Sometimes, the most difficult part of creating a cozy, cohesive space lies in accessorizing. Living rooms, especially, need that little added touch of personalization to tie them together. But after maxing out your budget on the remodel, purchasing a roomful of expensive accent pieces may not be in the cards. Luckily, there are tons of inexpensive DIY projects you can craft that look anything but chintzy.
1. Apothecary Treasures
Once used to hold a variety of eclectic herbs and spices in apothecary shops of old, today’s apothecary jars come in a delightful assortment of shapes, both with and without lids, that makes decorating with odds and ends an attractive and viable option. Fill them with sand, shells and candles, small gourds, colorful marbles or even candy pieces to make fun and functional decor that’s both eye-pleasing and affordable.
2. Teacup Succulents
Small succulents planted in vintage teacups make adorable bookshelf decor. Whether you have built-ins, a Murphy door or just a wall filled with open shelving, small, green succulents not only help purify the air, they make gorgeous accents for anyone who loves the look of natural decor. And if you’re short on colorful teacups, stop by nearly any thrift shop or local estate sale to stock up.
3. Map Decor
Maps can be used to cover just about anything you can dream up — lampshades, dresser drawers, wall canvas, oversized letters or cardboard boxes. And once completed, they add international flair to your living room. Most projects simply require the item that’s being covered, the map, a sharp pair of scissors, a bottle of decoupage medium and a brush. Few projects are easier than using an assortment of interesting maps to decorate all the boring corners of any room.
4. River Rock Coasters
Whether you need a hot mat for the kitchen countertop or a coaster for the coffee table, mats made from river rock are attractive and look high-end. They trap heat and moisture and keep it away from delicate countertops and flooring while bringing an element of the outside in. You can also use river rock as an affordable and attractive alternative to vase filler, back splashes and shower flooring.
5. Framed Leaf Prints
Colorful, dried leaves pressed inside backless photo frames make classic wall art. Simply collect, press and dry leaves from a variety of trees to make a collection of interesting shapes and colors and arrange them in a grouping with lots of white space surrounding them.
6. Painted Rugs
Need a rug to tie your living room grouping together but having trouble affording that oriental version you saw in the window of your favorite design shop? A painted floor cloth might be the answer. Keep it simple by sticking to easy geometric designs such as chevrons or concentric squares that can be easily taped or sketched into place. Mother Earth News publishes a perfect tutorial on how to paint your own floor cloth without breaking your budget.
Loving Your Space
Regardless of how stark your newly designed living room may be at the onset, once you begin filling it with your own lovingly crafted DIY treasures, it will quickly become cozy. Just remember to design pieces that fit with your overall theme to help create a cohesive feel. And don’t give in to the temptation to overshop at your local estate sales and thrift stores. This only gives way to clutter. Have a firm idea in mind of what you want to create before you go shopping, and buy only what you need for that project. Otherwise, you may find yourself with an entire room, shed or garage filled with scrap lumber, old picture frames and rolls of vintage wallpaper. DIY decorating is a fun and affordable way to fill a home with love, but there’s a fine line between crafty and cluttered. Take care not to cross it.