Cheap, Yet Chic: Low Cost Living Room Design Ideas

published Mar 25, 2014
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(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

We live hard in living rooms. It’s where we entertain, relax in the evenings, watch TV, and do countless other activities each day. Yet when we get sick of our surroundings and need something different, it’s tough to make big changes in the context of our busy lives and small budgets. That’s when small, cheap tweaks come in handy…

Here are eight small ways to switch it up at home, on a budget:

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

1. Shop Your Home: Instead of going to the store, stroll through your house and “borrow” items from other rooms. Or, take a look at what’s lingering in your closet or storage that might feel new again in the light of day.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

2. Curate: Pare down what’s on hand, and then style vignettes around the room. Arranging decor helps your eye move around the room in interesting ways. Plus, when you choose meaningful items (i.e. travel souvenirs or family photos) it also means extra nice warm fuzzies.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

3. Add Plants: Greenery is one of the best ways to liven up a space. See if one of your friends or neighbors will divide up one of their plants and give it to you, then find a vessel around the house for your new organic friend.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

4. Bring out the Books: I firmly believe that books are beautiful. It’s just a bonus that they are close at hand, or easy and cheap to come by. A stack of books adds needed color, or is a nice space-filler when you don’t want to buy pricier accessories.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

5. Re-arrange Furniture: Get acquainted with a different part of your space by moving around your furniture. Put your desk by a window for a change, or orient your sofa towards the fireplace vs. the television for awhile.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

6. DIY something: Aside from the good feeling you get from making something with your hands, DIY projects are inexpensive ways to decorate. It doesn’t have to be large— even a quick no-sew pillow adds something new to a room.

(Image credit: Theresa Gonzalez)

7. Paint: We talk about painting all the time for good reason; this is one of the cheapest and easiest things you can do to switch up a room. It immediately changes the mood, looks fresh, and can be done without a lot of money.

8. Find Beauty in the Everyday: Take a look around for regular items that have special visual appeal. Whether it is your collection of boots (above), or an old kimono, displaying them in a conscious way elevates both your objects and the room.

What tips do you have for decorating on the cheap?

Re-edited from a post originally published 3.25.14-NT