Use these affordable expert strategies to decorate a living room that looks great and lives beautifully.
1. Reassess the Situation.
Banish the superfluous, stow the clutter, and rethink furniture arrangements to overhaul your living room without spending a dime. Get a pal to help you move furniture around until you have visually pleasing groupings that are conducive to conversing. Watch the video below to learn the basics of furniture arranging that will help you plan a no-fail arrangement.
2. Harness the Power of Paint
Paint is affordable, transformative, and easily applied by novice decorators. Use it to color walls, update flea market furnishings, refresh tired floors, and showcase a room's architectural features. Choose wall colors that further a mood (the deeper the tone, the cozier the feel) and that complement your finest furnishings and personal style preferences.
3. Be Original
Incorporating personalized reflections of your tastes, travels, and origins always make living rooms special. Display ancestral portraits, framed genealogical charts, maps representing your favorite places, and photo collages featuring your nearest and dearest. Hang painted letters or signage that reference your initials or a familial surname.
4. Go Bold
Purchase furnishings rendered in high-impact fabrics or finishes, sporting scintillating silhouettes, and that provide solid punctuation points of color. You'll only need a few grand-gesture pieces to create a stir, especially when you pair them with neutral walls, low-key upholstered pieces, natural area rugs, and crisp white accents.
5. Splurge Strategically
Employing expensive materials in restrained but meaningful ways lets you enjoy the finer things while staying on budget. Display a fancy wallpaper on a focal wall or as a patterned backdrop for built-in shelves. Buy one really good leather chair, but pair it with a less expensive garden-seat table. Create pillows that showcase pricey silks, brocades, and velvets on their face, but that boast inexpensive fabric backs.
7. Repurpose and Renew
Cut down a farm table's legs to craft a rustic coffee table; use a vintage trunk to store board games and provide seating; and move in wicker laundry baskets to hold magazines or in-process projects. Take an upholstering or sewing class so you can update tired furnishings with new upholstery or slipcovers.
7. Make a Masterpiece
Buy blank canvases that you can paint and place prominently above a mantel or sofa. Using paints in your favorite hues, brush on a variety of cool geometric shapes or simply splatter colors at random to compose contemporary compositions. Like something less abstract? Use the canvases as bases for painted images, stenciled motifs, or collages created from all sorts of crafting remnants.
8. Layer Rugs
You'll find affordable area rugs suiting every style at big box stores, discount home shops, and even home improvement centers (shop end-of-summer sales for outdoor rugs that can work inside). Use simple (and more affordable) large rugs to anchor a room's furnishings and smaller rugs to define conversational groupings or activity areas. Experts recommend that all furniture sits atop the rug and that an ample border of flooring is seen around the rug's perimeter.
9. Exhibit Collectibles
Whether vivid Fiesta creamers, Grecian urns, or sleek chrome pitchers, collections handily underscore a theme and introduce colors and patterns. Curios and knickknacks -- whether valuable relics or cheap white platters -- have the greatest impact when grouped by color, shape, or subject matter. Keep those attributes in mind when you shop; you're likely to find myriad discounted objects that complement your displays.
10. Embellish It
Upgrade inexpensive throw pillows, readymade window treatments, fabric lampshades, and bargain-priced throws by adding fun decorator trims, contrasting fabric bands, kicky tassels and fringe, or vintage buttons and shiny rhinestone brooches.