Transform a Living Room Without Buying New Stuff [5 Ways]

August 3, 2020

Tired of your living room? Don't have money to spend on redecorating? We got you! Here are five ways to take decor you already own and transform your space!

Transform a Living Room Without Buying New Stuff [5 Ways]

Sometimes we look around our living room and know that we want something different, but we’re not sure what. Starting from scratch and replacing everything is out of the question, and moving the couch isn’t quite enough of a change.

Maybe your tastes have changed from when you first set up your living room. Or you might feel bored with the same old thing after too long. Either way, you’d love a transformation — if you could only afford it!

Good news! You don’t have to break into your savings to have a brand new-looking living room. These tips will help you transform your current space into something totally different using decor you already own.


1. Declutter First

To get a full idea of what you already have and what you want to change, you need to declutter. Grab a few boxes or totes and a trash bag, put on some feel-good music, and start digging through your stuff with purpose.

Begin your decluttering process by emptying drawers and surfaces. Look at each item and decide whether you really need it or not. As a general rule, throw out anything that you haven’t used in over one year, or pack it away for storage.

Other tips to consider as you go through your living room include:

  • Sorting unused or unwanted items into a donation pile
  • Moving things from the living room that belong somewhere else
  • Finding a better place to store miscellaneous items that don’t have to be in the living room
  • Cleaning as you go, including wiping down surfaces, walls, and baseboards

When you have less clutter, you have more room to rearrange your current decor and decide what needs updating. You might even come up with ideas for things you forgot you had!

Using organizers also helps sort items that you can’t throw out and creates more room for other essentials. For example, if you have ornaments that you plan to reuse come holiday season, use organizers that protect them from damage.

Encase your Christmas tree in a specialized keeper bag to store them upright and prevent deformity, so you can reuse it for years to come. You can also recycle containers such as egg cartons to store round glass decorations and boxes for other trinkets.

2. Rearrange Your Furniture Setup

Moving your furniture around, especially when you have a lot of room to play with different ideas, can be fun! Try to plan in your head or on paper what could fit where before you start the heavy lifting, though.

If you aren’t comfortable with your own imagination when it comes to interior decorating, don’t worry! There’s an app for that. You can download any virtual room designing tools and come up with new looks before you lift a finger to move your stuff.

With most of these apps, all you need is a picture of the room you want to design. Think about the furniture in your other rooms, too. You might want to move some around to freshen up the look.

An app can give you outside-of-the-box ideas, but if you don’t want to use one, get creative yourself! Try ignoring the urge to line your furniture up with walls and leave open space around your couch and chairs instead.

3. Repurpose Your Stuff

Reusing and repurposing gently used items is a popular hobby today. The days of throwing perfectly functional, but outdated, possessions away and replacing them with new are over.

Now, protecting the environment and stashing away money into a savings nest egg is more important than keeping up with the Jones’.

Do these smart money moves and ecosystem savers sound more like your style?

Then you might want to look into repurposing furniture or decor you already have to transform your room.

For instance, you can turn a barely used bookshelf into a display for pictures or your collections. Or buy some artificial flowers and use empty decorative baskets to store them. Once you’ve mastered the design, use your project as a centerpiece to show off!

The DIY repurposing hobby is trending. There’s never been a better time to hit up a thrift shop and buy used!

4. Pull Out Your Holiday Decor

People who leave up their holiday decor on their lawn all year long aren’t always doing it for the style. Sometimes, they find it easier than taking everything down and putting it back up.

But you can use your holiday decorations purposefully to enhance your home’s interior design.

Pull out your boxes of packed-away traditions and see if there’s anything that could be multi-purposed throughout the year. Christmas lights, garland, and artificial flowers, for instance, are not just for holidays!

You could line your fireplace mantle or doorway with the twinkling bulbs or use them on your patio for ambient lighting. Hang garland anywhere there’s an open space waiting for you to spruce it up. Garland is the perfect trim for shelf edging!

If you have colorful decorations, they can add splashes of vibrancy and fun to any room. Think creatively and make better use of the decor hidden away through most of the year!

5. Use Your Walls to Decorate

Bare walls are the perfect canvas to show off your personality. Some people prefer to cover an empty surface with a large framed print or tapestry. But if you have a lot of memorabilia, this is your chance to display it all in the open.

Use stand-alone or hanging shelves to cover walls and showcase your collections. Or favorite books or family photographs, etc.

Or, if you have a lot of pictures or themed objects sitting around collecting dust, you could do a gallery wall instead!

Start by gathering everything together and then sort it into categories based on similar elements. Maybe all your pictures or albums have the same color in them, or your paintings are of the same theme.

Then lay out those items you separated into a pattern on the floor and play around until you are happy with what you see. Transfer the design to fill up the empty surface for a gallery wall of your favorite things!


Transforming your living room doesn’t require a magic wand or an unlimited bank account. You can do it by using decor items already lying around your house!

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Dominique Daniels
Dominique Daniels has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. Her ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to her residents and prospects has propelled her in a successful career that now finds her leading the team at Vida at Daybreak.

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