5 simple living room makeover ideas (on a budget!)

Are you looking for living room makeovers on a budget? Perhaps you just moved in to a new home and you’re looking for smart and easy living room design ideas to make the space truly your own. If you have a small living room, an outdated living room or a poorly designed living room, it can often feel uncomfortable to be in the space so much so that you don’t even use the room!

That’s no good.

As the primary room in a house where family and friends gather, the living room is probably the most important space in your home to be designed properly to suit your needs. After all, your friends and family members spend a lot of time bonding in the living room, as it is the primary room dedicated to socialization in your home. Thus, living room interior design is important.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re looking for small living room designs, living room makeover ideas on a budget or how to do living room makeovers, we’ve gathered some easy and simple tips that anyone can do to spruce up their space. You don’t need to break the bank to have the living room of your dreams — just a few organizational and aesthetic changes will leave you happy and relaxed in your new, awesome living room.  

#1 Mix & Match Patterns & Textures

When starting on your living room makeover, consider decorating with patterns and textures. When you contrast different textures, such as rough and smooth, bumpy and shiny, or thin and thick, you make a room come alive and prevent a static and conventional space.

A monochromatic room is dull, drab and boring.

Instead, in your living room interior design, look for furniture items with interesting detail, rugs or tiled floors with cross-hatch patterns, drapes or curtains made of silky and soft-to-the-touch fabrics, or pillows and blankets in complimentary colors and designs. When elements of diverse qualities are combined, the end result is something beautiful, eclectic and truly magical. Often, living room design ideas that mix and match patterns and textures encourage us to use the items that are in the room (e.g. books, baskets, pillows, blankets), rather than storing them away for fear of messing up the place!

#2 Feng Shui Your Space

Though you’ve heard the term before, maybe you’re not entirely sure how to feng shui your living room. Utilizing feng shui in any living space is top priority since it can transform the flow of qi (i.e. energy) from either extremes — chaotic and fast or stagnant and stale — to a steady, calm flow that is rejuvenating and refreshing. Living room makeovers that utilize feng shui techniques tend to be the best looking and feeling living room designs.

Feng shui interior design for living room includes location, layout, furniture and the overall vibe. On the internet, you can find a lot of different tips and tricks to feng shui your space during living room makeovers on a budget, but the primary feng shui guidelines are as follows:

  • No Clutter. A living room that is free from clutter is the foundation for good feng shui. Lack of clutter cannot be emphasized enough: there can be no genuine feng shui in a space that is infected with clutter since the two of them are directly counter to one another.
  • Arrangement & Balance. No matter what size, the feng shui living room will feel roomy and comfortable. This is primarily due to the arrangement of furniture and objects, as well as the balance of colors, textures and patterns throughout the feng shui living room. A living room decorated entirely in any one color is not good feng shui; instead, a balance of multiple colors, shapes and materials leads to a healthier and more harmonious environment.
  • Flow & Pathways. Living room interior design that uses feng shui will have architectural designed and natural pathways, which is maintained by optimal furniture placement. For instance, an item of furniture that juts out into an obvious pathway not only becomes a hazard of safety, but also blocks energy’s attempts to flow unobstructed throughout the living space.
  • Natural Light & Ventilation. A feng shui living room must be located in a room that has two exterior walls. The reason for this is that the proximity to the outdoors encourages and allows fresh, positive energy to enter and flow freely throughout the space. Additionally, plenty of sunlight and ventilation is ensured by the windows on the exterior walls.

#3 The Power of Color

Any interior designer would agree: changing the color palette of a room is one of the best and easiest ways to transform the look of a room. During your living room makeover, keep in mind that color acts in three basic ways: active, passive and neutral. Lighter colors are expansive and airy, making small living rooms feel larger. Dark colors, on the other hand, are sophisticated and warm, adding drama to a design scheme and making a living room interior design feel more intimate.

