While the kitchen and bathroom often take priority when it's time to renovate, the living room is the first place decorators look when their home needs a revamp. As the central feature (and often the first room guests see), it should reflect your personal taste and aesthetic. But what if your champagne style is at odds with your canned-beer budget? At MyDomaine HQ, we never let finances get in the way of a stylish space so we've come up with some living room ideas for those on a budget.
But before you get started there are a few things you should consider first. What is your design goal? How much room do you have to work with? How will the space be used? What pieces can you keep, and what needs to be replaced? To get you started, we compiled seven key tips for making your living room look luxurious and timeless (and only seem expensive).
Hang Large-Scale Art
Create a focal point and give your space some wow factor by hanging an oversize piece of art by itself on one of your living room walls. The look is chic and high impact, with very little hassle. Keep your eyes peeled at flea markets and thrift stores for large pieces at reasonable prices, or get creative and make your own if you're decorating on a budget.
Simplify Your Styling
A cluttered, overaccessorized living room can look messy and disorganized, rather than chic and sophisticated. Pare down your collection, and only retain pieces that have sentimental value or evoke strong memories. A simplified space will enable the remaining elements to really shine, and it will keep you on budget.
Camouflage Your Television
Nothing brings down the feeling of sophisticated luxury in a space quite like a huge black television placed front and center. If fancy mirrors that conceal the TV aren't in your budget, visually minimize the presence of your screen by creating a gallery wall or salon-style art arrangement around it. Although it won't entirely disappear, the frame of the television will blend in with the other artwork and distract the eye. Plus, with a few thrifty finds, this idea works on any budget.
Use an Interesting Textile
Give your living room a custom look by using vintage or antique textiles to make throw pillows or cover small pieces like seat cushions or upholstered stools. An antique Turkish rug on the floor is another simple way to instantly create visual intrigue. The unusual fabric will inject your room with a unique element and will personalize your space. Alternatively, add a textural throw over a sofa or chair to ramp up that cozy factor.
Incorporate a Sculptural Item
Prevent your room from becoming a sea of straight lines and circular forms by introducing an element with an interesting shape or unique silhouette. A tree-root coffee table or unusual side chair will feel like a piece of art in your living room, adding an unexpected and wholly artistic component to your design (even on a budget).
Include a Piece With History
Give your space a sense of wisdom and incorporate a piece with some patina and age to it. Anything from a mirror to a small side table or accessory will do the trick—the older the better. If it gives off an air of "I was purchased at a French flea market and came from an old château," it will do wonders. Keep a keen eye out for affordable finds to stay on budget.
Decorate With a Mix of Textures
A layered, thoughtful mix of materials and textures will give your space a custom-designed, luxurious look. Mix metals, glass, wood, a variety of textiles, and leather items to create a dynamic, inviting space. Carefully select each piece to suit your budget and let your room come together naturally.
Which budget-friendly living room idea will you try first?
This post was originally published in 2016 and has since been updated.