04/15/2014 12:09 pm ET Updated Apr 18, 2014

50 Ways To Update Your Living Room For $50 Or Less (PHOTOS)

We often use our budgets as an excuse for not making our homes reflect what makes us happiest. But short of an HGTV makeover show, a "good" room doesn't happen overnight -- and a stylish space isn't always made up of a bunch of expensive items. Here's a list of easy ideas and updates that cost less than $50 a piece. Some are even free.

- Pick up a few cheap IKEA frames for your photos

- Put magazines in magazine holders

- Organize with a tray

- Actually display pretty things on your coffee table

- Organize your bookshelves

- Try a gallery arrangement

- Add candles

- Roll out an inexpensive rug (IKEA and HomeGoods are your best bet)

- Bring in a bouquet

- Rearrange your furniture

- Cover up an old sofa with a nice throw

- Paint a coffee table

- Change your curtains

- Hang curtains higher to create the illusion of a higher ceiling

- Paint a feature wall

- Turn cheap blinds into "custom" shades

- Re-cover old pillows

- Reupholster a chair seat

- Add a ceiling medallion (Home Depot and Lowe's have lightweight, affordable versions)

- Or, paint the medallions in a contrasting color and hang them on the wall:

- Contain clutter in baskets

- Swap out a heavy blanket for a new, lighter throw

- Hang art ON your bookcase

- Paint the backing on your bookcase

- Stencil part of the floor

- Makeover an old table with neutral fabric and nailhead trim, like Bliss@Home did:

- Swap out light switch and outlet covers

- Hang up shadowbox-style shelves, like these from Etsy seller The807

- Display small items on a ledge-style shelf

- Arrange your books by color

- Decorate the top of your bookcases with a collection

- Update an inexpensive mirror with rope

- Bring in a houseplant or two

- Get a new side table

- Organize odds and ends in a pretty box

- Try a new table lamp

- Switch out a lampshade

- Make a statement with bookends

- Hang up a few terrarium-style vases

- Install a candle sconce or two

- Arrange art around your television

- Fill in your (unused) fireplace with wood, candles or other small items

- Use a garden stool as an occasional table

- Hang plates on the wall

- Use colorful fabric as a tablecloth

- Mount a map on canvas and use it as art

- Turn burlap (or canvas dropcloths) into drapes

- Upgrade cheap mirrors with paint

- Paint an end table

- DIY a bar cart



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