If you’re looking for living room makeover ideas and just don’t know where to start, consider transforming the color palette of your walls. Some common color combinations for living room walls are:

  • Turquoise and beige
  • Purple and green
  • Sage, pink and beige
  • Blue and burnt orange
  • Blue, green and cream
  • Yellow and grey
  • Yellow, pink and green
  • Red and blue
  • Pink and yellow
  • Red and white
  • Blue and yellow

Keep in mind that each color has a psychological value: they can influence how you feel and serve to help you achieve the mood you want. In addition to painting your walls a new color, small living room designs also encourage utilizing colored fabrics, carpeting, furniture and tile to truly transform a room. However, if you’re looking for living room makeovers on a budget, just painting the walls is a fairly inexpensive way to entirely transform a room. The most important thing to keep in mind when utilizing color in a living room makeover is balance.

#4 Let There Be Light!

Though this tip has been touched on in feng shui techniques (tip #2), the importance of enough light cannot be overstated: lighting is an essential element of a room and can impact everything else in the space.

Living rooms should have four types of lighting:

  1. Natural light in a room automatically makes a room feel bigger, breezier and more inviting.
  2. Ambient light is in the background and gives the room a general illumination.
  3. Task lighting focuses light onto certain areas, generally where work is done.
  4. Accent lighting illuminates specific areas of the room or objects in the room.

If your living room is small, cramped and dark, there are (thankfully) many decorating tricks you can do to brighten up the space without undergoing a massive renovation! A successful lighting design combines a number of light sources at different levels in the room: a mixture of table lamps, floor lamps, ceiling fixtures and accents, built-in accents and sculptural light fixtures will combine to create a layered and robust lighting scheme, free from shadows!

During your living room makeover, consider using these different types of lighting placed at different points in the room, in combination with large windows to let in natural light. If adding windows or making your windows larger is outside of your control at the moment, consider these living room design ideas:

  • Hang sheer, gauzy curtains on your windows to let in as much light as possible. Install tie-backs on the walls so you can pull the curtains back when desired.
  • Paint the walls a glossy white: white reflects light, and the gloss augments that effect.
  • Select light-colored furniture for the room: light upholstery reflects natural light and brightens the room.
  • Cover a dark floor with a light-colored rug. Consider replacing dark floors with lighter-colored tile or wood floors. The floor has a large surface area that can help to reflect and maximize natural light.
  • Decorate with mirrors, but be careful not to create a painful glare in the middle of your living room during certain times of the day.
  • If it is within your budget, install a light tube. These devices collect sunlight from the rafters and channel it down to your living space. If you have extensive DIY experience, this can be a simple way to add light to your living room makeover; if not, hire a contractor!

#5 Storage Is A Must

No matter how large or small, your living room demands adequate storage. Since the primary intention of your living room design and living room makeover is to create a space for socialization and relaxation, your living room makeover will require clever storage pieces to keep clutter to an absolute minimum. You can do this with large built-ins and with unique dual-purpose living room furniture pieces.

Check out these living room design ideas for ample storage:

  • Two-tiered coffee table or coffee table with drawers
  • Invest in an entertainment center or built-ins
  • Add storage with a stylish hutch
  • Repurpose a dresser as a TV stand
  • Incorporate a storage bench into the living room design, under a window
  • Use cubby-like shelves
  • Utilize all of your wall space: store things up to the ceiling
  • Use storage ottomans as a coffee table or end table
  • Use a console table behind the couch
  • Hang shelves and cabinets on the walls

And there you have it! 5 simple living room makeover ideas you can do on a budget, without breaking the bank. Living room makeovers on a budget can be fairly simple and fun to do — no need for a huge renovation that will take up all your time, energy and money with living room makeover ideas like these.

This post was written by Kara Roberts, blogger and content writer for Canvas Vows. We specialize in creating custom made canvas prints and have been featured in a number of publications, including Brides. For more interior design tips, gift ideas, anniversary celebrations, and personalized canvas creations check out our blog!

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