35 Living Room DIYs to Tackle This Weekend

Could your living room's style use a bit of a boost? We've got you covered with 35 project ideas sure to freshen up your favorite hangout in a weekend or less. 

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December 01, 2016

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Helen Norman (produced by Elizabeth Demos)

Photo By: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Photo By: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Photo By: Rachel Whyte

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Marian Parsons, Mustard Seed Interiors

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Marian Parsons

©Zach DeSart

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: David A. Land (Styled by Christina Wressell)

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Jim Bastardo

Photo By: Kim Cornelison Photography Inc.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Corral Clutter With a Tray

Trays are indeed handy-dandy things — equally useful for turning assorted coffee table tchotchkes into a vignette as they are for serving cocktails when guests arrive. Purchase or craft your own decorative tray and use it in the living room to corral coffee table necessities or in the bathroom to stylishly store toiletries. 

Upcycle an Old Calendar

Calendars, especially vintage versions, are often full of beautiful images. A collection of budget-friendly frames and stock white mats make it easy to turn an old calendar into a colorful gallery wall. Our friends at HGTV Magazine share 4 more ways to dress up your home with items you already have on hand.

Stitch Up a Cozy Pet Bed

Make a removable, washable cover for your furbaby’s bed that's oozing with charming, farmhouse style. This simple sewing project will transform a bed your pet loves into one you love as well. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions

(Finally!) Hang Those Draperies

Hanging curtain rods can be a pain! You spend lots of time measuring and marking the brackets’ placement, yet the end result might still be off. We have the solution! This easy, DIY template makes hanging drapery hardware straightforward and stress free

Brush Up Your Bookshelf

FYI: #shelfies are a thing. That's right, people everywhere are styling their bookshelf, then proudly posting photos for the world to see. The key to a well-styled bookshelf is to start with an interesting backdrop, like wallpaper or a kicky paint color, then layer on more color and pattern with assorted books or magazines and mix in a few of your favorite tchotchkes. To take your bookshelf to the next level on the cheap, turn prefab cabinets into a custom built-in

Soften the Stairs

This DIY stair runner not only looks great, it also makes slippery wooden stairs safer by providing a bit of padding and a non-slip surface. Using inexpensive woven table runners, it's a budget-friendly fast fix to boot. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Put Even the Smallest Spaces to Work

Especially for urbanites and apartment dwellers, every square foot counts. Here, designer Brian Patrick Flynn mounted a floating shelf to a corkboard wall to turn this unused space into a functional home office. Get more of Brian's small-space tips

Dress Up the Walls With Wainscoting

Wainscoting is a classic way to add architectural interest to any room. Consisting of horizontal rails and vertical stiles, this relatively easy woodworking project is based on a design found in historic homes and is sure to lend old-home charm to builder-basic new spaces. Learn how to recreate this timeless style with our step-by-step instructions

Focus on the Floors

Dress up worn hardwood, concrete or even vinyl floors with a few coats of primer and durable floor paint. Tape off wide stripes with painter's tape for a playful look. Get more tips for adding style underfoot.

Give an Old Coffee Table New Usefulness

If your wood coffee table is scratched, stained or just plain dated, our step-by-step instructions will show you how to transform it into a cushy tufted ottoman with built-in hidden storage. Add a tray and your new ottoman can also double as a coffee table again. 

Style Your Sips

Even if happy hour isn't your thing, you've probably noticed that home bars and cocktail culture have become the toast of the design world. Really, it's no wonder — cocktails are delicious, plus bar necessities are just so stylish. Short on space? Partake in the trend by whipping up a fold-away pallet bar with our step-by-step instructions. Or, if you're thirsty, wet your whistle with one of our easy cocktail recipes

Turn Wood Scraps Into a Custom Coffee Table

Salvaged wood and architectural remnants are prime candidates to be repurposed as furniture. In the case of this table, sections of an old rope bed and a beadboard door were upcycled into a functional and one-of-a-kind coffee table. Our step-by-step instructions make it easy for you to construct your own.

Add an Accent Wall

Every living room needs a focal point; for most it's the fireplace but even a hearth as lovely as this one can get a style boost when surrounded by a graphic wallpaper. Limiting a bold print to just one wall lets it really shine without feeling overpowering; plus, it's a quick project that keeps the cost down too. Get our tips for hanging wallpaper like a pro

Make Storage a Snap

Ample storage is a must for every home. This rolling cubby was designed to be a multifunctional storage piece for parents, pet owners, crafters or homeowners at every stage of life. The open cubbies make it easy to stash away or grab backpacks, shoes, pet supplies, kids' toys or any other necessities you need to keep at hand in the mudroom, living room, playroom, closet or garage. Learn how to construct your own

Dress Up a Lackluster Lampshade

Vintage drum-style lampshades can be found for a steal at estate and garage sales but they typically show some signs of their age. In less than 30 minutes, give that old shade a trendy new lease on life with just a bit of upholstery trim and glue. Get step-by-step instructions.

