Freshen up your living room interiors one project at a time with design ideas for furniture, wall color, lighting, and more to take your living room from ordinary to extraordinary. To achieve a new look, it is not always necessary to do a total room makeover or to even repaint your space. Even replacing one or two items you already possess, or selecting a few new accessories can completely change the appearance of your space. Be sure to select a unifying color scheme to tie your accessories together and make them work with what you already have. Adding crown molding, larger baseboards and casings are more affordable than you would think and once they have been painted, you will think you are in a different house.
We have put together 21 different ideas for you to help re-fresh your living room, as just a few small changes can create a huge impact. Decorating does not have to be expensive or take months to complete. Set aside a weekend to make a change, this is where you and your family spend the most time, so it is worth the small investment. Have a look and you will see what we are talking about! If you are looking for more living room inspiration, have a look at some of our past articles on 40 Absolutely amazing living room design ideas and 32 Unbelievably unique living room interiors.
1. Incorporate Textures
Change a living room with silky pillows and velvet slipcovers for entertaining and corduroy pillows and denim slipcovers for everyday. Consider adding a woven basket or cozy chenille throw. Various textures can suit any style. Here are a few to consider:
— Traditional–Hand-tufted rugs, woven wools, tooled silver, cut crystal, gilded frames, silk, china, and polished wood
— Country–braided rugs, worn wood, rusted metals, chenille spreads, ironstone pottery, and blown glass
— Romantic–velvet, furry throws, crystal prisms, embroidered fabrics, lace, painted furniture, and hand-hooked rugs
— Modern–laminated-plywood furniture, plastic, smooth leather, stainless steel, terrazzo flooring, and teak.
2. Make a Color Statement
Wake up a boring room with a bold color statement. If you’re shy about commitment but want a quick shot of color, paint one wall; it can provide a color fix and create a dramatic focal point. Then use color throughout the room to keep the look cohesive.
Here, the sunny yellow of the walls is balanced by the vibrant colors in the pillows, throw, furniture, and accents so various colors enhance the room.
3. Add Style Underfoot
Adding a graphic rug to your living room is a simple way to make a big statement. FLOR tiles are available in a wide variety of patterns and are a quick-and-easy way to create a customized rug on a budget.
4. Change the Lampshades
Give your living room an instant facelift by changing the lampshades–think of these affordable accessories as jewelry for a room. Take your lamp base to a retailer and experiment with the options. There’s more than one perfect shade for each base.
Boost a ready-made lampshade’s personality with a fast, easy facelift. Cut decorative paper to fit your shade–for this unique two-tier shade, we chose two coordinating papers. Slightly overlap the paper at the back, and glue to secure the ends. Punch evenly spaced holes around the top and bottom; then whipstitch the paper to the shade with a thin cord.
5. Set the Tone with Artwork
Use original artwork to add personality and create a focal point. Here, art and accessories give the room design attitude. For a cohesive look pair similar colors and shapes.
The lime-green tones and rounded lines in this artwork are a dramatic contrast to the streamlined, neutral-color furnishings. The artworks’ curvy lines are echoed in the round shapes of the tabletop accents and ottomans.
6. Add Pattern and Texture with Wallpaper
Wallpaper is a sure way to inject character into any space. But if you’re not ready to wallpaper an entire room, consider papering just a section.
Wallpapered panels can add instant drama to a wall. They’re a surprising way to call attention to a piece of furniture, add architecture to a room, or break up an expanse of neutral wall. Select a pattern that complements the wall color, then paper a section of wall.
7. Update Your Fireplace Mantel Display
A mantel offers multiple opportunities for style. Experiment with various arrangements on the mantel or update the room’s look with a mantel makeover.
Whether you prefer a symmetrical or asymmetrical look, visually balance your mantel display. Take time to arrange your pieces in several different ways, and then choose the one that’s most pleasing. In this asymmetrical display, the smaller square mirror and the two round mirrors create a little less visual weight than the larger mirror and vase. A stack of books on the left side of the raised hearth brings needed equilibrium.
8. Solve Problems with Window Treatments
Window treatments can be problem solvers. Fabric treatments can soften angular walls, make windows look taller and wider, save space by tucking inside the window frame, and add visual inches to a low ceiling.
Above, neutral drapes and soft shades pair up to enhance the casual style of this cottage-inspired living room.
9. Add Built-In Storage
Built-in cabinetry sets the style for a living room or family room while providing much-needed storage for books, games, and media gear. In fact, built-ins rival fireplaces as a focal point. From floor to vaulted ceiling, bookcases set the style in this family room. Same-size rectangular cubbies keep the bookcases looking organized.
Stretching the bookcases to the vaulted ceiling makes the room look bigger. The furnishings include an inviting mix of classic and modern that feels warm but not stuffy.
10. Add Pops of Color
Colorful accents and playful patterns invigorate this modern living room. Try switching toss cushions with the seasons – red at Christmastime and bright hues in spring. In this room quilted retro fabrics were mixed with vintage side chairs reupholstered in a punchy black and white print; the teak frames were painted in a blue-grey.
