Living Room Makeover!

Lift your home out of the doldrums with these easy style updates that won’t break the bank BY ELIZABETH LIEW

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Lift your home out of the doldrums with these easy style updates that won’t break the bank BY ELIZABETH LIEW

Create a feature wall

You don’t need a team of creatives or have to spend a bomb for wow factor. A feature wall can instantly and totally transform your space – it can be as elaborate or as straightforward as your budget and time allows. The key is to make sure it stands out, whether it’s a bold colour, striking wallpaper or maybe even a panelled effect.

My Reading Room

Float your shelves

You can never have enough storage, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Maybe there’s simply no budget or space for a huge bookcase, but who can’t benefit from some wellplaced wall shelving? Be it a slim ledge or a multifunctional shelf, keep your home tidy by maximising vertical space.

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Menu Bollard lamp in purple $159, from Bibliotek.

Revamp lighting

So many homes are let down by gloomy, outdated or ugly lighting. Opt for dimmable bulbs, swap out that faded lampshade or light up a corner by investing in a chic lamp that will instantly brighten up your living space in more ways than one.

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Umbra cubist large wall shelf, $79, from HipVan.

Embrace the artificial

While they used to be regarded as tacky and outdated (think grandma’s floral centrepiece from the ’60s), faux flowers and foliage have been slowly making a comeback. The latest ones look more real than ever, and they’re useful if you don’t have the time to upkeep fresh ones.

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Geometric wall frame with artificial English Ivy creeper, $80.70, from Noah Garden Centre.

My Reading Room

Hubsch antique glass frame, $32, Menu Bollard from Stylodeco.

Frame up your photos

Don’t let vacation photos languish in your SD card – print them out and have them beautifully framed and arranged on the wall. It’s a low-cost way to introduce something personal to your home, and make your space feel more lived-in.

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1 Living bowl, $70, from BoConcept. 2 Howell nesting tables, $1,669, from Etch & Bolts. 3 Jade green marble tray, $109, from Scene Shang.

Green and bear it

Marble finishings have become almost ubiquitous in home decor, but there is one variation that’s been taking over interiors this year – green marble. It’s a fresh take on the usual white and black, and is a sure way to incorporate something textured and contemporary into your space. Use as an accent piece to make it really stand out.

My Reading Room

Rearrange existing pieces

It just takes a bit of creativity to makeover your living room without anyone realising you didn’t even spend a cent. Simply rearrange your existing furniture and decor items, such as pulling your sofa away from the wall, placing the clock somewhere else, or creating new vignettes on your shelves or coffee table.

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Bosign hideaway cable organiser, $69.90, from HipVan.

Hide your cables

A typical eyesore in living rooms is the myriad of cables and cords for the TV, sound system, WiFi router and other devices. Keep them out of sight by bunching them up in a chic organiser.

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Splash of blue

Rich shades of blue are having a moment, from navy hues to deep ocean tones. Inject a sense of calm and serenity into your space with a family of blue ceramic vases, for instance.

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Vienna sideboard, $3,738, from Kuhl Home.

Statement storage

A beautiful credenza or sideboard along the wall or behind the sofa can act as a decorative room divider without making the space feel smaller, and is great for keeping drinks, serveware and snacks at hand when guests come around.

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From left: Macrame cushion, $95, from Living DNA. Prestige leather cushion from King Living. Anna cushion, $35, from Castlery. Bloomingville palm cushion, $65.80, from 3LittlePicks.

Cosy up with cushions

An easy way to refresh your sofa (and the rest of the room) is by swapping out old cushion covers for new ones. There are so many different styles, colours and textures to choose from – opt for braided ones for a boho look, printed ones for a contemporary vibe or leathery ones for a luxe feel.

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Softly does it

Soft, textured furnishings can totally change the look and feel of your living space. Unfurl a new rug or embellish your sofa with a throw or two for the ultimate hygge feel.

My Reading Room

1 Sketch moroccan rug, $690, from Living DNA. 2 Weldon taupe throw, $79.95, from Crate & Barrel. 3 Geometry rug, $1,496, from Kuhl Home.

My Reading Room

SP01 Michelle wall mirror, $3,195, from Space.

Accentuate light

Hanging a mirror opposite the window works to maximise the amount of light that gets in, essentially making your space look larger than it really is.

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Delaktig twoseat sofa with side table, $979, from IKEA.

Consider flexible furniture

Optimise a small space by choosing furnishings that are designed for it. Modular sofas, nesting tables and shelving units are just some ways that you can make full use of your existing space.

My Reading Room

Left: Notre Monde overlapping dots tray, $225, from Ethnicraft. Right: Kvistbro storage table, $59, from IKEA.

Declutter fashionably

Cut visual clutter and keep your sofas mess-free with storage solutions that are both stylish and practical, from poufs and coffee tables that double up as storage, to stylish trays for you to corral smaller items on.