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5 Do-It-Yourself Living Room Decoration Ideas

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Living Room Decor

The living room is the heart of the home, and unlike other rooms that receive much less attention and time, the living room can be a place of constant change. There’s no rule that says your living room must stay the way it's been for the last year, or even the last month - and there’s no rule that says it has to be expensive, either.

The do-it-yourself ethos seems to be synonymous with motivated individuals that have loads of extra time, but DIY projects don’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. Sometimes, it’s as easy as rethinking the purpose of an object and giving it new life; sometimes it's about freshening up what you’ve already got on-hand, changing the personality of the room.

In this post we’ll outline our top 5 do-it-yourself living room decoration ideas for the motivated homeowner eager to do more with less.

Wooden Ladder Shelf

Ladders aren’t just for shingling the roof or reaching the top shelf anymore. The very structure of a ladder lends itself well to organizing and stacking a huge variety of common living room accoutrement.

Organize your magazine or paperback book collection beside your reading nook. Use the rungs of an old wooden ladder to showcase the covers of your mags, developing an eye-catching focal point that’s much nicer to look at than the basket of magazines in the bathroom. Alternatively, use the rungs to neatly tidy your living room blanket selection for cozy nights spent on the couch.

You can pick up wooden ladders from the odd garage sale or flea markets, or you can easily build one from $20 worth of lumber and hardware. To achieve a rustic look, stain the wood and wipe the excess away with a cloth to accentuate the grain. To provide contrast to a pre-existing wooden floor or exposed brick wall, paint the ladder white to juxtapose the organic look with a crisp, clean finish. 

Upcycled Coffee Table

Liken the living room coffee table to that of the hearths of old. They’re gathering places where people huddle in for a round of lively conversation, or a place to enjoy a few communal snacks.

What some people forget, is that coffee tables are meant to be used, and they don’t have to be showpieces that we’re afraid to scuff or leave a ring from our wet glass. Good news is, you can up-cycle just about any flat surfaced object into a show-stopper of a coffee table that's bound to spark conversation. Old fence boards, barn-board, vintage doors, live-edge lumber, wooden crates, chests, etc. Anything with a flat surface can easily become a useable, chic, and creative rendition of the coffee table aesthetic.

For a multi-use coffee table, add a set of hinges to the lid of an up-cycled wooden crate - or build a base around a reclaimed door to create a storage space for blankets, throw-pillows or books.

Pallet Fever

Many blogs and interior designers say that the pallet craze has run its course and it’s been reduced to an overused cliche of the hipster crowd; we beg to differ. Pallets are incredible sources of free, or cheap building materials, and that makes them the perfect objects to transform into any number of useful living room decoration ideas. 

Consider getting creative and cutting reclaimed and de-nailed pallet wood to liven up your coffee table top, or convert the subframe of a pallet into the base for a useful shelving unit for photos and art pieces. Also, recycle the wood to build yourself a console - or behind-the-couch table - to house potted plants, lamps and your morning coffee. Pull some chairs up to create an impromptu bar table to enjoy the game.

A pallet wood accent wall is a great way to differentiate your living room space on a budget, perfect for creating some drama and rustic charm. There’s truly no limit to the usefulness of pallets for their sheer adaptability. Take advantage of free building materials whenever you can!

Mason Jar Lighting

A DIY mason jar chandelier is a great way to inexpensively up-cycle your existing lighting fixture, or start from scratch with a simple and straightforward build process. When you purchase one from a retailer, mason jar chandeliers can cost a small fortune, but doing it yourself not only saves you cash, but adds a certain level of pride in what you’ve created. 

Customize the metallic lid finish by brushing on a satin black paint, and tinker with your bulb selection to get the perfect light. Mason jars help to create a warm energy that’s perfect for creating cozy and intimate lighting for your living room space. They help to bring on an aesthetic of an upscale urban coffee shop and pair well with an up-cycled coffee table and good old fashioned wood floors. 

Liven up Those Floors & Walls

We tend to leave our floors relatively untouched because we are more preoccupied by the pieces and features that we can add to a room, instead of looking at what we already have. Floors and walls are great examples of overlooking what’s in front of you.

To add a fresh, creative boost to your living room space, consider taping off a striped design and going to town on your old beat up floors with some durable floor paint. Utilize the available natural light to reflect and boost the brightness of a room to instantly change its energy and vibe. Same goes for the walls - painting a dark room that feels cramped with a bright and fresh feeling green, cream, yellow or citrus can help your living room do a total 180. Think of paint as a clean slate, a free template from which you can reevaluate your current decorations and furnishings to give them a perceived facelift.

Adding a lively and interesting area rug is another good way to boost the appeal of your old floors as well. The contrast of old and new creates an interesting dynamic that helps invigorate the room. As an alternative, consider epoxying or clear-coating your original wood floors to protect and beautify them for years to come. Adding a layer of glistening clear gloss adds a level of benevolence and polish to tired old floors.

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