Design Interior Design

14 Easy DIY Living Room Updates Anyone Can Do in a Day

Is your living room languishing because you think you just don't have the time to spruce it up? Well, think again! If you have a day—and a design dream—you already have everything you need to bring that room back to life with one of these lightning-fast living room decor ideas.

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Crafty Couch Companions

The best decor ideas can accommodate your shifting moods and design preferences. Case in point: This no-fuss pillow makeover from The DIY Playbook. The resourceful blogger behind the project bought plain pillows for a steal at a home goods store, then covered them in removable pillowcases. The cases’ contrasting colors, textures, and patterns add a punch of visual variety to the neutral tones of the room. Even better? When you get bored with your color scheme, simply swap out the pillowcases to transform the look of your space with nearly zero effort.

Related: 15 Room Redos You Can Complete in a Day

Inner Beauty

With only a lampshade kit, inexpensive wall stencils, and your favorite fabric, you can create a lampshade with a herringbone-patterned interior that will add a surprising pop of style to your living room. Following the lead of the blogger at Domestic Imperfection, use a metallic pen to stencil the pattern of your choice onto the styrene sheet that comes with the kit, then adhere the sticky side of the styrene to a length of fabric. Clip the fabric-covered styrene to the lampshade ring, fold the exposed fabric over the ring, and glue the fabric in place. All that’s left to do is mount the shade on a lamp in need of an upgrade, then switch on the light to draw attention to the embellished interior.

Coasting Along

Have five minutes to spare? Put them to use jazzing up your coffee table with these painted wooden coasters from the Something Swell Blog. Start by applying painter’s tape to a wooden coaster to cover the sections you don’t want to paint. Then, grab a paintbrush dipped in your favorite color. Paint just one edge of the coasters in a single color for a dip-dyed effect, or go wild with multiple stripes in contrasting colors.

Related: 11 Insanely Easy 60-Minute Paint DIYs

Tabletop Treat

A boring brown boot tray gets a second life as a quaint coffee table organizer in this simple swap from the Liz Marie Blog. Steal Liz’s look for your own living room by buying a boot tray or relocating one from your entryway to the coffee table, then filling it with accents from around the room. By adding personalized pieces, such as a tabletop terrarium, candle, or framed photograph, your organizer can do double-duty as an eye-catching piece of decor in its own right.

Bookish Charm

Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Leftover cardboard can be transformed into countless decorative items, from storage vessels to floor protectors. But here’s one possibility even avid DIYers may not have considered: mod-art bookends. Following this tutorial, carve an old cardboard shoebox into several diamond cutouts, then tape and fold them together into a faceted mold. Set the mold inside a bucket, and fill it with premixed concrete. Once the concrete is dry, peel away the cardboard to reveal a concrete bookend in a geometric design that’s perfect for any bibliophile’s bookshelf.

Related: 10 Novel DIYs for a Better Bookshelf

"Ottomatic" Style

Inspired by the Land of Nod product catalog, Susan of Living with Punks crafted this DIY ottoman using fabric and fiberfill. To make one for yourself, cut your favorite solid or patterned fabric into two perfect circles, then cut a length of fabric a little longer than the circumference of the circles for the side of the ottoman. Machine-stitch your pieces together, leaving an opening big enough to stuff the cushion with fiberfill. All that remains to be done is to hand-stitch the opening and plop the cushion on the floor for plush extra seating at a moment’s notice.

Perked Up with Pom-Poms

Simple additions to everyday accents you already own can lead to the best living room decor ideas. Take this playful twist on an ordinary throw, for example. The blogger at Passion Shake created hers by making homemade pom-poms and tassels out of white yarn, then sewing the pom-poms and tassels along the edge of a blanket in an alternating pattern. This simple alteration is enough to turn a snooze-worthy living room sofa into a striking statement.

Related: 18 Sneaky Ways to DIY Top-Dollar Decor

Sweeten the Pot

Adding variety to an indoor garden can be as simple as moving the plants into stylish containers made of unexpected materials. Here, the sister duo at A Beautiful Mess mimicked the look of pricier store-bought pots at a fraction of the cost by concealing ordinary pots inside bargain wicker baskets. Set at the entry to the living room, the rustic planters make a bold and beautiful addition to a high-traffic space.

Beauty in Brackets

Scrap wood and IKEA Ekby brackets are a match made in heaven in this DIY floating shelf project. As the blogger at A Shade of Teal demonstrates, making the shelves requires little time or effort. Just spray-paint the brackets in a metallic finish, stain one-inch-thick wood planks (she used stair treads), and then fit a bracket to each outside edge of the plank to create a custom shelf. Mount the shelf on the wall and line it with books, everyday essentials, or accents to impress your guests with your impeccable design sense.

Related: 15 Sneaky Tricks to Double Your Storage Space

Floor with Flair

You don’t need deep pockets or stellar sewing skills to snag this woven DIY rug for your living room. Taking a cue from the crafty sisters at A Beautiful Mess, construct a wooden frame for weaving. Wrap a long length of fabric (the bloggers used flat sheets cut in a zigzag pattern to create long one-inch strips) back and forth over the frame to make the warp, then weave horizontal strips through the warp in an interlocking pattern to create a rug. You can opt to use a single color of fabric to keep things easier, or choose contrasting colors as in the ivory and ebony scheme of this inviting rug.

Out-of-the-Box Storage

While plastic bins and baskets have their place, the blogger at Our House Now a Home found an even more ingenious way to beat clutter, and it will cost you barely a dime. Hint: It all starts with cardboard. By spray-painting a cardboard box and hot-gluing natural rope around the perimeter, you can create some stylish storage in a matter of minutes. Give your creation extra oomph by applying patterned adhesive paper to the base of the box.

Related: 18 Big Storage Ideas to Steal from Tiny Homes

Top-Shelf Idea

Organization is an art form—one that Jillee of One Good Thing by Jillee has mastered over the years. Even so, you can copy her expert organizational skills in less than a day by taking a cue from her bookcase. Like her, you can turn a barrage of unruly books into a calming oasis. The secret? Color-coordinate diverse volumes, leave breathing room around books to make space for decorative items, and relegate heavier volumes to lower shelves.

Old Is Gold

Have you ever thought that what your old furniture really needs isn’t replacement, but a leg up in life? That’s exactly what the blogger at Sugar and Cloth gave her lackluster living room furniture when she wrapped adhesive gold vinyl around each leg of a modern red chair. The vinyl application process takes less than five minutes, yet the material lasts longer than gold spray paint and comes at a fraction of the cost of a new piece of furniture with gilded legs.

Related: 10 Ways to Give Furniture a Fast Facelift

Radiant Reflection

Not getting enough light in your living room? Brighten up the space with this sunburst mirror from A Beautiful Mess. Though it’s nothing more than a circular wooden cutout, an ordinary round mirror, and wood shims arranged in a starburst pattern, the project comes to life with a splash of gold spray paint that could really brighten up any dark corner. 

Do It In A Day

One day, and a design dream, is all that you need.