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Living Room Ideas on a Budget

Living rooms are at the heart of a home. It’s where you relax, spend time with family and occasionally eat. If you’re looking to update your space but you’re on a budget, you might be reluctant to do so. 

Thankfully there are some simple, budget-friendly ways to redecorate your living room. In this guide, our experts will give you some budget-friendly ways to give your living room space the much-needed refresh it needs. Incorporating these small changes can make a big impact on your space.

Upcycle second-hand furniture

If you’re on a budget then investing in brand new furniture might not be an option. Instead, you could consider updating a piece of furniture you already own or purchasing a piece of second-hand furniture. 

Upcycling is a really simple and effective way to transform furniture and it can be done relatively cheaply too. You could consider sanding down the item and repainting it, or switching out and updating the hardware. Upcycling works particularly well if you’re looking for shabby chic living room ideas on a budget as it can add a rustic feel to your furniture.

An image of an upcycled chest of drawers

Give the walls a new lick of paint 

One of the most effective ways to transform a living room on a budget is by giving the walls a new coat of paint. Paint can transform both the mood and shape of a room. If you’re looking to brighten your space, opting for lighter shades is an effective way to do this. On the other hand, if you’re looking to create a more cosier feel, choosing paint with warmer darker tones can create this effect.

You can also get creative with paint. It’s often traditional to keep your ceilings white, however, in a recent trend, we’ve seen people opting to paint their ceilings in alternative colours. If you have high ceilings, opting for a darker shade of paint can give the appearance of a lower ceiling making the room feel cosier.

We’d always recommend testing out potential colours you think you like as paint can often look very different depending on the amount of light entering the room. Place testers on each of the walls and compare them across the course of the day. You’ll notice how the colours change as the day progresses. 

An image of someone painting a wall with a paint roller

Create a feature wall with wallpaper 

Another great way to transform a living room on a budget is to create a feature wall using wallpaper. With thousands of designs to choose from, there are plenty of options to suit every style. 

Brick effect or wood panelling effect wallpaper is a great way to add texture to the space without having to splash out on expensive materials. Using this wallpaper in areas such as a chimney breast or alcoves is a great way to utilise and highlight the space and add a focal point to the room. 

An image of a brick feature wall in a living room

Refresh your soft furnishings

A budget-friendly way to refresh your space is by updating soft furnishings like blankets and pillows. Repurposing your current pillows by purchasing new covers can be cheaper than purchasing new pillows. These can be switched out as and when you decide without having to commit to one colour scheme. 

An image of pillows, blanket and a book on a sofa

Add additional seating with a bean bag 

If you enjoy entertaining or having friends over, then additional seating is a must. Bean bags offer a great budget-friendly solution to doing this. If your space allows, you could also opt for a bean bag to add a cosy reading corner to your living room. 

At GreatBeanBags, we have a variety of sizes and styles to choose from. Use our handy sizing chart to determine what size bean bag you need for your space. 


Give your sofa a new lease of life with a sofa cover

Sofas are usually one of the most expensive items in a living room and purchasing another if you’re on a budget might not be achievable. Instead, you could opt for an elasticated sofa cover which will allow you to change the colour and material of the sofa without having to commit to purchasing a new one. 

Sofa covers are available in a range of sizes, colours and textures and can be a quick, high-impact way of updating your space. They’re also a very practical way of protecting your furniture against spills or accidents. 

An image of a living room with a small grey sofa

Create a gallery photo wall

If you’ve got a lot of blank space on your walls, adding photos and artwork can be a great budget-friendly way to add a touch of personality to the space. You could opt for a gallery wall with a collection of frames and photos of your favourite memories. Alternatively, you could add photo ledges for a more contemporary look. 

If you’re artistically inclined, then you could consider creating the artwork yourself. This is a fun way to get creative whilst saving your pennies. 

A image of a photo gallery wall

Add mirrors to make the space feel larger and brighter 

If your living room is on the smaller side, you could consider adding mirrors to make the space feel larger and to add depth. Not only are they very useful to have, but their ability to bounce light around a room will make a space feel brighter and more spacious. 

To achieve this, mirrors are best placed either opposite or directly next to windows. For a high-impact look, you could consider adding a large floor-standing mirror. However, if space is limited, a mirror placed on the wall will work just as well. 

An image of a living room with a large mirror

Include a rug to zone the space 

If you have an open-plan living room that’s connected to a dining area or kitchen, you could consider zoning the space by using an area rug. Rugs are a great way to add texture and colour to the space whilst also providing other practical benefits. If you have wood or laminate flooring, adding a rug will help insulate the floor allowing your space to retain more heat. 

When choosing a rug to zone a space, a common mistake is choosing a rug that is too small. You’ll want to make sure the rug is large enough to have the desired effect. Ideally, the rug should be wider than the furniture in your living room. If this isn’t possible, you could opt for a rug that allows for the front legs of your sofa and chairs to be placed on it.  

An image of an open plan living room and dining area

Update your curtains to make the space feel bigger

Curtains are a practical way to make your living room warm and cosy, particularly in the cooler months. But did you know that the way you hang them can alter the shape and appearance of the room?  

You might not have previously given this much thought. Positioning the curtain rail slightly above the window, it will give the illusion that the walls are taller and the window space is bigger. If you’re opting for a more luxurious feel, choosing curtains which slightly puddle on the floor is a great way to achieve this. 

An image of a living room with long curtains

Next steps

Redecorating your living room doesn’t have to be expensive. By incorporating these budget-friendly ideas, you will be able to transform your living space without breaking the bank. 

Looking for more decorating ideas for your living room? Explore our other blogs: 

Posted in: Living Room Ideas
22 May 2023