A few quick and cheap living room makeover projects can totally change the look of your room and lift your spirits besides. Take a weekend to achieve a completely new ambience, or take on some of the ideas one at a time for an evolving project that may end up surprising even you. Most of these ideas require minimal do-it-yourself skills. A few would go a lot faster and probably be more fun if you invited a couple of friends over to help.
Painting the living room is a big project in terms of time and effort, but is actually quite inexpensive. Two or three gallons of paint will do for even a large living room that requires two coats. Add some accent colours, brushes, rollers and paint trays, and you're set to go for under £65. To make this idea really effective, choose colours other than off-white. Look at some of the colours you have used in your decorating and find one intense colour that you really like. Use it on one wall. Select a complementary colour for the other walls.
If you have a wood floor, clean and polish it to a high shine. Have your carpet professionally cleaned or use an off-the-shelf product to do it yourself. Add an area rug to define the conversation area. If you don't have a conversation area, make one by arranging a sofa, a coffee table and one or two chairs in a space small enough so that you can easily hear someone sitting anywhere in the conversation area speaking in a normal voice. Try to coordinate the colours of your walls, rug, curtains and upholstery with each other. Buy a colour wheel at an art supply store to help you figure out what colours work well together.
Make or buy new curtains for your windows or add a new curtain rod or pole to completely change the look of the room. Curtains can be as simple as two rectangles of fabric attached to a curtain pole with snap-on rings. If you want to be a little more creative, line the curtains with a contrasting colour and add curtain tie-backs. When you pull the curtains back, the lining will show, adding interest to the window treatments.
Buy an assemble-it-yourself five-shelf bookcase at a big box store. Place it in a spot that is easy to see but not likely to be used for anything else. Fill it with books, framed photographs or kids' artwork, live plants (make sure there's enough light), or an aquarium; the list is endless and you can always mix and match. You can easily rearrange the items every now and again, or change what's in the bookcase altogether depending on your mood or the season.