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.
Want to give your space an instant makeover? Here are 29 simple living room ideas that are basically free.
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.
Rearrange Your Coffee Table
Is your living room décor basically done, but lacking a finishing touch? Arrange your coffee table with books, vases, objects, and flowers to give it that magazine-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 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 these ottomans and poufs in varying prints.
Float the Couch
One designer told MyDomaine, "It can be tempting to push all furniture up against the wall, but this can create dead space in the center of the room." That said, 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 say.
Hack an IKEA Find
Get personal with one of many IKEA furniture hacks, from switching out the hardware to a complete makeover.
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 previously 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.
Save on Prints
New York–based designer Sasha Bikoff once 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.