When it comes to interior design, you tend to get what you pay for: The expensive-looking rooms you see in magazines and design blogs are, in fact, incredibly expensive. But you don’t necessarily need “hire an interior designer” money to make your home look more expensive. Here are six ways to spruce up your living room without spending a pile of cash.
Switch up your lighting
Changing your living room’s lighting can change everything about the way it looks and feels. There are almost infinite ways to do this: Depending on your budget, you might buy a new lamp or two, install dimmers, replace your rental’s boob lights with something a little less ugly, or even just swap your lightbulbs out for softer, warmer ones. To help narrow down your options, try thinking about what kind of light works best for different activities and where you do them, then match them up.
Cover your cords
Dangling electrical cords are unsightly and hazardous, neither of which are compatible with a luxurious aesthetic. It may not seem like a big deal, but spending some time corralling and hiding the cords from your TV, game system, light fixtures, and stereo will make a huge, immediate difference in the overall look of your living room. Cord covers are inexpensive and easy to install, too.
Install decorative moulding and/or baseboards
If you’re up for a DIY project, adding decorative moulding to your living room walls might be worth consideration. It’s more involved than changing up your décor, but less expensive than a total remodel — and it gives you a chance to customise the look of your walls. There are several types of moulding to choose from: Some are purely decorative, while others (like picture and chair rails) offer some functionality, as well.
Hang mirrors strategically
The right mirror in the right place can make even the smallest, darkest room look bigger and brighter — all you have to do is give it some light to reflect. Hanging a mirror at eye level opposite a window is the classic move here, but you’d be surprised what you can accomplish with lamps, too. As long as you pair each mirror with a light source of some kind, you can’t go wrong.
Splurge on one custom frame
Custom framing is expensive and worth every penny. Even a single professionally framed piece of art can make a huge difference in the way a room looks: A good framer will work with you to select the perfect size, shape, and colour for your artwork and your space so you end up with something truly special. Choose a piece that means a lot to you, even if it’s small, and display it with pride.
Buy some fresh flowers
Nothing brightens a room on a budget like fresh flowers. They’re pretty to look at, nice to smell, and significantly less expensive than just about every other item on this list. You don’t have to keep them around 24/7 (unless you want to, of course), but picking up a fresh bouquet or two before having company over is an easy way to impress your guests without spending a fortune.