The living room is arguably one of the most important spaces in your home. It's probably where your family gathers at night, where you wind down on a Saturday afternoon, and where your guests first rest their eyes when entering your home. It's only natural to want your living room to look and feel its absolute best. But while re-decorating a room is always an exciting process, it can also turn into a serious money pit (and quickly) if you don't prioritize and maximize what you already have.
If your living room is feeling a little uninspiring and stale but doesn't necessarily warrant a full redesign, there are tons of easy ways to transform your space without spending a ton of time or money—and it can be as simple as moving some furniture around or adding a rug.
Change Your Layout
Sometimes, all you need to do to make your living room feel fresh is to switch up its layout. Is your furniture pushed up against the walls? Try floating it in the middle of the room. Is there too much space between your seating arrangement? Consider dividing your space into multiple zones, like interior designers Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus did in their L.A. living room above.
At the very least, think about decluttering your space, which will open up the room and make it feel refreshed. Another idea? Shop your own home by removing and replacing certain items (like plants, art, a table lamp) from other rooms to see how they might fit in your living room.
Adorn Your Coffee Table
Is your living room décor basically done, but lacking a finishing touch? Adorn your coffee table with books, vases, objects, and flowers to give it that Pinterest-worthy look.
Play around with scale (varying large-scale and smaller objects work well), group like objects together, swap out seasonal décor, or mix up the height of your decorative objects to refresh your coffee table.
Change Up the View
The classic layout in a living room is to position the sofa to face the TV, but what if it were to face the window or another sofa instead? (We know, this only works if you keep your TV in a different room, or are looking to nix it altogether.)
Consider where and what you want the focal point to be in your living room, and design your space around that.
Consider how you use your space the most and arrange your sofa in a way that makes the most sense for you.
Re-Hang Your Curtains
Are your curtains hung just below the ceiling and wide beyond the edge of your windows? If not, consider taking them down and re-hanging them. Placing your curtains as high and wide as possible will make your windows appear larger and allow more natural light to enter the room—making it look instantly more expensive. Or, consider styling them in a different way. For example, if you typically push curtains aside during the day, consider tying them back or picking up a few curtain hooks to secure them.
Add an Antique
Sometimes, you just need one antique to give your brand new space a little character. Whether you find a collector's piece on 1stDibs or Chairish or scour your local vintage store for something unique, a piece with a little age and patina will make your space feel more collected and elegant. Mixing different style genres is also a great way to personalize your living room, and avoid feeling like you're living in a staged home.
Layer Your Rugs
Is your rug too small for your space? Add a larger, inexpensive natural weave rug underneath to anchor your living room. Do you already have a larger, neutral rug that's uninspiring? Layer a smaller antique Turkish rug on top to give your room character. Interior designers typically advise no smaller than an 8-by-10-foot rug in smaller spaces, and a 9-by-12-foot rug in larger living rooms.
Use Color Repetition
When it comes to décor, there is a lot of power in repetition. This goes for colors, but also shapes. If you have one or two dominant colors in your living room, try repeating them in various items throughout the room. For instance, in the living room above by interior designer Stefanie Stein, the tan leather of the sofa and the teal blue of the pillows are repeated throughout in other accessories like lamps and benches.
Add Some Greenery
A little greenery will always make a room feel more put together. Whether you only have the space (or the green thumb) for a small, low-maintenance succulent, or if you'd rather invest time and energy into a larger fiddle-leaf fig tree, consider adding a plant or two in your living room to give it that finishing touch. You could also follow feng shui design principles and choose, as well as position, a plant for your home that promotes both balance and good fortune. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with opting for fake houseplants; often, they look like the real thing and require less upkeep.
Reorganize Your Bookcases
Do you have bookcases in your living room? Take everything out and re-organize them. Remove any items you don't absolutely love or serve no purpose, and re-introduce items one by one, starting with stacks of books and art and finishing up with smaller accessories like vases and decorative accents. And don't forget to leave white space for the eye to pause.
Add Floor Pillows
A couple of floor pillows can go a long way in making a space feel laid-back and layered. If you feel like your living room needs just a little more texture, try Karaman floor pillows. Or, consider an ottoman or pouf in varying prints.
Transform With Wallpaper
Wallpaper is back! And for good reason; with so many options, including peel-and-stick, finding an ideal print for your home will be totally easy to do.
But let's not be hasty. You don't have to treat every wall with wallpaper. Instead, pick an accent wall to add a pop of personality without losing your sanity or blowing your budget. Removable wallpaper means décor options for rentals, too, as well as options for those unwilling to commit to a single style.
Choose Statement Lighting
Lighting transforms a room in more ways than just brightening it up. Create a focal point for your living room with an eye-catching flush mount chandelier (great for low ceilings) or pendant light. Your guests' eyes will light up (no pun intended) the second they walk into your room, and will definitely compliment your excellent taste.
Select Contrasting Patterns
Matchy-matchy is out. Mixed-match is in! Add visual intrigue and avoid a staged look with contrasting yet complementary patterns. The trick for mixing patterns is to focus on ensuring the color scheme is complementary, rather than the print itself. Try black-and-white hues with different imagery to keep things interesting, vibrant, and fun.
