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Budget-friendly Living Room Ideas for A Modern Makeover

  • Living Room Design
Feb 25, 2022
House Plants & table lamps to add elegance in your contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

You don’t have to break the bank over these contemporary living room styles

As the busiest and most used space in any home, the modern living room has the thankless job of juggling multiple roles at once. From lounging and catching up on TV to dining and entertaining guests, it’s where we spend most of our time leading to visible wear and tear. At the same time, a contemporary living room is also the most overlooked when it comes to redecorating because of time and cost constraints. But hitting refresh on the largest room in the house doesn’t need to be an all-consuming exercise – we’ve drawn up a list of the latest modern living room designs and hacks that are just as easy on the wallet as they are on the eyes.

The Bold and Beautiful Contemporary Living Room

A surefire way to create impact in modern living room design is to go big and bold. The key is to splurge strategically. Just a few statement pieces can help shake up the status quo without breaking the bank. Contrast the usual neutral tones in contemporary living room design with dramatic pops of colour. Infuse bright colours through an oversized artwork or an eye-catching area rug.

Add a dramatic flair to conventional living room furniture and reupholster with plush fabrics in rich jewel tones. By saving up on the larger pieces, you can direct your budget to investing in smaller, more impactful objects like an abstract coffee table, a stylish chandelier or an accent floor lamp and even a designer, modern armchair.

Center table pieces for your contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Sanjyt Syngh

Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

The oversized, framed artwork in this modern living room design can be easily switched with budget-friendly alternatives. Fabric wall hangings are all the rage at the moment and apart from infusing colour, they can also be used to introduce texture and pattern into contemporary living room interior design. A metre or two of striking cloth is all it takes and there are many ways to hang it up without going through the expensive and time-consuming hassle of framing. Another great option is to visit a wallpaper shop and ask to purchase samples, discontinued styles or leftover stock and use it as a framed print.

Wall art for the creative yet stylish contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Kam idris/ unsplash

Get Crafty with a Gallery Wall for a Modern Living Room Design

If you’re on a budget and on rent, then we recommend rolling your sleeves up for some crafty DIY to decorate the walls. Creating a gallery wall is a relatively quick, easy and pocket-friendly way to transform a modern living room. A few blank canvasses, some paint and a day off from work is all you need for these nifty wall decorations. Alternatively, you can mix and match photographs, record covers, movie posters and more to create an eclectic gallery wall. Or enjoy the shortcut by simply printing some of your favourite art prints and sticking them into inexpensive frames.


Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

If hammering nails into the wall isn’t an option, get self-adhesive hooks or place frames of different shapes and sizes on a simple wall shelf.

Perfection in Paint for Pocket-friendly Contemporary Living Room Design

Another large and unavoidable cost in any living room design is allotted to painting. So it makes sense to employ paints wisely to create a luxurious contemporary living room design. Here two primary colours are chosen to set the colour palette for the entire room. By matching the wall colours to most of the living room furniture and décor, you can create an elegant and expensive look on a budget. Once the primary colours have been allotted, everything else in the living room – from rugs, to pillows and even artwork can be masterfully matched in different tones and shades of these colours.

Mirror designs to enhance your contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes
Image courtesy, Sources Unlimited
Contemporary living room interior designs to make your home stylish - Beautiful Homes
Image courtesy, Aparna Kaushik

Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

Adding an oversized mirror in a modern living room is another great budget-friendly way to elevate its style. Apart from making a solid statement, a mirror also adds depth and light in any contemporary living room design. The best part? It takes the guesswork out of decorating walls so you don’t have to worry about picking the perfect wallpaper, accessory or artwork, all while staying well within a budget.

Learn to Layer for a Budget-friendly Living Room Makeover

If you’re updating a contemporary living room from the ground up, rethink area rugs. You no longer have to splurge on one expensive carpet – more is more in the world of rugs so mix up colours, textures and patterns to create visual interest. Inexpensive pieces in materials like jute and cotton will work just as well. Area rugs can also be used to create smaller, intimate spaces within the living room without the use of bulky dividers.

Similarly, exisiting furniture can be given a new lease on life without going through the hassle of reupholstering. 

Center table pieces for your contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Sanjyt Syngh

Just drape them over with new throws in different textures, patterns and colours and finish by swapping out cushion covers to contrast or compliment depending on your design goals.


For a truly luxe output, we love the use of white, cream and beige in this modern living room design.


Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

Rustic, bohemian accents in neutral colours can work wonders in a modern living room – their appeal is timeless and the costs are low. You can shop for poufs, baskets, trunks, dried flowers and more at flea markets or opt for second-hand pieces for a pocket-friendly modern living room makeover.

Wall art for the creative yet stylish contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Kam idris/ unsplash

Budget-friendly Living Room Ideas that Champion Symmetry

The least expensive way to redecorate your living room is to begin by rearranging the existing furniture and objects. You can also “shop” around the rest of the house and repurpose furniture and objects from other rooms to refresh the living room. Once you are ready to play with the layout of room, look for ways to create symmetry for maximum impact – hang artworks of the same size side-by-side, move sofas and armchairs so they are placed opposite each other but parallel to the same wall and place floor lamps in two corners facing each other and so on. This is a great way to break free from the traditional living room layout where the coffee table is always in the middle, sofas are pushed up against walls with the TV across from the most comfortable seat in the room. 

Symmetry can also be achieved in smaller ways by shopping for cushion covers, table lamps and small decorative accessories in sets of twos for easy placement across the room.

Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

Framed art is a great way to change and upgrade to a contemporary living room design but if you’re not quite ready to invest in art or feel like it might be something you tire of easy, invest in TVs that double up as art frames in modern living room design. This way you can change the look and feel of a living room as you please.

A Green Approach to Budget-friendly Modern Living Rooms

Getting a little bit of the outdoors inside is one of the best ways to update a modern living room design. House plants not only add colour and texture but also a sculptural element to the room depending on their shape and size. While shopping for plants to decorate the living room, keep in mind more than just the interesting leaf and branch patterns and shapes but also its growth and life cycle for strategic placement as it grows.

Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

If you struggle with a green thumb or simply find that large plants don’t fit into your budget, opt for realistic faux plants in pots and planters from retailers like Ikea or opt for natural dried grasses and stems from your local florist xfor decorative purposes.

House Plants & table lamps to add elegance in your contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, spacejoy/ unsplash

Unique ceiling designs for your contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, Inhabit

Stylish Lighting for a Contemporary Living Room

Let’s face it, there are certain elements in living room interior design that cannot be subject to cost-cutting and one of them is lighting. But there are many ways to get your money’s worth and make a style statement. There is no limit to how much one can splurge on living room interior design, furniture, art and objects but without good lighting, our prized possessions will fail to make any impact. But light fixtures can also go beyond the call of duty and take centre stage as accents in their own right. Depending on your style and budget, a contemporary chandelier or ceiling lamp can be the focal point of the room.

It's also important to remember that apart from highlighting objects, light is a powerful tool that can influence our mood, our feelings and even influences our physiology. Instead of filling the room with expensive side tables and assorted décor items, invest in a stylish table and floor lamp that will add layers of “mood lighting” while doubling up as decorative accents.


Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

Blame it on conditioning but for most Indian households, chandeliers and lamps still feel like an unnecessary luxury but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring ceiling lights. While the primary purpose of false ceilings is to conceal a home’s clunky beams and messy wiring, these days they are also used to create a permanent space for all light fixtures or even hold track lights. To the easiest way to elevate modern living room design is to opt for a one-of-a-kind ceiling designs.

Stylish Storage for a Budget-friendly Living Room Ideas

A smart solution to extend your personal style to a living room is by making room for display shelves, niches and glass cabinets that can be accessorised with smart and stylish knick-knacks and decorations. When it comes to a contemporary living room design, open storage is a versatile and budget-friendly addition. Whether it’s a built-in bookshelf or TV unit or glass cabinets and free-standing bookshelves, they offer homeowners a flexibility in styling the modern living room space. Everything from prized possessions like antiques and family heirlooms to photographs, curios, knick-knacks and plants can help set the tone and mood for the room.

Showcase designs for style & storage in your contemporary living room - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, MADS Creations

Because these objects are small and easily movable, they can be switched from time-to-time to update the living room design in avbudget-friendly manner.

Cheap and Chic Cheat Sheet:

In a small living room design, every square inch of space is precious real estate so if you are going to invest in storage, you might as well make the most of it by using it as more than just a showcase. Here, a bookshelf doubles up as a built-in bar but you can just as easily shop for a small free-standing cabinet or console or even a fancy bar trolley and transform into mini entertaining nook with space for all your liquour bottles, glassware and assorted cocktail apparatus.

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