Want a Stylish Living Room? 5 Budget-Friendly Projects to Prioritize

updated Sep 8, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

We get it: Decorating a new space is challenging—especially if you’re on a tight budget and have to parse out purchases over time. However, the plot thickens when you’re trying to figure out which projects to put at the very top of your to-do list. Creating the home of your dreams is a real-life jigsaw puzzle and, unless you’re dropping a lot of dough on a professional decorator, figuring out which piece to lay down first can be a complete headache.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up our top five tips on how to jazz up a living space in no time without breaking the bank.

Display Some Art

It doesn’t matter if you tear images out of magazines, download digital files and print them out yourself, or just hang up a fun photo or two: Adding some art can give your otherwise bland space the personal touch it deserves.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but if you want to make a splash, pick prints that reflect your personal style. Not only will they allow your space to represent you, but they will also be serious conversation starters when your friends and family members come over for that first visit. Bonus points if you display your favorite pieces on sleek wall shelves as seen in Agi Dmochowska’s UK abode.

Designate a Bar Area

Happy hour, anyone? Whether you split a bottle of vino with your friends, slurp down Shirley Temples, or want to perfect your extra dry martini, very few things can bring a crowd together like a designated bar area. Decking out the corner of your living room with few of your favorite beverages and glasses will make your home look super chic and put together—yes, even if the rest of your space is covered in moving boxes. As this 500 square foot apartment proves, this is one design trick that can work in a space of any size.

It doesn’t matter if you use a folding tray, end table, or formal bar cart: Please don’t stash your spirits on top of your refrigerator.

Add a Bold Rug

Confession time: A great rug doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune. You can find tons of affordable alternatives by browsing marketplaces, like our very own bazaar, or waiting for sales. Your rug will lay the foundation for the rest of your living room, so pick a versatile option that can work with multiple styles.

Not sure where to start? We love a good tribal print like the one seen in this San Francisco abode.

Credit: Kylie Repasy

Go Green with Plants

Whether you choose real or faux— we won’t judge, promise!—you can’t go wrong with plants. Not only will they add plenty of joy and life into your space, but you can snag a bunch of leafy greens for a complete steal. Take a cue from this New York City apartment by juxtaposing different shapes and sizes for added interest.

Credit: Alexis Buryk

Hang a Mirror or Two

In addition to looking super glam, mirrors can help make your space look bigger. Admittedly, they’re not always cheap, but browsing flea markets and vintage stores may yield some more budget-friendly options. Hang a few of ’em on the wall, as was done in this Brooklyn apartment, or prop one on a console table or fireplace mantel for a fancy flair.