The living room is the social center of most homes. No doubt yours sees plenty of use. That’s all the more reason to dedicate some extra time toward making it amazing. Whether you’re on a tight budget or just enjoy doing things yourself, there are hundreds of surprisingly sophisticated DIY projects out there for aspiring amateur designers. We’ve put together an awesome list of 48 DIY living room decorating ideas to help you update everything from your coffee table to your throw pillows.
This Ibiza living room features local-limestone floors covered in custom Spanish esparto rugs from Antonia Molina. Walls covered in a sandy lime plaster, and a wood-beam ceiling set a rustic tone in the living room. Custom sofas by Atelier Tapissier Seigneur and curtains in a quilted Braquenié fabric; the Oeil cocktail table by Pierre Chapo is vintage, the lacquered-coral sculpture is by Maurizio Epifani, and the painting over the mantel is by Alex Katz.
Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.
A couple of small living room ideas can include: working with the height you have – installing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves or drawing the eye to the top of the walls with wallpaper; choosing space-saving or storage-incorporating (or both!) furniture, such as corner sofas with storage space under the chaise longue section; and keeping things symmetrical – a central fireplace with seating opposite, or seats facing each other, can give the illusion of a larger, more grand room. When it comes to the best decor for small living rooms, you can either choose to keep things light and airy to open up the space, or embrace the cosiness of the smaller area you have by going for warm colours and filling the room with your favourite accessories.
Here, 1" x 4" pine boards, spaced about a foot apart, offer the look of custom paneling at a fraction of the price. Curtains in narrow vertical stripes break up the wall's horizontal lines. Multi-stripe pillows in complementary hues band together to dress up a neutral sofa. A wide white stripe, applied to the armchair's center using fabric paint (available at craft stores), packs a graphic punch.

A couple of small living room ideas can include: working with the height you have – installing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves or drawing the eye to the top of the walls with wallpaper; choosing space-saving or storage-incorporating (or both!) furniture, such as corner sofas with storage space under the chaise longue section; and keeping things symmetrical – a central fireplace with seating opposite, or seats facing each other, can give the illusion of a larger, more grand room. When it comes to the best decor for small living rooms, you can either choose to keep things light and airy to open up the space, or embrace the cosiness of the smaller area you have by going for warm colours and filling the room with your favourite accessories.


• Flooring – Changes in the flooring are considered to be an important upgrade in a living room renovation project. Existing living room floors that have light scratches may either be refurbished or refinished, however if the damage is more extensive, replacing the floors may be required. Changing the floor may also be a result of aesthetic preference or an update in style, meaning if your living room has existing ceramic floor tiles and you want to change it into a more rustic inspired space, then you might need to change it with wooden planks.
Keep a file of your favorite samples and inspirational images even if you can’t afford a makeover yet, or haven’t found the home of your dreams. This homeowner/designer kept all the fabric samples that she loved in a bag until she found the right home to settle in. She'd also been acquiring updated yet traditional pieces for just the kind of collected look she liked.

While most light fixtures can be easily changed, adding new lighting fixtures, outlets and switches are not meant for “do it yourself” projects due to their sensitivity. Making changes to a lighting and electrical layout is only easy if the ceiling frames are exposed as there is no need to remove ceiling boards and cause additional damage to the home. But as mentioned living room renovation projects that involve electrical work may require hiring an electrician.
Family photographs instantly add warmth and personality to your home. Take them out of the attic, off your computer, or out of the infrequently viewed albums on your bookshelves, and enjoy them every day. Pick a wall, corner, or entire room. If your chosen spot already has picture molding (found in many older homes), your job will be easy. If not, adding new molding is not that complicated.
Struggling with what living room colours to choose, or what style to go with? While a grey living room design is popular at the moment, you might not want to go with the ubiquitous colour. Although, if neutral and contemporary are the living room ideas you’re after, a grey sofa or grey walls will give you a good base to work on. If you want to stay neutral, beige is not your only other option, either. Light yellows, taupes and soft greys will work. Why not try adding simple but plush cushions to your sofa and a rug in these colours to achieve a modern-traditional look?

This cozy little space shows how small living room decor can quickly become an art form given the right pieces. In this room’s case, the abstract white sculptures on one wall and the feather painting on the other would probably point to an oceanic theme, but when you get to the blue area rug and notice the flowers, you begin to wonder if the room really is following a specific theme. Without those pieces of wall art, the room would look stale and a bit generic, which shows how even one piece can transform a room’s look in unexpected ways.
A 1920s Palm Beach home, owned by art adviser Heidi McWilliams, serves as the perfect backdrop for displaying her impressive collection. The living room is furnished with claret armchairs (right) and hexagonal table by Rose Tarlow Melrose House, along with a neutral rug by Patterson Flynn Martin. An Anish Kapoor mirrored wall sculpture accentuates the 16th-century Italian limestone mantel, and the coffered ceiling, which is original, adds character to the room.
Living room expansions require evaluation of the existing site conditions of the space, particularly the structural elements in the room such as the columns, beams and interior partitions. Be prepared to find other problems as you go like the possibility of termites, mold problems or asbestos. In some cases, there are also load bearing walls that will need additional work for support. Existing outlets, ventilation systems, plumbing and electricity may also need to be moved or relocated.

It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. "In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees," says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. "I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink."
In general, wall treatments for living room renovation projects can run from $500 to $2500 per project, depending on the material, the type of finish and the amount of prep work needed to complete the project. Other factors which greatly affect the cost of wall treatments for living room renovations are the size of the room and the height of the wall, since they determine the full area of material coverage.
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