Patio furniture can SERIOUSLY break the bank. So a lot of times we end up buying something cheap just to have on our patio or in our backyard so we can enjoy our outdoor space. But it's something...
I think I can speak for us all and say it’s time for a good living room refresh! It’s safe to say a lot of us have been cooped up in our homes for, well, a while now. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably started to pick apart your living space. Like the way you arranged those bookshelves was fine before, but suddenly they’re straight-up ANNOYING. Or the sad, saggy pillows on your couch are starting to really show how badly they need to be swapped out. Maybe you’re just tired of looking at things in the same layout or orientation – I mean, I can’t be the only one feeling this way, right?
Look, I realize that in the scope of the world’s worries right now, the way our living space looks is not at the top of the priority list (or even on it at all) but for those of you whose homes have become your offices, schools, daycares, and more, I want to help your 24-7 landing pad feel safe and welcoming.
For however long we need to stay home and quarantine (and beyond) your space should be inspiring and beautiful! And with spring on the way, I can’t think of a better time for a little living room refresh! So I went through some of my fave living room “before & afters” from Hidden Potential to get some inspo. So whether you’re making major changes or just moving furniture around and hanging new art, hopefully there are some ideas to help you make major impact to your living room space.
Ideas for a Living Room Refresh
Living Room 1 (ABOVE)
Okay, I know we actually relocated the fireplace’s position in the above Before & After example, but in case you’re looking to make minimal changes that make you say “WHOA!”, I got you covered.
Change Out Your Rug
Or layer a cute new rug over an existing neutral rug (or vice versa, you get the idea!). This is a swap that can give your space an INSTANT new feeling, while also bringing in a new style if you’re sick of what you’ve got going on. PRO TIP: Natural fiber rugs like jute and sisal are usually more affordable than patterned rugs.
So buying a natural fiber rug and using it as your larger layered rug – underneath a trendy patterned rug – will cost less than springing for a huge patterned rug that covers your whole space. Then you have a blank canvas (the natural fiber) in the future when you’re ready to change your look again. Win-win for the living room refresh!
Rethink Furniture Layout
Guys, I know this may seem obvious (if it is, why haven’t you tried it yet?!), but – FURNITURE CAN MOVE. That’s right, it’s not glued down to your floor! Grab a buddy and start moving things around. Sometimes we get comfortable with the same layout for so long, we can’t even imagine our room functioning any other way. I promise you, once you start flipping your furniture around the room to try out a new layout, you will be amazed!
Pillows, Pillows, Pillows!
The quickest way for a living room refresh: throw in some new pillows. If buying a new couch isn’t within your budget right now, choosing some vibrant new pillows is the most cost-effective way to freshen up your living room. Bonus points for adding a cute new throw blanket, too!
Get Creative with Art
Blank walls are sad! One of my favorite ways to add interest to a wall is to create a family gallery. Go for different photo and frame sizes, add some framed art to the mix, and start laying it out. This is as easy as printing photos at your local Target, Walgreens, Costco (or at home if you have a stellar printer!) and ordering frames online to match your corresponding photo sizes. Then just put it all together and start hanging! Easy peasy and it will bring the drama.
- “Cobble” Baskets (Set of 3) // 2. “Lido Lane” Pillow // 3. “Cooper Lane” Pillow // 4. “Zuma” Pillow // 5. “Maddox” Pillow
// 6. “Sand Dollar” Circle Pillow // 7. “Merle” Rug // 8. “Fine-apple” Table Lamp // 9. “Oahu” Planter
Living Room 2 (above)
Bring On the Plants!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: every space needs at least one plant! I even wrote a post on how to find your perfect house plants! Here’s why: plants carry our eye around a room in a pleasing way while adding vibrancy and an organic element.
A well-designed room without a plant is like an ice cream sundae without the cherry on top! So the more, the merrier. Don’t be afraid to use a really good faux plant or two – I use them all the time and they look great without needing any maintenance!
In this living room above we did the rug layering trick again, and we really went for it with texture. The space is kept neutral with the tones of these two rugs, but using rich textured rugs lends an even “comfier” vibe while bringing the depth. The textured rugs, combined with the cement coffee table, woven leather chairs, throw blankets and baskets bring life and interest to the space – even though it has a neutral color palette. You’re welcome.
Play with Scale
Picking pieces that are the right scale for your space can make your room feel buttoned up and finished. If the measurements in your living room allow for it, go for a more dramatic coffee table. A smaller coffee table would feel dinky in this living space above, but the concrete one we used here makes a statement and makes all the difference.
1. “Baylor” Chair // 2. “Vintage” Ivory Rug // 3. “Peter” Baskets // 4. “Olana” Table Lamp // 5. “Cardiff” Throw Blankets (Set of 2) // 6. “Woodlake” Pillow // 7. “Tahiti” Pillow // 8. “Donlyn” Lumbar Pillow
Living Room 3 (above)
Paint: It’s Your Friend
Never underestimate the power of paint! By changing the paint color in the living room above from a builder-grade beige to my go-to warm gray color (Dunn Edwards Faded Gray DEW382), the room feels updated and fresh. If you’re intimidated by doing a paint job yourself, don’t be! There are so many tutorials on YouTube and amazing paint products at your local hardware store that you can’t afford not to try – I believe in you!
PRO TIP: Adding wallpaper to one wall of your space – whether you hire a professional or use a steady hand with peel-and-stick wallpapers – will take your room to the next level!
Spice Up Your Storage!
Swapping out a bulky storage unit for industrial shelving was a GAME-CHANGER for this room. Taking the shelving all the way up to the ceiling allows for more decorative storage options while making the ceiling feel higher than it really is.
Mix Up Your Decor
Gather up all of the decor in your living room and take it OUT. That’s right, take it all out! Even if it’s just for an hour, this wipes your design canvas clean and help you see the space better than you did before. Add in new pieces if your budget allows, or shop your house by bringing decor from other rooms into the living space. You can do this – happy designing!
1. “Poppy” Seagrass Basket // 2.“Bellinger” Cachepot // 3. “Vintage” Canvas Pillow // 4. “11th Street” Block Pillow (Set of 2) // 5. “Milo” Pillow // 6. “Waves” Landscape Art // 7. “Silverspur” Planter // 8. “Monterey” Cotton Throw // 9. “Flax” Circle Vase (Set of 3)