Rejuvenate a living room or family room by making a few inexpensive decorating changes. Use seasonal themes or create a unique style that reflects one’s personality.
Seasonal changes and personal mood often bring out the urge to redecorate, but supplies and professional decorators are expensive. As people continue to weather an economic recession, many have turned to more budget-friendly creative ideas to give a home a new look.
Calculate a Budget and Decide on a Decorating Style
No matter what time of year the decorating mood strikes, one can rework a family room to make it look like new without going to the expense and hassle of painting or wallpapering. Simple changes can increase the energy flow of an entire house. Specific modifications to a single room can elicit a calming effect, especially where serene colors and accent preferences cast spiritual peace and harmony. Or perhaps the decorator prefers bold vibrant colors and eccentric accents that pulsate with energy.
Whatever the preference, one must first devise a cost plan and then decide what home improvements can be made without exceeding the financial limit. A few low-budget possibilities are listed below.
- Add new slipcovers to one or more pieces of furniture.
- Add (or remove) decorative pillows.
- Change lampshade styles.
- Hang one or two new pictures or try decorative wall accents for a change.
- Add a different style window treatment. Use heavier fabrics for cold weather, light and airy fabrics for spring and summer.
- Add an area rug.
- Add live plants to end tables or use fresh cut flowers.
- Fill a tall decorative floor vase with ornamental grasses.
- Add scented candles. (If candles pose a problem because of children, then invest in an air freshener that works on a timer.)
- Clean the rug or carpet. The fresh scent and clean feeling enhance a room’s appearance. Steam cleaners can be rented at many larger grocery stores, hardware stores, and even some drugstores.
Change the Living Room Décor for Free
Redo a living space without spending any money. Creativity costs nothing and yields great rewards. Remember to keep traffic areas obstacle-free and don’t be afraid to try different furniture arrangements.
- Move the furniture around. There is no law that says furniture must be lined up along the walls of the room. In larger living rooms, try sectioning spaces for different purposes, like creating a horseshoe sitting area around the entertainment center, for example.
- Utilize a bare space or corner. Add a small table and chair. Finish with a small plant, notepad, and pen to make a simple-but-usable office space. Another possibility: Turn the corner into a reading area by adding a floor lamp, recliner, and a magazine caddy or bookshelf.
- Eliminate clutter. Throw out or store items no longer wanted or needed. Better yet, if one has enough salable items in good condition, why not have a yard sale and make a few dollars.
- Rework existing pictures and photos. Use different display patterns for groups of like photos such as family pictures.
- Bring the outdoors inside. Cut garden flowers and display arrangements in one or two eye-catching spots in the living room.
Sources and Tips for Decorating with Colors, Patterns, Sound, and Seasons
Feng Shui practitioners offer practical advice on using colors, harmony, sound, and increased energy flow. Additionally, there are virtually hundreds of online home decorating sites, and hard-copy magazines offer budget decorating tips and advice on how to reach the desired look. A little homework can bring out the best in a room.
It’s a smart idea to take photos of a room before investing in color accents such as slipcovers, accent pillows, and so forth. Take the photos to the store when choosing decorative items. Keep patterns, textures, and object sizes in mind when purchasing new items. Don’t forget about thrift stores and dollar stores when searching for home furnishings.
- To obtain a balanced look with contrast, use patterned or flowered accent pillows on solid upholstered furniture, and vice-versa. Choose colors and textures that compliment or coordinate. A subtle touch of bold coloring livens a room without disrupting the overall effect.
- Cool effects require cool colors such as pale blues, cream, pale green, and so forth. Bright colors and some abstract artwork adds tension to a room, so don’t overdo it.
- Computer home design programs are great for comparing colors and textures; but if that’s not an option, then draw a picture. Use markers to see how colors and patterns will work. It’s much easier (and a lot less frustrating) to work things out on paper than to have to keep returning items to a store.
- Experiment with sound, lighting, scents, and environmental decor. If a peaceful sanctuary is the desired goal, then bring a living room together with instrumental music, soft lighting, and lush plants. Active families with young children and pets may desire the more stimulating effects of bright bold colors, washable pillows, and tough houseplants.
Decorating a living space on a budget is fun and psychologically uplifting. A clean, clutter-free room reduces stress. Enhanced with complimenting decorative changes, the room takes on an inviting essence.
A family living area is an extension of the people who live there, but it is also the room that visitors are apt to see first. Attention to small details such as color coordination, artistic displays, and even the scent of the room all contribute to the overall appearance. Small changes can have a huge impact when decorating. The price tag might be cheap, but when the project is completed, the results can look professional.