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Budget ways to decorate a living room in a contemporary style.

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by Alyssa Davis

The following are some ways you can decorate a living room without spending a lot of money, so that the finished result is a clean and contemporary look.

Avoid clutter: 

One of the main characteristics of a contemporary styled room is the streamlined appearance produced by bare furniture surfaces and basic accessories. 

artwork on wall behind sofa
Keep your collection of porcelain figurines tucked away and make sure you have sufficient storage for magazines, games, and other items that tend to pile up in the living room. 
slip covers on large corner sofaAdd slipcovers

If you can’t afford to get new furniture and are stuck with a traditional couch upholstered in a busy floral pattern, a cheap and easy solution is to fit your couch and armchairs with slipcovers.

Go for solid neutral colors that shift the focus to the clean lines and rounded corners of the furniture.



Use contemporary colors

White, cream, taupe, and tan are some popular paint colors for contemporary living room walls. Neutral shades should also be dominant in furniture and floor coverings. A pop of bold color is not uncommon in accents around the room, and you can easily accomplish this with some well-chosen pieces from the thrift store.

Focus on form

When looking for contemporary accessories to decorate the room, pay attention to the lines and shapes of the items, rather than the detailed patterns. For example, tall glass vases with shapely form work better than colorful earthenware with many embellishments. 


Decorate in black and white

A quick and inexpensive way to decorate the living room walls is to frame black and white photography in sleek black frames and arrange them on a wall or on a wall ledge. Whether they are family photos or pictures of architectural designs, they lend a contemporary touch to the room.


oval black and white picture

Sew your own curtains and throw

If you are handy at sewing, you can make your own contemporary looking window treatments with plain white bed sheets. Simply create a large pocket at the top for the rod and hang them over your window. For throw pillows, look for fabric in solid bold colors or with simple geometric designs.

Re-arrange furniture

Pieces of furniture in a contemporary living room do not have to be arranged symmetrically as in traditional settings. Play around with the arrangement, moving the couch out from against the wall and placing chairs at an angle.


striking abstract artCreate a focal point on your wall

A bold statement that creates focus in the room can be made with little expense. Simply purchase a large canvas and a few paint colors at a craft store. Using masking tape, paint clean lines and shapes in different colors to create a one-of-a-kind artwork for your living room. 


Replace lamps:
Old-fashioned lamps are telling of an outdated
room, especially those that have fringe or tassels attached. New
lamps are one of those things that don’t cost too much at the home
furnishing stores but make a significant difference to the look of
the room. Contemporary lamps will have clean, straight lines and
metallic finishes.

Tips on making your own slip





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