Go for a Gallery Wall

A great way to put your memories on display, a gallery wall's asymmetrical installation makes it a DIY project anyone can tackle. Just gather up favorite framed pieces and any other flat, lightweight items that can be hung, like architectural remnants, shells, trays or other serveware. Decide the placement of the largest items first, then fill in with smaller pieces. Get more tips for a picture-perfect gallery wall

Make a Portable Kids' Play Table

Put an old square galvanized tub to work as a handy place to stash kids' toys. This easy project creates mobile storage for building blocks or other toys and includes a built-in play surface on top. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions

New Life for Old Crates

Need more storage? Inexpensive wood crates stacked together and secured with a sturdy, wood frame may be just the ticket. Hit antique stores and flea markets to find the genuine article or purchase new crates at craft stores, then stain and distress them for a timeworn look. Learn how to properly secure them

Choose Multifunctional Furniture

When selecting furniture, look beyond the piece's original purpose. For instance, the coffee table in this sunny living room is actually a vintage map file cabinet while one of the side tables is an old steamer trunk. Both pieces add a boost of character to the space while also providing handy hidden storage. See more of this home furnished on a budget that was featured in HGTV Magazine

Give New Furniture Timeworn Charm

Want to give a plain-Jane or damaged piece of furniture a charming new lease on life? A fresh coat of paint followed by just the right amount of distressing will work like a charm. Learn how to distress furniture like a pro

Frame Fun Finds

Skip mass-produced printed posters and instead get creative when framing items to use as art. This living room, from HGTV Magazine, features an eye-catching portion of a ship's sail that once raced in the America's Cup. 

Give Pets Their Own Space

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn converted a drum-style side table into a cozy hideaway for dogs or cats. Want to make your own? Hit thrift stores to find a side table that's large enough for your pet to be able to stand up and turn around. Remove the doors and add padding and upholstery fabric to the table's interior. Finally, add a cushy pillow for lounging. 

Store Firewood With Style

By removing a door on this built-in, Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines created an easily accessible niche for stacking firewood so it's handy while adding a woodsy, rustic touch to the space.  

These Accents are Sew Easy

Throw pillows are a must for adding just the right amount of color and pattern to your living room — but they don't have to cost a fortune. With basic sewing skills, whip up your own while binge-watching your favorite show. Get our step-by-step instructions

Find Your Happy Hue

Nothing freshens up a room's style like a fresh coat of paint — on the walls, lamps or even the furniture. In this small-but-sunny living room, cheery yellow paint makes the timeworn rattan furniture feel trendy again. See more of this home, featured in HGTV Magazine

Stitch Up a Simple Slipcover

Slipcovers are equally handy for protecting fine fabrics or covering up stained or torn upholstery. You can even use vintage fabrics, like old quilts, to give your slipcover a period-perfect look. Get step-by-step instructions for dressing up a dated footstool.  

Wow With Wood

Repurposed wood walls are popping up everywhere — from formal big-city living rooms to cozy country dens. Kitchen Cousins host John Colaneri put old barn boards to work to give the living room in his new home a rustic, timeworn aesthetic. See more of John's trendy-savvy home, that was featured in HGTV Magazine

Construct a Storage-Rich Trunk

Trunk-style coffee tables are not only stylish, they also provide practical storage for toys, extra throws and pillows, a movie collection and anything that needs to be stored for a busy family. This rustic trunk-style coffee table is an easy build, but the result will have your friends thinking you're a pro woodworker.

Go Crazy for Color

Filling your living room with shades of your favorite hue is a surefire way to create a room you’ll love living in. Blue-and-white is a no-fail color combo; mix in a few sunny splashes of yellow to energize the look. Our friends at HGTV Magazine share more ways to create a colorful living room

Create Furniture From Flea Market Finds

Turn one long wood bench into a pair of space-saving end tables with a designer trick that's a secret no more: wood cleats. Our step-by-step instructions explain how to put this handy designer trick to work in your living room. 

Brighten Up a Brick Fireplace

The pros at HGTV Magazine share the steps you should follow before tackling this weekend project. Investing time in the necessary prepwork and choosing the right paint will turn a dingy and dated hearth into your living room's shining focal point. Learn the fireplace painting dos and don'ts.  

Stylish Storage a Go-Go

Make stashing kids' or pet's toys easy with this budget-friendly fast fix. Just cover a plastic storage bin with rope, then add casters so it can be moved from room to room. Our step-by-step instructions make this project a snap. 

Refinish + Reupholster a Favorite Find

Give an old bench a new lease on life by stripping then refinishing the legs and freshening up the upholstery with new foam and fabric. Freshen up a favorite piece with our step-by-step instructions

DIY a Space-Saving Wine Bar

In just a few steps, you can upcycle an old wood shipping pallet into a custom rack for storing your favorite vino. The clever addition of a wine glass rack makes this space saver a sanity saver too. Construct your own with our step-by-step instructions

Create a Mobile Coffee Table

Old wooden trunks are stowed away in many attics and often end up in yard sales or thrift stores at a great price. Give one an easy update by simply adding furniture casters to make it a charming (and mobile) storage piece for your living room. Learn how with our step-by-step instructions

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