Decorate on a budget

Transform your living room (on a dime)

Feeling limited? I felt the same way, few years ago. We feel this when we attempt to transform the biggest room in the house, with no budget and time.

We should not let a limited budget restrain the possibilities to make a space our space. It is possible to transform a space by implementing décor concepts, putting in time, and effort. 

If we want to get across this idea, it will take some sacrifice.

We will only succeed if we free up some time, skip our TV series’ marathon on Netflix or any other thing that we have added in our life to kill time.

 Consider putting social media on hold, for a short period of time and use that slot to gradually update your space, with a step by step process.

After all, the purpose is to alter our space without reaching for our wallets. A good start is to have the end in mind, and create a space that will help us kick back, and feel comfortable.

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 place where the eyes should land

Have you ever walked in a room and couldn’t figure where to place your eyes?

It is because the room did not have a focal point. In a space, the eyes should have a place to land, and rest. A room with a focal point has magic.

Remember you can shape the story you want your space to tell with providing the eyes with a guide, a landing place.

What the eyes see should put you 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 (with a good view), and a fireplace that can be highlighted.

A space that does not grace the dwellers with a built-in feature, a work around is to create a focal point with an art piece or gallery wall.

If a window does not have a good view, conceal it. Manually, create a new focal point to draw the eyes away from the window.

A furniture arrangement around the focal point is what will help the room stand out, and make it feel relaxed.


Play with Visual Weight

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

Visually, we propose a weight on items with their appearance. The more significant an object is, the eyes will register it heavy.

In our daily life, our eyes continuously interact with objects. They decode the objects to give them weight in size, colour, and pattern.

How to identify items’ visual weight?

Designers, decorators, and stylist suggest the following:

 Think Size

Large object translates a heavy in sight.

Look at the Shape

Define shapes like circle, squares, rectangle are heavier than shapes with unexpected angles (irregular shapes)

With Colors

When compare objects of the same size and shape, lighter color objects look less heavy than dark colors.

The eyes interpret dark colors as being heavy. With light color items, the eyes translate them to lighter.

See the Texture

A busier pattern has more weight than untextured 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 feel energize in the space, the eyes can scan the space easily. The visual space of a room needs to be balanced with heavy and light pieces.

Play with closeness. A large item can appear lighter when it is surrounded with other objects.

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

Make the eyes travel the space with ease. Mix heavy and light items to create an interest in a space.

 Now scan your space, can you identify ways to edit it? Take a leap, try to arrange things around.

Look at the size of furniture in the space (the scale)

Walk in. See it. See how the furniture relate to the space.

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

A big sofa that doesn’t belong to a space can easily suffocate a space, and make a room feel cramped up.

 A small furniture will disappear in the space. A bunch of tiny furniture makes a space cluttered.

If something does not belong in this space, try moving it to a different room for a change.

Plan the layout with dimensions and measurements. 

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

Furniture placement can be set to create a cozy environment. 

For an intimate setting, bring the furniture close together. Avoid setting the furniture close to the walls.

Create conversation area where people are able to dialogue with ease. In a large room, create few conversation areas.

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 walk easily in the space.

Does your furniture fit your space? is your current layout work with the room traffic? Start editing.

Treat your space as a song (Think Harmony, Rhythm, and repetition)


Color makes things look great together. We get the same feel with grouped objects. Gathering things together will create an impact.

A color repetition connects the room, and tie it together.

The color can come from a color in a room. Or the motives on the rug could have small touches of the complement color that works with the selected color.

Color does not have to match; they can just speak to each other and not compete against each other.

Think harmony when you are bringing colors together in the room.


Create a balance


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

We get this feeling when the room is balanced.

In the way items are displayed. Some rooms demand our attention more than others.

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

What we see and process influence our subconscious.

When the eyes scan the room, the room will just feel right. Pieces that make a room feel open will make the room feel lightweight. 

Creating a balance in a space is what will convert the space to the space that feels right.

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

The mirror effect makes a room feel formal, intellect and organize.

A furniture arrangement with a mirror effect will bring in these feelings.

The space will be simple yet feel sophisticated, and aesthetically pleasing.

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

Let your focal point be a start 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 take makes the space more interesting and authentic. The space will have the cozy and an informal feel.

Trust your gut, tweak and play with what you have to make the space shines.

Hang Art at eye level

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

An art that is not hanged properly can kill a space and make a space feel unkept and not put you at ease.

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 visuals.


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 let’s go, see ways to elevate our 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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