How to Renovate Your Living Room on a Budget

How to Renovate Your Living Room on a Budget

Additions and Remodels
Small Projects and Repairs
By Dikran Seferian January 20, 2022

100Revitalizing the aesthetic appeal is what primarily motivates a homeowner to go for an interior renovation. Enhancing the appearance of a living space can also refresh your perception of its elements. One area of a home that could possibly use a new look every now and then is the living room. It is where you most likely spend a lot of time watching TV or entertaining guests, so it makes sense to renovate it when the time comes. However, going for a full-scale remodel for your living room can cost a kidney. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. There still are several ways you can perk up your living room even if you're on a budget. Whether it’s repainting the walls, introducing new elements, or simply rearranging the layout, a low-budget renovation can be more effective than you may think.

Go for a Fresh Coat of Paint

A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Bring Your Living Room Back to Life

A Fresh Coat of Paint Can Bring Your Living Room Back to Life

Repainting your living room is a proven way to breathe new life into it. And if you've grown tired of the same old neutral color, consider injecting a new shade to the palette. Whether you’re repainting the entire room or just one wall, a fresh coat of paint can really perk up your living room. Painting one wall in a different color, for instance, can create an eye-catching contrast while leaving your wallet unscathed.

Even a full-room paint job wouldn’t require you to break the bank, especially if you take on the project yourself, allowing you to cut further costs. The tools you’ll need, for instance, typically cost less than $10 each — chances are, you already have some at home. Also, you can find a gallon of paint for $15 to $30 on average. If you’re covering 400 square feet of wall space, for instance, three gallons should be enough. 

Introduce Built-in Bookshelves

A Unique Bookshelf Might Be All Your Living Room Needs to Be Reborn

A Unique Bookshelf Might Be All Your Living Room Needs to Be Reborn

A built-in bookshelf feature can be an addition that may serve as a new focal point. It can also make an ordinary room look more custom and less like a box. Diagonal shelving, for instance, can offer a stylish charm while providing storage space for books as well as decor.

Many built-in bookshelf designs can be DIY-able if you know your way around a toolbox. For example, you could frame out an IKEA bookshelf unit with wood and paint to look like it is built-in. If you prefer a professionally installed unit, however, a carpenter can get the job done rather easily — in which case you may be looking at an installation cost of $2000 or so. A DIY unit, on the other hand, may cost less than $100. This includes the price of the IKEA bookshelf and the additional materials you’ll use to give it that built-in look.

Mind the Flooring

Ideal Flooring Options for a Minor Renovation

Ideal Flooring Options for a Minor Renovation

If you’ve had your hardwood flooring for a while, chances are it doesn’t look as fresh as it used to. Installing new hardwood flooring can be an ideal way to give the room a facelift while adding value to it. Before you go ahead with the project, however, see if you can salvage the existing floor by sanding and staining it.

You can sand and stain a 200-square foot room for anywhere between $850 to $1,260. The price for installing new hardwood flooring, however, isn’t much higher than you’d expect. For a living room of the same size, expect to pay $2,400 to $4000. A more budget-friendly alternative that is designed to emulate the look of hardwood is vinyl flooring, which costs $1,400 on average to install in a 200-square foot room.

If you have carpeted flooring that looks tired, you can replace it with minimal effort and cost. Depending on the type, replacing the carpet may cost anywhere from $7 to $12 per square foot.

Rearrange the Furniture Layout

A Furniture Reconfiguration Can Revamp Your Living Spaces

A Furniture Reconfiguration Can Revamp Your Living Spaces

A new layout can sometimes be all your living room needs to restore its charm. You could end up with a fresh look just by shifting your furniture around — you won’t even have to reach for your wallet in this case.

Your living room’s central point is most likely a fireplace or television. Essentially, that is where the layout should be based on. In the case of a fireplace, your options in regards to the configuration are limited. You can, however, move the furniture around without changing the central point. If the layout is set around a television, on the other hand, observe the room to see if you can change the TV’s location. You can probably reroute the cabling without any issues. Once you decide on a new spot for your flatscreen, you can change the arrangement of your furniture accordingly. New sofa covers and maybe a new area rug can make the tweak look more like a room remodeling.

Revamp the Furniture You Have

Give Your Furniture a Makeover With New Upholstery

Give Your Furniture a Makeover With New Upholstery

Before deciding on replacing your living room furniture, see if the ones you have can be salvaged with new upholstery. If the frame is in good condition, it would make sense to only change the upholstery. Even a set of loose covers can do wonders in reviving your old sofas and armchairs. One easy and inexpensive solution involves covering damaged or stained spots on upholstery with printed throws. And if the frame could use a little facelift, there’s nothing a bit of paint can’t fix.

You can reupholster a sofa for $600 and an armchair for $200, which is nothing compared to what you’d be paying for new furniture. If you can get away with opting for sofa covers, expect to pay even less ($20 to $50 at Walmart). However, if you have a sofa that can’t be salvaged in any way, you can still save a good deal of money by shopping for a previously owned piece on Craigslist or at a local thrift shop.

Accessorize With Trendy Elements

Introducing a Few Trendy Elements Can Restore Your living Room’s Appeal

Introducing a Few Trendy Elements Can Restore Your living Room’s Appeal

While living room design ideas are endless, the easiest way to refresh the space is by accessorizing it. Consider switching your pillows with more trendy ones, and pair them with matching cotton throws in the summer and chunky blankets during the colder months. Essentially, it’s an inexpensive way to maintain the visual appeal of your living room. Another effective and relatively inexpensive way to introduce a new color and pattern to the space is with an area rug. And if you already have an area rug but it has lost its appeal, consider replacing it with a new one.

You can find a huge variety of throw pillows at any home center or department store for as little as $8 apiece. As for throw blankets, the price range is more or less the same. An extra $50 can get you a nice area rug and you’ll be good to go.

Consider the Lighting

Popular Lighting Options for a Living Room Remodel

Popular Lighting Options for a Living Room Remodel

One integral element that can re-energize a room is lighting. If done right, it has all the potential to effectively set the ambiance and the mood of a living room interior design. A unique floor lamp, for instance, can add instant charm to the space. Another great way to introduce a certain vibe is with ambient lighting. You could also replace central lighting with a pendant fixture for a more refined aesthetic. Opting for replaceable lampshades will allow you to switch them out without having to replace the entire fixture. This is ideal if you want your lamp to complement seasonal color palettes.

Lighting fixtures are available at department stores for a wide range of prices. Pendant lights, for example, can cost anywhere between $20 to over $100 whereas floor lamps can go for as little as $15. Consider shopping at thrift shops for better deals.

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian