Freshening up the living room this spring

With the sun breaking through the clouds this week, I’ve been feeling the urge to spring clean and improve my home. It’s always at this time of year that I start thinking about decorating and wishing that I had a bigger budget to make some changes...

However, I’ve come up with a few creative ways that you can upgrade your home without the massive outlay and I thought I’d share my plans with you today.


For most people, the living room is the hub of the home. It’s where the family gathers, socialises, watches TV, plays games and basically catches up. And it’s probably the place that visitors see the most when popping in for a cuppa. So there’s no denying the importance of a clean, fresh, inviting living room in a home and there’s no better lift for your spirits in the spring than a low-cost upgrade!

Freshening up the living room does not have to be a big task and you can be enjoying a ‘semi-new’ room in no time. Here’s what I did in my living room this week:

  • The first step with any makeover is to do a thorough cleaning. Gather bins for loose items and separate them into three categories: “keep,” “toss” and “donate” (for the charity or second-hand shop).
  • Move all furniture to the centre of the room.
  • If you have a carpet, do a thorough vacuuming.
  • If you have any other kind of floor, do a thorough mopping or steam cleaning.
  • Wash the walls. If your budget allows it, consider a new coat of paint (be creative and use a small pot of paint for a feature alcove or fireplace!)
  • Assess your living room furniture and decide if you need all the pieces or whether you can make space with one less side table or chair.
  • Remove and clean any rugs and curtains.
  • Dust and clean furniture.
  • Rearrange the furniture in a new configuration. Not only does this ease up on ‘traffic’ areas on the rug or carpet, but reimagining the layout is a super easy and absolutely free design switch.

Upgrading the window treatments can make a big difference to the amount of light in the room and the initial investment need only be small. This is an extremely significant change, as new curtains can bring colour, texture, interest and patterns into the living room. If your plan is to upgrade as much as you can with as little budget possible, then new curtains are an excellent way to spend your budget. But to get the lowest possible prices, don’t rush out to the nearest home décor shop. Instead go online and search for ready made curtains. Look for 50%-off sales, as well as clearance and “special offers” so you’ll have a very good chance of getting quality, ready made curtains at a big discount.

 Replacing accents rugs is another great way to bring in colour and texture (get varying sizes to give a room real interest – don’t opt for two of the same, for example). Accent rugs also feel cosy on your bare feet if you’re inclined to go shoeless at home. I’m keeping an eye out for a rug for my own living room, and I’d like it to be a geometric design or inspired by the mid-century modern style. If your budget allows it, you can get a large-scale jute rug and put a couple of smaller accent rugs in front of the couch and fireplace if you have one.

Another easy and inexpensive fix is to change the scatter cushions on your sofa or chairs. Do this step last after you’ve already chosen your curtains and accent rugs. You can coordinate your cushions and even add some contrast to the decor with a couple of bright colours. I’ve just ordered some custom-printed fabric in bright blue, orange and green in order to make myself some cushions to match my vintage record cases in the living room, so the possibilities for updating a room with cushions are endless!

So with a little elbow grease and legwork, you can freshen up your living room this spring and get a new look without too much expense. Let me know what spring/summer makeovers you’re doing at home and I’d love to see your photos so please tweet me @Cassiefairy with your photos.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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