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14 Best Ways to Update A Living Room on a Budget!

Does your Living Room need a new look? You can give an old fashioned or boring Living Room a stylish new look WITHOUT spending much money.

In fact, most of these will work in any room in your house. I use them in this house all the time!

In this post, I have 7 ways to update a Living Room cheap or free AND 7 more that cost just a couple hundred dollars.

Image of a beautiful white living room for a post with 14 cheap ideas to update a living room or 14 ways to update a living room on a budget.
Don’t forget to save 14 cheap living room update ideas.

AND, you don’t need to do all 14 to give your Living Room an updated look. Just pick the ones you want to do and GO for it! Let’s start with my favorite cheap or low budget ways to update a Living Room.

14 Cheap Ways to Update a Living Room

1. Painting Your Living Room Walls

The biggest and fastest way to give your whole Living Room a new look, on a budget, is with paint.

If you paint your own Living Room walls, you can save hundreds of dollars. And, paint is only about $35 – $60 per gallon. You can make a big impact change with just a few gallons of paint.

I actually saved almost $2000 painting my Living Room walls and ceiling. But, I have crazy high walls. Most rooms wouldn’t cost that much.

If your ceiling is looking pretty dingy too, give it a fresh paint job too. Check out my post on the Best Paint Sheen on Ceilings to see how much the right paint sheen on a ceiling can BRIGHTEN a room.

If you have water stains on your ceiling, you can usually fix those without paint. I have the steps for that in the post How to Remove Water Stain from Ceiling Without Paint.

These ORC Living Room Makeover Plans are so fresh and light. Includes bright Blues and light Cream Walls with accents of pale pinks and green. #AbbottsAtHome #LivingRoom #BlueFurniture #MakeoverPlans
I rented scaffolding to paint my 20′ high Living Room walls. It saved me almost $2000 to DIY this project.

2. Painting Your Living Room Trim and Doors

I’ve been to quite a few Open Houses over the years. And, I see this big mistake a lot!

People remember to paint their walls when they are selling their house, but they completely ignore the trim and doors. If the trim and doors are worn out, dingy and scuffed it effects the whole room.

And, fresh paint on the walls actually makes dingy paint on the trim and doors stand out even more.

About once a year, I clean all of my trim and doors and repaint any sections of trim or doors that are looking rough.

Here's a quick guide and video for where to use Caulk or Wood Filler on any wood trim, baseboards, crown moulding, and wainscoting in your home. Includes answers to these questions: How do you fill gaps in wood trim? What is the best product to fill nail holes in trim? Is it better to use wood filler or caulk?
See my DIY tips for when to use Caulk or Wood Filler on trim. You can see my DIY Cleaning Tips here.

3. Rearrange Your Living Room Furniture

Here’s a great way to make your Living Room feel new without spending a dime! Rearrange the furniture in the Living Room so that it’s facing in a new direction.

When we switched our Living Room layout, I suddenly had a beautiful view of our backyard that I didn’t before. And, the new layout actually made the Living Room seem bigger.

And, if you switch to streaming TV, you can put your TV anywhere you have an outlet. You don’t have to worry about where the cable jack is anymore.

Check out How To Cut Cable And Still Watch TV For Free (Simple Guide & Video) if you need tips about getting rid of cable. I am a huge fan out cutting the cord. It’s saving my family over $100 a month.

It's time to get rid of cable or satellite tv by switching to streaming tv. Here's what happened when I quit cable, how to stream tv on your tv, the pros and cons, and more. Making the switch has never been easier and you can save hundreds every year and still have your favorite shows.
How Much Can You Save When You Get Rid of Cable TV?

4. Swap Furniture & Décor Between Rooms

Have you ever heard a stylist say that you should “shop your house”? This is another FREE way to restyle or update a Living Room.

One of my favorite tricks for freshening up my house is to switch things around a bit. I move armchairs around, side tables, wall art, and décor to keep things feeling fresh.

You can also update old home décor with a paint update. This might sound strange, but I LOVE updating mirrors and vases with this Rust Paint makeover. It’s a beautiful neutral color for any room.

Check out this pretty DIY Weathered Paint Effect I used on another mirror in my house.

Easy DIY Rust Paint Effect to give your old Home Decor and Furniture a beautiful new look. Just paint then spray the patina, that's it! Easy DIY Home Decor Paint Makeover with metal patina paints.
You can find the tutorials for that DIY Faux Metal Patina Paint and DIY Rust Paint Makeover in other posts.

