7 Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Family Room

7 Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Family Room

Family rooms are a centerpiece of our homes.

They are where we spend time with family and friends, relax after a long day, entertain the kids and enjoy late night movies.

7 Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Family Room

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All in all, Family rooms get a lot of use!

Believe it or not, if you're thinking about updating your own space, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg.

There are simple and inexpensive ways to completely transform your space without remodeling, painting, or buying new furniture. 

Here are 7 ways to change your space in as little as one day: 

1. Temporary Wallpaper

Average Cost: $30 - $50 per roll

Wallpaper has made it's comeback!

If you have nightmares of hours spent steaming and scraping to remove wallpaper in the past, don't be afraid, temporary wallpaper is here.

Temporary wallpaper can be easily applied and easily removed.

When using in your family room, it can make a great temporary accent wall, behind bookshelves, above a fireplace, or could even be used on all walls of the room to make a statement. 

Picking a wallpaper will some texture or pattern can instantly change the feel of your space.

There are brick, shiplap, geometric, tropical patterns - just about any design you desire. 

Temporary wallpaper can be used on flat, smooth surfaces.

That includes furniture, stair risers, bookcases, kitchen islands, or ceilings. 

To apply temporary wallpaper to a smooth surface, make sure it is clean and dry as dust or grease could make it not adhere as well to the wall or surface.

Follow instructions for the type of temporary wallpaper you select, smooth as you apply, and cut off excess with a sharp razor

2. Window Treatments, Curtains and Curtain Rods

Average Cost: $45 - $250 per window

New curtains can bring a fresh, updated look any room.

With a wide variety of fabrics, textures, colors and styles available, changing your curtains is one of the easiest ways to make a big statement.

The best part about curtains is that they are so simple to change and can be very inexpensive which makes them the perfect, low commitment update! 

If you have existing curtain rods that you like but want to make a quick update, spraying them with a new finish can be an easy and cost-effective way to improve the look.

If you don't have curtains or curtain rods, you might want to consider adding them.

Curtains can soften and add balance the overall look of a room. 

The curtain rods themselves can be more than just functional and set the stage for the look of the curtains you select.

To make the ceilings look higher, we recommend installing the curtain rods closer to the ceiling, or even hang them from the ceiling themselves.

For many people, the length of the curtains they purchase will dictate the height where they install the curtain rod.

For instance, if you have 8' (96") tall ceilings you could purchase 84" long curtains or 95" curtains, depending on your preferred height for the curtain rods.

If the curtains you choose only come in 84" or 106", you can always opt for the longer option and sew them to any length you prefer.  

Along with updating curtains and curtain rods, if you have dirty, dingy, or outdated blinds, it might be worth it to give them a facelift. 

It can be surprisingly easy!

The most cost-effective options are often horizontal vinyl blinds, but new cellular, silhouette, or roman shades can be a nice addition to the space and come in a variety of different styles to fit your needs. 

3. Rugs

Average Cost: $70 - $350

Rugs are a great way to tie a seating area together.

They can add color, texture and style while also adding comfort and warmth.

Rugs aren't only for hard floors, they are also great for covering carpet that may have seen a lot of traffic, is stained or if the room needs more definition for the furniture layout.

Especially with the popularity of open concept living areas, adding a rug can make a large space feel more cozy. 

Rugs should be large enough that all the seating in a group has at least the front legs sitting 8 or more inches in and any ottomans or coffee tables are centrally located within the rug itself, and the overall grouping. 

4. Pillows and Pillow Covers  

Average Cost: $30 - $65

Changing your existing throw pillow covers or adding completely new pillows in varying shapes and styles could be the perfect way to pump up the appeal of your living room.

Adding different textures in your throw pillows adds dimension and makes even the most boring seating area transform into a contemporary masterpiece.

A pop of color in your pillows can add drama and tie in colors from other pieces of home decor within the room. 

Changing the covers on your existing throw pillows is a relatively inexpensive way to update the look because it reuses the existing internal pillow.

If the internal pillows are too worn out but you find covers you love, don't worry- you can always buy new pillow inserts

In my opinion, odd numbers are most visually appealing when making groupings.

I also like some varying size and texture to add interest.

Since most couches come with only two decorative pillows and don't come with multiple size cushions for decoration, adding a few additional throw pillows can come in to complete the look. 

5. Lamp Shades

Average Cost: $15 - $40

Lighting, or lack thereof, is often a topic of conversation when remodeling family rooms.

As you may have noticed, most builders do not include overhead lighting in living and family rooms, which means most of us have incorporated many different types of lamps into our family room decor to illuminate the space.

If you bought the lamp 10 or more years ago, you might want to take a look at the style of the shade. Those lamp shades may be something you don't even realize are dating your space! 

Updating an older lamp shade to a more simple, contemporary shape will offer the space a marked change without much impact on your wallet. 

A few measurements and you're good to go. It's one of the simplest changes you can make!

6. Artwork, Picture Frames and Mirrors  

Average Cost: $30 - $300

Take a look around your family room, what kind of art work and pictures do you see? 

Many people spend a significant amount of time selecting artwork and are attached to it.

If you love your art, that's great, but maybe the frame needs an update.

Sometimes it can be as simple as spray painting the existing frame, other times it may mean taking it to get it reframed.

If you don't love your art anymore, sell or donate it and move on to something more "you".

If you're not sure where to start, I highly recommend Minted

There are endless options to fall in love with in any style you could imagine, all for amazing prices!

If you have a collection of family photos around, it might be a good idea to coordinate the frames.

Buying a set of frames that match is an easy way to give the room a more cohesive and modern look.

Overall, the frame shouldn't detract from the picture it is framing. When the frame is the same as others in a space, it is easier focus on the picture itself. 

My favorite addition to any room of the house is always mirrors. Decorative mirrors add dimension, light, a little glam, and make the space look bigger.

Decorating with mirrors can be really simple.

In general, I use mirrors much like I use art, the only difference being that you need to consider what will be reflected in the mirror.

Since the mirror will be a second image of whatever it is reflecting, I often like to put them where they will reflect light and other accent pieces I have used in a space. 

7. Furniture Covers  

Average Cost: $30 - $75

If your furniture is looking tired but new furniture isn't in the budget, slipcovers could be your new best friends! 

Adding a furniture cover to your chairs, recliners, loveseat and sofa can revitalize the look of your family room, add new texture and style. 

While slipcovers might not be the perfect solution for everyone, they can be a great temporary option for those not ready to invest in new furniture.

They are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply as they just stretch over the furniture. 

It should be mentioned that the slipcover will probably need to be tucked in to look neat after sitting, but that is generally not a big time commitment. 


If it's time to recreate your family room, I hope these inexpensive and simple tips could help give your space its' second wind without needing to paint a wall or shell out thousands for new furniture.

Make the most of all the time you save and reinvest in getting cozy on the couch to enjoy your next Netflix marathon! 

Have you given any of these a try or do you have a question about how to give new life to your family room?

Tell us about it below!