Houzz Living
Houzz Chris Snook/for PhillyVoice

To allow details like this to shine, take the curtain track beyond the edge of the window so the curtains can be drawn all the way back.

February 20, 2017

9 tricks to give your living room character

These quick, budget-friendly ideas can help you create a warm and inviting space

If you think your living room is looking slightly lackluster, there are some simple ways to add more personality. Check out these ideas to help liven it up.

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Chris Snook, original photo on Houzz

1. Enhance your windows. A cost-effective way to give your windows a modern twist is to paint the frames a darker color than the walls, as in this warm and inviting living room.

To allow details like this to shine, take the curtain track beyond the edge of the window so the curtains can be drawn all the way back.

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Maggie Stephens Interiors, original photo on Houzz

2. Make it yours. Try adding a personal touch to your living room to give it more character. Collect all your treasured objects and make a feature of them. These floor-to-ceiling cubbies are a great way to display a mix of books, ornaments, and vases. It will be a great conversation-starter when you have guests over, and will make your living room feel unique.


Related: Discover Over 900,000 More Living Room Ideas 


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Interior Therapy, original photo on Houzz

3. Be creative. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive artwork to give your living room a boost. Simply display an eclectic mix of framed photographs, quotes and prints on a picture shelf. 

The gallery shelf here looks particularly dramatic with the geometric wallpaper beneath it.

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Rebecca Hayes Interiors, original photo on Houzz 

4. Think quirky. Don’t be afraid to do things a bit differently to add character. Go for mirrors in different shapes or sizes, as with these three convex circular designs, which give the room a retro feel. 


Related: Want a More Temporary Fix? Experiment With Wall Decals and Stickers


A great way to keep costs down is to use objects in unexpected ways. For example, a column of books could form a plant stand, and an old chest could become a coffee table.

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Britse & Company AB, original photo on Houzz 

5. Create a theme. The quickest way to introduce character is to decide on a theme or style and stick to it. This will also stop you from being tempted to go over budget and buy accessories that don’t match. 

Here, the monochromatic color scheme allows the owners to make a statement with just a few key pieces.

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Kaylovesvintage, original photo on Houzz

6. String up lights. Use lighting in your living room to create a mood. Incorporate floor lights for task lighting and contemporary desk lights for atmosphere. 


Related: How to Infuse the Room With This Colorful Chevron Pattern 


Fairy lights are a simple, budget-friendly way to brighten up a living room. Hang them over mirrors, shelving or door frames to illuminate dark corners. 

Don’t forget traditional candles for the evening to give your living room a warmer and more inviting feel.

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Nicole White Designs Interiors LLC, original photo on Houzz

7. Go mad with color. It’s easy to make your living room more exciting, without blowing the budget, by incorporating bold colors. The contrast of the bright hues and geometric patterns of these cushions against the solid pastel sofa makes a big impact in this otherwise neutral living room. 

The bigger the contrast, the better for adding a touch of wow to a lackluster living room.

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My Bespoke Room Ltd, original photo on Houzz 

8. Introduce some greenery. To add instant warmth, consider bringing in a few houseplants. Palms generally flourish inside and can grow to a few feet tall, like this impressive parlor palm. 

Houseplants are generally low-maintenance, but you will, of course, need to water most kinds fairly frequently. So, if you think you’ll forget or you’re away a lot, you could go for artificial versions instead.

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Hart Design And Construction, original photo on Houzz 

9. Bring in rustic touches. Country style is an easy way to add warmth and character. Exposed brick, wicker baskets and natural materials are all ways to introduce a rustic simplicity. 

If you like the look of exposed brick but don’t have an original fireplace or exposed wall, you could consider brick tiles or brick-effect wallpaper. 


Read more at Houzz.com