Little Ways to Update Your Living Room
Consider Your Coffee Table
Create a cohesive look in your living room by echoing colors or finishes from the room’s centerpiece, the coffee table, throughout other accessories. For example, the metallic sheen of this gold coffee table repeats on ornamental candle holders gathered in a neutral serving tray. Not sure where to begin with your coffee table update? Favorite books, fresh flowers, and treasured travel mementos all make fashionable contenders.
A little storage can go a long way in creating an updated living room. In this color-coordinated room, two bookcases are filled with office supplies, documents, magazines, and more, though guests of this home would never know thanks to clever clutter-busting tips. Use spare oversized glass containers to corral office supplies or small toys. Large baskets or boxes conceal papers and magazines in style. Stack them on a bookshelf for easy access that saves on floor space.
Related: Tips for an Organized Living Room
Stuck in a style rut? Simply swap out your living room's photographs or paintings. For a quick fix, keep your gallery wall arrangement or picture frames and change out the images for new artwork of the same size. This will make it easy to get an updated look in your living room with little effort.
Roll Out a Rug
Updating a traditional living room can be done without replacing expensive furniture or painting the walls. Take this room for example. A bright patterned area rug incorporates style underfoot. To create dimension in size, color, and texture, layer a smaller rug on an over-sized area rug. A sofa slipcover and contemporary art put the finishing touches on the living room refresh.
On a tight budget? The best living room ideas don't have you reaching for your wallet. Instead of heading to the store, rethink your living room furniture arrangement. Start by breaking the norms. Pull your sofa away from the wall or bring your wicker patio furniture inside. Whether you have an open floor plan, tend to gather around a TV, or prefer cozy conversation, a new arrangement can inspire and revitalize a room.
Improve with Paint
Give boring wood furniture a fresh (and fast!) facelift with paint. Try the fun dip-dye technique featured here, or update with a single bold color. Updated living room colors create unexpected change that will result in rave reviews.
Slipcover a Sofa
Living room decorating ideas don't need to revolve around dated furniture. A simple slipcover in a neutral color gives your space a blank slate for stylish accessories. If you're feeling creative, consider dip-dying the slipcover for a modern ombre effect. Pile the couch high with colorful pillows of different sizes and textures for an eye-catching look.
Related: Our Favorite Living Room Ideas
Punch Up Throw Pillows
Modernize your living room in an afternoon with throw pillows. Although they might seem like an afterthought, throw pillows are an easy solution for trying out trends in pattern and color without the major commitment. Keep seasonal pillows related to the holidays in storage until you need to make a swap. Use scrap fabric for an easy-sew pillow cover or try one of our favorite painted pillow projects to update your existing collection.
Related: How to Arrange Sofa Pillows
Consider rearranging your bookshelves for a no-cost living room refresh. Gather a variety of collectibles in a similar color scheme and place them between books for loose symmetry. Other options include arranging books by color and presenting collections in groups of three. Before you decide on an arrangement, you can also make your bookcases look new by painting the shelves and installing adhesive paper to the back wall of the storage unit.
Related: Top Tips for Arranging Bookshelves
Reupholster a Chair
Updated living room decor starts with the textiles. In this case, a cozy armchair was in serious need of a new look. With good bones, a worn chair can easily be rescued with reupholstery. Be sure to pick a fun fabric and use your creativity to give flea market finds a modern look. Save scraps from the fabric you use to upholster your furniture piece. It can be used as curtains, a pillowcase, or framed as artwork.
Related: How to Reupholster a Chair
Swap Out Lighting
Lighting has the ability to set a mood, make a small space appear larger, and illuminate a color scheme. Consider swapping existing bulbs with LED versions to brighten a dark living room. Other simple ways to update your living room lighting include trading lampshades, painting the base of a floor lamp, or incorporating a new ceiling fixture. To set an ambient mood, choose a floor lamp with a drum shade that evenly distributes soft light. For targeted lighting—something you may want in a reading nook—find a fixture that directs light to one area.
You don't need brand-new blinds to update your living room's window treatments. Improve existing curtains with pom-pom trim, a contemporary paint treatment, or ombre dye. Or try your hand at custom striped curtains or DIY Roman shades. Even new tiebacks can renew the look of your living room. Small, updated living room decor can make all the difference at an affordable cost.
Related: Easy Window Treatment Projects
Modernize your living room into a space that's both happy and healthy by integrating plenty of lush, green houseplants. Small trees make a blank corner instantly chic, while potted indoor varieties update surfaces like side tables and consoles. Plus, houseplants can improve the quality of your home's air—a win-win!
Try Nailhead Trim
Gain sophistication and traditional style in your living room with nailhead trim. The inexpensive embellishment can be customized and applied to any number of upholstered furniture pieces to get a high-end look for less. Here, we see the decorative element on the sofa and coordinating chair.