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23 Tips for DIY Living Room Decorating On A Budget (2024)

Find out how to get the look you love without settling with these easy ideas for DIY living room decorating on a budget.


Don’t believe the lie that you have to spend a lot to get the cozy living room decor you have always wanted.  In this post, I’ll show you my best ideas and helpful tips to get the look you love on a budget!

Remember that this is YOUR living room and no one else’s. 

Most importantly, your living room decor has to serve YOU.  If you are breaking the bank on all the latest design trends, your decor is not serving you.  Instead, you are serving it. 

The purpose of our homes is to frame our lives and to do that, your home’s decor and furnishings need to express your tastes while staying on your budget.

So, let’s get started finding your decor style.  In this article, I will use my 20 years of budget-decorating experience to first find low-cost alternatives to the staples in your living room décor – like curtain rods, curtains, and furniture. 

Then, you can have more room in your budget to bring in pops of color that express your own personal style with accessories like throw pillows, rugs, and décor you love.

“I believe your home tells a story about who you are and who you aspire to be. We represent ourselves through the things we own. I don’t believe in trends. I believe in collecting things that you connect with. We should surround ourselves with things we care about, that have meaning.” – Nate Berkus, Interior Designer

Your home needs to have a style that you adore, but you don’t have to break the bank in order to achieve that.  So let’s get started.  Marie Kondo’s question, “Does this spark joy?” is just as important in decorating as it is in decluttering. 

And these tips will help you get there!

23 Low-Budget Living Room Ideas & Tips

1. A New Coat of Paint

You don’t have to change the paint color of your room but a fresh coat of paint is the cheapest way to make a huge difference in the look of the entire room. 

Pick a light neutral color that balances well between gray and beige like a light greige.  Don’t go for a true white because this will make your décor look washed out.  Soft, neutral wall colors also work well with any color scheme.

My favorite color is SW Agreeable Gray, and it has an amazing ability to help small spaces look light and airy without looking washed out.  To understand the full power of paint, click here to see my favorite color in real homes:  Agreeable Gray, My Favorite Living Room Color

If your budget is super tight, consider using leftover paint from another room or check your local Restore, where you can get a couple of gallons of paint for cheap.

2. Easy Curtain Rod Hack

Curtain rods can be expensive and by saving money with this easy curtain rod hack, you have more room in your budget for more exciting decorations.  This easy hack will give your curtain rods an expensive look without spending a lot of money. 

Making my own curtain rods out of electrical conduit was one of the best things I did to upgrade the look of the room while only spending a few dollars per window:  Easy DIY Curtain Rod Hack

3. Hang Your Curtains Higher and Wider

 An affordable way to give your room new life is to hang your curtains higher and wider.  Not only does this let in lots of natural light, but it makes your room appear larger and more spacious.

DIY Custom Curtain Rods
Notice how small the window actually is but the placement of the curtains makes them look much bigger.

4. How Do I Make My Living Room Cozy on A Budget?

Now that we have some staples out of the way, it’s time to define how you want your living room to feel.  Your living room should be one of your favorite places to hang out so create a space that serves your life and tastes well with this free guide:  FREE ROOM PLANNING GUIDE

5. Repurpose Old Pieces of Furniture

This is the DIY No-Build Entertainment Center I made from a couple of laminate Target bookcases and an old dresser.  I love how this fills this huge blank wall in our living room for a fraction of the cost of a new entertainment center. 

diy entertainment center with bookshelves

Don’t be afraid to repurpose furniture pieces with a different function than they had originally.  This navy dresser is a real statement piece because it has lots of sentimental value, like my grandma’s old dresser, and I painted it in Hale Navy.

benjamin moore hale navy

6. Paint or Faux Stain Old Furniture Pieces

Whether you refinish your grandma’s secretary or give new life to a thrift store coffee table, old furniture is such an exciting opportunity to upgrade the look of your room with a little bit of paint.  To see some of my favorite furniture transformations, click here:  35 Painted Furniture Makeover Reveals

Painting a piece of furniture is a great way to get the look of new pieces without spending a lot.  Don’t have any old furniture pieces? 

Facebook Marketplace can be a great source for thrift store finds made out of solid wood, whether you are looking for a dining table, side table, or a statement piece.  Also, don’t forget to use the right process with the right paint: DIY Guide to Furniture Refinishing

Also, building furniture is not as difficult as you might think!  I love the coffee table we built and use the bottom for storage space with hyacinth baskets.  Here’s the full tutorial on How to Build a Turned Leg Coffee Table.

Easy DIY Farmhouse Coffee Table With Turned Legs

Don’t feel like painting is the only option!  You can faux stain furniture with paint – that means you don’t have to use a furniture stripper! 

7. Fill Empty Wall Space With A Gallery Wall

Decorate with art that won’t break the bank.  A gallery wall is a very inexpensive way to fill a large area on a wall.  A large piece of artwork to fill an entire wall will be super expensive. 

However, a gallery wall with inexpensive frames will give you the same effect with a very sophisticated and classy look: How to Hang Gallery Wall Art Easily  Also, don’t be afraid to embrace a bold pop of color!

