7 Ways to Revamp Your Living Room on a Budget

Hello Everyone! Enjoy this guest post from Horace Black!

Times are tough, and many Americans don’t have money for luxuries. People are spending weekends in their living rooms, watching pay-per-view television and ordering pizza with family and friends instead of going out to restaurants and movie theaters. Couples and girl friends are taking “staycations” in their very own cities instead of hitting the road for premium vacations at destination resorts and spas.

During this “Great Recession,” it is smart to keep a tight budget and spend more time at home. But, is there a way folks can freshen up their surroundings without breaking the bank? The answer is yes! The living room is beginning to surpass the kitchen as the heart of a home, and there’s no reason decor has to be outdated or boring. Here are seven great ways to bring new life to a living room—on a budget.

Walls and Floors

The walls and floor of a living room don’t represent boundaries and limitations. They’re all about expression and possibility! Lay down a rug with colors or patterns that open the room up and draw attention to focal points. Paint the walls a fun, vibrant color and create a vivid accent wall, or hang textured tiles and groups of framed photographs as artwork. Wall-mounted mirrors add depth and interest. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, prints, textures and colors.

Seating

Sofas and chairs intended for lounging are also very important features in any living room. Ottomans and footstools are inexpensive and offer a place to sit or kick up tired feet. Furniture should be pulled away from the walls. When the seasons change, cover chairs and sofas with inexpensive, bold new slipcovers. Liven up chairs and sofas with accent pillows.

Storage

If a living room is cramped and space is at a premium, consider the possibilities. Buy an inexpensive ottoman-style footrest that opens up on hinges; they come in all kinds of colors, shapes and materials. This ottoman/footrest can function as both an informal chair and a handy storage unit. Let a nice bookcase do double duty as a media center by adding a flat-screen television to sit on top while other electronic equipment is kept inside. You can also use oversized wicker baskets as end tables and coffee tables.

Lighting

Don’t neglect lighting. It’s one of the most important ingredients in your home. Arrange lamps and furniture so that natural and artificial lighting in the room creates a triangle of light, inviting people to sit and relax. Choose attractive, task-oriented floor and table lamps that are interesting to look at, even when they’re off, and try wall sconces for added visual appeal.

Windows

Dress up living room windows so they flow with the rest of the room. Hang long, luxurious draperies if the room has a formal feel. Try light, translucent curtains or wooden blinds if the vibe is more relaxed. Be sure not to limit access to sunlight—windows should have easy accessibility.

Tables

Translucent glass tabletops open up a room, while factory cart end tables can be made from scratch. Nested end tables offer double the bang for the buck. You can buy an inexpensive, used table and refinish it to look like new.

Decorative Objects and Mementos

Put up floating shelves to add interest to knick knacks, books and pictures. Group similar collectibles together to create a mini theme. Bring in decorative vases and fill them with real flowers, either picked by hand or purchased at a supermarket, and stack accessories to free up space.

When it comes to revitalizing a living room, the possibilities are endless. The only limitation is a lack of imagination!