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DIY Projects to Transform Your Family or Living Room

Next to the kitchen, the living room is the heart of the house. Hence the name, families, friends, and guests often gather in the family or living room; whether it’s opening Christmas presents, watching the Super Bowl game, or after-dinner family gatherings, it’s simply the place to be. Naturally, when it’s time for renovations, the living and family room is often deserving of extra attention because it’s such a high-traffic area.

Many renovations can be done as DIY projects. Yes, really! You don’t need to be a master carpenter or designer to complete a DIY project that can give your living or family room a nice refresh. The focus of this article will be showing you a bunch of ways you can transform your living or family area all by yourself, often for much less than if you were to pay someone else to do it. Read on for inspiration!

DIY Fireplace

Who doesn’t love a nice crackling fire, especially in the colder months? When we say DIY fireplace, we don’t mean literally installing a fireplace by yourself. Creating a chimney is something best left to the experts! But, if you have an existing fireplace you can quickly spruce it up by giving the stone or woodwork a new coat of paint, installing and decorating a mantel, or even redoing the stonework with artificial stone pieces.

If you don’t have an actual working fireplace installed, don’t worry! You can always install an electronic one. Admittedly, nothing beats the real thing, but it still adds that touch of warmth and coziness at a fraction of the price. And since you’re handling the installation, you can customize it any way you’d like—colors, material, ambient lights, and so on.

Add Molding

You can add as much molding as you’d like and are comfortable with. This can be something ambitious like installing crown molding around the perimeter of the room, or simply wrapping the decorations or picture frames on the walls. Most home improvement stores have molding wood or plastic already on hand, you just need to provide them with measurements so they can cut it to your specifications. Some stores may already have them painted or decorated, too.

Then, it’s a matter of simply bringing it home and nailing it into place. Hiring a carpenter could cost hundreds of dollars (although it might be necessary if you’re looking for a custom design), but you can add an air of sophistication to your living room by doing it yourself, for less.

Swap Out the Accessories

If you really like your existing furniture or don’t have the time, budget, or patience for a big furniture overhaul, a simple and fun way to change the atmosphere of the family or living room is to simply mix up the accessories. For example, you can replace the pillows or throw rugs you already have on your sofa. Buy a new vase, plant, or coffee table to change up the look. This is a very simple change, but one you can have a lot of fun with. It can really change the tone or color palette of the family or living room and for far less than replacing the main furniture pieces.

Ladder Shelf

This is one of the common, albeit more involved, DIY projects. A ladder shelf is just what the name says—it’s a series of shelves mounted on vertical ladder frame-like rungs that create an ascending shelf structure. You can use it to display nearly anything, including plants, photos, books, blankets, and much more.

While the project itself is fairly simple—it’s essentially two wooden beams with however many planks in between for your shelves—you’ll need to have access to some tools, including a saw, sander, and drill. Once it’s built, you can stain or paint the shelf however you’d like. Since paint is very forgiving, you can re-paint it later if you’d like to renovate and change it up again.

Overhaul the Coffee Table

Much like the kitchen table, the coffee table is the focal point of the living or family space. It’s where drinks and food are set, board games are played, decorations are placed, and more. Over the years they have many scratches, water rings, and stains. Why not give it the quick change it deserves?

You don’t need to spend a fortune to upgrade or replace your coffee table. Give your old one a makeover with a new tabletop—replace the glass, buy a stone top, or you can even install paper to imitate whatever texture you’d like. It’s like swapping out accessories—it’s a fairly small change that can change the heart of the room.

DIY Gallery Wall

This can be as creative as you’d like and is a very trendy option. This can be your embroidery projects or whatever pieces catch your eye at your local art gallery. You can borrow some inspiration from our second one on this list and add a custom framing around each piece, or place them on a DIY-built mantelpiece.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Last but the least, in terms of money spent, is to simply shuffle around your existing furniture. Oftentimes, the way we arrange our living or family room when the furniture arrives is how it’s kept for years because it is what we’ve grown accustomed to. You can breathe a little life into your living or family space simply by rearranging the furniture you already have. The best part is the cost-free!

About the Author

Conor Prendergast is a freelance copywriter, having written content for healthcare blogs, interior design firms, medical journals, and now GenStone. He has a BS from Muhlenberg College and is in his third year of medical school at New York Medical College.

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