5 Budget Friendly Ways to Refresh Your Living Room

Recently, a friend of mine reached out to me and asked if I’d help give her living room a little refresh. My answer was, “OF COURSE!”. Her living room was always beautiful but she expressed wanting to make some changes and updates in order to make the space feel more serene and peaceful. Guys, BLESS this woman, I’ve never done decor or styling in anyone’s home but my own and working with her was so easy and fun! After getting a feel for her style and learning what existing objects we were keeping I got to work on a couple of mood boards so that we could further nail down the direction and vibe we wanted for the space. I really like using mood boards to inspire and drive the plan so that when the shopping trip comes, it’s easy to follow a clear direction on items needed. (Does anyone else ever get lost in the Target/HomeGoods/Hobby Lobby trance?!? just me…) But, that’s an entirely different post.

Here are the items/areas we were focusing on (and you can too) in order to make a major change for a minor investment.

1. Area Rug – Of all the pieces I’m recommending, area rugs can be the largest investment. But, I’m a firm believer that the right rug (and the right size of rug) can make or break a space! If you shop around, you can find a rug that suits your needs for a reasonable price. When looking for a rug, look for one that is an appropriate size and stays within your style preferences and color palette. At the store, keeping these things in mind, can help you choose the right rug for your room. You want to ensure that, at least, the front legs of furniture are able to fit on the rug.

2. Curtains – I feel like curtains are an easy way to change the look of a room without having to invest a ton of money or a ton of work; win,win! They are an opportunity to really add some flare and personality to a room while also being functional as well. When looking for curtains determine the appropriate height, fabric, and pattern for your needs before heading to the store. My personal favorite way to hang curtains is from ceiling to floor and about 6 inches on either side of the window. This makes your window appear larger and still allows the maximum amount of light in. Also, when deciding between solid or patterned curtains, consider whether or not you want the window to become a focal point and whether the items around the curtains will clash with your pattern. For Amy’s space, we kept her existing sheers and swapped out the outer curtain to a gauzy grey cotton panel with a white embellishment to keep the space feeling grounded and calm.

Photo Credit Amy Smith

3. Throw Pillows and Throw Blankets – One of the simplest and cheapest ways to spruce up a space, or change it, according to the current season (or your current taste) is by changing the throw pillows and blankets. I recommend investing in down inserts and changing their covers as needed.  Ikea has some incredibly affordable options that come highly recommended by many! P.S. The down filling is paramount to get that satisfying, freshly karate chopped look!4. Focal Walls or Mantels – There is a place in every room that draws the eye in and brings everyone’s focus to that area. For Amy, it’s her mantle! I’d NEVER styled a mantle before, y’all! Playing with the layering and all the items she had found was so fun! Here are the main elements I recommend putting on your list when shopping for mantel decor. 1. A large base item to hang above the mantle (or lean atop the mantle). 2. An item (we used a wreath but you can use signs, a mirror, and artwork or whatever strikes your fancy) to layer on top of your base. 3. Candle sticks, floral elements, signs, and vases that will give some height to the setting. 4. A stack of books with coordinating spines, because BOOKS y’all! But, they also provide of fabulous platform to display tchotchkes and seasonal decor. We did something fun and turned the spines inward so that the antiqued pages could be seen. 5. Decor that can be added and changed with the seasons and holidays. 6. Large baskets, bins, and decor items that can flank the area near the fireplace.

Photo Credit Amy Smith

5. Details – Sometimes, it’s the details that will really bring the space together! It may take some time to curate the pieces that work best and really speak to you, but, it’s always worth the wait! Some key items to look for: greenery (plants – live or faux), trays, candles, books, baskets/bins, vases/urns, seasonal decor, small signs, picture frames, or any small item that speaks to your personality and style. Layer, layer, layer and use varying textures and materials to make the items coexist perfectly!

Photo Credit Amy Smith

I’m SO thrilled to have been invited to help Amy out with her living room refresh and I love knowing that she’s enjoying the space even more now! Thanks girl, for trusting and believing in me to make your living room dreams come true!