Rearrange Your Furniture or Add New Pieces
Does your living room feel squeezed in? Reorganizing your furniture will do wonders to your space. Switch things around. Free up spots, fill in others. Rearrange toward striking a balance between the visual and the functional.
Get rid of unnecessary items if you have to. Think of proportion and scale, especially if you have a small area. Consider how people will move around the room, and make the most of your light sources.
Find another focal point. An old bookcase, an oversize window, or an existing brick wall can be your space's center of attention. Your couch can provide contrast or serve as a style anchor.
Get Some Pillows
Is your living room drab? Grab some pillows. Throw them on the couch. Get enough to fill the seats, but don't overdo it. Couches are for people, first and foremost.

With pillows you get more bang for your buck. They're not that expensive, and you can switch styles without buying new ones.
Choose colors and patterns that go well with your couch, but avoid the uniform look. Mix and match. Get a theme going. Play with shapes, sizes, and textures. Use pillows as subtle accents, or use them to tie the room together.  
Hang a Picture
Does your living room lack character? Hang a picture. It can be a black-and-white picture of you or your family. It can be a series of vacation photos arranged asymmetrically on the wall. You can even pin your instant camera takes on a corkboard for that avant-garde look.

Or go for a painting instead. It doesn't have to be a Monet. Grab a ready-made work from your local bookstore. Get a friend to paint for you. You can even do it yourself (just call it abstract art!). Don't forget to hang your frames at eye level.
Bring in Some Plants
Is your living room lacking warmth? Bring in some plants. Succulents, woody perennials, foliage-heavy greens--spread them around the room. But don't overdo it, unless you want your home to look like a jungle.
Houseplants will pep up your space, and they will cut indoor air pollution too. In turn, you have to care for them. If you're too busy to deal with irrigation, photosynthesis, and soil conditioners, then get fake plants instead. Or pick up a bunch of flowers every now and then. 
Put Something on the Table
Does your living room look empty? Then put something on the table--literally. Your center table has a practical function, but it can help spice up your living room too. Place some books on there, along with a bowl of oranges. Got a bunch of unused scented candles? Set them down there. Vacation souvenirs or flea market finds, boxes, bottles, figurines--the list of things you can put on there is endless.

Side table, center table, coffee table--if there's an empty surface, put something on it. But don't go overboard. Aim for balance and subtlety. Consider every angle. Create drama if you want. Flaunt conversation pieces, or at the very least, display eye-catching fillers.
Redecorating on a Budget
Tight budgets and makeover projects are not like oil and water. You can update your space without spending much. It's certainly a challenge, but it can be done. Just don't let the size of your wallet cramp your style and imagination.

 With Gratitude,

Ane Howard