15 Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas for a Fresh, Modern Living Room

15 Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas for a Fresh, Modern Living Room

Now that we're living in the 20's, you're probably feeling the need to spruce up your living room in a way that feels updated but still feels like home. We've come up with 15 ways, some simple and some adventurous, to refresh your living room without having to take out a loan. Let's get started!



Give your fireplace some life in warmer months when you don't need that baby burning. Hot tip!: You can typically find plain, white and ivory pillar candles at your nearby dollar store. The blog over at our friends One Kings Lane has a bunch of great tips on how to style your fireplace for each season and achieve a stylish hearth all year long.



There’s no better way to personalize your space than to add a gallery art wall. Feel free to break all the typical rules.. pair beautifully framed art with tapestry or unique hanging objects to make your living room feel extra special. If you need tips, check out our video on how to create a stunning gallery wall with interior designer and Wallshoppe co-creative director Nathan Turner.



This won’t be a surprise coming from us but wallpaper is THE BEST and most efficient way to truly transform your room. If you’re up for a project but would like to keep it simple, consider installing our removable wallpaper on an accent wall. Hot tip!: Use the background color of your wallpaper pattern to determine the best paint color for the rest of the room. We offer samples of our peel & stick and traditional wallpaper if you’d like to explore a true room makeover.
Pictured: Palm Shuffle Wallpaper in Cadet Blue & Cerulean



Houseplants and flowers can go a long way in making your living room feel fresh and grounded. We know many people are weary of bringing in greens and flowers.. and just aren’t sure where to start. Sales representatives at your local (smaller) nursery can typically walk you through which plants are easy to maintain and can direct you towards the right plants based on your lifestyle and the amount of sun your living room gets. If you’re still hesitant, take a look at long-lasting dried green florals like preserved Baby Eucalyptus (shown above) which you can find at stores like World Market and West Elm.


Often overlooked, coffee table books are another great way to express your personal style and display to guests what you and your family enjoy the most. Friends will also take a cue from your newly displayed books and will know exactly what to gift you on your next birthday or holiday. Award winning Interior designer Anu Kewalram (@akewalram) says “When I create any sort of vignette or decorated ‘moment’, coffee table books are one of my main styling tools. Coffee table books allow you to add layers and different heights to any styled space as well as looking visually interesting and graphic.”
If you’re building a wishlist, make sure to visit and support your local bookstore.



Keep an eye on apps like NextDoor and Facebook Marketplace for neighbors offering furniture and light fixtures for free or next to nothing. If you’re diligent enough, you might score a gently used sofa or another item that you can upcycle. Dana Dore (@adoredhouse), author of the blog adoredhouse.com, says this of Facebook Marketplace: “I find it to be the best resource for finding antiques, vintage pieces, and home items on a tight budget and it’s all accessible right from your phone or computer. It really is thanks to Facebook Marketplace that I am able to decorate my home the way I want to.” Check out her super fun and helpful blog post: Decorating Your Home With Facebook Marketplace




You should always adjust your lighting for the occasion and adding dimmers, dimmable bulbs and automated routines is a surprisingly inexpensive way to accomplish this. For table and floor lamps, you can easily add a plug-in dimmer to set the mood or if you’d like something more hands-free, check out these $9 WiFi-enabled dimmable bulbs then use an app like Google Home or Apple Home to set routines based on things like your location to make them dim late at night or bedtime.
Pictured: Mesa Ceramic Table Lamp from Anthropologie



Let’s face it.. Your coffee table isn’t always going to be camera ready but using decorative trays and dishes are essential for giving miscellaneous things like remote controls, coasters and backup chargers a nice little home. Also if you're constantly tripping over your kid's and pet's toys, place a few natural woven baskets around the house instead of relying on tubs or toy boxes for a quick storage solution in common areas.





Stores like Zara Home and World Market now offer super soft, affordable and durable velvet pillows which is such an easy and inexpensive way to add a pop of color to your refreshed living room. 
Then over time you can add handmade and patterned pillows that are really special or on sale. 



This is an easy one! Only buy throw blankets that are super comfortable but make sure they look chic. H&M Home is a great place to start.



If you're in the habit of visiting your local antique and thrift stores, then you already know this is one of the least expensive ways to source authentic and well made pottery, furniture and more. Jessica Sara Morris (@jessicasaramorris) provides a full list of cool things to look out for while thrifting on her blog including things we've already mentioned like coffee table books and baskets. 



This is by far one our favorite ideas! When you're at at your local antique mall or estate sale, keep an eye out for a basket you can repurpose to make into a chic pendant light using a cord set like this 15'5" long one from IKEA, available in black or white. It's a fun project, you'll save hundreds of dollars and will have a one-of-a-kind fixture to show off on Instagram. 📷
Check out this article from Clever before you start making what they call "the easiest DIY ever":
Make a Trendy Basket Lamp Using a Basket, Save Hundreds




Dust off your old saxophone or comb through your parent's attic to find some musical instruments you can display. Even better if you have a collection to show off! I'm sure someone you know has an old banjo sitting around that would hit just the right folk-art note on your wall. 



Mirrors are typically very expensive to purchase but the right mirror above your fireplace mantel or leaning against a wall will change the tone and feel of the entire room. So what now?.. Keep your eyes open at thrift stores and flea markets for a wood or weathered mirror you can paint yourself. Or better yet, read this blog from Pocketful of Posies to learn how to DIY A Beautiful Goldleaf Mirror In 30 Minutes.



We doubt have to twist your arm to make this one happen 🍸 Check out this super useful blog post from Salt and Wind called Must Know Tips For Building A Better Bar Cart and invite us over for a drink to enjoy your stylish new living room!