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5 ideas for a quick living room update: 2020 Fresh Start

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update. 

I began the 2020 Fresh Start series with the entryway. Today, let’s focus on the living room and look at some quick hacks and easy ideas to freshen up the space.

#1 Give your old sofa new love

In most living rooms, the centerpiece is the sofa. And if you sofa is looking tired, updating it will deliver a huge impact. It’ll almost feel like walking into new room.

One way to do that is to add detailing.

i) Like tufting

Before …

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

And after …

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

Tufting tutorial here

ii) Or new legs

Adding a set of new legs is probably the easiest update you can make on your IKEA sofa. There are plenty of stores that sell furniture legs that fit IKEA sofas. Featured below is the ESTELLE from Pretty Pegs.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.
iii) Even, a new slipcover

Totally change the color of your sofa. It makes a big difference to the room.

Before … A KIVIK two-seater in IKEA’s Hillared dark blue slipcover.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

After … KIVIK in Comfort Works Kino Frost.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

See the complete sofa makeover

And of course, don’t forget to pick up a few new cushion covers to match your new sofa slipcover. (I like the SKÄGGÖRT, KINNEN and arty ELDTÖREL.)

#2 Hack your rug

If you have a plain rug, give it a pattern to add another layer of visual interest. Here are two ways you can do this:

i) Use a Sharpie for a Beni Ouarain-ish look
DIY a Beni Ouarain rug look alike

Crystal took a Sharpie to her ADUM rug and drew lines across. Best thing is, they don’t have to be perfectly straight. How easy is that. See the tutorial. (ADUM is discontinued, consider the STOENSE instead).

ii) Paint a flatwoven rug

Yes it’s possible to paint your rug. Flatwoven rugs like the LOHALS ($89.99 for a 5’x7′) are pretty affordable. With some patience and a steady hand, you can transform it into an eye-catching rug.

paint your rug
iii) Layer on rugs

Get layers of texture to create a cozy ambience. Here’s a guide on Apartment Therapy on how to nail the layered rug look.

layered rug look

Credit: Studio McGee

To recreate the look in the photo above, how about a KOLDBY hide with a HELLESTED jute rug?

#3 Update your coffee table

Now let’s turn to your coffee table. Pinterest has hundreds of IKEA coffee table transformations, most notably the VITTSJÖ nesting tables spray painted. That’s definitely an easy one to do.

But let’s do more than that.

i) Add a natural element to up the style

If you’re using a basic LACK coffee table, upgrade it into rustic farmhouse style coffee table with a thick wood slab.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.
ii) Make it a conversation piece

This LACK side table takes a sharp departure from the original, thanks to stencils and its hollow body (which allows for the planter). See the tutorial.

stencilled LACK side table

Related: 16 ways to use the LACK side table all around the house


#4 Challenge your wall

If you have a large span of wall in your living room, dressing it up will go a long way towards freshening up your space.

A gallery wall is awesome but can we do more? Definitely.

i) Not shiplap, wood paneling

Raymund used the IKEA TUNDRA laminate flooring on the walls, with such cozy results. See more here.

IKEA TUNDRA laminated flooring on walls
ii) A green wall

Terra create a “green wall” from FEKJA artificial plant squares.

iii) DIY wainscoting

Get Rosandra’s trick for adding boiserie or wainscoting to her walls, without the high cost. See it here.

DIY wainscoting IKEA hack

#5 Declutter with small storage

Tidying is the unmistakable route to a “put together” look. But what do you do with all the small items like the many remote controls, chargers, books and reading glasses?

Enter small storage.

i) Make a storage ottoman

Claire made this from a KNAGGLIG crate and old jeans. It keeps all her magazines and knick knacks. See more.

storage ottoman
ii) Get a large tray to corral everything

A KOMPLEMENT pull out tray for the PAX wardrobe works as a super large tray to keep things in one place and organized.

iii) Keep all papers in one spot

Make a cute book or magazine stand like this:

book bin DIY

Credit: Caroline Burke via Hunker

You’ll need to IKEA BULLIG box, 12″ hairpin legs, plywood as dividers and some nuts and bolts. See the tutorial here.

What are your ideas for a quick living room update?

And that’s my 5 quick tips and ideas for a living room update. What about you? What is your one go-to tip you can share with our readers?

Hope you’re inspired to give your living room a jiffy refresh this weekend.

Other post in this series: