.

7. A Circular Lantern

As we said, circular shapes are a home run when it comes to modern living room lighting ideas. A lantern, whether it's paper or glass, can instantly achieve this look. And we're loving the stylish simplicity of the white lantern displayed in this living room belonging to Abi of These Four Walls.

8. A Work of Art

living room lighting idea with bubble chandelier over coffee table mounted to wood beam ceiling
credit: Houseologie

In a modern living room, there's always the option to go big or go home, and in the case of this space styled by Leigh Anne of Houseologie, she decided to go big. It was the right choice. In a room that's both current and vintage, this chandelier is a modern masterpiece that'll be a conversation starter for years to come.

9. A Not-So-Standard Floor Lamp

Living room lighting has a practicality about it, since you'll undoubtedly use it for reading sessions and creating ambiance during gatherings. But who says you can't have both functionality and panache? In this space styled by Jess Bunge, Senior Market Editor at Emily Henderson Design, a gold mushroom-shaped floor lamp isn't short on style. It flawlessly mirrors the other modern elements peppered throughout the rest of the room.


Shelby Deering

Shelby Deering

Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.