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8 Living Room Decorating Ideas

Weekend Makeover: Living Room

A stylish living room makeover is as easy as new lamps, a rug, window treatments, wall shelves and paint. Check out how savvy design ideas and one weekend give a bland living space a shot of affordable designer style.


This space had clean lines and a neutral palette, but the overall look was safe, boring and without character. It needed stylish updates that can be achieved over a weekend: paint, window and rug treatments, a floating shelf, lamps and a couple of new furnishings (ottoman and hammock rocker). Existing furnishings — sofa, chairs, coffee table and area rug — remain as part of the new look.

Simple Ideas to Transform Your Space.
Brown floating shelf with blue-green vase and framed pictures against a wall painted white and blue-green.


The two-tone wall paint has the effect of a chair rail with a more modern vibe. The existing warm white color is paired with a rich teal-blue (HGTV HOME™ by Sherwin-Williams Drizzling Rain, #HGSW2314) to yield a soft green-blue. Having the darker color at the bottom tends to ground the room and make the ceiling look higher. Pulling the darker color up two-thirds of the wall instead of halfway up — common in traditional chair rails — gives a fresh, modern look.

Wood-look floating shelf holding artwork.


To create a longer expanse of shelf, three 24-inch sections of wall-mounted shelving were installed end to end. The result is a dramatic display space for larger art and other décor that follows the lines of the sofa. These allen + roth® floating shelves (#745818) are made of medium-density fiberboard but resemble solid rustic beams.

Neutral patterned Southwest-style rug at an angle atop another neutral rug in a living room, with a gold-frame coffee table.


The homeowners liked their existing area rug, a 5-foot-by-8-foot woven one with a Southwestern pattern in neutrals, but it was too small for the space. Setting it at an angle over a new 8-foot-by-10-foot rug with a low pile and a neutral texture fills the room. The angle of the top rug creates a layered, collected look and gives the space the same casual style as the rest of the furnishings.

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Plant in windowsill of living room with blue walls and tan-and-charcoal curtain panel.


Windows previously had only woven Roman shades, which made the room look sparse. Inexpensive new curtain panels (#382800) soften the look and give a more finished appearance without cluttering the room.

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Black cat on a brown sofa with a striped throw pillow and a furry white pillow.


Throw pillows let you add color, texture and personality to a room in doses that don’t interfere with an overall clean look. Pick up color from artwork and other décor in the room. But look past color to amp up style — add pillows with interesting woven textures, including faux fur.

Hanging pendants with Edison bulbs.


These DIY hanging pendants have the look found in high-end decorating but are much less expensive. Simply remove the aluminum shade and clamp from three $7 portable work lights so that what remains are just the long cords with the plugs on one end and the empty sockets on the other. Insert the plug ends into a 3-outlet extension cord, then plug the extension cord into an outlet. Run the extension cord up to the ceiling and fasten the outlet end to a ceiling hook. Drape the lamp cords over a second ceiling hook and let them hang straight down. Add Edison bulbs to the lamps. In this room, the cords’ appearance is in keeping with the room’s casual décor.

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Brown sofa with a gold and glass coffee table on a Southwestern-style rug.


A can of metallic gold spray paint updates the existing black-metal-and-glass coffee table. The lighter color and metallic finish gives furniture with good lines a more fashion-forward look.

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White windowsill with plants and containers against a blue wall.


A windowsill is the perfect spot for a mini garden — an opportunity to add life and a sense of outdoors to a space and to show off pretty, colorful containers.