8 IKEA hacks and ideas for a quick living room update

living room update ideas

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update. 

It’s a new season and you’re looking for inspiration and ideas to update your IKEA living room. You’re not up for a complete makeover but want that bit of change for a breath of fresh air.

That’s what this post is all about.

A simple change can make a huge difference. And, it need not be expensive to give your living room a new style. 

Let’s look at some quick IKEA hacks and easy living room ideas to spiff up your space.

#1 Give your old sofa new love

The most eye-catching piece of living room furniture is the sofa. It is most likely the first thing you see when you walk into the room. 

If your sofa is looking tired, updating it will make your guests ask, “Did you do something to your chair?” Looks the same but different.

One way to do that is to add detailing.

i) Like tufting

Before …

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

And after … suddenly, it has the mid-century vibe.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

Tufting tutorial here

ii) Or new legs

Adding a set of new legs is probably the easiest update you can make on your IKEA sofa. There are plenty of stores that sell furniture legs that fit IKEA sofas. Featured below is the ESTELLE from Pretty Pegs.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.
iii) Even, a new slipcover

Totally change the color scheme of your couch. It immediately perks up the room.

From dark and serious hues to …

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

Light and cozy. Just the space for relaxation.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.

See the complete sofa makeover

And of course, don’t forget to pick up a few new decor items like cushion covers to match your spanking new sofa slipcover. Add a few on trend accessories, art frames, snazzy pillows, plants and you’ll immediately uplift the look of your space.

#2 Hack your rug

If you have a plain rug, give it a pattern to add another layer of visual interest. Here are two ways you can do this:

i) Use a Sharpie for a Beni Ouarain-ish look
DIY a Beni Ouarain rug look alike

Crystal took a Sharpie to her ADUM rug and drew lines across. Best thing is, they don’t have to be perfectly straight. How easy is that. See the tutorial. (ADUM is discontinued, consider the STOENSE instead).

ii) Paint a flatwoven rug

Yes it’s possible to paint your rug. Flatwoven rugs like the LOHALS ($89.99 for a 5’x7′) are pretty affordable. With some patience and a steady hand, you can transform it into an eye-catching rug.

paint your rug
iii) Layer on rugs

Get layers of texture to create a cozy ambience. Here’s a guide on Apartment Therapy on how to nail the layered rug look.

layered rug look

Credit: Studio McGee

To recreate the look in the photo above, how about a KOLDBY hide with a HELLESTED jute rug?

#3 Update your coffee table

Now let’s turn to your coffee table. Pinterest has hundreds of IKEA coffee table transformations, most notably the VITTSJÖ nesting tables spray painted. That’s definitely an easy one to do.

But let’s do more than that.

i) Add a natural element to up the style

If you’re using a basic LACK coffee table, upgrade it into rustic farmhouse style coffee table with a thick wood slab.

IKEA hacks and ideas to give your living room a fresh update.
ii) Make it a conversation piece

This LACK side table takes a sharp departure from the original, thanks to stencils and its hollow body (which allows for the planter). See the tutorial.

stencilled LACK side table

Related: 16 ways to use the LACK side table all around the house

#4 Challenge your wall

If you have a large span of wall in your living room, dressing it up will go a long way towards freshening up your space.

A gallery wall is awesome but can we do more? Definitely.

i) Not shiplap, wood paneling

Raymund used the IKEA TUNDRA laminate flooring on the walls, with such cozy results. See more here.

IKEA TUNDRA laminated flooring on walls
ii) A green wall

Terra create a “green wall” from FEKJA artificial plant squares.

iii) DIY wainscoting

Get Rosandra’s trick for adding boiserie or wainscoting to her walls, without the high cost. See it here.

DIY wainscoting IKEA hack
iv) Hang up large wall art 

The most basic but effective wall treatment. Frame up artworks that you love and display proudly. Go as large as you can for impact. Or make this modular wall decor.

v) Wallpaper for the win

Adhesive wallpaper is one of the best things ever. They are relatively easier to install than the old paper and paste version. And they look just as good. Again, tons to choose from.

#5 Declutter with small storage

Tidying is the unmistakable route to a “put together” look. But what do you do with all the small items like the many remote controls, chargers, books and reading glasses?

Enter small storage.

i) Make a storage ottoman

Claire made this from a KNAGGLIG crate and old jeans. It keeps all her magazines and knick knacks. See more.

storage ottoman
ii) Get a large tray to corral everything

A KOMPLEMENT pull out tray for the PAX wardrobe works as a super large tray to keep things in one place and organized.

iii) Keep all papers in one spot

Make a cute book or magazine stand like this:

book bin DIY

Credit: Caroline Burke via Hunker

You’ll need to IKEA BULLIG box, 12″ hairpin legs, plywood as dividers and some nuts and bolts. See the tutorial here.

#6 Relook the media situation

It’s no surprise TV entertainment centers are one of the most popular IKEA Hacks here. Electronics can ruin the look of your well-crafted modern living room. Here’s what to do:

1. Make note of the electronic components you have — TV, gaming devices, speakers — and all their peripherals. Sketch out the media storage plan and where everything goes.

2. Search out IKEA furniture eg. BESTA TV units, the BILLY bookcase, HEMNES bookshelf or LACK shelves that match your decor style.

3. Use the IKEA pieces as they are or hack them the way you like. Here are lots of ideas to get you started.    

#7 Illumination is key

Reconsider your lighting fixtures. Are they glaring and flat? Is the chandelier looking dated? Or perhaps you need to bring in a few different sources of light — for instance, table lamps, task lighting and accent lights.  

No wiring? Use the battery operated puck light hack to light up your lamps.

#8 Shine with new curtains

New curtains are like a new dress. They can make you go wow! Shop the textiles department of IKEA for new interesting fabric. Or add details to the ones you have and make them look interesting all over again. 

Stencil your plain curtains to add visual interest to a room. If you have flat curtains, consider pinch pleating. A line of trim down the length of the curtain looks fabulous too.

What are your ideas for a quick IKEA living room update?

And that’s my IKEA hacks and ideas for a living room update. What about you? What is your one go-to tip you can share with our readers?

Hope you’re inspired to give your living room a jiffy refresh this weekend.