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.
Some links on this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Just add the trim detail to one wall to create your own stunning feature wall in a Living Room.
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.
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.
That’s it for 14 ways to update a Living Room on a Budget! You might also like:
- 16 Ways to Repurpose an Open Formal Living Room
- 24 Great Ways To Repurpose an Unused Dining Room
- 21 Cheap And Easy Ways To Make A Home Office Look Better!
- 3 Easy And Best Ways To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets – Plus, 3 To Avoid!
- 25 Scenic Landscape Wallpaper Murals: Beautiful Vintage Art and Realistic Nature
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.
I LOVE this Before and After 2 Story Foyer Makeover with Molding!
Check out How to Paint Built In Bookshelves and Cabinets for steps to give yours a makeover.
And, check out How to Repaint a Door without Removing It.
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.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty 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.