How To Freshen Up Your Living Room In 5 Easy Steps

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Sunday, 01 January 2017 08:19

Your living room got you feeling meh? That's a shame. As one of your most-used rooms, it should also be one of your most loved. But the idea of updating this space can seem overwhelming.

"We live hard in living rooms. It's where we entertain, relax in the evenings, watch TV, and do countless other activities each day," said Apartment Therapy. "Yet when we get sick of our surroundings and need something different, it's tough to make big changes in the context of our busy lives and small budgets."

Small tweaks can make a big difference in this space, and most of them require little effort or cash to accomplish.

1. Paint

Practically nothing makes a bigger impact for small dollars and minimal effort than paint. If your room needs an all-over refresh, think about going away from dated beiges into the world of gray. Apartment Therapy has a great guide to picking the right shade.

An accent wall is another easy way to reinvent a space through paint, and is also a great opportunity to use a deeper or brighter shade than you might be willing to use all over the room. When choosing which wall to paint, consider this: "Enter the room and notice what wall you are drawn to; it will be the best one to accentuate it," said DigsDigs. "Avoid obscuring an accent wall with large scale wall arts, draperies and furniture but don't leave the wall too bare; keep it balanced."

2. Drapes

Walk into your room and let your eye travel around. It may naturally land on your windows, attracted by the light coming in. But, are your window coverings doing those windows justice? Maybe your view is not the greatest or your windows are small and in need of a boost. New drapes can cure a number of ills, and they're easy to find, and to install yourself. Bringing in some color and pattern can help "revitalize your space," as Elle Décor shows with these "30 Brilliant curtain ideas to use in your living room.

3. Seating arrangement

One of the easiest and most impactful changes you can make to your living room may cost you nothing at all. Assess your seating arrangement. Is your couch shoved up against the wall? Is there too much - or not enough - stuff in the room? Is the furniture set up in a way that blocks a natural walkway or focal point? Reworking the arrangement or adding or eliminating pieces can easily freshen up your space.

"Rearranging the furniture you already have can be the best way to give your living room a totally different feeling without breaking the bank," said So Chic Life. "Try creating conversation spaces by facing sofas and chairs together, or opt for an open and breezy layout by moving furniture back against the walls. Put sofas diagonally across corners to create more storage space behind them."

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4. New rug

The right rug might be all it takes to bring the room together. "The perfect rug may be all you need to complete your decor with color, texture and coziness," said Houzz. "Rugs offer one of the easiest ways to add color, warmth and texture to a space. Choose wisely, however, because a rug also has the power to completely change the look and feel of a room."

When looking at rugs, you obviously want to consider size, shape, color, and pattern. But, because you will actually be walking on this item, the texture is equally important. "Before you consider colors and patterns, decide which material will go below your feet and why," Kate Mooney of Houseology said on Houzz. "Ask yourself some questions: What is the room used for? Who uses it and how often? Do pets and children use the space? Is it a room for relaxing, or one that serves a specific purpose, such as a kitchen or bathroom?" 

5. Art and accessories

If the large pieces (sofa, coffee/end tables, bookcases) in your living room are solid or you don't want to replace them, it's time to take a look at the small stuff. Adding a piece of art or a few accessories can give the space new life and bring in a modern touch.


Accent pillows are a great place to start, especially if your sofa and other upholstered pieces are older or if you're looking to add interest with some bright pops of color and/or pattern. "Throw pillows are inexpensive and easy to change out," said Decoist. "You can refashion the entire color scheme of a room with the just a few throw pillows. Remember, it is just an accent, so don't be afraid of color!"

When it comes to accessories, remember the "rule of three" that designers use. And if you add something in one place, consider subtracting in another. The idea is to create interest, not invite the attention of Hoarders. "Pick and choose your knickknacks so they add personality, not clutter," said Real Simple.

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