20 Cheap Ways to Update Your Living Room

Inexpensive Ideas for a Quick Change

Cheap Living Room Updates
Chuck Schmidt / Getty Images

If you’re the kind of person who likes to switch up your décor on a regular basis you know how expensive it can be. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. There are a lot of easy and inexpensive things you can do to change the look of a room without spending a fortune.

Rearrange the Furniture

This is no doubt the least expensive way to update a room because it’s totally free! Moving the furniture around gives your room a whole new look and can satisfy your need for change without any cost.

And if you’re not prepared to move all the furniture try rearranging your accessories and bookshelf displays. You’d be surprised at what a big impact it can have.


Paint is the most obvious way to give a room a new look, and it will only cost you a few dollars and some time. With paint you have endless options. You can paint the entire room one color; you can paint a feature wall; or you can paint some type of design such as stripes, chevrons, or stencil work. With paint there are no limits.

Change the Lampshades

Lampshades are like little jewels scattered throughout a room. Change them and you change the mood. Try going from white to black, pleated to flat, or plain to patterned. There are a lot more options available than there used to be so finding something you like shouldn’t be difficult. Try stores like Target, Pottery Barn and Lamps Plus to get an idea of what’s out there. And if you can’t find what you like you can always go custom.

Pillows and Throws

Adding pillows and throw blankets is a great way to add color and texture, and the impact they create can give your room a fresh new look - particularly if you change them with the seasons.  Taking away heavy, dark pillows and throws that were cozy in the winter and replacing them with light and fresh versions in the summer can lift and freshen a room instantly.


There’s a lot that can be done with artwork, from rearranging existing pieces to creating new ones. What’s on the walls has a big impact. If you don’t currently have anything try framing wallpaper or fabric samples, create washi tape art, or frame pages from old books. The idea that artwork has to be expensive is a myth, so try making your own.


When in doubt, edit. Crowding too many things into a room can make it feel small and claustrophobic. To lighten a space simply remove a few items. Everything needs room to breathe so if your space is feeling tight and you want a new look, edit a few items out.

More Cheap Decorating Ideas

  • Replace the window treatments
  • Create a gallery wall with your photos
  • Replace overhead fixtures with thrift store chandeliers (make sure the wiring is up to code)
  • Replace all your picture frames with garage sale versions and paint them all the same color.
  • Find a second hand mirror and paint the frame to match your space. Hang it across from a window to instantly make your room feel bigger.
  • Spray paint an existing piece of furniture such as a side table or chair.
  • Paint doors and trim. Who says they have to be white?
  • Replace your area rug. Carpet stores often have remnants that can be purchased for very cheap prices.