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Easy, Cheap and Chic Living Room Design Tricks

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

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We all want a designer living room that looks just like the magazine pages, although it requires the ability to handle the rigors of daily family life. Face it, if you spend most of the time in your living room it might be difficult to maintain its stylish space. Kids, pets and life in general can turn your living room into a virtual dumping ground for toys, gaming, magazines, mail and just about everything else.

Even if you don’t think it’s possible, you too can have a beautiful living room by delving into our bag of ten easy and cheap design tricks to create a super chic space. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to give your living room a much-needed update.

1. Organize

Find places to hide the inevitable accumulations of stuff. A coffee table with drawers or a shelf below makes a great place to stash remotes, magazines and books. Storage ottomans pull triple duty as side tables, extra seating and storage for the kids' toys, throws, blankets, pillows and miscellany. Media cabinet shelves are also tailor-made for organization with cubbies for storage baskets and drawers to hide all of this household clutter.

It's a great way to organize everything to hide living room clutter.

It's a great way to organize everything to hide living room clutter.

2. Paint

We’ve probably mentioned this more than a few times, but really paint is one of the cheapest and quickest ways to transform a room. If you’re into instant gratification this one is for you. Paint can completely change the mood of your living room and also makes it look fresh and new. With just a gallon or two of paint and supplies you’re on your way to a brand new living room.

You can create a new mood in the living room by changing from white to blue walls.

You can create a new mood in the living room by changing from white to blue walls.

3. Change Up the Furniture

Check out free online room planners and play around with a fresh furniture arrangement. Jot down the measurements of the major pieces and the dimensions of your room. Recreate the furniture in the space and virtually move things around until you hit on just the right floor plan. You’ll save wear and tear on your back and have fun in the process.

It's fun to move your furniture around to create a new living space.

It's fun to move your furniture around to create a new living space.

4. Bring in Colorful Items

Scour your rooms for everyday items with graphic appeal. It could be an antique rug, a collection of vintage brightly painted picture frames, a pair of brass buffet lamps or a red paisley throw from the bedroom. Display these in a unique way that elevates the ordinary to extraordinary.

Bring in an antique rug to brighten up and warm the room.

Bring in an antique rug to brighten up and warm the room.

5. Edit Accessories

Sift through your existing items and pick the ones you like the best and that will work in curated groupings. Take out all of your decorative accessories from the room and place your favorite ones on the dining table then go about styling vignettes around the living room on bookshelves, tables and on the fireplace mantel. Well-placed groupings of accessories work to guide your eye around the space to keep your room from looking static.

Editing accessory items can be displayed on a coffee table, mantel or a bookshelf.

Editing accessory items can be displayed on a coffee table, mantel or a bookshelf.

6. Add Greenery

Greenery is one of the best ways to add energy for the room. Head to the nursery or home improvement center and scoop up some trendy succulents. See if your neighbor would be willing to divide a spider plant or give you cuttings of golden, green and white variegated pothos so you can create lovely greenery for your living room.

Greenery adds life and color in the living room.

Greenery adds life and color in the living room.

7. Decorating Books

Books are beautiful and add color and interest to any living room. If you have them around the house take off their dust jackets and artfully stack them on tables or arrange them by color on a bookcase. If you don’t have any books at home go to a second-hand or donation store and pick them up for pennies. Stacks of large coffee table books create conversation pieces in an empty corners or beside a chair.

Books bring add color and interest in the space.

Books bring add color and interest in the space.

8. Make It Personal

Incorporating items that reflect your hobbies or interests will make your living room extra special. If you are an avid traveler, include special souvenirs and framed photos of your favorite locations and sights. If you have family photos display them with pride on a gallery wall. Chunky family initials perched on the mantel and monogrammed pillows arranged on the sofa are literal ways to personalize your living room.

Create a grouping of images and items you've picked up from travels.

Create a grouping of images and items you've picked up from travels.

9. Recycle, Upcycle and DIY

Been wanting a rustic coffee table? Hit up garage sales, find a farm-style table and cut the legs down and voila! Don’t toss that vintage lamp in the trash. Rewire it and add a new shade for a retro vibe. Lamp kits can be found at hardware and home improvement centers. Love that armchair but hate the fabric? Take a class in upholstery or learn to sew slipcovers to make old seating look new again.

This is a wonderful idea to upcycle a desk that turns into a coffee table.

This is a wonderful idea to upcycle a desk that turns into a coffee table.

10. Find Your Inner Artist

This one is soooo simple! Purchase blank canvases and let your inner Mondrian or Pollock shine. Tape off sections of the canvas and paint blocks of primary colors outlined in black to create familiar geometric art. Lay a large canvas on the floor, dip big brushes in various paint colors and create random splatter patterns. You’ll get rave reviews from family and friends.

Find your Jackson Pollock inner artist!

Find your Jackson Pollock inner artist!

© 2019 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on December 11, 2019:

Emmy, so glad you liked these neat living room ideas!

Eman Abdallah Kamel from Egypt on December 10, 2019:

Very beautiful article, thank you for the ideas.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on November 21, 2019:

Rebecca, I'm glad you enjoyed the variety ideas for the living room!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on November 21, 2019:

Liz, I like creating art canvas too! I've done a couple of easy paintings for the living room and the bedroom.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 21, 2019:

Right up my alley! Thanks for all these wonderful ideas!

Liz Westwood from UK on November 21, 2019:

Great ideas and suggestions in this article. I especially liked the last one! I have lost count of how many times I have looked at art works in hotel rooms and thought that I could have done it myself (and I'm no artist!)