Create a Gallery Wall
Painting walls isn't for everyone. Maybe your lease doesn't allow it or you don't have the patience. That's totally fine. Fill those walls up with your favorite photographs and prints. Pick personal photos, your favorite work from local artists, or maybe even art of your own. Do keep gallery wall best practices in mind, though!
Repurpose Old Favorites
A coat of paint or different textiles can make your favorite items feel brand new. Beyond painting or adding new texture, you can also switch up the hardware of your favorite pieces. For example, do your side table knobs feel a little blah? Find some fun new ones in different metals or shapes for a quick and easy refresh.
Splurge on a Home Bar
This cupboard opens up into a home bar, yet any existing solid surface will do, from a side table to your media console, or shop the likes of West Elm or Room and Board for mobile bar carts to bar cabinets. Not only can you arrange the items in an aesthetically pleasing manner, but it also creates a create icebreaker for your guests when they arrive.
Try an Unconventional Coffee Table
You can easily choose a standard circular or square coffee table to complete the look in your living space, but if you want to truly change things up, try going for an unconventional shape instead. Whether you go for an abstract wood carved option or a geometric shape like the image above, it's a simple yet effective way to give your room an entirely different vibe.
Switch Up the Seating
Group seating together to create a conversation nook, or shop your own home to see what easy swaps you can make. You may be pleasantly surprised that your outdoor furniture works well indoors, too. The great indoors never looked so good.
Declutter Your Living Room
One of the quickest ways to update your living room is to tidy up and organize. Seriously, a quick dusting and a full declutter will make any room feel fresh. Focus on the most visible places first and go from there.
Float the Couch
We know it's tempting to push your furniture against your walls, but this will only create dead space in the center of the room. Experiment with floating the couch in the middle of the room, or at least try leaving a few inches between your wall and the sofa for a more inviting environment, designers recommend.
Cozy Up With Candles
Add warmth (and even some aromatherapy) with candles. Incorporate them into a vignette on a console; style them on a coffee table with a stack of books, for example. Most importantly, though, enjoy them! Pick scents you love and that help you unwind.
Hack an IKEA Find
Get personal with one of many IKEA furniture hacks, from switching out the hardware to a complete makeover. You don't have to spend a fortune to redecorate. You just need patience, sometimes some paint, and a creative eye!
From matte to glossy, from soft to rigid, consider a mix of textures. You can create this look with everything you already own, from picture frames to an accent chair. It goes beyond just furniture though! Different varieties of plants also are a great way to accomplish this look.
Soften With Organic Shapes
Designers say styling a room with organic materials and shapes like rounded side tables helps soften the lines of a space and incorporate more flow. Given this is your living room, a place to socialize and unwind, this is definitely a tip to consider.
Light Up Artwork
Show off the artwork in your living room with proper lighting. Picture lighting illuminates exactly what you want highlighting and is a great option for renters. Try online shops or, even better, look at local boutiques.
Transform a room by combining objects, greenery, and other accessories at different heights for a vignette that will refresh the character of your living room. Decorist Creative Director Jessica McCarthy told MyDomaine to remember the "rule of three."
"The brain is comforted in finding the center point of objects, and the rule of three makes this so easy to achieve. Styling with odd numbers is guaranteed to create success," McCarthy said.
Consider Corner Shelves
Make a room feel more spacious and create additional storage for your living room with corner shelves. Corner shelves are beyond functional, however. They're an excellent way to display your favorite things and add your personal touch.
Save on Prints
New York-based designer Sasha Bikoff told MyDomaine that you don't need to buy "the most famous work of art from well-known artists as you are mostly paying for the name or the signature at the bottom of the work." Instead, head to online print shops like Tappan, Twyla, 1stdibs, and Poster Child Prints for a more affordable way to outfit your home with art, including works by under-the-radar artists.
Refresh With Throw Pillows
Throw pillows are a simple way to combine a plethora of design advice. From mixing textures to introducing pops of color, they give a living room an instant update. Also, consider arranging different sizes of pillows together for a cozy, eclectic look.
Expand With a Floor Length Mirror
Mirrors open up even the smallest space. Expand your own square footage with a floor-length mirror. You can do simple white frames or get super intricate with an ornate gold frame. Do whatever works best for your living room.
Include a Colorful Couch or Sectional
Your couch will most likely take up the most space in your living room, right? Right! Why not get bold with the color? Whether it's a beautiful blue or a gracious green, let the color of your sofa or sectional guide the rest of your decorative decisions.
Dress Up Your Fireplace
Fireplaces are classic and nostalgic but they don't have to be basic and dated. Make your fireplace more contemporary and styled for your home by dressing it up with fun wallpaper. Not ready to commit to one print? That's totally fine; peel-and-stick wallpaper is ubiquitous, affordable, and, most importantly, removable. If it doesn't work, try another!
Wallpaper isn't your only option, though. Paint is a tried-and-true method for transforming any part of a home, including your mantel and fireplace. Try a bold black for a modern twist on a traditional element.
Install a Faux Fireplace
If you don't have a fireplace to work with, may we recommend installing your own? Gasline not required, though; simply fill in the "fireplace" with logs, candles, vases, or whatever other dećor makes sense for your style and the room. Simple, quick, and impactful.
Hang Some Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are a seamless way to decorate. Since this type of shelving doesn't have visible hardware to coordinate with the rest of your space, you only have to focus on the base material and the decorative elements that sit on each one. You can be as minimal or as maximalist as you prefer; it's up to you.