5 ways to transform your living room (on a budget)

Feeling limited? I felt the same way a few years ago (when decorating my home). It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when we attempt to transform the biggest room in the house on a limited budget and time.

But don’t let a constrained budget limit your ability to make a space your own. It’s entirely possible to transform a space by implementing décor concepts if you put in the time and effort. 

If we want to implement these ideas, some sacrifices will have to be made.

We will only succeed if we free up some time, pace ourselves instead of binging the latest series on Netflix (or whatever else we do to kill time.)

You might consider taking a break from social media and using that time to gradually update your space, doing a little bit at a time.

After all, the goal is to elevate your space without reaching for your wallet. A good start is to visualize how you want the space to look like when you’re done, and work towards achieving that goal.

Because nothing is better than a space that works for us. 

The following décor’s concepts (design elements) will do the trick to free our living room from chaos.

Identify a Focal Point

Have you ever walked into a room and there was no place for your gaze to land?

It might have been because the room did not have a focal point. A properly designed space should direct your gaze, giving your eyes a place to land and rest. A focal point creates magic in a room.

You can shape the story you want your space to tell by guiding the eyes, giving them a landing place.

What the eyes behold should put the viewer at ease. When this is achieved, a room becomes comfortable and welcoming.

How to identify where to rest the eyes

Some rooms can have an architectural feature such as windows (ideally with a good view), or a fireplace that can be highlighted.

For a space without a built-in feature like a picture window or a fireplace, a workaround is to create a new focal point with a piece of art or a gallery wall.

If a window does not have a good view, conceal it. You can achieve this manually by drawing the eyes away to a new focal point.

A furniture arrangement around the focal point is what will help the room stand out and make it feel like a place for relaxation.

Play with Visual Weight

Without bringing a scale out, there is no doubt that a big bookcase weighs more than a floor light standing next to it.

Visually, we contrast the weight of items based on their appearance. Larger objects draw the most attention. In our day-to-day lives, our eyes continuously gravitate toward different objects based on their weight, size, colour, and pattern.

How to identify items’ visual weight

Designers, decorators, and stylist suggest the following:

 Think Size: large objects seem heavy.

Consider the Shapes: more obvious shapes like circles, squares, and rectangles are heavier than shapes with unexpected angles (irregular shapes)

Colour: when comparing objects of the same size and shape, lighter-coloured objects come off looking less heavy than darker coloured ones. Our eyes equate dark colours to heft.

Texture: a busier pattern has more weight than un-patterned objects.

Let objects floats in the space: items close to the ground like solid wood and furniture with no legs appear heavier than elevated items.

Use visual weight in a room to your advantage

To balance the energy in your space, distribute heavy and light pieces evenly. Play with groupings. A large item can appear lighter when it is surrounded with other objects.

For a room to be cohesive and seamless, see how objects relate to one another in the space. How we arrange the space can make it feel cramped or airy. 

Make the eyes navigate the space with ease. Mix heavy and light items to create a sense of intrigue in the space.

 Now scan your space. Can you identify areas of improvement? Take a leap of faith and try a new arrangement.

A well-executed hallway with contrasting colours.

Look At The Size Of Furniture In The Space (The Scale)

Walk in, take a look. See how the furniture relates to the space.

When it comes to your furniture, put size first. Items that fit in a room belong in the room. Too big of a sofa blocks movement. 

A big sofa that doesn’t belong in the space can suffocate it, making the room feel cramped up.

 Small pieces of furniture get lost in the space. A bunch of tiny furniture will create clutter.

If something does not belong in the space, try moving it to a different room and assess the difference.

Plan the layout with dimensions and measurements. 

Cohesive and functional rooms are spaces that speak to you, your family, and guests.

Furniture can be placed to create a cozy environment. 

For an intimate setting, bring the furniture close together. Avoid pushing the furniture right up against the walls.

Create an atmosphere of conversation where people are able to converse with ease. A large room can have a few areas of conversation.

Furniture set up tip

Rearrange furniture until you find a layout that suits your lifestyle and speaks to you.

Leave about 18 inches between the coffee table and the couch.

Allow at least 30 inches for pathways. Planning this will facilitate people to move around and navigate the space with ease.

Does your furniture fit your space? Is your current layout working for the room traffic? If not, start adjusting.

Treat Your Space Like A Song

Think Rhythm

It’s all about playing with repetition and contrast to create visual interest, just like in music.

This is achieved by repeating the same colour or shape at different intervals. Its purpose is to direct your eyes around the room.

For example, you can create a rhythm by repeating a colour in your accessories, an art piece, and a throw blanket. These repetitions will help you move your eyes around the room.

Colour creates cohesion. We get the same feeling with grouped objects. It creates an impact.

A colour repetition connects the room and ties it together.

The colour can come from an object in the room. Or the motifs on the area rug could have small touches that complement the general tone.

Colours do not have to match, but rather having different competing colours, they can complement each other.

Think Harmony

This is the point at which all elements come together to form a unified message.

Harmony, like rhythm, can induce a sense of calm. For example, even if your forms vary greatly in shape, size, and texture, you can create harmony by using only one colour.

Beautiful Living Room

Create A Balance

We are drawn into some rooms even when we don’t like the colours. There is just something else about the room that can speak to us, be it in a picture, or in a magazine.

We get this feeling when the room is balanced. In the way items are displayed. Some rooms command our attention more than others.

Playing with the visual weight’s concept and mixing things up to entice the eye can create a room that has a natural flow.

The way we see and process that information influences our subconscious.

When our eyes scan the room, the room will just feel right. Pieces that make a room feel spacious will create a sense of lightness.

Balancing a space is what will make it feel just right.

Create a mirror effect in a space (if you are going for a formal look)

The mirror effect is when a space is balanced on the right and left.

We use an imaginary line in the middle of a room to place items both sides of the axis. This layout makes a room feel formal and organized.

Furniture arrangement with a mirror effect will bring about the formality.

The space may be simple yet feel sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing.

This sort of balance is associated with positivity, it oozes joy. Learning to mix aesthetic and function will inspire happiness and create peace.

Let your focal point be a starting point to create the mirror effect. Arrange furniture around a fireplace or a window.

Break the mirror effect in a room (If you are going for a more playful feel)

This is a great look if you want to create order but you want it to feel more adventurous.

You shake this up by breaking the matching mirror message.

This makes the space more interesting and authentic. The space will have both a cozy and an informal feel.

Trust your gut. Tweak and play with what you have to make the space shine.

Hang Art at eye level

Hang art at five feet off ground. Art placed right can elevate any space.

A piece of art that is not hanged properly can make a space feel disorganized and disrupt the energy flow in the room.

From the floor to the center of the frame or the art being hang, allow 57 inches (145 cm).

Allow at least 12 inches of clearance above the sofa or sideboard if you are using the negative space above the sofa for hanging other visuals.

Cut the clutter

A clean space creates a sense of balance. This is one of the easiest ways to refresh any room, and let the space stand out on its own.

We can scan our space, take a leap, and see how we can adjust it with these concepts without reaching for our wallets.

Now, go ahead and implement these décor concepts to elevate your space!

A home is what you make of it!

An inspired timeless space does not mean compromising on style.

 It should show who we are what we value, and our taste. let’s learn to create rooms that move, and inspire us.

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