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15 Cheap Living Room Ideas (Living Room Decorating On A Budget)

Ready to update a Living Room? Here’s 15 GREAT free and cheap Living Room ideas. Get a beautiful new look without spending much money.

Updating A Living Room On A Budget

Hi, guys! I’m back with another big list of home decorating ideas that will save you money. Today, I’ve got 13 FREE or CHEAP ways to update your living room.

Most of these work in rentals too. So, woohoo! Anyone can update a Living Room on a budget and still get a look you’ll LOVE.

Image of a beautiful white living room for a post with 15 best free and cheap living room ideas. Low budget, quick home updates. Inexpensive living room ideas updates.
If I can update a Living Room on a budget, so can you! Here’s 15 inexpensive living room ideas that work in any room.

Some links on this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. 

Alright, let’s get started with how to update a living room!

15 Free Or Cheap Living Room Ideas

1. Refresh Your Living Room Walls

Painting is always the top recommendation on any list of inexpensive living room ideas. That’s because new paint really does improve the look of a room. And, it’s a super cheap Living Room update.

You can repaint a room the same color. Or, go for a bigger change by picking a new wall color. I have to say, I’m LOVING the way switching to white walls makes my furniture and décor look better.

White trim molding finish carpentry in a large foyer with stairs with a black railing.
Look at how white walls makes my Two Story Foyer look SO MUCH better. Painting walls white is a surprisingly easy and cheap living room update.

2. Rearrange Furniture For A Great New Look

When we moved in, I made the mistake of putting most of my furniture in the exact same spot the old homeowners had theirs in.

Welp, over the years, I’ve figured out better ways to layout most of the rooms in this house. In fact, our Master Bedroom feels 2x as big after switching where the bed goes.

And, our Living Room makes SO MUCH more sense with the couches facing our BIG, beautiful windows. Also, having the TV over the fireplace means that we never have sunlight shining on the TV.

That’s a HUGE improvement on it’s own. In fact, cutting the cord with cable, saves us tons of money AND it means I can easily put the TV on any wall in a room. Game changer, guys!

Tour our cozy Modern Farmhouse, Traditional Living Room with this look at our fun & colorful Living Room Christmas Decorations, this year. Full of pops of Red, Blue, and Green! #AbbottsAtHome #ChristmasIdeas #ChristmasDecorations #ChristmasDecor #ChristmasLivingRoom
After reading this list, check out 23 Beautiful & Shocking Before And After Room Makeover Photos for more decorating ideas.

3. Shop Your House For Furniture And Décor

I’m a big fan of shopping your own house for wall art, decorations, and furniture.

Moving things around, giving them a fresh look is one of the easiest tricks for updating a living room. Just avoid pulling anything out of a room that you think of as “currently perfect” or done.

You don’t want to mess up one room to make another nice. You really want both rooms to be better after making these changes.

Most of the new décor I added to our bookshelves during our Home Office Makeover came from other rooms & our big closet of “stuff”.

4. Frame Posters For Cheap Wall Art

Another CHEAP living room idea is to frame pretty posters. You can get big, beautiful posters for a great deal, guys! And, places like Walmart and IKEA sell super cheap frames in so many sizes.

So, I’m always snapping up over-sized posters when I have a big wall space to decorate. I used 3 huge 24″x36″ posters to fill this 15′ wide 10′ high wall in our Family Room.

Check out some of my favorite posters in 55 Absolutely Beautiful Vintage Style Art Posters for Your Walls.

5. Paint Or Stain Your Old Furniture For A New Look

Even when I was a broke college kid, I was not afraid to take on a furniture makeover. It’s one of my all-time favorite cheap Living Room updates.

If you want to keep a stained look, check out How To Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping. Using gel stain over the old stain on these stools was a HUGE WIN!

You can change wood color without sanding if you use gel stain and the correct steps to refinish furniture.
See this beautiful stain over stain wood makeover in a previous post.

And, if you want to try a simple or unique paint update, check out 25 Beautiful And Easy Furniture Painting Tutorials For Beginners. There are so many ways to give living room furniture a new look!

6. Sometimes All You Need To Do Is DECLUTTER

When I was younger, I would constantly buy cheap little knick-knacks because they were affordable and cute. But, having a table or mantle covered in a bunch of tiny things never looked good for me.

I just couldn’t pull it off the look. Then one day, I realized all I needed was a few large pieces, like vases and plants, to get a pulled together, grown up look.

So, what I’m trying to say is, sometimes what you need to do is declutter. I would pull everything out of your Living Room, then add a few large items back in to improve the look.

Bigger furniture, lights, mirrors, art, and décor seems to always look better in my house.

A colorful Modern Farmhouse Living Room Makeover, I love! It's fun, beautiful, and stylish. Full of living room decor and design ideas JoAnna Gaines would approve. :) #AbbottsAtHome #ModernFarmhouse #TraditionalHome #LivingRoom #Farmhouse
Two big vases on this mantle, looked better than a bunch of little things.

7. Reupholster Tired Furniture

If you’re handy with a sewing machine and staple gun, you can always reupholster your Living Room furniture.

I’ve reupholstered my favorite pieces, from time to time. Like this wing chair that I reupholstered with beautiful blue velvet.

The best tips and tutorials to reupholster a wingback chair, with tons of pictures. I'm LOVING this blue velvet fabric on this chair, guys!
Check out this list of the best fabric by the yard online for more beautiful options.

I also have a tutorial for how to make Easy No-Sew Upholstered Seats to use on hard benches, coffee tables, window seats, and more.

8. Make Your Own Beautiful Wall Art

Here’s another cheap way to update a living room, you can make your own unique wall art! I’ve made a lot of my own wall art around here. Most of them have been SUPER cheap.

