Is your living room in need of an update? While an entire living room transformation may be a bit ambitious for an average weekend (ok, perhaps a Bank Holiday), there are lots of smaller decorating projects that really can be completed in a weekend.
If you love decorating your home as much as us, were sure that you’re always gathering new ideas for your home, whether its keeping beautiful ideas from favourites magazines or pinning images you love on to a moodboard.
These easy living room updates still make a great difference to the way you feel about your living space and if you get crafty by sewing your own cushions, or try a little bit of simple DIY its also easy to achieve a great look, even if youre on a budget.
Why not paint some inexpensive wooden picture frames to display cherished family photographs or travel photos? This is a great way to create a colourful display on a neutral wall, or above a fireplace. If youve been inspired by a designer piece thats just out of budget (that gorgeous cushion youve had you eye on, perhaps?) get creative and either sew your own soft furnishings in a similar style, or update existing accessories. A classic checked cushion can easily be given a contemporary touch with an eye-catching bright pink trimming. Or, you might decide to brighten up an unloved corner (space under the stairs is top of our list) with a new table lamp with a colourful, handpainted lampshade.
Have fun with these simple but creative ideas that’ll ring the changes without turning into a full room redo. Be inspired by the gorgeous ideas in our photo gallery and start planning your next weekend project .
Add interest to plain chest of drawers or open shelves.
How to: Cover drawer fronts or alcoves with geometric wallpaper. Pick alternating patterns for each space. Cut paper to size and use an all-in-one sealer, glue and finish to secure.
Get the look
Buy now: Wall paint, Gingham Claypaint, £36 for 2.5l, Earthborn
Buy now: Rug, Kashba Jewels rug, £259, Woven
Buy now: Armchair, Momo armchair, £250, Habitat
Buy now: Sideboard, Logan sideboard, £375, Next
Make a sofa the focal point and revive your living room with a fresh palette for spring.
How to: Paint the wall behind it in a soft pastel shade and swap old sofa cushions and throws for a new line-up in pretty co-ordinating colours.
Get the look
Buy now: Sofa, Bluebell sofa in Taupe, £1,340, Sofa.com
Give an old chair a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint.
How to: Pick a eye-popping shade in a hardy egg shell and paint just the chair seat and back, leaving the legs unfinished for a contrasting effect. Finish the scene with a crisp white desk and enhance the bright tone with matching desk lamp and accessories.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar paint, Lemon Punch emulsion paint, £13.83 for 2.5l, Dulux from B&Q
Enjoy your favourite flowers all year round.
How to: Buy good quality artificial flowers and display in a large stylish glass vase as you would fresh flowers, trimming and tweaking until you’re happy. Pick out the petal tones with similar coloured accessories.
Painted in a colour that matches or contrasts with a key piece, plain wooden frames take on a designer look.
How to: Paint your frames with two coats of high-gloss paint, and complete the look by creating new mounts in dramatic marbled paper.
Get the look
Buy now: Mother of Pearl Chest of Drawers, £1,395, Graham & Green
Window film has moved on from text and simple graphics, as this antique map shows.
How to: This bespoke window film came pre-cut in window panel-sized pieces. Before applying the film, ensure the windows are squeaky clean. Begin at the bottom of each pane and carefully smooth out the glazing film.
Get the look
Buy now: View of Amsterdam Window Film, Surface View
Artisan tiles are too beautiful just for the bathroom – use them to add a neo-Moorish mood to the living room.
How to: Start tiling from above the mantel, or, if you don’t have one, start from a baton levelled with a spirit level (not the skirting or floor as these can be uneven).
Apply a thick layer of tile adhesive to the wall using a tile float (a metal spatula with a serracted edge). Use tile spacers, or, if the tiles are uneven, judge the space by eye. Grout tiles after placing them in position using a grouting float.
Your favourite quote, poem or lyric will transform a mirror into a personal artwork, perfect for living room.
How to: Begin by marking out straight lines using low-tack masking tape, then, working from left to right, stick on the letters.
For a super-modern finish in the living room, go for a bright trim on a neutral cushion – neon on grey, navy or black, say.
How to: Remove the pad and pin your chosen braiding around the edge of the top face, folding neat 45° angles at the corners, then hand stitch.
The painterly trend is easy to achieve – a few brush strokes and no artistic skill required. Why not have a go at updating your lampshade?
How to: Mark out your pattern in pencil before you begin, but ensure your fabric paint is undiluted so the marks don’t show through. Use a good-quality flat brush to create strokes on the lampshade. Allow it to dry before switching on the light.
A touch of sparkle can uplift and give a traditional design modern allure.
How to: Use a good-quality, all-purpose clear glue with a fine nozzle to stick rhinestones in place. Work in small areas and use sparingly for a subtle effect.
These self-adhesive tiles can be built up into a shape and mix of colours that suit your living space.
How to: Ensure your wall surface is clean and dust-free – it might be worth washing with sugar soap if you are installing the tiles in a kitchen, for example.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar tiles, Bouf
A wide border will add impact to an existing architrave and make period living room details, modern.
How to: Use low-tack masking tape to mask out a band around your door frame. Paint the band and wall decoration (before fixing it to the wall) using matt emulsion. When dry, paint out a small strip along the top of the band, and fix the wall decoration in place using No More Nails. Paint skirting in the same colour. If your skirting is narrower than your band, continue with the emulsion above it to create the same width of band.
If wall space is tight in your living room, make your artistic statement in an unexpected place.
How to: Fix two hanging mounts onto your door – one at the top and one at the bottom – to stop the the picture moving when the door opens.