The living room is the heart of the home. It tends to be the room the whole family congregates in – and nowadays it’s often where people eat too – so many people eat their meals on laps in front of the television.
When we use a room as much as this it’s easy to stop seeing it, so the room can get a bit tired and scruffy and start to look rather sad without us even noticing.
We can help you breathe new life into your living room with some simple but effective redesign ideas to do on a budget.
The easiest way to make a noticeable difference to your living room is to add a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Actually before you do that, why not try just giving the existing paint a good wash down – it is surprising how this can immediately freshen the room up and make it feel new again. And it’s the ultimate thrifty approach.
If you don’t want to replace your furniture or curtains, then consider going for a neutral shade for the walls (there are some very nice warm beiges and creams) or one of the warmed up whites that most of the paint manufacturers offer. A neutral light finish should complement your existing furnishings.
Whilst replacing all your current light fixtures is not a low cost venture, you can work wonders with new lampshades or with some new table lamps. Even giving the existing lampshades a good dusting can make a huge difference – and don’t forget to dust the lightbulbs too. Buying some new lamps is unlikely to break the bank these days as there are so many places selling inexpensive but attractive lighting – if you look around. You could even try making your own lampshades.
If you can afford it, a new carpet can probably make more difference than anything else to lifting the spirits of a room. If you can’t manage that, then get it professionally cleaned.
If your carpet’s beyond even cleaning, how about exposing the floorboards if you have them? You can sand and varnish these – equipment is available to hire – or sand them and paint them. Even if you have a solid concrete floor you can transform the look of the room by painting this and adding rugs.
Whether you go for the bare floor or for carpet, you can make a big impact with a well-chosen rug. Again you can pick these up fairly cheaply if you shop around – or try your local car-boot sale if you want to snap up a real bargain.
If you do want to buy a new rug we think John Lewis is pretty hard to beat for a good balance of range and price and of course they do free delivery for online shopping
John Lewis have also got a new service called Colour Box, letting you design your own colour scheme for a customised rug. » Find out more
Whether you opt for curtains, blinds, shutters or nothing at all, the way you dress the windows has a huge impact on the overall look and feel of a room and the ambience you are trying to create.
Window blinds are a good option if you are on a budget as you can get readymade blinds for a reasonable price. Cheap roller blinds are available in lots of colours and are generally suitable for any size of window.
If you have curtains already, then a good wash or clean can make a big difference. Professional carpet cleaners often offer curtain cleaning in situ.
Or if you do want new curtains you could try one of the curtain exchanges – they have fabulous full length designer fabric curtains (often from show houses or hotels) at a fraction of the price you would pay to get them made.
While they are a high initial outlay, wooden shutters can be a good option as they wipe down easily, look very fresh and enable you to adjust the amount of light in the room.
A very low cost window treatment if you are overlooked is applying adhesive film to give an etched glass effect.
We’ve found this website that has a wide range of adhesive window films Window Wallpaper
Adding a new picture, a lamp, a statement vase or simply putting flowers in the room, can make a huge difference, provide an accent colour and help lift the spirits.
An even cheaper way to ring the changes is to move the furniture around! You’d be amazed at the radical difference swapping the position of the sofa or switching around the pictures on the wall can have on the look and feel of a room.
If you want to pick up some accessories on the cheap don’t forget eBay – I have got a fantastic collection of coloured glassware – lots of which I sourced for next to nothing from Ebay. You can also try there for pictures, rugs , vases etc » Ebay US » Ebay UK