11. Cut the Clutter
It is important to clean in every space, as clutter distracts guests from seeing the important pieces. This is especially important in the living room because it’s often the room that gives the first impression of your home. A clutter-free room makes it easy to put your favorite things on display. Over the fireplace, create one focal point with a few accent pieces. Display photos in nice frames alongside a small collection of books. Large collections should be displayed in their own space, whether in a bookcase or on a shelf.
12. Create a Focal Point
Use colorful artwork or photography to personalize your space and create a focal point for the room. Enlarge your own photos or choose from thousands of prints on affordable sites such as Art.com or 20×200.com.
13. Create an Art Gallery Wall
A great gallery wall can add a wonderful finishing touch to your home’s decor. It’s a great way to display family photos, art collections, prints and kid’s art — you name it! But what makes a great gallery wall versus a not so great gallery wall? First, it’s all in the preparation. Have a look at at our article on 58 Stylish ways to transform ordinary walls into art gallery walls to get some amazing tips and inspiration.
14. Spell It Out
Create artwork that speaks to you using framed chalkboards. Less expensive than you may think, this friendly focal point can be created for less than $20 by having boards cut at your local hardware store to fit vintage frames, then covering the wood with chalkboard paint.
15. Choose Furnishings Wisely
Buy smart when furnishing a living room and you’ll be rewarded with years of style and function. Try coordinating styles that complement rather than match. Look for ways to combine curves and rectangles to add interest to a room. Consider pairing a modern boxy sofa with a side table that has curvy legs, for example.
Go neutral with big, expensive items; that’s the best way to ensure long-term appeal and versatility. Then splurge on a few other good pieces, such as an elegant side table, to put a fresh face on the decor.
16. Add Personality with Accent Pillows
Accent pillows let you quickly alter the personality of a room and shift the balance of color. And because pillows are readily available and easy to work with, don’t be afraid to experiment. Bring home more than you think you’ll need and try out several combinations before settling on a style.
For maximum impact, you’ll want to vary the shape, size, and color–perhaps even adding a pattern or additional accent color to the mix. Look for designs that incorporate the room’s key colors.
17. Make a Large Room More Inviting
If you have a large living room or an open floor plan, try arranging the space into separate conversation areas. Pull seating pieces away from the walls and arrange them to face each other in small groups for a more comfortable, intimate feeling. Additional visual cues, such as area rugs and tables, help define conversation areas.
18. Repeat Elements for Visual Rhythm
Rhythm–the way colors, patterns, and shapes fill a room–keeps a space interesting because it requires constant eye movement.
This living shows how shapes can add rhythm. The key shape is curvy, from the lamp to the coffee table ottoman to the modern vases and even the pattern on the area rug. Spreading like objects around the room keeps the eye moving.
19. Go for the Unexpected
Energize a blah living room with a few surprises. Add an eye-popping color. Or an unexpected shape. Or an unusual collectible. Whatever your preference, choose elements that will infuse your room with personality.
Here, a sophisticated all-neutral room holds several whimsical surprises, including Kelly green accent pillows, pops of green accent decor, and rectangular mixed with circular furnishings.
20. Use Color to Create a Mood
Your living room’s colors can help set the tone for lively or relaxed gatherings.
Use warm colors–yellow, orange, and red–to inspire conversation, fuel appetite, wake up a space, and add heat to a north-facing room. Because of the energy of warm colors, they can make a small space seem larger.
Cool colors–blue, green, and purple–are calming and soothing, perfect for serene retreats. Here, blues and greens pair with neutral hues for a soothing, sophisticated color partnership.
21. Stay Flexible
Want the secret to a living room that will look good now and into the future? Stay flexible. Choose go-with-anything basics that can change with your style and classic elements that can look casual for everyday living or be dressed up for company. Then add a signature color, pattern, or collection to give the room a little style punch. If you want a change in a few months, swap out the accessories.
Here, bold wall color (Benjamin Moore paint #726 Rendezvous Bay) provides a beautiful backdrop for neutral furnishings. A section of wallpaper on the wall illustrates a unique focal point in the room, which can be changed at any time to give a new look. A smaller coffee table and side table offer more flexibility for moving things around for guests or to change furniture arrangement. Accent pillows on a neutral sofa can be changed to give a new appearance to the space.
Photo Sources: 1. HGTV, 2. Camello Inc., 3. BHG, 4. Martha O’Hara Interiors, 5.BHG, 6. Platemark Design, 7. BHG, 8. After Design, 9. InStyle, 10. Casa Verde Design, 11. Kate Jackson Design, 12. BHG, 13. Pinterest, 14. Scheinholtz Associates, 15. Style at Home, 16. Witt Construction, 17. Mark Williams Design, 18. Pinterest, 19. Turner Pocock Interior Design, 20. Focal Point Styling, 21. HGTV, 22. Ballard Designs, 23. Jennifer Brouwer Design Inc, 24. Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25, 25. BHG, 26. Jane Lockhart Interior Design, 27. MuseInteriors, 28. Jace Interiors, 29. Michael Abrams Limited, 30. Martha O’Hara Interiors, 31. – 32. BHG, 33. Lucy and Company
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE