9 Free Ways to Refresh Your Living Room

cozy living room

Design by Emily Henderson Design Photograph by Sara Tramp


Just like the arrival of a new season gives you a pep in your step, waking up your living room décor with a little refresh can feel equally invigorating. And doing so doesn't have to break the bank either. The good news is brightening up your living room and recharging your space with fresh vibes is far easier—and more affordable—than you might think.

So if you're tired of your current hum-drum living room set-up, the changing of seasons creates the perfect excuse to shake things up a bit and refresh your living room style with some feel-good vibes. Whether you're in the mood to make a big change that reshapes the feel of your entire living space, or simply want to make a couple of smaller, yet totally impactful changes to your living room's decor, there are numerous smart and savvy ways to go about it—without putting a strain on your wallet.

The secret to falling in love with your living room all over again isn't buying a bunch of pricey plants or shopping the aisles of HomeGoods looking for trendy new accent pieces. Rather, it's about thinking outside-of-the-box when it comes to decorating ideas, getting creative by repurposing items you already have on hand to keep costs down, and being willing to take a few tasteful design risks to make your space feel new again.

So, if you're ready to celebrate the shifting of the seasons at home by making a few free changes to your living room decor, we've got a few creative (and totally free) ways you can reinvigorate your home. After all, a little change can be good for you.

01 of 09

Start by Clearing Excess Clutter

Nothing refreshes your living room faster than clearing clutter, so take a day to look over your space with a critical eye. Clear off all flat surfaces and start over by completely restyling them—just be careful about going overboard the second time around. Remember: Less is more. If you’re feeling stuck, you can even take a pic of your living room on your phone to help you spot visually heavy areas that you might not have otherwise noticed in person.

02 of 09

Rearrange Your Living Room Furniture

Add some much-needed feng shui to your space by moving your furniture pieces around to create a new sense of flow and serenity. This free way to refresh your living room is by far one of the most impactful—and easiest—steps you can take.

03 of 09

Temporarily Exchange Accessories With a Friend

Instead of buying new accents to wake up your space, ask your design savvy friends if they want to trade decorative accents for a few months. It’s similar to a wardrobe exchange, just with fun décor items such as lamps, throw pillows, wall art and the like.

04 of 09

Create an Accent Wall Using Sharpies or Paint Pens

Give your living room a focal point by making your own accent wall using Sharpies or paint pens from your craft drawer. Simply use a ruler to draw a cool geometric design, or something simple like fake shiplap, directly onto your walls and trace over them with a Sharpie or paint pen in the color of your choice. Or, you can take this free decorating idea to the next level by renting an old-school projector from your local library (the kind your teacher used to use in class) and using it to project an elaborate line drawing onto your walls. Then, simply trace over it with your Sharpie or paint pen—and voila! Your DIY wall mural is done in a snap.

05 of 09

Swap Items From Room to Room

Another easy free way to refresh not just your living room, but your whole house, is to swap your wall art and décor from room to room. For example, move the framed art you have hanging above your bed to a shelf on your living room or relocate the plant from your bathroom to a new home on your side table for an easy and effective change. You can also switch window treatments from room to room—or remove them altogether if privacy isn’t an issue, since the bare window look is totally on trend right now.

06 of 09

Get Creative With Free, Repurposed Wall Art

Wall art is one of the easiest pieces of décor to DIY, since just about anything you have on hand can look cool when it’s stylishly hung or framed in your space. You can turn colorful scarves or throw blankets into eye-catching tapestries by hanging them with thumb tacks or transform everyday objects—think: pretty serving trays, costume jewelry or dish towels—into creative wall art by grouping them together on a blank wall. You can even frame your favorite mementos, like vinyl records or sentimental letters to add to your gallery wall.

07 of 09

Collect Free Décor From Nature

Whether you build a mini tabletop moss garden in a pretty bowl or find fallen branches to prop in a vase, looking to nature for free decorative accents will instantly refresh your space. Want to find free plants that will last long into winter? Do some research to figure out which plants are self-propagating, so you can grow new plants from clippings you get from family and friends.

08 of 09

Find New Purposes For Items You Already Own

Use an old bottle of nail polish to paint a picture frame. Make a small side table out a stack of old textbooks. Use an old travel trunk as a table. Hang those woven baskets collecting dust in your closet on the wall instead. With enough creativity, the design possibilities are endless.

09 of 09

Shop For New Decorating Items Strategically

If you insist on getting something “new” for your living room, find ways to acquire new items without spending any money. You could check Facebook marketplace regularly for free furniture and other project pieces that you can DIY to your liking, or offer to trade items with a seller rather than paying for them in cash.

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