Liven Up Your Living Room for Less With These Budget-Friendly Updates

living room upgrade

Home improvement has been a priority for many people since the pandemic started. According to a 2021 survey by Houzz, the amount of money U.S. homeowners spent on renovations increased by 15% from last year. Meanwhile, reports that the home décor industry is also booming.

It only stands to reason that you’d want to make the place where you spend the most time as functional, aesthetically pleasing, and comfortable as it could be.

If you want to spruce up your house, a great place to start is your living room. The center for many activities, this is likely one of the most used rooms in your home. Your updates and improvements to this space will benefit everyone in your household.

What’s more, you don’t have to spend a fortune on new furniture, flooring, or major changes to give your living room a stylish makeover. Here are some ways you can breathe new life into your living room.

Deep Clean Your Living Room

Don’t underestimate the power of a deep clean. An intense cleanup session is a completely free way to restore the beauty of your living room.

First, declutter. Sometimes, a living room isn’t dirty so much as it has too much stuff. Sort items you don’t use, want, or need into three boxes: donate, recycle, and store.

Next, dust down all surfaces. Start from the ceiling and work your way down to bookshelves, coffee tables, lamps, and knickknacks. Vacuum your carpet, curtains, rugs, and doormats, and use a cleaning solution for stubborn spots.

For tough stains or deep-seated dirt, it’s best to call a professional. Bloomington dry cleaners can easily clean up heavily soiled curtains and couch covers without damaging the fabric.

Use Mirror Magic

Mirrors serve many functions. Positioned correctly, they help make a room look brighter, more spacious, and extra inviting. Mirrors in beautiful frames also double as pieces of art.

When placing mirrors, consider what they’re going to be reflecting. Hanging a mirror across from a framed artwork doubles its impact, while a mirror reflecting a shoe rack does nothing to improve a room’s aesthetic appeal.

If you’d rather not drill holes into your wall, you can still decorate with mirrors by propping them up against a wall. You can also invest in a stylish cheval mirror. Place it across from a window to let natural light bounce off it, or place a group of plants in ceramic pots around the base for a bit of bohemian chic.

Put Leftover Paint to Good Use

A splash of color is a surefire way to add visual interest to your living room. However, you don’t have to just focus on the walls.

If you have paint leftover from past DIY projects, use it to modernize dated furniture. For instance, you can repaint a tired-looking wooden side table a bright, punchy shade or paint the insides of bookcases to match or contrast with your living room’s color scheme.


Make the Most of Your Mantel

The fireplace mantel is usually the focal point of the living room. Avoid putting random items on it, as this could give this a cluttered look that throws your entire room’s visuals off-balance.

Instead, focus on symmetry. If you’d like to show off a large item, such as a vase, place it in the middle, flanked by two smaller items. You can also create visual interest by placing items of different sizes on your mantel.

You don’t have to limit yourself to candlesticks and figurines, either. Stacks of books, colorful glass vases filled with flowers, and framed prints are fantastic décor options as well. Just remember not to overcrowd your mantel—when it comes to decorating this part of your living room, less is always more.

Upgrade Your Lighting

The living room serves many functions, so it requires multifunction lighting. While your ceiling light provides enough illumination for day-to-day activities, you also need softer lighting that’s more conducive to relaxation.
Wall lamps and table lamps not only make a room look warmer and cozier—they also add style and elegance. What’s more, pretty lighting fixtures don’t have to be expensive. Many retailers offer lighting fixtures in a wide range of price points.

Replace Throw Pillow Covers

New pillows can be expensive. A cheaper alternative to buying new throw pillows would be to purchase new covers or make them yourself if you’re good with a needle.

Throw pillow covers in a mix of colors, patterns, and styles catch the eye, while soft, neutral-hued covers work well with a colorful couch. You can also vary textures to create subtle visual interest that catches the eye but doesn’t bewilder the mind. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

There are countless other ways to beautify a living room on a budget, such as rearranging the furniture, decorating with plants, and repainting the ceiling. Apart from being less costly than a remodel or renovation, small upgrades and updates also allow you to experiment before committing to a more permanent change.

What’s more, low-cost and low-commitment design hacks like these empower you to explore and determine your personal decorating style. This will help you in the future when you’re ready to remodel and need to discuss your ideas with your contractor.

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