How to style your living room on a budget

Seven clever ideas for decorating on a budget but doesn’t skimp on style.
How to Style Your Living Room on a Budget

Just finished renovating or building your new home? Do you want to give every room a fresh, new look but you’re low on budget? Don’t worry. You can still achieve a stylish and welcoming vibe without spending an arm and a leg.

Let’s start in everyone’s favourite room; the one area made for relaxing, socializing, and entertaining your loved ones: the living room. Our goal is to create a design that’s well-planned, visually appealing, functional, ergonomic, and easy to navigate without breaking the bank. Here’s how you style your living room on a budget:

Figure out your style

In this day and age, when information is at our fingertips, there is no excuse to not have a clear idea of how you want your living room to look like. Create a mood board like these:

A Comprehensive Guide to Survive Being an Owner-Builder
A Comprehensive Guide to Survive Being an Owner-Builder
mood board (2)
A Comprehensive Guide to Survive Being an Owner-Builder

If you are a digital savvy person, look up various living room designs and see what designs you like and don’t like. Go to Pinterest and pin some of your most favourite design ideas. You can also check out our portfolio and design inspiration page, then tell us if we've mastered the style you like.

Show the photos to your designer to help them understand the style you like.

Stick to this style; keep the furniture pieces that suit the new living room, sell the others to get funds for new furniture pieces that help you achieve the particular look you want.

Here are a few ways to save money on new furniture:

  1. Go to moving sales, yard sales, garage sales, and estate sales and look for precious pieces on a bargain.
  2. Hunt through thrift stores and going-out-of-business sales.
  3. Buy furniture during discount season.
  4. Search for Craigslist or Freecycle listings in affluent areas to increase your chances of finding high-end furniture pieces.
  5. Don’t be afraid to haggle.

Give your walls some love

While waiting for the delivery of the furniture pieces you ordered, think of how your walls should look like. Do you want to cover them with wallpaper, or do you want to paint them?

Painting your walls is the most affordable way to dress your walls, but choose your colour wisely. It will set the tone for the rest of the room.

If you find it hard to choose a paint for your living room, go online and check out every paint company’s 2020 Colour Trends. They release this collection annually. Some of our favourites came from Benjamin Moore, BEHR, Dulux, Taubmans, and Wattyl. (Click the links to view their collections).

After checking the five collections from different paint companies, we noticed that 2020 is the year of colour. Use blues and greens if you want a cool and calming effect. Use reds, oranges, and yellows to make your living room more energising.

READ: 7 Beautiful Paint Colours that are NOT White or Beige

When you want to play it safe, opt for timeless neutrals like white, tan, beige, or gray. Neutrals are the perfect backdrop for any furniture, regardless of the style.

READ: 8 Shades of White for 8 Different Effects

Here's an example of an apartment with neutral interiors:

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Don’t forget your ceiling

Give some love to the fifth wall that’s above you! If your walls are plain and simple, turn your ceiling into a statement piece.

Here, we have a living room with concrete walls and floors. The wooden ceiling looks just as important as any other wall in your room and can never be unaccounted for.

Arrange and re-arrange furniture properly

Let’s say all the furniture pieces you’ve ordered have arrived at your house. You should arrange them in your living room, one piece at a time, so you won’t struggle in arranging the furniture pieces. Place the big-ticket items (e.g. sofa) in the room first. Follow the floor plan and make sure the traffic flow is smooth.

Lay the right kind and size of rug

Rugs offer a lot of design freedom, but you have to understand scale, for a tiny or an oversized rug can easily make the room look disjointed. We wrote about the rules of thumb for area rugs on a previous blog and you can read it here.

In your living room, make sure that the two front legs of the sofa and chair are placed on top of the rug.

For family areas where the dining is adjacent to the living area, use the rug to separate the two areas. Make sure the rug under the dining table is wide enough so you can place all four legs of your table and chairs on top of it.

Your rugs should be at least 25-50cm away from the room’s walls, leaving you room to see the floor.

Showcase art

You don’t need to fill all the wall space (negative space makes a room beautiful), but showing art such as a painting or a sculpture in your living room will be nice.

Art is highly subjective, so you are free to display what’s beautiful or meaningful to you. If you have an artist in the family, show him/her how proud you are of them by displaying their work. Style your living room with the people you love in mind.

Put up the light fixture

The living room looks great with layered lighting. Make sure that you have ambient, task, and accent lighting. Place your light sources at different levels, as shown in this photo:

Do you want to renovate your home and style your living room like this?

With the help of a professional, styling your living room and transforming other parts of your house is so much easier. If you are going to renovate or build a new home, engage a highly-qualified designer in the beginning to ensure that your project is delivered exactly how you want it.

Tell us about your project and our pro designers will contact you shortly.

Contact our Brisbane-based building designers for more info.



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