Find yourself walking into your living room and feeling… well, uninspired? While we all have grand ideas about major renovations or moving to a new home, there’s a huge amount we can do to revamp the living room you have in just one weekend with very little prep!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the different ways you can give your living room a fresh new look, whether you own or rent, without breaking the bank or disrupting your life for weeks at a time. Read on to get started!
How to Makeover Your Living Room in Just ONE Weekend
Let’s start with the one thing you really shouldn’t tackle during a weekend makeover – your floor. Many fast-action renovation guides out there will suggest you replace the flooring, however, unless you’ve got a professional carpeting or flooring team on speed dial, don’t do it.
Replacing the floor will take you far longer than you think it should (yes, even if you’re just using click-laminate), especially if you want or need to take up the skirting. Replacing the floor will take a dedicated weekend for a handy couple, but you won’t have the time (or the energy) for anything else.
Instead, switch up your rug(s) and give your current floor a thorough clean. If you have carpet, rent a carpet cleaner from a local supermarket for a few hours. You can do this first or last during your makeover, just make sure you give the floor sufficient time to dry before you put down your rugs and furniture.
A large rug is the perfect solution for covering up a less-than-ideal carpet, and the colour of your rug will make a big difference to how light and airy or cosy your room feels. If you’re choosing a large rug, it will look best if it is hidden beneath the largest pieces of furniture and not just a square in the middle of the floor between everything.
If your walls could do with a fresh coat of paint or if you’ve been dying to put in a feature wall, you can totally do it as part of your makeover weekend, provided you aren’t too ambitious. For example, giving white walls a refresh with white or off-white paint can often be done with just one coat, but if you’ve never wallpapered before, don’t buy an expensive pattern that requires careful preparation and lining up unless it’s one of the only big changes you want to make in the room.
#3 Invest in new art
Even beautiful pieces of artwork can fade into the background after a few years, so switch them out for something new. This does not need to be expensive; you can easily go on sites like Etsy or Redbubble to buy digital files you can get printed or buy framed and ready to hang. Just make sure you start thinking about this before your makeover weekend as many will take a week to arrive. Alternatively, head to a local homeware store to pick out pieces there.
#4 Sofa and armchairs
Sofas are expensive, especially if you invest in quality, long lasting pieces, so don’t sell and buy new sofas every time you want the room to look a little different. A couple of large throws work well to cover the fabric if you’ve fallen out of love with the colour or have kids and/or pets that have left it looking a little worse for wear. You could also consider getting custom covers made, it’s a little more expensive, but with it if you want to keep your sofa and aren’t ready to pay for upholstery.
#5 Switch up your soft furnishings
You may not think soft furnishings make that much of a difference, but the truth is you can do nothing but change the soft furnishings and you’ll still see a huge difference. It’s well worth the investment to get new cushion covers or cushions (especially if yours have lost their plumpness) in a slightly different style or colouring, some new throws or blankets, and new curtains.
New curtains can be one of the more expensive changes you make in your living room, but it will also make a big difference. If you feel like your living room is too dark, opt for lighter coloured curtains, and if you would prefer a cosier feel, opt for darker.
If your room feels cramped and you’ve got space between your curtain rail and the ceiling, move your curtain rail up closer to the ceiling. This helps create more length and the illusion of higher ceilings.
#6 Rearrange your furniture
One of the best things you can do is to rearrange your furniture as this instantly transforms the space. Try a different layout, even if you aren’t sure it will work – you can always put it back the way it was. Think about ways you can pull your furniture toward the middle of the room; we often shove our furniture up against walls and into corners, and this can make the room look a little like a teenager’s bedroom. Centre your TV, and if you do have furniture in corners, try to turn any square objects so they don’t follow the lines of the wall.
#7 Switch up the lighting
We get used to how a room is lit, and changing the lighting can make a huge difference. Try a different lightshade or fixture overhead, and change your freestanding lighting. Think about how you want the room to feel when you use it and choose lighting accordingly. If you only use the room to watch TV in the evenings, you could opt for a darker shade, but you’ll likely find it too much if you use the room for any other purpose.
LED Bluetooth bulbs are well worth the investment so you can tweak the lighting to suit your needs, they also last longer and cut your electricity bill, so they’re a win for your décor and a win for your wallet.
#8 Add wallpaper to the back of bookcases
If you have large bookcases you aren’t sure what to do with, try adding wallpaper to the back wall of the shelves. You’d be surprised by how different they’ll feel with a new pattern and some visual interest. This is also a great option if the shelves are built-in and you’re renting, as you can use blue tack or similar to fix the paper to the back of the bookcases.
#9 Change-up hardware
If you’ve got drawers and cupboards in your living room, consider replacing the handles and hardware. A simple change of handle can give your furniture a whole new look. If you don’t want to buy new hardware, try buying spray paint and spray the hardware a different colour, such as brass, gold, or black.
You can also use this same technique on other metal furniture in your living room, such as a coffee table or floor lamp. Just make sure you test the paint on something small you don’t have an attachment to first to ensure you like how it looks!
#10 Add plants
Nowadays, no home looks complete without an abundance of plants, and adding some greenery is a fast way to give your living room a whole new look. Don’t panic – adding plants doesn’t mean you suddenly need to learn how to look after dozens of different houseplants. You can get the same look with some quality artificial plants and the only care you’ll need to give them is an occasional dust-off. What’s not to love about that? Here are some of our favourite artificial plants and ways to style them:
Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, Dracaena trifasciata is versatile and the perfect addition to any room. It has tall, pointed, thick leaves, typically tipped with yellow but can also be found with muted white lines through the leaves. This style of houseplant was first popular in the 70s but has found popularity again in recent years. Try pairing artificial snake plants with textured white pots for a simple, modern look, place them in a stylish plant stand in an empty corner, use a pot with vertical stripes to emphasise the height of the leaves, or use a dark brown, terracotta, or wooden pot for an all-natural look.
The ever-popular rubber plant makes a great addition to any living room, but really finds its home in mid-century modern décor. While the real plant can look a little sad if not taken care of perfectly, artificial rubber plants fill a space with shiny, colourful leaves. This plant works well in natural plant pots, such as concrete, white, or black. Stand them in pots on the floor or in a plant stand.
Artificial Olive Tree
If you love that relaxed, country, French-inspired look and have the space, an artificial olive tree will take your living room décor to the next level. Place it in a terracotta pot to embrace the Mediterranean look, a slate-look pot, or wrap the base in burlap with some natural twine.
Artificial ZZ Plant
If none of these suggestions sound up your alley, you can find our full range of artificial house plants here.
#11 Add smart storage solutions
One of the things that will make a room feel tired fast is clutter. There’s little worse than coming into a space you’ve worked hard to style, only for it to be filled with piles of notebooks, draped with throws and blankets you aren’t using, and for the sofa or floor to be covered with a spiderweb of wires from chargers. If you find things are being left out often, try investing in a better solution. A cotton rope belly basket is the perfect solution for throws, blankets, or toys. Add decorative boxes or baskets under larger pieces of furniture to hide anything you aren’t always using. Invest in trays or organisers for remotes and devices, and try hiding extension leads behind the sofa so you can tuck chargers away or hook them on the wall nearby.
When you make even just a handful of these tweaks to your living room, you’ll give it a whole new lease on life. A new feature wall, a plant stand and artificial snake plant, and all-new soft furnishings will make your living room feel brand new. Make sure you plan ahead of time and order anything you need to in the week or two before your weekend makeover so you’ve got everything you need and are ready to dive in on Saturday morning.