Living Room Styling Tricks That Are Quick and Inexpensive
We love our homes, right? But at times, we can get a little bored and fall out of love with our living spaces. The living room is a place we gather as a family, entertain friends and spend a decent amount of time in, so it’s no wonder we can get tired of looking at the same things! Invigorate your home with these simple and affordable tricks that concentrate on simply changing things up, ‘shopping your home’ for inspiration and thoughtfully placing objects to create interest and immediate appeal.
Style your coffee table
One of the first places I look at changing if I am feeling a little blah about my living room is the coffee table. It’s a flat area that is just screaming for some attention. Remember your odd numbers here for a simple way to style like a pro, and work with varying shapes, sizes, textures and heights.
STYLE TIP: A fail-proof formula for your coffee table is a vase of fresh flowers, a stack of interesting coffee table books with a candle or interesting ornament on top and then a bowl/smaller dish or tray with a textual element inside.
How to style your coffee table
Style with a cage light
Yes, every living room needs mood lighting – it’s a must for creating ambience. A versatile lamp is the cage light because it can be used and displayed in a number of ways. Get a cage light that has a long chord as this will allow you to hang it from the ceiling or anchor it using a ladder or a shelf. You can also rest them on a side table or console for an effortless, industrial look. The great thing about this style of pendant is that it can be used all over the house, especially in bedrooms –so when you’re bored with it in the living room, change it up!
Update your indoor pots
You can easily update your indoor plant (here’s hoping you’ve managed to keep it alive), simply by changing its pot. Woven planter baskets (these are great because you just pop the existing pot into the basket, and there’s no need to replant) are so versatile and suit most interiors, while hand-painted ceramic planters can add a graphic, arty feel. You can even have a go at painting some yourself. Choose a plain terracotta pot plant, undercoat it with a base coat, then use painter’s tape and coloured paint to create patterns.
More: DIY Project: Teacup Planter Pots
Change up your side tables
The humble little side table can instantly change the look of your living room. A bold colour, teamed with complementary throw cushions, can change the overall look of a room. Also treat your side table like a mini coffee table or even spare seating – go for Japanese drums and sturdy options for the latter option. An empty side table can look a little sad, so dress it with a posy of flowers or a little dish to keep it interesting. But remember, a side table is mainly for placing your drink on, so don’t clutter it with too much stuff.
The magic of multi-tasking furniture
Layer your rugs
When looking at changing things up in your home, don’t forget the floor! Try layering your floor rugs. Simply place the smaller rug over the larger rug to create a textural and layered effect. This is perfect if you’re renting a home and moving from place to place with a different floor size and layout. It’s also a good fix if you’ve purchased a rug that’s too small or can’t part with that kilim you’ve picked up on your travels.
STYLE TIP: Try a patterned rug over a plain or textured jute, combining two contrasting colours, or even try mixing and matching two different patterns (more on this below). Just remember the rugs have to be different sizes!
Change up your walls
Try something new on your walls in your living room and create a new focal point. If you’ve always stuck to traditional rectangular shaped frames, why not try circular shapes or pieces with textural or hand-woven details.
This is a great way for all the bowerbirds out there to show off their unusual wares! Get them out of the cupboard and up on the wall.
STYLE TIP: Remember little things look great when shown off in a collection, or a series, so do the same when styling your walls and vertical spaces.
If you fear the wrath of your landlord but want to change up your walls, another idea is to place a tall indoor plant next to the wall in order to ‘frame’ a piece of artwork. This trick works well if you are hanging one or just a few items on the wall. Sometimes these artworks can appear lost, or they are lacking something, so balance the wall with an indoor plant, or chair or long bench to support the art wall concept.
Show off family heirlooms
You may have a collection of family treasures stashed away, such as Nan’s fine china or random little collections handed down from generation to generation – well get them out of the cupboards and show them off! Little things tend to look better when grouped together. The trick is to not get the entire collection out and arrange it on a table or console, but to pick a handful of pieces – the most interesting to you – and vary the sizes, heights, shapes and textures to create an interesting display.
STYLE TIP: When starting off, it helps if you stick to a theme. For instance, show off cups or porcelain from a similar era or choose a range of items in the same colourway. Both options will help to communicate a story.
Go for a pattern clash
I like mixing and matching patterns. You can get a new look instantly, so experiment and be a little daring. Sit with the scheme for a couple of days and you’ll know if it’s not working.
A few tips to consider when combining patterns are:
- Try not to mix more than three different patterns – it becomes too busy and nowhere for the eye to rest.
- Vary the scale of the patterns so they do not directly compete with one another. Try a small floral print with a larger check, for instance.
- Lastly, patterns with at least one colour in common help to seamlessly blend the patterns. Try complementary colours (colours next to each other on the colour wheel) or a triadic colour scheme, seen here, for example (blue, yellow and red).