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Small swaps: How to update your home without spending a fortune

Examples of living room ideas on a budget

Whether you’ve been inspired by a new trend or you just fancy a change, updating your living room is an exciting prospect for any house-proud tenant – but doing it right rarely comes cheap.

Luckily, you don’t need to spend a king’s ransom on a total overhaul to get the look you love. From introducing greenery to injecting new patterns, you can transform your lounge by cleverly tweaking the details of your existing décor.

Read on for seven subtle swaps that can make a big difference to your living room - without breaking the bank.

1.  Lift surroundings with a leafy look

Ferndale sofa fabric in Kiwi

From the opulence of 18th century French royalty to the flower power of the swinging sixties, floral patterns are a timeless design choice. In fact, we identified bouquet-inspired patterns as one of the big trends of 2019.

For 2020, however, it’s about stripping back the exotic themes of luscious palm trees and flamboyant flamingos for a more home-grown aesthetic. Think fine leaves, fresh ferns and blooming foliage to kick-start your new year in style.

Stuck for ideas? Take a leaf out of our book and try our Ferndale fabrics. Very much in verdant vogue, this bright leaf design incorporates flecks of warming yellow for an energetic take on upholstery fabric.

Swap: Floral fabrics

For: Leaf designs

2.  A green revolution

An assortment of house plants next to a window

Sure, a botanical theme can bring your lounge to life figuratively – but why stop there?

By swapping out your ornaments for potted plants, you can literally breathe new life into your décor. Whether you opt for a spiky succulent or a high hanging plant, well-placed greenery infuses organic character to any space.

Don’t worry, your living room doesn’t need to become a rainforest of fantastical flora. Just a few additions of green spread around the room can make a huge difference to the vibe of your lounge. For a charming aesthetic, try potting the plants in teacups and other quirky containers.

Swap: Ornaments

For: Potted plants

3.  A colour conversion

Lemon Cherry Blossom sofa cover

In 2019, it was mustard yellow’s time to shine. Not only did it enjoy a renewed popularity on the catwalk, but this complementary condiment colour was one of Pinterest’s top trends for the year.

As we look to the future, however, mustard yellow’s time on the podium could be coming to the end. Its successor? The always bright and jovial ‘lemon yellow’.

Where mustard is warm and dense, lemon is vibrant, bringing a sunny disposition to any indoor space. Even when used sparingly on cushions, blankets and ornaments, lemon yellow captures your attention and doesn’t let go.

If you’re searching for a subtle way to introduce this lively hue to your lounge, check out our Lemon Cherry Blossom sofa cover. This stunning floral fabric draws the eye, without overpowering the décor.

Swap: Mustard

For: Lemon yellow

4.  Mix up your metals

Gold homeware accessories

After a couple of seasons of copper dominating the interior design world, the newest trend on the block is an oldie but a goodie. Yep, gold is making a glorious comeback.

While copper exudes understated confidence, gold glints playfully, even under the most moderate of lighting, drawing the eye and demanding attention.

Work this into your décor by adding gold to wall clocks, ornaments, trinkets and light fixtures. Just don’t overdo it. When it comes to gold, it’s all about moderation and context. Too much and you could quickly find your designs look more gaudy than glamorous.

Swap: Copper decorations

For: Gold decorations

5.  Go au naturel

A living room defined by natural wood

You don’t need to delve too deep into Instagram’s #interiordesign archive to find images of upcycled crates serving as shelving units or pretty potted plants clustered in window frames.

This trend of ‘bringing the outdoors in’ is all about creating a cosy and comfortable space that brings you ‘back down to earth’, so to speak. This means waving goodbye to metal shelving units and coffee tables and replacing with natural materials like wood. For soft furnishings, hessian and cotton suit this look superbly.

Swap: Metal furniture

For: Wood furniture

6.  Dulux delight

A tin of paint for cheap living room ideas

Hygge and lagom trends continue to rule the design world, and, if you are prescribed to these fetching Scandi trends, you could be forgiven for thinking muted earth tones are your only option.

And yes, while neutral spaces might be the backbone of this décor, you shouldn’t be afraid to add a splash of colour to update your lounge.

For a paint colour that will take you through next year and beyond, try Tranquil Dawn, the Dulux Colour of 2020. This pale green hue can add intrigue to your space, while retaining the softness of a minimalist decor. Pick up a tin or two of this paint to elevate your space to stay on the forefront of tomorrow’s trends.

Swap: Neutral tones

For: Tranquil Dawn

7.  A patterned pep up

Glacier curtain fabric

As maximalist décor rises in popularity, you might be looking at ways you can introduce some of the same excitement into your lounge without spending a fortune. The simple answer is patterns, patterns and even more patterns.

Whether you opt for checks or geometrics, a small injection of pattern can go a long way to transforming the look of your living room. Even a subtle change, like switching out a plain white sofa throw for an eclectic Berber-inspired criss-cross pattern, you instantly reinvigorate your space.

For the latest fabulous fabric designs, browse our range of patterned sofa covers. Our stunning Raspberry Fenwick fabric, for example, binds together rippled pink tones for a soft and sweet finish.

Swap: Solid colours

For: Smooth patterns

Now you’ve got plenty of ideas for living room makeovers on a budget, the next step is to find your favourite fabrics. You can browse our range of curtains, sofa covers and reupholstery fabrics on our website.

 

Sally is the Digital Marketing Manager at Plumbs. Prior to Plumbs, she ran the digital marketing strategy for Johnson’s Cleaners UK. Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is Homes Under the Hammer. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.

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