8 Easy Steps to Transform Your Living Room Decor

Have you ever struggled with how to decorate a living room? Styling your living room decor can be overwhelming, not to mention costly. It’s easy to see those perfectly styled spaces on Instagram or Pinterest and think to yourself, “I could never do that.” But you can!

Styling a room is a multi-layer process that takes time and patience to complete. When you break it down into these 8 easy steps, it’s really quite simple. These steps will help simplify the process and keep decorating stress-free.

living room decor ideas (Shutterstock)

How to Decorate a Living Room

There are lots of home decor ideas for living rooms. Take some time to plan out exactly what you want before you begin decorating. Think about what function, style and feeling you want your room to have.

Having a vision before you begin will save you both time and money: Just because you like something individually, doesn’t mean you will like it styled in a space with other items. And randomly buying items can leave you overspending and result in a cluttered look. Evaluate your space and plan your design so that you will achieve a cohesive look without breaking the bank.

Let’s go ahead and get started with those 8 easy steps to transform your living room decor.

1. Decide on a Style

When adding room decor, first you want to decide on your decor style. There are so many styles to choose from, such as farmhouse style, modern living room decor, bohemian, eclectic, cozy cottage, along with many others.

If you are not sure what your decor style is, there are plenty of online quizzes that you can take to help give you an idea of what your preferred style is.

Eclectic spaces have lots of fun pops of color, textures, and shapes, such as this space by Jenna Burger Design. Jenna mastered the concept of eclectic design by using a bunch of interesting objects and colors that all compliment each other. The space is fun and eye-catching.

eclectic room decorating ideas (Jenna Burger Design)

See Post: jenna Burger Design | DIY Eclectic Living Room {Makeover Reveal}

If you prefer more of a soft, clean look with unique personal touches, a cozy cottage style such as this one by Cami Graham, may better suit your style. It has a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that makes you feel at ease the minute you step into the room.

DIY living room decor (Cami Graham )

See Post: Cami Graham | Living Rooms Goes From a Cabin to Cottage Fresh

2. Pick a Color Scheme

Are you more of a color lover or a give me all the neutrals? This is something you should decide before you begin decorating your space. Knowing your color scheme will make shopping for furniture and accessories so much easier.

I Am a Homemaker nailed the blue and orange color scheme in her living room decor. She married the colors together by incorporating the beautiful rug that ties all of the colors in her space together.

Living room decorating ideas (I Am A Homemaker)

See Post: I Am A Homemaker|Blue and Orange Living Room Style

When deciding on a color scheme, it’s best to pick out your expensive pieces first and then work from those. Changing out a wall color is much less expensive than changing out your living room furniture. Keep this in mind when shopping for furniture or other expensive pieces. You may want to keep your expensive pieces neutral and add in color with accessories and throw pillows. This way, if you decide to change your color scheme in the future, you won’t have to invest in new furniture.

3. Give Your Space Some Character

There are lots of ways that you can add character to a room. One way you can add character and charm is by adding wood elements to your walls, such as board and batten, shiplap, or wainscoting.

The Cofran Home completely transformed this space by adding a beautiful board and batten to the walls. Not only does it add character to the space, but it also adds an extra layer of dimension to the room.

Living room wall decor ideas (The Cofran Home)

See Post: The Cofran Home|Living Room Makeover

If adding wood is not a possibility, peel and stick wallpaper is a hot new trend that can add lots of charm and character to your room decor. This is an easy and budget-friendly decorating idea that is easily removable; therefore perfect for renters or those that like to change their decor often. You can apply it to a feature wall or you can wallpaper your entire room.

4. Start with a Focal Point

Sometimes it can be a challenge to know where to begin in a large space such as a living room. Starting with a focal point, such as a fireplace or piece of furniture, can create a centerpiece for your overall room design. After you have a focal point, it becomes much easier to work off of that space to fill in the rest of your room decor.

Tricia placed an oversized clock over her mantel that immediately draws the eye. She then placed a topiary on each side to create some symmetry.

Living room decorating tips (Tricia)

See Post: Tricia|Our Living Room - Industrial Style

In addition to using a clock over the mantel, you could also use a large picture, a mirror, a tobacco basket, or any other large object that suits your design style.

If you don’t have a fireplace in your room, or you are wanting to use something else as your focal point, you may consider using a large piece of furniture, a big picture window, or your media console.

Regardless of what you use as your focal point, this is the area that you will want to immediately catch a person’s eye when they walk into the room.

5. Start Big then Add Small Accessories

When styling a room, begin with large items, such as your furniture. The large space won’t seem so overwhelming once you start filling it in with pieces of furniture. If your furniture needs a facelift, try upcycling it, as I Restore Stuff did to this French Provincial Couch.

