5 Easy and Green Ways to Update Your Living Room

No matter the budget, it only takes a little imagination and elbow grease to freshen up your living room. Whether you prefer to do it all at once or over time, you can make a big impact on your living space without making one on the environment. Here are five ways you can update your living room.


Freshen up a tired living room by simply rearranging what is already there and remove clutter. Take items that are broken or have sat unused out of the room. If you are having a hard time letting go of something, try just setting it aside in a garage or basement for a few months to see if you can comfortably live without it. If you can, donate or recycle it.

The couch is usually a focal point in living room, so look at the flow of the room and decide if it can sit in a different location or at a new angle. Do you want to have one main seating area or multiple areas? What are you using the room for? Once the sofa is set up, the rest of the room will fall into place. Keep in mind that outlets and other wiring concerns might limit where you can place electronics, which will factor into where you place the couch.

Replace One Major Element

Find the item or items in the room that stick out like a sore thumb. If it contradicts your personal style or won’t work with the overall theme, find a way to get it gone or make it work. Window blinds are often a big offender in this department. Because they are a pain to alter or replace, we tend to let them linger, broken or out of fashion, far longer than we should. Replacing window treatments will make a huge difference in both functionality and aesthetics.

Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way. Before you pull everything out of the room and start taping off trim, give your room a good once over and consider if you really need to go through a big painting project. In most cases, touching up scuffed walls or repainting only the trim will make a big impact. You’ll have less work to do, less upheaval in your home and save money. If you’d like a splash of color, choose one accent wall to paint instead of repainting the whole room.

Accessorize (Get Crafty)

To keep the room from becoming boring, select just a few items of color to put around, like a throw for the couch. Again, this is a great place to get creative and showcase another one of your creations. Not all the tints need to be the same, for instances pale yellow throws coordinate well with light green pillows.

If you’re covering (or re-covering) throw pillows, make the covers easily removable and washable. You’ll have to invest a bit more time upfront but you will be thankful in the long run. Martha Stewart has tutorials for making three styles of pillow covers.

Don’t Forget the Floor

Instead of spending money on a new throw rug, make one. If it will get juice spilled on it anyway (let’s be realistic-it will) you want something you won’t agonize over. Instead of throwing out all the old T-shirts in the house, make a rag rug. Patterns are simple, so it’s a low-stress project with great results. As an added bonus, since it’s made out of cotton shirts, the rug is washable.

Whether you decide to rearrange, repaint or recycle old items into new creations, updating your living room doesn’t have to be hard. With these five tips you can inexpensively update your living room in an easy and green way.

Guest Author: Gary Needle
Gary’s career has taken many twists and turns; he’s been a nurse, a construction worker, a bartender and now a go-to guy for interior design ideas. He is as amused by all of the hats he gets to wear as much as his readers are.

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