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Easy peasy living room makeover – for under $200

If you walk past your living room and do not feel an overwhelming urge to become one with the sofa, it's time for a spruce up.

We spend most of our time in our living areas. We drink coffee and chat with friends, we veg out and binge on the latest Netflix show. In short, we owe our faithful old living room a bit of TLC.

If you're someone who likes to update your décor with the seasons, it can get expensive. But with a combination of rearranging, repurposing, and a teensy bit of spending, it doesn't have to break the bank.

Level up the luxe and create yourself a much-needed end of day retreat with our five savvy refresh ideas – and all for under $200.

Get your Marie Kondo on

When clearing through your space, take heed of the wise woman of decluttering, Marie Kondo. Think about every single thing in the room and get rid of anything that isn't 'sparking joy', starting with accessories.

What to do:

  1. Consider every piece. Ask yourself 'Does this make me happy?' If it doesn't, donate it.
  2. Move your furniture to make for a nicer flow. If you're not game for shifting bulky items straight away, start with small things.
  3. Hunt around the house. Is there anything you could use or repurpose? Do you have a special something tucked away in a box gathering dust? Maybe it's time to put it on display.
  4. Whatever you add, make sure that you absolutely love it for that guaranteed feel-good moment whenever you come into the room.

Tip: You could try putting furniture in an unusual layout, like bringing the couch off the wall towards the centre, arranging furniture around a different focal point other than the TV (like a piece of art), or creating a reading nook in an unused corner.

Give yourself room to breathe and swap clutter for openness.

All the feels

We have an emotional response to colour, texture, shape and pattern.

Think about how you want to feel when you're in your living room. Calm? Invigorated? Cosy? If there's lots of natural light, don't be afraid of darker tones. If the space is naturally a bit darker, white or cream tones will make the space feel airier and fresher.

Consider what you already have. Is there a stand-out piece of furniture you'd like to use as a colour anchor? Is the baseline colour of the room neutral? What colours could match? For calm, try colours in the same family. For a wow factor, bring in a contrasting colour using accessories or fresh paint.

  • There's nothing like a few scatter cushions to perk up a room with gorgeous pops of colour. Add to that a matching throw, lampshade or vase, and you'll have an Instagram-worthy room.
  • Don't be afraid of mixing patterns. Use at least three designs and try to keep them in the same intensity (i.e. all pastel or all jewel tones, not a mix).
  • In addition to using pattern to create interest, you can also vary the texture. Even the most neutral of colour schemes come alive when you get playful with textiles. Add something metal, ceramic, wicker, wool or velvet for serious style points.

Tip 1: Feeling organised? Plan everything out on a Pinterest mood board, where you can also find more inspiration. Check out what's available in our stores by going online first.

Tip 2: Head to Kmart, Bed Bath n Table, or TK Maxx for some brilliant homeware bargain hunting.

Closer to nature

There's no simpler, more stylish way to lift a space than with a few well-placed indoor plants. They have an effortless elegance that brings both peace and vibrancy to a room. Why not brighten up that lifeless corner with a live work of art? 

There are so many to choose from – start small if you like with something living from The Growers and work your way up. If you couldn't even keep a cactus alive, then you're in luck – head to Top City Ryde's Homeware stores for some ultra-convincing fakes.

What you'll need:

  • Plants
  • Containers – pots, lined baskets, terrariums, kokedama
  • Indoor plant soil

Tip: Bringing in the green can be as easy as grabbing a few clippings from a bush and popping them in a gorgeous vase.

Tip: To ramp up the botanical vibe, team with a lively leafy print here and there (think cushions, artwork, a throw).

Tip: Top City Ryde's Kmart, BigW and Bed Bath n Table have plenty of gorgeous baskets and pots!

Bring instant life to your living room with some glorious indoor plants.

Wow Factor Wall Art

You don't have to wait till you can afford an original work of art before you can beautify that blank wall staring at you. 

Do you have any of these frame-worthy gems stashed away somewhere? The wall-art of your dreams is only steps away.

  • Postcards
  • Holiday snaps
  • Children's art
  • Wallpaper or fabric samples
  • Prints
  • Even pages from an old book?

Gather your collection and get ready to frame it all up. You'll find inexpensive frames (and prints) at Top Ryde City’s Kmart, Big W and other homeware stores. 

Start by laying out a cluster of smaller pictures together, then add in one or two larger ones for a fabulous gallery wall. Once the design's just right, go ahead and get hanging.

Some other little-known wall-art ideas to consider

  • You can hang some stunning fabric as is. If you don't have anything already, visit Top City Ryde's Hobbysew
  • Try your hand at a DIY Macrame Wall Hanging (stock up on all you need in Hobbysew, Priceland, or The Reject Shop)
  • Get your craft on and whip out the washi tape to create an original work of art from scratch
  • Hang a mirror opposite a window and let the light shine in.

Tip: Make it easy and head to Kmart, Big W or The Reject Shop where you'll find plenty of inexpensive artwork options.

Tip: For hole-free walls, use a picture shelf or command hooks from Top City Ryde's Reject Shop or Priceland.

Paint Power

A feature wall will never go out of fashion. While painting the whole room is an option, changing the look of an accent wall (or an alcove) alone could be revolutionary.

Match the colour to the dominant piece of furniture in the room (if not with the same shade, try the same tone). Why not spray paint a tired piece of furniture (or accessory) in the same accent colour? You could even paint the floorboards or the ceiling!

And once you've got your colour and you know where it's going, all that's left to do is to put on some old clothes and get painting.

Tip: Try using a stencil for extra dazzle for your feature wall.

Paint is a fantastic, cheap way to completely transform the look and feel of your living room.

So there you have it – five simple ways to spruce up your living room for under $200. Head to Top City Ryde for everything you need to give your living room the TLC it deserves – and all without breaking the bank.

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