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17 inspiring living room ideas that you can do right now

You can’t always run out and purchase new furniture when you’re tired of your living room. Environmentally, that’s a disaster, so how do you refresh and fall in love with your living space all over again?

It’s simple, actually. We’ve got a collection of favorite ways to change up your living room from small to dramatic. Use a few, and you could find yourself with an entirely new space without sending your couch to the landfill. Let’s take a look.

inspiring living room
Photo by Vincent Rivaud/Pexels

In a few minutes

If you only have a few minutes to spare before your guests come over, try these quick living-room refreshes.

  • Prop up oversized art – Drag that huge painting or poster out of storage and prop it on the floor against a wall. Position it behind an end table where you can see it easily, and it adds a sculptural, dramatic flair to your living room that mimics Andy Warhol’s design space.
  • Bring in your houseplants – Move a few of your houseplants back into the living room to create a lush, green space. Stack them small to large on your end table or re-drape a hanging plant where it can have the maximum visual effect.
  • Changing up your accessories – Move some things around to create a new mantle arrangement or add new pillows to your couch or chairs, especially if they’re bright colors. Take that cozy throw from the guest room to your couch, and you’ve got a whole new feel.
  • Declutter – Everyone loves interesting pieces, but if your living room is feeling a bit crowded, do some editing. Take a few minutes and remove some pieces that aren’t feeling inspired to allow your space to breathe again.
interior white sitting room and kitchen
Getty Images

In a few hours

If you’ve only got a few hours between appointments or before your bedtime, you can add in some new design elements and wake up to a new space.

  • Create a gallery wall – You can change up your existing wall or create a new one by adding in pieces not typically found in your living room, suggests The Spruce. Lay them out on the floor first to test pieces out. You can wing it, add pictures along a plumb line, or work within a boundary.
  • Rearrange the furniture – It seems simple, but a change of placement can refresh your room. Maybe you always put the couch on that wall, so try something new. Rearrange until you find something that you just love, and don’t be afraid to try risks.
  • Pull furniture away from the wall – We tend to line up our furniture right against the wall, but moving furniture away a few inches (or feet if you have space) creates depth and breathing room. Center your furniture around your rug and anchor the space.
  • Change your overhead light – Add in a room fan or change out a boring shell fixture for something that fits in with your aesthetic. It’s surprisingly easy to install yourself and could change the look of your whole space. Plus, you can get more (or less) light or a nice breeze.
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In one day

If you’ve got a whole day off, you can really get into it. Here are a few ideas now that you’ve got some time on your hands.

  • Paint some furniture – Your tired coffee table or entertainment system could be a brand-new piece with a coat of paint. This is especially true if you’re going from bare wood to a new color.
  • Replace your curtains – If you’ve got heavy drape style curtains, consider changing them out for lighter, transparent curtains. Or ditch them for simple wooden blinds to free up space and provide a complete window treatment refresh. HGTV suggests switching your curtains to lace ones.
  • Paint an accent wall – Speaking of paint, adding in an accent wall can update the room or change the feeling entirely. If you have a long living room, painting an accent wall on one of the short sides can draw the eye and make it feel less lopsided. Or you could use the accent wall to separate a combination dining/living space for better flow.
  • Change your accent pieces – Changing out the rug and throw pillows for an entirely different color scheme can make the living room feel completely different. Other things you can change are lampshades (or lamps entirely), artwork, or side tables.
  • Replace picture frames – If you happen to get lucky and stumble on a garage sale with cheap frames, you can paint them all the same color for a refresh that keeps the artwork you love. You can also head to places like Goodwill or even Target for cheap frames that are ready for the DIY treatment.

In one weekend

Now that you’ve got some time on your hands, you can go big. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Paint – Yes, paint that entire living room a fresh new color and be amazed at how much better you feel. Changing up your color scheme with the walls can be a big statement.
  • Stencil the floor – If you’ve got tired floors that aren’t worth restoring, you can give them new life with a floor safe paint and a fun stencil. The patterns will mimic an area rug if you leave a foot or two of space at the walls, or you can stencil the entire thing for a bold statement.
  • Paint the floor entirely – In the same vein, painting the floor can revamp the feeling of an entire room. Paint it white to open up the space, or go for a dark color to create a luxurious backdrop to your furniture and gallery wall.
  • Dabble in a trend – If there’s something new you love in the world of design, a weekend could be the perfect time to adopt it. Love that velvet has come back? Invest in a velvet chair or find the perfect set of velvet accent pillows. Adore metal? Find new lamps or change out your tired overhead light for something decidedly more in fashion.

Refreshing is easy

With some planning and a little creativity, you could have an entirely new living room. Even adding in a pop of color for your pillows or changing out lampshades can alleviate the boredom you feel with your current setup.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on your design. You may be so pleased with the results that you feel like you’re in an entirely new space.

Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
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