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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
That’s it for this list of low budget living rooms. I hope you found something you’d like to try!
5 More Home Décor Posts For You
- 16 Great Ways to Repurpose an Unused Formal Living Room
- Testing 7 Easy Ways To Get A Heat Stain Out Of Wood (With Video And Tips)
- 24 Great Ways To Repurpose an Unused Dining Room
- 50 Best Traditional Game Room Ideas For An Amazing Space
- 55 Absolutely Beautiful Vintage Style Art Posters for Your Walls
Some DIYs You Might Like
You might also like this post with 3 Best Ways To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets – Plus, 3 To Avoid!
Or this post with 7 Easy Ways To Get A Heat Stain Out Of Wood (With Video And Tips).
Here’s how to How Do I Get Rid of Cable And Still Watch TV: Easy Guide
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.
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.