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11 quick ways to instantly make over your living room (without making it over)

If your living room needs a refresh but you simply can’t face a big redesign project, our 11 tips and tricks can help you on your way to a simple, effortless but impressive room makeover.
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Okay, it’s time to admit it – your living room just isn’t cutting it anymore. The truth is, you can still remember the heady days you spent enthusiastically designing and decorating the space, and you did love it when it was all completed. But lately, something seems… off. You’re no longer excited to settle in in front of the TV, the décor just feels uninspiring, and you can’t get rid of that niggling feeling of discomfort that’s taken up residence in the back of your mind. You know you desperately need a fresh new look for your living room, but finding the time and – let’s face it – the energy to see it through seems near-impossible. When going all-out is simply not an option, it’s time to think of alternatives to make the space feel alive again. To that effect, we’ve created a simple step-by-step guide to help you give your living room a quick makeover (without actually making it over).


1. Set the tone with one new piece of furniture

That’s right – we’ll allow you to scratch that interior designing itch by investing in just one new piece of furniture. Before you pounce on your laptop, or start feverishly flipping through magazines, take the time to examine your living room as it is now. Whether you’d like to buy a new armchair or have instinctively started looking at new tv stands to buy, try to go with a piece of furniture that’s a few steps removed from your current style. This way, not only will your investment piece herald a quick and dramatic transformation for your living room, it can also help set the tone for the rest of your easy re-style.

2. The Great British Furnishings Swap

With your new TV units or amazing new sofa doing the dictating, all that remains is to work everything else around the new style. Since you’re dutifully restraining yourself from making any other big purchases, you’ll have to find some creative ways to add transformative design touches. Our solution? Cheat. Pretend you’ve just bought a brand-new rug by swapping out your living room rug with the one that usually resides in the hallway. Imagine yourself a great art connoisseur by switching up the pieces of art in your living room with those from elsewhere around the house. Don’t be afraid to get a bit bold with this: If you have a garden, why not move your garden ornaments inside and the living room sculptures outside (so long as they’re weather-proof)?


3. Rearrange your furniture

While you’re contemplating the right placement for your brand new (read: borrowed from the bathroom) statement mirror, why not go the whole hog and rearrange the entirety of your furniture? Whether you’re placing your display cabinet on the opposite side of the room or flipping your sofa 90 degrees to create a new favourite spot for socialising, rearranging your furniture can give a new vibe to your living room almost instantly.


4. Unleash your inner painter

With your newly-arranged living room with “newly”-obtained furnishings looking vastly different from when you started this non-makeover-makeover, it’s time to think about what else you can do to complete the restyle. A quick way of creating a dramatic transformation is by treating your skirting boards, alcoves, drawer fronts or even the backs of your bookcases to a lick of paint in a bold, contrasting colour. You could do this with an accent wall if you want to go bigger, or use wallpaper if painting just isn’t your thing.


6. The power of the statement piece

You’ve taken care of most of the bigger items in your living room makeover, so now it’s time to tackle the little touches that make the biggest of impacts. Create micro-spaces around your living room through style vignettes: clusters of smaller decorative items around larger statement pieces. A great place to start is with the investment item you bought in step 1 of this process. If you bought a new TV cabinet, for example, why not place some decorative plants or meaningful picture frames in clusters of three in one corner of the cabinet? The LED down lighting of the Junction Medium TV Unit 160cm – Including Lights lends itself perfectly to this, providing just the right amount of highlight for your chosen decorations.

7. Get your wardrobe out

If your hunt for decorative items has you aching to go on a shopping spree, our next idea might just be enough to stop you rushing out the door. A quirky way of decorating your living room is by adorning the walls or shelving with your very own clothing and accessories. Own some pretty boots that you love to be seen in? Let them shine on more occasions than one by placing them decoratively in a neat line. Have a thing for elaborate hats and beautiful rings? Hang them on your wall with that decorative flourish you’ve been itching to demonstrate.

8. Reimagine your bookshelves

With your living room bookshelves newly painted (or prettily wallpapered), it’s time to take them even further in their decorative journey. Flex your styling muscles by reorganising your bookshelves in a visually-appealing way. Stack vertical books horizontally, add decorative pieces from around the house (like vases, souvenirs you’ve picked up on your travels or photo frames), rearrange your books by colour or get on the backwards books bandwagon by flipping your books so the spine is facing the inside of the shelf.


9. Upgrade your curtains

For an inexpensive way of transforming your sitting room, change up your curtains as dramatically as you possibly can. If the pattern is currently subtle florals, go extreme with bold stripes or a stark monochrome print. If you’ve currently got luxurious velvet curtains, try a gingham-printed cotton covering or go one step further with a roller blinds instead. Willing to try the ultimate window transformation? Try replacing your curtains completely with Greek-style window blinds in the same colour you painted your accents in step 4.

10. Buy new lampshades

The lighting in your living room can be one of the most important elements, especially if you have plenty of layered lighting that allows you to reflect the different moods and purposes of this much-used space. Give your lamps a quick refresh by buying new lampshades, and some matching candles to scatter around the room to tie in the new look more seamlessly. If you have metallic light fixtures, why not change up your choice of metallic? Whether you go from silver to gold or prefer a more subtle change by switching a shiny metallic for a matte one, it’s a quick way to create a lighting makeover.


11. Add some potted plants

Finish off your quick and easy living room makeover by adding some potted plants or house trees around the room. Whether you place a large fiddle leaf fig plant next to a Cavern Entertainment Centre or go the floral route with some beautiful orchids, placing plants around your living room also gives it literal life, in a way that can instantly uplift the room. With this handy step-by-step guide, it can be easier than you think to give your living room a little stylistic love. From thoughtful investment purchases to simple touches that don’t cost the earth, our handy tips can help you create a simple makeover that we promise will still be extremely satisfying.


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