Transform Your Living Room for Less Than $500

Ever walk into your living room and feel just a little bit … meh? Wish you could do something to pump up the jam — but don’t have room in your bank account for a major overhaul? Are you tired of looking at that same old picture that’s hung there for a decade?

If so, join the club. While living in the same cozy home for years is definitely a plus, décor has a tendency to get stale after a while. Here are five DIY ideas to help you freshen up your living room, each costing less than $500 (some much cheaper), so that you can enjoy a whole new you without breaking the bank.

New Paint Job

The average cost of painting a room runs between $400 and $800, according to Home Advisor. If you do it yourself, however, you can save as much as $600 on labor fees. Supplies are pretty simple: painter’s tape, rollers, brushes, drop cloths and cans of paint. If you want, you can skip painting the ceiling to make the job even quicker and less expensive.

TV Cabinet

Hiding your old television might prove to be one of your best investments yet. By sliding your TV behind a wooden cabinet when not in use, your home immediately takes on a homier, more rustic feel. If you hunt through Craigslist, you can get a good one for $50 or less.

Throw Pillows and Blankets

There’s no easier way to update a living room than with throw blankets and pillows. Even the simple addition of a new pillow to an armchair can make a huge difference. Spreading an attractive throw over the back of a sofa can do much to change its look, and seasonal pillows fancy up a room even more. Try having six or more different pillows on hand, which cost about $30 each, and keep the room even more interesting with ongoing switches.

Homemade Wainscoting

While wainscoting might seem more appropriate for “Pride and Prejudice” than for your home, it’s actually quite easy to install. If you’re handy, or can convince someone who is to help you, the job only takes a weekend. For enough wainscoting to panel a 10-by-12-foot room, a contractor might charge $500, whereas you can do it yourself for around $120, says CostHelper. With these handy tips, you’re even likelier to rock the job.

Bookshelf Caddies

Bookshelf caddies are an extremely affordable addition to your home décor. If you have bookshelves and have noticed a tendency for clutter to build up, these are the ideal solution. Pile toys, magazines, and even small blankets into them for an immediately cleaner, less busy effect.

Add an Accent Rug

Adding an area rug can be one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to help make a room look completely different. You can choose something plain to match your new throw pillows that will help pull the room together or find a large rug with a pattern for a more dramatic look. Even though area rugs can be pricey, if you look on sites such as Wayfair or Overstocked, you can find some that are a little easier on the wallet.

New Flooring

Just like new paint, new flooring is a way to completely change the look of a room. Whether you want to freshen up the carpet or completely change your living with new laminate flooring, there are ways to get it done without it costing you too much. For around $20 you can buy up to 24 square feet of laminate flooring that easy to install on your own. This is a can be a quick weekend project to freshen up that boring living room.

With just a few of these tweaks, your living room will start to look like a whole new place. If you go the whole nine yards and do all five, you’ll get years of enjoyment out of your new space. Remember, too, that you don’t have to make these changes all at once. You can take the project in stages, spacing the costs out over three months or so, to reduce the hit even further. Either way, start with bigger projects such as wainscoting and painting, then add finishing touches at the end. Et voilà! Now all you have to do is marvel at the results.