Easy, Cheap and Chic Living Room Design Tricks

We all want a stylish living room—a living room that looks like those gracing the pages of magazines and one that can handle the rigors of daily life. But if you truly LIVE in your living room, it’s often difficult to maintain a stylish space to enjoy. Face it, kids, pets and life in general can turn your living room into a virtual dumping ground for toys, 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: Create 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 and miscellany. Media cabinets are also tailor-made for organization with cubbies for storage baskets, shelving and drawers to hide household 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!

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

4. Display Everyday Items: Scour your home for regular items with graphic appeal. It could be an antique rug, a collection of vintage picture frames, a pair of buffet lamps or a brightly colored throw from the bedroom. Display them in a unique way that elevates the ordinary to extraordinary.

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

6. Add Greenery: Greenery is one of the best ways to add energy to a space. Head to the home improvement center and scoop up some trendy succulents or see if a neighbor would be willing to divide a spider plant or give you a cutting of golden pothos so you can start your own plant.

7. Bring Out 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 around, 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.

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 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.

9. 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.

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! 
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