How to Decorate a Small Living Room on a Budget – 9 Smart Tips to Try

Compared to the other spaces at the house, the living room is the most populated and frequently used space on a daily basis. Having a small one does not mean it does not have the right to be beautified. We understand that the limited space can be overwhelming to decorate with the fear of the room being crowded. On top of that, a budget can be a bummer too. Good news! You can achieve your dream living room design in spite of the limited space and budget. It is time to turn an old and boring living room into a refreshing and dreamy one. Having a few tweaks can make a huge difference to its total look. To make it possible, we have 9 smart tips for you to try on how to decorate a small living room on a budget. Not because it is cheap does not indicate that it will look cheap. Let us go ahead and start the makeover! 

1. Organize the Layout

Photo from Wayfair

In small living rooms, even the smallest clutter can make the living room look congested. Thus, being organized is the key. Group all the items that are currently in the living room and identify what you think is necessary and part them from those that are not. This will let you know what are things that require storage. From the magazines, cables, and even gadgets, these are the items that are often scattered throughout the living room. 

Apart from the organization of all the items in the living room, the organization of the layout is also a plus. Instead of dwelling on the idea that the living room is small and that is the only layout that you can work with, change the layout. Keep the pieces of furniture planned out. From the location of the couch, coffee table, and even the side table, it is like putting the puzzle pieces together. We want a layout that will enhance the accessibility and comfortability of the space. 

2. Study DIY Processes

Photo from Wayfair

Being on a tight budget can be a bummer, especially if you want to beautify the space. Even though, having a tight budget should not be a problem. Release your inner creativity and resourcefulness in opting for DIY processes instead of purchasing a built one. With all the available videos of DIY ideas for furniture, you can easily build one for yourself. Whether it be a shelf, table, or even a chair, be creative in building on yourself than having the idea of needing to purchase. 

It would be best to start with knowing the cost of the materials to be used. Then, study the DIY processes of building furniture. Invest time and attention to the building process to prevent having its structural quality be compromised. Whether it be building or repairing, watching tutorials and doing it yourself can save you the time, energy, and money to hire a professional or purchase a new one. 

3. Work with a Personalized Approach

Photo from Wayfair

Instead of trying to just copy from ideas you find online, work with decorating the living room with the things that you like. You are the boss of this design. Make the design of the living room reflect your character as a person. The space may be limited but your ideas remain infinite. Starting small is the best way to do it. From the walls, flooring, and even textiles, establish your preferred character to the decorations. List down your choices of the things that you want to customize. Even if it is as small as a DIY picture frame, it makes a difference to the entire look. 

Incorporate the space with decorations that reflect your hobbies, experiences, and interests that reflect your character. Whether it be photos, memorable decorations, or even collages, featuring these items will give the household and guests an idea of all the items that reference the person you are. It would also be a great idea to exhibit a variety of vintage items such as family heirlooms. Making a statement would not be a bad idea with the family’s own items to exhibit. It is not as expensive as it looks. 

4. Group the Collectibles

Photo from Wayfair 

Grouping the collectibles will allow the small living room to have a more unified and organized look. Work with the size, color, and material. It keeps a light impact on the living room rather than keeping it too overwhelming to look at. If you have so few decorations or collectibles, we highly suggest splurging on the nearest thrift store for score finds. Shopping can be enlightening and you might be surprised by the interesting items you might find at a manageable price. 

The only thing that can be quite bothered by the idea of thrifting decorations is the difficulty in unifying the elements. In furniture depots, they offer to sell living room designs in sets including the decorations. This explains how they are often sold in sets. If you are having a hard time unifying the items, maybe variations would spice it up a little. It is all about being creative with the combinations of the decorations. Introduce eclectic decor to the small living room. 

5. Choose Between Paint and Wallpaper

Photo from Wayfair

When it comes to decorating, the first thing that will come to mind is the wall. Working on a tight budget can make a huge difference in how it would look. The crucial decision would be whether or not to choose paint or wallpaper. Paint is a more flexible option considering the choice of color, texture, and finish. Since there is not much room to cover, it would seem to be a smart choice. Even though, it does not have much difference when it comes to the price. 

The breaking part is mostly in the process of application. On the bright side, wallpaper comes in a variety of designs to choose from. More than just the color, you can even customize the design through printing. If you cannot choose between the two, spice up the room by using both. We highly suggest using wallpaper for the accent wall and paint for the rest of the walls. It makes a difference with your preferred look. 

6. Hit the Thrift Store

Photo from Wayfair

For cheaper finds, run to different thrift stores where you can purchase vintage decorations. They often come with antiquated gems that you can use to add as accents to the living room. Apart from decorations, you can also score fine pieces of furniture that require little to no tweaks for a more aesthetically pleasing visual. Thrift stores may not be the first choice for you but it is an ideal choice for your budget. It is a smarter choice than going to the nearest mall or home depot. 

We highly suggest making a list of what to look out for. This way, you can narrow it down once you enter the store. If things are not going your way in finding what you want, be creative on the items you think would suffice when tweaked a little. Besides, everything you see is spontaneous. These are items that are already used that require rehoming. If they look too old and flaky, invest in paint and varnish to make them look good as new again. 

7. Opt for Smart Choices for the Furniture

Photo from Wayfair

When it comes to the layout of the small living room, the biggest consideration would be the pieces of furniture to fill the space. Plan out the number of people who will use the space and decide what couch or armchair to use. For small living rooms, we highly suggest the use of a sectional couch. They may look massive but they do a great job at filling the corners effortlessly. Besides, they come in smaller scales too. 

For alternative options, a two to three-seater couch can work too as long as they are properly planned out. Be creative in rearranging the furniture layout. Not because the living room is small does not necessarily mean you need to compromise its functionality. Working with different seating furniture can do the trick too. It is safe and at the same time, it does not put the space to waste. 

8. Plan a Strategy for the Decorations

Photo from Wayfair

When it comes to the decorations, we want something that is small to medium in size but makes a huge difference to the design. For larger pieces, it would be best to fill the walls with it. Organize the frames strategically. Since we want cheaper alternatives, small differences can make a huge difference. Apart from the frames, pillows and window treatments can work too. Throw in new pillowcases and curtains to accentuate the look. Work with trims and even striking textiles to play with the personality of the living room. 

9. Choose a Light Color Palette 

Photo from Wayfair

What makes a small living room look more habitable is the ambiance and one of the greatest considerations is the color. Create an illusion that the living room looks spacious than it seems than working with a lighter color palette. It makes the room vibrant and breathable as if it is not small. If you do not prefer light colors, maybe muted ones would work for you. They are light colors that do not come off too vibrant. In fact, muted colors make a living room look neutral. It balances the dark and light hues of color. If you do not want it dominating the entire walls, working with an accent wall will suffice. Besides, it is your living room. It is entirely up to you on what color to finish the walls.