You can find cheap canvases to paint at Walmart and Hobby Lobby. Then try a fun abstract look with your favorite acrylic paint colors.

Image of a blue, pink, and gold DIY acrylic paint pour.
Follow this tutorial for SUPER EASY DIY Acrylic Paint Pouring Wall Art to have a little fun making cheap art. Or, check out how I make simple 1×2 wood frames for canvas art.

I’ve also used pretty Scrapbook paper and decoupage to make unique, new wall art. And, since I’m also into DIY woodworking, I’m a fan of using up scrap wood to make my own scrap wood wall art.

9. Clean And Restore Your Flooring

If your flooring is looking kind of gross; clean that carpet, refinish your hardwood floors, steam clean your tile and restore your grout.

Making your flooring look new again is probably one of the most overlooked and cheap ways to update a Living Room.

And, check out my post on Does Grout Renew Work? My Before And After Review for my secret to amazing looking grout!

Here's How to Clean Area Rugs At Home, using a Bissell SpotClean Pro. Steps and tips for small stains and for rugs with all over dirt and stains.
Or, check out this guide for How to Clean Area Rugs At Home to get your floors and rugs looking new again.

10. Check Out Thrift Stores & Online Marketplaces

Looking for budget living room furniture? Check out a good old thrift store, Goodwill, or online marketplace search is always a great way to find cheap Living Room furniture.

You generally just need a truck and 2 people to be able to pick things up.

Don’t forget to look at the size and bones of used furniture, before you buy it. You can always use gel stain or chalk paint to update the look of anything.

Here's How to Clean A Couch At Home, the Easy Way with my new favorite cleaner. This step by step guide works on spills and pet stains.
Check out How To Clean A Couch At Home With The Bissell SpotClean, if you want to see how easy it is.

And, if you’re looking for soft furniture, like couches and chairs, you can always use a small and affordable upholstery cleaner to clean the fabric and make it look new again.

If a used piece of furniture has a good shape and size, but the hardware is ugly, you can change that too.

Image of 4 examples of unique drawer pulls and unique cabinet knobs on a list of 30 beautiful cabinet hardware options.
See my picks for see 30 Beautiful and Unique Drawer Pulls, Knobs and Hardware for great hardware update options on thrifted furniture.

11. Check With Friends & Family

Another great way to get budget living room furniture is to ask your friends and family for furniture or home décor they might want to give away.

Honestly, don’t be afraid, just make a no-pressure post on Facebook or group text everyone.

I OFTEN have furniture, appliances, great kid’s toys, and more that I am trying to figure out how to get rid of. If someone I knew asked, I’d LOVE to help someone I know, anytime.

In fact, this sweet DIY Coffee Table Makeover has been sitting in my guest room for years waiting for a new home. It looks great, but it’s size is better for an apartment-sized Living Room.

Image of a Mosaic DIY Coffee Table Top Makeover.
If I lived close to any of my family, I’d love to give them my old furniture!

12. Add In New Rugs, Curtains, or Décor

Of course, some of the best quick home updates come from changing out the decor. I LOVE stores like Target, Home Goods, Amazon, & At Home for cheap living room ideas.

I might even drive all the way to IKEA, if I know they have something I like. Check out 25 Best Products At IKEA – From Cheap Finds To High End Looks to see some of my current favorites.

Photo of light green cabinets after a DIY home office remodel. With blue and white curtains next to a window.

And, I’m really into these curtains I found for a steal on Amazon. I’ve used them in 2 rooms now.

I’ve also had a TON of luck finding beautiful, large area rugs for a great price on Amazon. In fact, I have 5 big area rugs from Amazon currently in my home.

Home office with a large, traditional area rug on a faux wood tile floor, in front of built-ins.
Check out the 20 Best Area Rugs On A Budget to see my favorite rugs.

13. Install Your Own Wall Murals Or Peel and Stick Wallpaper

I just finished installing this peel and stick wallpaper mural in our Master Bedroom and I COULD NOT LOVE IT MORE. It would be perfect in a Living Room too.

These types of murals come in so many styles and sizes. These murals are a cool, budget-friendly way to get large wall art for your Living Room.

Image of a Framed Wallpaper Mural DIY for a post about how to frame a wallpaper mural with picture frame trim on a wall.
You can see how easy it was to install that wallpaper mural in a previous post.

Check out my picks for 25 scenic landscape wallpaper murals to see some great options.

14. Install Budget-Friendly Molding, Wainscoting, or Feature Walls

Another beautiful way to update a Living Room cheaply is with DIY molding and trim projects.

Installing your own trim saves hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on labor. And that means, you can get a high-end look for a fraction of the price.

Image of layered crown molding on built in cabinet storage in an office.
See my steps for installing this amazing Three Piece Crown Molding in a previous post.

You might also like my 2 Piece Crown Molding or this DIY Lattice Board And Batten as a Living Room update too.

15. Don’t Forget The Ceiling!

And, here’s one last cheap way to update a Living Room. You can paint or update the ceiling to make a huge improvement in any room.

I’ve often toured homes for sale that have the grungiest ceilings, even when the walls look great. Don’t forget the ceiling, guys.

A grungy ceiling can really make a whole room look bad. So, give your ceiling a fresh coat of paint. I’m a big fan of using an Eggshell Paint Sheen on Ceilings. I LOVE the way that light sheen brightens the whole room.

You could also install trim, paneling, or shiplap on ceilings, to elevate the style in your Living Room.

Image of a beautiful white living room for a post with 15 best free and cheap living room ideas. Low budget, quick home updates. Inexpensive living room ideas updates.
Don’t forget to Save or Share this list of inexpensive living room ideas.

That’s it for this list of low budget living rooms. I hope you found something you’d like to try!

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That’s it for living room decorating on a budget. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY ideas in your inbox.