5. Redo Your Living Room Furniture

You can also give your existing furniture a brand new look on a low budget. Give your furniture a fresh coat of paint or stain. You can even get creative with paint finishes that will WOW your guests.

Check out 25 Step by Step Beginner Furniture Painting Tutorials to see the furniture painting tutorials on this site.

Check out Stain Wood Furniture Without Stripping the Old Stain for an easy way to get a beautiful stain look on furniture.

AND, if you are comfortable with upholstery projects, check out Best Tips & Tutorials to Reupholster a Wingback Chair. Most of the tips for upholstered chairs will also apply to reupholstering a couch.

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!
The first piece that went back on this chair was that front piece, beneath the seat.

6. Replace Dingy or Outdated Outlets and Light Switches

This one is actually a super cheap Living Room makeover idea, unless you need to hire someone to come in and do it.

One of the first things we had to do when we moved into this house was replacing each and every light switch and outlet. They had all yellowed over time.

That yellow tint on the plastic around light switches and outlets definitely dates a room. You can give a Living Room a fresh new look by just replacing those old covers and switches.

If you’ll be making this update yourself, be sure to follow all safety steps when working with electricity.

And, while you’re updating outlet covers, change some of them to guidelight outlet covers. It doesn’t require any wiring AND they are so nice to have when you’re walking through a dark house.

20+ Home DIY Tips and Tricks that I use and on my home. These are the DIY projects that I recommend for saving you money, making your life easier, and/or making your home look modern and beautiful. DIY Home Improvement ideas and projects.
These screw-on guidelight outlet covers have LED lights that automatically come on when a room is dark.

7. Clean or Restore the Flooring in your Living Room

Is your flooring looking kind of gross? Making your existing flooring look clean and new can be a big improvement in any room.

If you have dingy carpeting, give it a good deep clean. You can rent a carpet cleaner or buy a carpet cleaner for long-term use in multiple rooms.

If you have hardwood or engineered flooring, carefully clean it. Refinish hardwood that looks worn out. You can even paint wood flooring to give the whole Living Room a brand new look!

And, for tile, it usually needs a good cleaning and a grout makeover. Check out my post on Does Grout Renew Work? My Before And After Review for my secret to amazing looking grout!

Does Grout Renew Work? Here's a before and after review from years of using Grout Renew to paint my grout. With easy DIY tips for beginners! Grout Renew Grout Paint Review.

Now, let’s go over some slightly more expensive Living Room makeover ideas that are still budget-friendly. Most of these big-impact Living Room updates can be done with less than $300 dollars.

8. Add New Curtains, Rugs, or Home Décor

If you have a small budget for a Living Room makeover, try finding new rugs or curtains that fit your budget. I’ve found plenty of large, beautiful rugs on Amazon for less than $150.

Just be sure to read the reviews to be sure you are getting a good rug. Check out 17 Best Area Rugs on a Budget to see some of my favorite rugs on a budget.

Check stores like Target, At Home, and Home Goods for good deals on curtains, rugs, and home décor too.

Even something as simple as changing the lamp shades on your lights can update the look of a Living Room on a low budget.

You can find 7 Helpful Tips for Decorating a Large Wall in a Living Room, if you need some extra help with a big wall.

I just bought this beautiful rug from Amazon for my Before and After Family Room Makeover.

RECOMMENDED: 15 Best Ways To Make An Old Ceiling Look Better: Easy, Cheap And Pretty Ideas

9. Replace Old Fashioned Light Fixtures or Ceiling Fans

Light fixtures in an older house always make any room feel old fashioned and dated. BUT, you can find great replacement light fixtures for as low as $100.

Check your local lighting store, Home Depot, or Lowes for the latest options.

And, you can always find beautiful light fixtures and ceiling fans on Amazon. Check out this post on Best Milk Glass & Schoolhouse Lights for your Home for some great, timeless styles.

I love this Bathroom Lighting Idea. The capiz works beautifully with the light walls and marble tile. #AbbottsAtHome #LightingIdeas #BathroomDecor #DecorIdeas #BathroomIdeas
I love this beautiful light I used in my Before and After Master Bathroom Remodel!

10. Replace Doors, Hinges, or Door Knobs

Another one of the first updates we made in this house was replacing all of the 90’s style brass hinges and door knobs. It was a pretty quick and easy huge improvement on every room!

If you are going to update your Living Room, don’t forget to change out old fixtures. You can replace the hardware one room at a time in your house, for a more budget-friendly plan.

You can even replace cheap looking doors, one room at a time for between $100 and $200 a door.

