11 Beautiful Ways To Freshen Up Your Living Room

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Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Katherine

This week’s blog post is all about home decor, specifically, all about living room ideas! 

Decorating your home can be equally the most rewarding task you set yourself to and the most frustrating, particularly if you have a tight budget! This week on the blog, I want to narrow in on how to decorate your living room without tearing out your hair or draining your bank account. 

A well decorated living room can entice you to sit back and relax!
A comfy sofa with some pillows and other inviting pieces can invite you in to relax!

This room in your house goes by many names, but mainly, these tips can apply to any place where you have comfortable furniture to kick back and relax on. Earlier, I discussed a general post about freshening up small spaces, so this week I wanted to focus on this particular room. I also wanted to figure out projects that you can do yourself without having to drop thousands of dollars or spend months completing.

Some of the listed projects will take you a day or two, depending on your working speed, but all of them will not cost you more than $200 and they will 100% change the look and feel of your living room. Let’s dive right in!

A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Painting a room is one of the quickest ways to refresh an old and tired space. Depending on the size of your area, it might be a full weekend of painting and waiting between coats, but you don’t need special certification or any special tools outside of:

  • Paint.
  • Roller brushes.
  • Regular paint brushes (For the trim).
  • Paint tray.
  • Paint tape.
  • Dropcloth. 
  • Garbage bags (useful to cover your tray between coats).
  • A step ladder.

If you have to buy absolutely everything, you can expect painting a room to set you back about $200, maybe a bit more or a bit less depending on the room size. If you are patient, you can sometimes snag an awesome deal on the paint, as that is what is going to cost you the most!

When it comes to choosing a color, I always try to aim for a light and neutral shade. Vibrant colors can quickly overwhelm a space, so save those for accent pieces. If you aren’t sure about a color, aim for a light grey shade as it will go with any accent colors you choose.

When it comes to paint colors, go light and neutral and save the vibrant colors for your accents!
When picking a wall paint color, go light and neutral, you can dress that shade up with some clever accents later!

Change Your Curtains

You can instantly freshen the look of a room by changing your window dressing with a new set of drapes and a unique hanging bar. 

If you love your curtain rod but want to try something new, you can even paint it to a different shade. Find a spray paint that will adhere to the metal in a shade you love and go for it!

The best living room idea is for windows, hang your drapes a little outside of the window frame to make your room look a bit larger!
Hanging drapes a little outside of the window frame can create the illusion of a larger space!

With curtains, I recommend buying long enough curtains to hang them from the ceiling to the floor and extend the rod so that the curtains can hang a bit over on the sides. For some quick tips, check out this helpful post from Young House Love!

Add Some Green

A houseplant or two will add a bit of life into your living room!
Houseplants can add a pop of color and life into your space!

Plants add an instant pop of color and life to a room. If you are new to houseplants (or kill them if their care becomes too involved as I do), The Spruce has a post all about beautiful houseplants that you can try out. My favorite plant of the bunch is a Spider plant, but all of them are not super picky.

Paint Your Furniture

I like the idea of painting a piece of furniture instead of a whole room for the simple fact that you require less paint and less time to do it. You can easily paint an entire coffee table in the space of an afternoon, and it’s a great option if you are renting your area and are not permitted to paint your walls!

You can even shop thrift stores and estate sales to find just that perfect piece and refinish it. The hardest part is sanding off any existing finish, prepare yourself for loads of elbow grease! However, once you’ve stripped the old paint, the actual painting of the piece shouldn’t take you too long.

Crated Bookcase

If you simply cannot find a bookcase in your budget, another slick idea is to buy craft wood crates (you can find these in most hardware stores or places like Wal-mart in their hardware section). You can stain or paint them to match your decor, and then you simply stack them on top of each other. 

I would recommend screwing your crates together and then to the wall for security as well. You can check out a full tutorial at Tara Michelle Interiors.

Change Your Lampshade

If you have lovely lamps, but the shades are looking a little tired, you can change those around. Numerous retailers (such as Amazon.ca) have a wide variety of options, or you can simply upcycle your existing ones with fabric paint, lace, stencils, or the like.

My favorite idea is to take some fabric that you are in love with and glue it onto your existing shade! Check out the full details at HGTV’s Blog.

Add An Art Gallery

If you have an old calendar that you’re keeping because you can’t bear to toss out the gorgeous images used, you’ll love this idea. Take your favorite pictures from that calendar and frame them. You can find inexpensive frames at Michaels.

Wall art does not need to hang by itself, pair it with like pieces on the same wall for a gallery look!
Pairing like art pieces on the wall can create a beautiful gallery look!

Art pieces can add some depth to a room and you can pair them in a variety of ways on the wall!

Change Your Area Rug (Or Add One)

An area rug can add an instant touch of comfy to a room. Even on carpet, a plushier rug can add some instant definition to your space. If you have a large multi-purpose space, for example, in a studio apartment, an area rug can separate and define your sitting area from the rest of the space.

Even if you already have a carpet, an area rug can add some extra polish!
You can lay an area rug on existing carpet, like in this example!

I love a geometric style area rug, which will look great on both flooring and carpeting alike. A boldly colored area rug can change the look of your room if you balance it with neutral-colored furniture.

Throw Some Pillows Down

Pillows can instantly change the look of your chairs or sofa. I like throw pillows because you can change them up instantly. One genius trick involves buying inserts (like this 18 x 18 4-pack from Amazon) and simply updating the cover as needed! You can also find a variety of color pillowcases for the size you need on Amazon as well.

Vignette It Up

Vignettes are amazing decor tips. A Vignette is borrowed from literature, the idea that your decor pieces will “tell a story,” much like in literature where it functions as a “brief literary sketch.”

I recommend checking out My Soulful Home on Youtube for her amazing tips on how to make a beautiful transitional Vignette.

Remember the power of three!

Blanket Your Sofa

A throw blanket, much like pillows, can instantly add a pop of color to a tired old sofa or chair. A blanket is the coziest of my living room ideas because the right blanket can invite you to snuggle in on a cold evening!

I love soft and thick blankets, and in particular, my newest obsession is the chunky knit styles like this one from Amazon. I haven’t yet decided what color I want or whether I want it as a living room throw or a bed accent, but when I do, I’ll be sure to share!

Love Your Living Room Again

Whether you call it your living room, sitting room, or family room, the room in your house that has a sofa needs to be inviting and comfortable! It’s meant to be the room you can “live” in, right?!

I hope that these ideas have convinced you that it is possible to have a cozy living room retreat without dropping thousands of dollars. All of these ideas don’t involve running out and replacing all your furniture (unless you want to do that, of course!). Why spend $1,000 on a new sofa when tossing on some throw pillows or a beautiful blanket will dress up your existing furniture? Each idea here should not cost you more than $200 to implement and should not take you most of the day to complete (the painting project aside as you’re waiting between coats for those!).

That’s all for this week, be sure to share this post on social media and pin it to Pinterest!

Your living room should be a relaxation zone for you. If yours is lacking, check out these 11 simple living room ideas to freshen things up without breaking your bank account in the process! #livingroomideas #livingroomdecor #livingroom #howtodecoratealivingroom

Next week, I’ll be sharing with you my newest favorite outdoor fall decor ideas. Until then, stay crafty my friends!!

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