10-Minute Living Room Makeover: 10 Tips + Tricks
By Emily Render
Give your living room the gift of a fresh new look in just 10 minutes or less for each of 10 of our time-saving, efficient tips & tricks for a living room makeover.
Most of us either don't have the time or budget (or both) for a decor overhaul. The trick is to work smarter, not harder! There are plenty of quick and inexpensive ways to give your room a whole new look. If you've got 10 minutes, you've got time to reinvent your living room.
1. Rearrange the Furniture
Let’s start with an easy one with no budget required, but you will need some muscle. You can achieve the aesthetic of an entirely different room by rearranging the furniture.
Switch up the placement of your seating arrangement or mirror the room in the opposite direction. Pull pieces away from the walls and space them nicely for a more open look. You might be surprised at what a big difference a little rearranging can do. Not only will it feel brand new to you, but it’s totally free. It’s a win/win!
2. Minimize, Minimize, Minimize
The old adage "less is more" applies here. Take a look around and ask yourself a few questions about your furniture and decor:
- What do you actually use?
- What pieces improve the look of the room?
- Ok, now which ones don't?
- Is there a piece being used as a temporary stand-in that you never got around to replacing?
- How long has it been since you last purged?
- Are there any elements you just don’t like?
A lot of us have trouble getting rid of things, just adding more and more to our collection over the years. But clearing out a room of unnecessary excess and unloved (or over-loved) pieces of furniture makes it feel fresh and new. Plus, again, this trick is totally free—you could even make money if you decide to sell off unused items! Minimizing and decluttering is good for the soul and great for your room.
3. Bins & Baskets
After decluttering what you can stand to part with and minimizing the number of pieces in your room, reorganize the rest by adding storage. Create a place to store your must-haves; when they’re left out and about without a home, they can appear cluttery.
Have you considered wire bins, woven baskets, or wood boxes? They’re attractive and easy on your wallet too.
The great thing about bins & baskets is that you can get sneaky with their placement. Is there room under your coffee table or end tables? What about inside a storage ottoman? You can even clear the lowest shelf on your bookcase for a row of baskets or bins to keep clutter and other miscellaneous items concealed and organized. (See more in Tip #7 for that one.)
4. Throw Pillows
Bring your room to life with a pop of color. New throw pillows are an easy way to bring fun color to a room. Combine that color with a patterned print and the result can be captivating. Just look at the way these throw pillows accent and compliment this beige sofa.
Check out these pillows, both under $20!
5. Wall Mirrors
There’s nothing like a good wall mirror to bring in light and open up a room to make it seem bigger and brighter.
- Try out a thick border with a stylized pattern and texture
- Mix it up from a traditionally rectangular mirror with a circular one
- Intricately shaped mirrors are sure to catch the eyes of a few admirers
6. Lamp Lighting
Lamps add warmth to any space, creating a sense of comfort. Plus, it will make all you other investments in this list more visible so you get the recognition you deserve!
- If surface space is competitive real estate in your room, go for a floor lamp with a small footprint for easy placement
- Add an irresistible golden glow to your end table with a table lamp
7. Styled Book Shelves
This is another tip that won’t touch your wallet at all. You can make a big statement with the display of a bookcase alone.
Break up vertical columns of books by stacking some horizontally and staggering their heights. From there, you can slide a picture behind the lower stacks for a subtle backdrop accent, or use them as a platform for decorative items like candle holders, trays, vases, jars, and more. You can also consider organizing your books by the color of the spine to add another visual interest.
8. Area Rugs
Your floor contributes more to your décor than you might think. A vivid burst of color or neutral tones with an exciting pattern add that extra something that’s been missing from your living room.
Check out these 5x8' rugs all priced under $40:
9. Artsy Wall Accents
Give your room a classy upgrade with an artistic print or a textured piece of décor. Any of these pieces will give your room a cultured accent and colorful highlight, all for under $50:
10. Room Divider
Just think of all the things you can do with a new wall. If you have an open living room plan that connects with your dining room, you can easily section off areas to separate the space with an organized look that also adds a touch of style with a room divider.
This Mid-Century chic vibe adds a modern edge.