Let’s say you want to update your living room. It’s feeling a little drab and boring, doesn’t really reflect your style, and it certainly doesn’t feel like the inspiring, creative space you envisioned. It’s a little basic and and needs something to make it look cohesive it feel “finished”. You have a nice neutral sofa. A cute wood coffee table, but have no clue what to add for accessories and other finishing touches. There are a million and one things you can do to update your room and give it some life, but you have a budget to stick to and want to update a few things without doing a complete makeover or buying all new furniture.
Toady, I’m breaking down what pieces to invest in to make the biggest impact if you’re looking to update your home.
4 Living Room Updates That Have the Biggest Impact
The first place I always start if you’re looking to update your home or give it a new look, no matter which room, is paint. One, because it’s super affordable and fairly easy to execute. Two, because paint is a key player in the overall vibe of your home. The color on your walls instantly ignites the feeling you get when you walk in a room. Choose the wrong color and it affects the vibe you wanted and brings down the rest of your room.
I often use the example of a lush spa. When you walk into a spa for a nice relaxing hour to yourself, you don’t want to walk in and be greeted with bright red walls, vibrant yellow wallpaper, and blaring loud Beyoncé playing through the speakers. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Beyoncé, but not when I’m treating myself to a massage (which never happens BTW). The red walls and bright yellow set the wrong tone and overall vibe you want for a relaxing moment.
Now, your situation might not be that dramatic, but your paint color MATTERS. If you want a warm, welcoming home, dark grey might not be your first choice for wall color. So, first and foremost, before you visit your local paint store, do a little self assessment and try to understand how you want your home to feel. This is something I always ask my clients at the beginning of our process because the answer dictates alllll the other design decisions that follow so it’s important to dig deep and get it right.
So, if you aren’t feeling the current color on the walls in your home or it’s just not the vibe you’re going for, paint is the first thing you’ll want to change. Read this post on how to choose paint colors for your home for some helpful tips.
Lighting is another option that can really change a room’s look with a few updated light fixtures. Bonus, you can swap out lighting in an hour or less!
Lighting is one of my favorite investments that make a big impact. Good lighting makes a room feel warm and welcoming. When you walk into a living room that’s well lit with cozy lighting, it really sets the tone and makes you want to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine in hand and watch the Real Housewives.
Pay attention to the lighting in your favorite restaurant next time you visit and take note how it sets the mood. If they just used a giant overhead light the mood wouldn’t feel nearly the same. You can achieve the same welcoming feeling in your living room with a mix of ambient lighting and lamps. I share in detail how to pick the right light fixtures here.
Another reason I love investing in lighting for a big impact is because lighting can really make a statement. An otherwise minimal or neutral room can really pack a punch with a fun chandelier.
For your living room, I would first add one or two table or floor lamps if you don’t have any yet. Then, you can update your overhead lighting (if you have it) with a nice flush mount or pendant light to elevate your room and give it some polish.
Next up on the list are throw pillows! Throw pillows are such an easy and affordable way to instantly change the look in your living room. I tend to keep finishes pretty neutral and utilize throw pillows and other accessories to incorporate color. That way when you want to change the look (seasonally or whenever you get the urge!), you can easily swap out pillows for different colors and patterns and completely update your space. Try adding a few throw pillows in a variety of colors and patterns (that still coordinate) to punch up your living room. It will make such a difference! If you’re wanting more color, go for bold colorful pillows. Check out my favorite sources for affordable pillows here.
Rugs are another piece that anchors your living room and pulls everything together so it feels cohesive. I’m a proponent of every room having a rug, especially your living room. Because rugs are typically a large part of the design, choose your rug wisely. Pattered rugs can make a room feel lively and busy. Colorful rugs can feel energetic. A neutral or muted rug can make your living room feel warm and relaxing. Go back to the beginning of the post and how you decided you want your living room to feel and use that as your guide when choosing a rug.
I hope this gives you ideas how you can update your living room and breathe new life into your space.