12 living room makeover ideas without drilling

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Living rooms need to make a great first impression. They’re often the natural gathering area of a home, where flatscreens reign or cosy armchairs provide respite from a hard day’s work. And it’s worth noting the space’s predecessor, 'the parlour', was named after the French verb for “to speak” – as it often served as the designated area for conversation.

Furnishings and etymology aside, chances are your own living room serves as an important hub in your home. So, here are 12 ideas that will not only organise but also revamp the area. 

For renters and constant decorators...

1. Declutter your way to clarity and prosperity

window sill with vases

You can’t start renovating if you’re bogged down by visual miscellanea. First thing's first: Tackle any clutter standing between you and your vision. 

Chuck out old magazines, dried flowers, toys that your kids no longer use, extra throw pillows, broken electronics, and so forth. This is also an important step in Feng Shui since energy can’t flow freely when it’s stagnated by disorganisation. 

To further optimise your space’s energy, after you’ve decluttered, move at least nine objects around. The last of the single digits is an auspicious number in Feng Shui, and rearranging in any of its multiples (18, 27, etc.) is said to kickstart a space’s qi – vital energy present in every living thing. 

Image via Unsplash

2. Continue to contain the chaos

an ottomon in a living room

Now that you’ve decluttered, what should you do with the items you held onto but are still eating space? 

You could install extra shelves. Or you could skip the screwdriver altogether and simply corral smaller items into a catchall ottoman. It’s the perfect depository for bulky blankets and books, not to mention a foolproof way to end frantic rounds of “Where’s the remote?”

And, as an added bonus, many ottomans make stunning coffee tables. Here’s a roundup of double-duty ottomans, courtesy of stylist, blogger, and best-selling author Emily Henderson.

Image via See Shop Eat Do.

3. Roll deep with portable storage

rolling cart used for storage

Want another creative way to gather odds and ends in an aesthetically enjoyable manner? 

Display them on a rolling cart. A bar cart works great for this, and you can also use a designated serving wagon. 

Toss everyday bits like hair ties or dog toys into ceramic bowls. Then plop a couple of plants next to your finest bottles and glasses. 

Voilà: You’ve built a portable clutter buster. Which is great given the 12 surprising ways clutter is ruining your life

Image via Ginger Snap Jordan.

4. Make your cords ... d’accord

Get your cables under control

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cables held in place with Sugru grips

Between your telly, laptop, speakers, and Google Home, your living room sees plenty of cord action. Check out this sweet hack to get your cables under control with Sugru Mouldable Glue.

Shape your Sugru based on however many cables you need to organise and rejoice! No more tripping over the cable box and accidentally shutting off the WiFi. 

5. Top off your furniture with tip-top tapestries

reupholstered sofa

Like lipstick for your sofa, upholstery is an instant rejuvenation that transforms the entire surrounding space. Not sure how to reupholster your sofa? Like your best friend, Chronicles of Home has your back with their DIY sofa reupholstery guide

Prefer an alternate option that requires less of your time? Top off the floor with a rug. Be it sheepskin, berber, or straight-up bohemian, it’s guaranteed to spice up your space. 

Pro tip: A striped rug will elongate the room

Image via Little Green Notebook.

6. Boost your furniture

living room area

Fact: Elevated furniture makes a space seem bigger than it actually is. Also fact: You can convert any furniture with a lift into extra storage space. 

Slide seat cushions underneath your couch, then pull them out when you need extra seating. While you’re at it, tuck your dining tray beneath the coffee table. These simple swaps make for miraculously rapid cleaning and organising.

Image via Designsponge.

7. Invest in baller baskets

woven storage baskets

Even with a stylish rolling cart and your ottoman reporting for blanket duty, there’s still bound to be knick-knacks on the loose. Don’t let them escape. Toss them in stylish containers instead. 

You could go with a wicker basket like the ones pictured above. Or get inspired by these vintage suitcases, which are basically like shelves or a cabinet sans the hassle of installation (and with way more street cred). 

Disclaimer: keeping them around may inspire a serious case of wanderlust.   

Image via The Future Kept.

8. Let it lay, ladder, lay

ladder used as bedside shelves

Maybe you’d like to keep your magazines and blankets out on display, rather than tucking them away. If that’s the case, think outside the shelf. 

A vintage ladder (or a blanket ladder that could totally pass for vintage) is the perfect fixture for hanging your favourite items. 

Image via UO.

9. Dis-mantel convention

books stacked in non-working fireplace

Got a non-working fireplace? Make use of it anyway!  

Fill it up with books (Fahrenheit 451, anyone?). Or prop some eye-catching artwork. It’s a (ahem) sure-fire way to transform the nook into something special. 

Image via Blue-Eyed Yonder.

10. Give power to the lower

hooks added to coat stand for children

Little ones’ coats scattered about the living room? Forget adding extra hooks in the hallway.  Deck out your coat rack instead. 

All you need is a bit of Sugru and an extra hook or two. Who knows, it might even stop your kids from throwing their coats on the sofa when they get in.

Get the how-to here: How to adapt a coat stand for children

11. Add stacks on stacks

cubby squares mounted to walls

Cubbies: They’re not just for kindergarteners anymore. These sweet little squares make the perfect alternates to wall shelves.

Rearrange the modules to your heart’s content, then fill them with any books that didn’t fit in the fireplace. 

Image via Lifesamoodboard.

12. Sugru it or lose it

magnet is stuck to phone using Sugru

If you’ve done all you can to end the aforementioned “where’s the remote” scramble, and yet it still prevails, have we got a solution for you. 

Two magnets, some Sugru, and a designated spot ought to end the clicker hunt once and for all. Get the know-how by simply adapting this car gadget organiser to your living room instead.