8. DIY New Artwork by Utilizing Free Printables

Don’t forget to utilize free printables to make your own wall art.  Wall art doesn’t have to be expensive to look great.  Get the free printable botanical wall art above and other options here:  Free Printables from Renovated Faith 

A home is so much more than decor and paint! It should be a haven - a place you find refuge, encouragement and inspiration so you can better perform the tasks of your day.  In this post, I'll share 5 ways to turn your house into a haven that are easier than you think! #homesweethome #homedecor #fromhousetohaven #renovatedfaith #budgetdecor www.renovatedfaith.com

Also, you can make your own wall art out of fabric scraps and a little acrylic paint as I did here: Fabric Scrap Wall Art

9. Add a Low-Cost Accent Wall

You might be familiar with beadboard and brick wallpaper, but there is a new product that can give you the look of a brick wall without the cost.  I used these paintable faux panels on my backsplash, and they would work great for an accent wall: Best Faux Brick Backsplash

after the mosaic is complete

Another great option for a paintable accent wall is beadboard wallpaper.  You can see how it looks in several homes here:  Beadboard Wallpaper Ideas

10. Update Your Fireplace

Whitewashing your fireplace is a great way to update your fireplace with a more modern look while still maintaining its original character:  How to Whitewash A Fireplace Easily With Paint

11. Add a Bookcase

An easy way to display accessories is by adding a bookcase.  You can even paint the back of the bookcase a different color or add beadboard wallpaper to really make your décor pop!

diy entertainment center with bookshelves

12. Consider Re-arranging the Room 

Rearrange furniture to better serve your everyday life.  Not only is this a budget-friendly way to update your living room but it’s an opportunity to give the room a whole new look.

13. Add a Colorful Area Rug

One of my top tips for updating your living area is to add a rug that is big enough that it can fit all four legs of every middle-of-the-room furniture piece. 

In other words, you know your rug is the right size when your couch, coffee table, and any sitting chairs or recliners can fit on it.  You can also layer up rugs if you have carpet in your living space that you don’t love!

14. The Best Stores for Affordable Living Room Décor

Of course, you can find reasonable prices by going to thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, and Flea Markets, but a few great places to find decorative items are Target, Walmart (Better Homes and Gardens Line), Amazon, and big box stores.

15. Arrange Your Décor

This tutorial on how to decorate a console table shows you how to arrange ANY décor of different sizes on any flat surface.  It helps you find your focal point, and shows you how to decorate around picture frames: Easy Tips for Decorating Console Tables

DIY Boxwood Topiary Trees - If you have sticker shock from the boxwood topiary trees sold in stores, here is my tutorial on how to make artificial boxwood topiary trees that are more durable, just as life-like and a fraction of the cost as the ones online. How to Make a Topiary Ball Tree. #topiarytrees #boxwooddecor #boxwoodballs #diyoutdoortopiary #topiaryballs

16. Include Pops of Color With New Pillows and Throw Blankets

A great way to get a lot of mileage for your decorating budget is with throw pillows.  It’s a good idea to buy the covers and filler pillows separately.  Throw pillows are such an easy way to create a big impact visually without spending a lot.  Don’t be afraid to mix geometric patterns with solids.

Easy DIY Farmhouse Coffee Table With Turned Legs

17. Transform Living Room Decor with Spray Paint

I am a spray paint junkie because there is nothing closer to a magic wand when it comes to transforming your home decor on a budget. It’s a good idea to make small upgrades to your existing decor to save money.

Spray painting your home decor is such an easy way to give table lamps, old frames and small furniture a whole new look.

18. Spray Paint Your Door Knobs 

I also spray-painted all the door knobs in my house to leave room in my budget for more exciting decor.  I did this project about 5 years ago, and they still look the same to this day:  How to Paint Door Knobs So They Last

19. Add Accessories

Add bold posts of color by adding life-giving accessories like plants, fresh floors, and family photos.  Use mirrors on the wall to make a small room look so much bigger and change throw pillows on main furniture pieces.

20. New Cushions

If your couch looks kind of sad, consider replacing just the cushions, throwing the cushion covers in the washer, and hanging them up to dry.  Replacing couch cushions by ordering new ones online makes a huge impact on the overall feel and look of the couch.

21. Declutter and Minimize

Minimizing your stuff is a great way to make a huge impact in any room.   Small décor items can make a room look cluttered.   If it is smaller than a cantaloupe, get rid of it! 

22. Deep Clean Furniture and Area Rugs

A simple project is to deep clean your furniture and area rugs by renting or borrowing a carpet cleaner or use these tips: How to Remove Stains And Musty Odor from Furniture

23. Do a swap

Have a piece of furniture you don’t love?  Sell it on Facebook Marketplace and use that money to find a different furniture piece online that you love.  You can also easily swap out furniture from other rooms!

RENOVATE YOUR FAITH: How to Stop Serving Your Home

Lately, I’ve made an intentional shift in how I view my home and how I decorate it.  Home is more than just a place to lay your head at night or a display area where you feel you have to live up to the latest trends.  It’s your physical haven that protects and rejuvenates our energy toward our God-given purpose in life. 

When I think of how my phone functions in my life I like to imagine it as a charger base for my phone.  The charger is a place for my phone to recharge so it can be ready to be used to its full capacity the next day.  READ MORE HERE

For more spiritual encouragement, click here Renovate Your Faith devotional

Free Room Planning Guide for DIY Living Room Decorating on a Budget

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The Easy Way to Make Any Printable Look Like A Handpainted Farmhouse Sign

The Easiest Way to Do a Modern Faux Finish for Furniture

Budget-Friendly DIY Ideas for Decorating Your Home Office

The Best Ways to Create a Home That Serves You

Final Thoughts on DIY Living Room Decorating on a Budget

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have beautiful decor, and this post will give you several affordable ways to incorporate budget living room decor DIY home projects to give you the living room you’ve always wanted!

Have a question or comment? Be sure to comment below, and I will be sure to reply!

Blessings,

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Cheap DIY Living Room Decorating On A Budget

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