While it would be nice to walk into a showroom full of sleek, modern Scandinavian living room furniture, point to everything and say, “I’ll send a truck on Tuesday” — who has that kind of money, really? Unless you’re Miley Cyrus, or you just won the lottery, chances are, you’re working with a slightly more modest home decor budget with slightly less modest living room decorating ideas.
The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank or hire an interior designer to give your living room design a makeover that will make you feel like a million bucks. Whether you have a large or small living room, by starting with the big-ticket items you already own, streamlining your color scheme and adding just a few, new statement pieces, you can have the glam-vibe living space of your dreams that will make all your friends think you suddenly hit it big. Check out the following home design ideas.
First things first: Start with an anchor piece. This will usually be the largest piece of furniture in the room, and in your living room, that’s the sofa. If your budget allows, consider buying a new sofa in a classic, modern style. Or stick with your old sofa if it’s in good condition and suits your needs. You can also consider reupholstering or using a cute couch cover to freshen your current sofa’s look. If space allows, get it away from the wall. This isn’t a middle school dance; you want that puppy out front and center — or at least a few feet from the perimeter. Don’t be shy!
If your sofa is less than ideal and you can't afford to redecorate it, try shifting the floor plan or the focal point of your living room feel to something else. This could be a striking bookcase, an ornate light fixture like a chandelier, a flashy piece of art, a fun area rug, the mantel, or even a collection of items such as guitars or figurines.
Assess what you own and choose a color scheme. Before you start adding more furniture, do a little Marie Kondo-ing and get rid of (or decide to replace) furniture that doesn’t hit the mark. Now, use your big keeper items — such as a rug, artwork or anchor piece — to pick what colors you’d like to use throughout the room. How do you want the space to feel? What's that room look you're searching for? Let your inner decorator free.
Keep in mind the color of your walls, or decide to repaint if you have the liberty. Blues and cool paint colors can make a room feel calm, while yellows and warm colors can make a space feel more energized. Painting just one accent wall a different color can be great for contrast.
Remember the 60-30-10 rule for combining different colors. Decorate with 60 percent in a dominant color (walls), 30 percent in a secondary color (upholstery) and 10 percent in an accent color (accessories). For instance, if you own a lot of wood items, you may want to stick to colors of nature, painting the walls a soft green hue with white upholstery and your wooden accented furniture.
And while many people choose to stick with a safe, neutral color palette, incorporating more exciting colors is a surefire way to up your space's oomph factor. You can do this simply by refreshing your throw pillow covers, blankets, art and other accessories in a favorite color. This is a low-key way to update your room feel and try out new looks. If you don't like the result, it's not very expensive to swap these items for something else.
Finally, choose your statement pieces. Now comes the fun part. Add flair with an accent chair, art and accessories--think table lamps, decorative pillows, even the sconces can make a difference! The furniture pieces that bring your living room ideas to life don't have to be big-ticket items. You can go trendy with bold geometric designs, classic with clean and simple lines or mix it up and be eclectic with bold colors. Keep your chosen color palette in mind when picking trays, bowls, lampshades and other items. Match your metals. Match your woods. Don't forget that natural light is always a big atmosphere booster for the entire room, too, and does wonder even for a small space!
Consider adding a decorative sculpture or gallery wall with framed art pieces. You can even use stencils or vinyl wall art decals to add DIY interest to a particular nook or area. Google and YouTube can be fantastic resources for learning to install these.
And remember: You don’t have to do it all at once. Pace yourself, collect decorating ideas slowly, and have fun experimenting with different arrangements. Integrate lots of open space for fresh air and light to flow. Don’t forget a green plant or two (make sure they’re indoor plants and can tolerate low light).
And voilà! With a small investment and a little creativity, you’ll be well on your way to styling the living room you always knew you deserved. Interior design doesn't have to be scary or expensive. With a few good redecorating ideas in your bag of tricks, anyone can do it on any budget.