Tricks to Dress Up Your Living Room
Our living room is the place we retreat to at the end of the day, where we tend to entertain and often where we feel most ourselves – so naturally, we want them to look as good as possible. If your budget is on the small side don’t settle for cheap or boring, take inspiration from these ideas to achieve a more extravagant result
Arrange your room around a great rug
A stylish geometric rug doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it can be the piece that pulls your room together and makes your interiors scheme feel finished. Arrange key furniture pieces around it for maximum impact, as they’ve done here with the sofa, pouffe and coffee table. Don’t forget to add a line of plumped up cushions, which is an easy trick that never fails to make living room seem more expensive and chic.
When choosing a rug, think about the dimensions of your room. If the floor covering is too small, it will look like it’s floating in space; too big, and it may not work if you want it to sit along the lines of your sofa or still show off your wooden floor.
Wondering how to choose the right rug or carpet for your home?
- Decorate with darker colours
The boutique hotel look revolves around rich, dramatic wall shades for a cocoon-like effect that feels luxurious and cosy. You can easily copy this effect at home without spending a fortune: Most of the budget paint brands do decent darker paints so you don’t need to splash out on a pricey heritage option. Or pick a darker wallpaper design, such as the one here. Navy or indigo is a stylish choice, or consider burgundy, slate grey or even black.
Pep up dark decorating choices with a smattering of bright details, such as the table, lamp and ceiling light here, to complete the designer feel.
- Build a gallery corner
Artworks don’t have to cost much, but arranging prints and paintings into groups can help give a living room an upmarket gallery vibe. Two adjacent walls of artworks here create an artistic corner that detracts from the simple furnishings.
Pick up frames cheaply at chain stores, boot fairs or charity shops. Build up a collection of postcards and pictures you love that you can frame. And try combining clusters of smaller works with one or two larger oil paintings or watercolours for a burst of uplifting colour.
- Delight in different textures
Combine a variety of materials for a subtle, more sophisticated effect, especially if you are following a neutral palette. Leather, metal, wool, tweed, velvet, woven cotton rugs and sheepskin throws are all good. And don’t forget to style up your coffee table – it doesn’t need to be fancy, a couple of nice earthenware vases with garden cuttings or potted plants can make all the difference.
Take a look at these effortless ways to style your coffee table
- Inject some colour
Adding some bright colours is perhaps the easiest way to make a neutral living room scheme feel less bland, more designed and thus more expensive. This bright green sofa really brings this room to life, but if you don’t want to splash out or already have a perfectly good sofa, you can still add colour in smaller ways for similar impact – lamps, cushions, vases, blinds and rugs are all ways to add a touch of colour.
Check out these ways to energise your home with colour
- Hang long curtains
There’s something about floor-length drapes that instantly signify luxury and grandeur: warmth, cosiness, five-star hotels and country houses. Look online for companies that can make budget curtains on demand. Team with a pretty decorative chandelier to ramp up the manor-house vibe. And dare to choose a patterned material, as they’ve done here to provide an eye-catching effect.
Velvet never really goes out of fashion, nd has a luxurious sheen that makes a room feel more high end and special. If you can’t afford a sofa or armchair (the ultimate in luscious velvet style), then go for a pile of tactile velvet cushions. These can be picked up cheaply in many high street chains and will add a dose of shimmery charm to any room. Choose a variety of jewel-like shades to perk up a plain sofa.
- Break out with decorative wallpaper
A panel or wall of decorative wallpaper is a great trick for making an ordinary living room sing. There are tons of great budget wallpapers around these days – order plenty of samples before you make your choice so you are confident about the finish, colours and pattern repeat in your space. A bold geometric pattern like this really gives a grand, designer feel to a modest space.
- Show off a vintage treasure or two
It’s still possible to unearth beautiful vintage furniture dating from the Victorian era or early to mid 20th century at bargain prices if you search around online or in secondhand shops. Lovely wooden chests of drawers can be picked up relatively cheaply and don’t need to be restricted to bedrooms. Use them as a place to display lamps and photos to help inject a feeling of quality and tradition that will help your living room feel more expensive.