How to Update a Living Room on the Cheap


If you have ever done a home renovation, you know that they can be expensive, disruptive and time-consuming. Thankfully, there are plenty of quick and easy things you can do to freshen up your living room without breaking the bank.

So, are you ready for a change?


Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint! Painting is an affordable and easy way to bring a new perspective into a room. Ask yourself what kind of space you are trying to create – bright and airy? cozy and warm? – and then choose a suitable color. Keep in mind that a neutral color might be your best bet if you are not able to invest in new furniture. Also remember that colors go in and out of style (remember avocado kitchen appliances?), and unless you want to repaint every few years, neutrals are a good solution.   Dingy or peeling window sills and floorboards can make a room look tired and neglected, so as long as you are breaking out the drop sheets, think about a coat or two of crisp white paint for the trim. Don’t overlook details like nail holes or cracks – there is no better time to fix these than before a new coat of paint. Not ready to commit to painting a full room? Consider paining one wall in a dramatic modern color to instantly give your room a new lease on life.

Add a splash of color

If you can’t bust out the paint, there are other ways to bring modern colors and textures into your room. New curtains, pillow covers, curtains, decorations or accessories are a great way to bring unexpected colors into a space without overwhelming it. No matter how much you love fuchsia, it won’t be long before you wish you hadn’t painted all your walls in a color you definitely can’t hide from! Bring modern bold colors into the room in small and easily replaceable ways – remember, sometimes, less is more.

Refresh worn or dated furniture

Nothing says “tired” like threadbare furniture and patterns that belong under plastic in your grandmother’s living room. If you can afford to have your furniture reupholstered, this is an excellent way to update the look of your room – choose durable, neutral colors for style in the long-term. Having sofas or cushions re-stuffed is another way to make them look fresh and new. If these options aren’t available, consider having fabrics professionally cleaned. If you can’t afford to renew your furniture, not to worry – well-placed throws and covers can do the job nicely, with the advantage of being easily changed down the line.

Freshen wooden floors

Ideally, old and worn floors should be sanded and treated with new varnish, but this is not always realistic. Thankfully, there are “instant shine” products that can be applied with a mop to give a new luster to tired floors. Strategic placement of area rugs and furniture can also help hide rough spots.

Change the lighting

An easy way to wake up a living room is with the right lighting. Overhead lighting is dated and unflattering as well! Consider making an investment in a good and modern-looking floor lamp to instantly bring some updated style to your room. New lamp shades are easily purchased at lighting stores and are relatively inexpensive – this is a great way to bring new colors and shapes into your room. If you have old-style bulky track-lighting, consider replacing it with a sleek new system.

Eliminate clutter and clean everything else

If you can’t paint it, cover it or replace it, the next best thing is to clean it! Dirty windows, dusty lampshades, dust-bunnied curtains, finger-print covered picture frames and stained carpets do nothing good for a room. Clutter also makes a space look old and neglected. Go through the room and re-evaluate the usefulness and beauty of the things you find in it – and get rid of things that serve no purpose other than collecting dust!

Now its time to roll up those sleeves and create a new look for your living room!

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