Grey couch living room decor (I Restore Stuff)

See Post: I Restore Stuff|French Provincial Couch + Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

You can also add a slipcover or a throw and accent pillows to an outdated sofa to give it a fresh new look. Sometimes it’s even as simple as rearranging your furniture to create a fresh new look.

After you address your furniture, work your way down from rugs, to wall art, to lamps, to accent pillows. Then fill in the details like books, trays, and accessories. Too many accessories can leave your room looking cluttered and disorderly. Instead of buying a bunch of smaller accessories, try adding a few big statement pieces.

Most living rooms have some sort of shelving in them. Whether it’s an entertainment center with shelving or a bookcase, styling shelves can sometimes be intimidating. Luckily, Donna Powell has shared some great examples on how to style shelves. She makes shelf styling a breeze with 5 different examples that you can choose from.

Decorative shelves ideas living room (Donna Powell)

See Post: Donna Powell | How to Style One Bookshelf Five Different Ways

When styling shelves, the “rule of three” is based on the simple fact that we best visualize the composition of three objects. You will want the objects in your group to have varying heights, shapes, and textures, but at the same time, there should be something similar about them that will tie them all together. The objects should complement each other to create balance and visual interest. Grouping objects in odd numbers appear more natural while using too much symmetry can create a forced look.

6. Add Living Room Wall Decor

Wall decor can add depth and dimension to your space, and Dessya Palit did just that by using floating shelves and shadow boxes on her walls.

iy wall decor for living room (Dessya Palit )

See Post: Dessya Palit | Updating Our Living Room

Think outside of the box when considering wall decor. Pictures are a given for wall space, but there are so many other ideas for wall decor. The possibilities are endless.

Also, it’s good to note that you do not have to fill up every space on your walls. Allowing some negative space gives the eyes a place to rest and creates a more calming and appealing look (not to mention, it’s easier to clean).

7. Create a Personal Touch with DIY Room Decor

Adding in your own DIY room decor allows you to personalize your space. Think of ways that you can repurpose or upcycle what you already have. You don’t always need new decor, sometimes you just need new ways to style or repurpose your decor.

Lisa Battisti shared how she made over her mom’s old hutch to give it brand new life. It was outdated and didn’t go with her decor, but instead of tossing it, she gave it a beautiful facelift.

hutch decorating ideas (Lisa Battisti)

DIY room decor is also great for those on a budget. It is usually much cheaper to make your own room decor than it is to purchase it from stores. Not only is it cheaper, but in most cases, the quality is better.

Lamps are one of those costly accessories that you can DIY to save some money. My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies has shared 4 ideas for making lamp bases on the cheap. You can easily purchase all of the parts to make your own lamp at any hardware store or online. You will be able to use your own imagination and have something that you can show off to everyone that comes to visit.

decorative lamps for living room (My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies)

See Post: My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies | DIY Lamp Makeover - Changing the Shape of this Lamp Base 4 Ways

8. Top-off with Textures & Greenery

The use of different textures creates warmth and dimension in a room and allows elements to play off of one another. Selecting your textures should depend on the feel you want your room to have. If you want a warm, cozy space, use lots of wood tones, textiles (rugs, throws, pillows), woven materials, and greenery. If you are going for a more industrialized feel, add metals, glass, and hard lines. And if you are trying to achieve the farmhouse look, you will want to add chippy, weathered, rusty, and cracking textures. Depending on the look you are going for, you can incorporate textures that are smooth, rough, shiny, dull, soft, hard, and everything in between.

An easy and inexpensive way to add textures is by using throw pillows and blankets. Not only do they look pretty, but they are functional. They can instantly make your space feel cozy and inviting.

Adrianne Surian shows us how to make a chunky knit throw 

Arm-Knit a Blanket in One Hour (Adrianne Surian)

When your blankets are not in use, Gina Kleinworth shared the perfect bamboo blanket ladder to store your blankets in style. Not only is it functional, but it adds more visually appealing decor to your space. It’s always nice to have a blanket or throw close by for those chilly nights.

Bamboo Blanket Ladder (Gina Kleinworth)

See Post: Gina Kleinworth | Bamboo Blanket Ladder

Lastly, adding greenery is an essential element to make your space feel more inviting (even fake plants count!). Plants and flowers add a burst of color and freshness to any area (they also help purify the air). Try adding succulents, herbs, plants, and even fresh flowers to add a beautiful touch of life and nature to your space. The addition of small indoor trees like fiddle fig leaf trees add beauty and the large green leaves help to add different shapes to your decor. 

Following these 8 easy steps will bring your living room decor from drab to fab in no time! However, the most important step in decorating is to be creative and have fun. Play around with different styles and don’t be afraid to bend and break the “rules” to create your own style.

Written for the Hometalk community byHeather Olinde | Beauty For Ashes Home

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