It can be hard to find unique drawer pulls & knobs. So, I put together this list of absolutely beautiful & unique hardware finds on Amazon! Beautiful cabinet knobs and drawer pulls for furniture, kitchen, or bathrooms - you won't find in most stores.
If you have built-ins or furniture that needs new hardware, check out 23 Unique Drawer Pulls, Knobs, & Hardware on Amazon.

11. Add Custom Built-in Bookshelves or Handmade Furniture

If you have an unfinished nooks or a good space for bookshelves in your Living Room, you can easily add them with a little DIY woodworking and a couple hundred dollars in lumber.

Finishing off unfinished nooks is a great way to give a Living Room a custom look!

If you are a woodworker, I have tons of DIY Furniture Plans on this site. Most of them can be built by beginner woodworkers.

You can get the exact size and look you want when you make your own furniture. And, building your own furniture can save so much money!

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
This DIY Console Table with Drawers is one of the handmade pieces of furniture from my Living Room Renovation. I also have this beautiful DIY Coffee Table Build Plans with Turned Legs.

12. Add Molding, Wainscoting, or Feature Walls

Adding custom trim to a room is one of my FAVORITE ways to add character to a boring room.

Crown molding is one of the best ways to add a custom, more expensive look to a Living Room. If you can DIY your own trim work and finish carpentry, these updates can be pretty cheap!

You can also add beautiful trim around windows, around a fireplace, wainscoting, or something like board and batten when you update a Living Room.

Just add the trim detail to one wall to create your own stunning feature wall in a Living Room.

I also like to add trim to ceilings when I update rooms. Check out my DIY Flat Coffered Ceiling, or my DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling, or my DIY Vaulted Ceiling Paneling for some ideas.

Try this Simple DIY Coffered Ceiling Design I used to give my Dining Room ceiling a beautiful new look. Includes lots of pictures and a how to video. DIY Ceiling Design Ideas. DIY Ceiling Makeover Ideas.

13. Add Wallpaper or a Fun Wall Mural

Even if you are on a tight budget, you can find great wallpaper or murals for at least 1 wall in a Living Room. There are so many great wallpaper companies online.

Check out the budget-friendly and beautiful vintage-style DIY framed wallpaper mural from Etsy I installed in our Master Bedroom. And, of course Amazon has some beautiful options.

You can even use peel and stick wallpaper and murals that are easy to remove when you’re ready for a new look.

Or, grab a stencil and some wall paint to stencil on a stylish new look in your Living Room.

Peeling back peel and stick wallpaper to get it to line up without air bubbles.
I also have a list with 25 Scenic Landscape Wallpaper Murals that are all fanastic options!

14. Update the Tile around a Fireplace

There’s usually not much tile around a fireplace. Which means you can buy beautiful tile for a fireplace for just a couple hundred dollars. But, you’ll have to DIY the install to keep the costs low.

But don’t worry, it’s not that hard. Here’s my DIY tiling and grouting posts. Tiling around a fireplace can be a good first time tiling project for someone that has a good eye for detail.

Just be sure to do your research beforehand, to get a good idea of what to expect.

Are Large Tiles Harder To Install? Yes & no. A 1'x2' floor tile is pretty easy to install. New, larger sizes are much harder. Here's the pros and cons DIYer's need to know before they buy and install extra large tiles.
Here’s a look at the latest tile I’ve installed in this house. You can see more details about it in Are Large Tiles Harder To Install?

That’s it for 14 ways to update a Living Room on a Budget! You might also like:

Image of a beautiful white living room for a post with 14 cheap ideas to update a living room or 14 ways to update a living room on a budget.
Check out my Before & After DIY Home Living Room Makeover to see how my recent Living Room renovation turned out.

More Home DIY Projects and Posts For You!

Need a new coffee table for your Living Room? Check out the Best Amazon Coffee Tables for any Living Room.

Here's my top picks for the 30 Best Amazon Coffee Tables for any Living Room. Includes coffee tables for small spaces, to play board games or eat on, coffee tables for storage, and coffee tables that would work for sectionals.

I LOVE this Before and After 2 Story Foyer Makeover with Molding!

White 2 story foyer makeover after picture.

Check out How to Paint Built In Bookshelves and Cabinets for steps to give yours a makeover.

Grey Blue Built In Entertainment Center in a Family Room.

And, check out How to Repaint a Door without Removing It.

Can you repaint a door without removing it? Yes! But you need the right weather & paint. Here's the steps to get huge curb appeal in 1 day.

Feeling inspired? Now you know my tips for a How to Update a Living Room on a Budget. Let me know if you have questions.

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