9 ways to make your living room more homey (for under $100)


After the bedroom, the living room is the area where you spend a majority of your time at home. It’s a multi-purpose communal space for relaxation, dining, entertaining, socialising and just generally enjoying time alone or with loved ones.

With so much time spent there and its multitude of functions it’s nice to have an aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and welcoming room to come home to enjoy and entertain guests in. If your living room needs a lift but you’re not up for a major overhaul, here are nine ideas to make your living room homelier for under $100.

1. The more mirrors the merrier

Remember natural light is a home decorator’s best friend. If you’re living space feels a tad too dark, and seeing as adding in a skylight or larger window is costlier than $100, introduce an oversized mirror to enhance the light you do have entering the room. Position it near the window and in front of the lamp to amplify your light sources and make the room feel more spacious. Ikea's large mirrors start from $50.

Head to your local op shops to see what kinds of vintage mirrors you can pick up at a bargain price to hang in an artful cluster on your living room wall. This way you’ll kill two birds with one stone by creating an imaginative artwork while maximising natural light.

2. Splash on bold paint colour

Instantly change the mood of your space with a coat of paint in a fresh new colour. The latest trend is to go for all over colour in a rich hue rather than just a single feature wall. Think royal turquoise, emerald green or warm greys to make your space feel cosier. For a smaller project, paint your built in shelving, mantel, coffee table, cornices or skirting boards in a bold shade.

3. Novel arrangements to try

A great way to inject soul into a living space is to style your book collection in a unique eye catching way. For a playful pop of colour arrange the spines of your books in rainbow order, grouping like with like. If you’re sticking to a more neutral palette, face all your books with the pages outwards on your shelves for a cool textural but unified neutral look.

Image: Crowell + Co. Interiors

Image: Crowell + Co. Interiors

5. Dress up the floor

A great way to define and anchor your living room in an open-plan concept home is by introducing a rug. Plus, a plush fluffy rug underfoot will make your living area all the more warm and inviting. This is also your chance to jazz up your living room with interesting textures, textiles, patterns, shapes and colours.

A long rectangular rug with a longways running pattern will help to elongate a small living area. For a summery laid back vibe, go for natural fibres in your choice of a rug material. Like jute, seagrass or sisal. Check out Kmart's range of jute rugs starting from $25. 

6. Add in a pair of ottomans or stools

Introduce a stool or a cushy ottoman or two to your living room for extra cosiness, comfort and functionality. They’re also great as extra seating when entertaining a large group, they can easily double as a coffee table and are perfect for kicking off your shoes and putting your feet up after a long day. Take a look at Fantastic Furniture’s range of cute ottomans starting at $19.

Image: Tatum Brown

Image: Tatum Brown

7. Select a heavenly scent

Don’t only have your living area looking great, make sure it’s smelling great too. Pick up a scent diffusor or pretty candles in your favourite fragrance. They also act as pretty decorative features when clustered together. Add a glam touch by putting candles under glass cloches (when they’re not in use). We like Glass House candles and diffusers for $42.95 each. 

Image: Tamara Armstrong

Image: Tamara Armstrong

8. Mood lighting

Instantly add a touch of glam, drama and romance to your living area with the addition of a standing floor lamp. Depending on the atmosphere you’re going for, opt for a low watt bulb with a warm glow to create a restful feel. Target has a funky range of floor lamps starting at $49.

Revamp your lamps by getting crafty and adding a flirty trim around the lampshade, spray painting the base in a vibrant colour or by covering the lamp shade in your favourite fabric, such as sisal or burlap.

9. Leafy greens

Bring in a lush house plant or two to freshen up and enliven your living area. Not only do they look amazing, but they also help to create a healthier living environment by purifying the air. For novice gardeners bring in a jade plant, a leafy rubber fig plant or a syngonium ($8.24 at Bunnings), three easy care options.

For more ways to decorate at home on a budget here are 11 stunning upcycling furniture projects and six ways to revamp your bedroom on a budget.

Happy decorating!

The homely.com.au Team

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