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HomeHome ImprovementLiving and Dining Room Projects That Won't Break the Bank

Living and Dining Room Projects That Won’t Break the Bank

Planning home renovation projects can be fun and exciting, but most of the bigger projects can get expensive. However, even a small DIY project can make a big change to your home and has the potential to improve your property value. If you are itching to give your living room or dining room a new look, in this article, we have put together some of our favorite projects that won’t break the bank.

Get Rid of the Carpet

If your living or dining room has carpet, it is a good idea to consider removing it and replacing it with hardwood floors or even vinyl flooring that looks like wood. Carpets trap dirt, dust, allergens, and particulates. They also can absorb moisture, which leads to an odor. By removing your carpet, you will be doing your sinuses a favor. Removing the carpets can make the living or dining room feel bigger, and other flooring is much easier to keep clean than carpets.

You can always get area rugs to add character to your flooring and draw the eye, making the floor stand out. Area rugs are also great for an open-concept home, so you can group furniture together to designate what is considered your living room and dining room. If the room is small, consider getting light-colored area rugs because they can help make it feel a little bit bigger.

Add Some Color

Whether we are talking about the living or dining room, one quick and easy way to breathe new life into either room is to add a pop of color to it. Depending on the existing decor of the room, you may want to add some bright-colored trim to the room or even add a little bit of dark color to make the room feel more serious or give it a dramatic look. This can be a fun and affordable way to give any room in your home a new look and feel, and it does not take long to do.

Add Stripes to Make a Small Room Bigger

If your living room or dining room is small but you want it to feel bigger, another great way to do that is to add stripes to the walls. To make the room seem taller, you can add some vertical stripes. To make the room seem wider, add some horizontal stripes to the walls. Take time to find colors that will work with the rest of the color scheme in the room.

Add Molding

Do you hang much on your walls, or are they mostly bare, aside from some things hung here and there? If there is not much hanging on your walls, you can still make them into works of art on your own. You can easily install some molding around your baseboards, ceiling, or chair rails to create a visually striking room. You do not need to get a gaudy Victorian molding either; there are many other molding styles so that you can find something that will fit into your style.

Update Window Trimmings

Adding some new window trimmings can transform the room in unexpected ways. You can build your own new trimmings to update window wills and add unique molding to it on a budget; it is a surprisingly simple DIY project.

Create Built In Structures

If you love carpentry, you can create new pieces that look like they were literally built into the walls, like bookshelves. The best way to create the look is to extend them from the floor to the ceiling. For a “built in” bookshelf, having it span the entire wall will make it look built in and more expensive and imposing. However, if you have a fireplace in your living room, you could build the bookcase around the fireplace to frame it and make it stand out even more. Having large, “built in” shelves in the dining room will work well, too; you can use them to display your fine china, pottery, or similar items.

Install Faux Stone or Brick

There is no denying the natural beauty of stone and brick, but adding them to your home is not cheap. That is where faux stone and brick come in. In both the living and dining rooms, you can use faux stone to create an accent wall to draw the eye or create wainscoting on the lower half of the walls. If you have a fireplace, you can use it to create or replace a fireplace surround. In the dining room, you can select a faux stone color that complements the wood of your dining table, so it all looks like it goes together and like it was always there.

Make Your Ceilings Seem Higher

Making your ceilings taller is not a cheap or easy thing to do, but you can create the illusion that the ceiling is taller than it is. If your formal dining room does not feel as large and grand as you would like it to, all you need to do is adjust your window treatments. Changing your window treatments is a commonly overlooked way to transform a living or dining room. The most budget-friendly way to do this is to add fabric to your existing curtains. You can add this fabric to the top, bottom, or even middle of your existing curtains. You want to move your curtain rod to the ceiling and extend your curtains down to the floor. Even though the windows themselves are not that big, having the curtains hang like that made the room feel taller.


The living room tends to collect clutter, so a quick and simple project to improve your living room is to declutter it. Do you need to have all of your knick-knacks out on the shelves? Would removing some of them add to the current look of the room? You can also reduce the number of plants in the room or things hanging on the walls. This can make the room seem bigger. Dining rooms typically do not collect as much clutter, but if yours tends to be a catch-all space, then it is important to declutter it, too.

Get Rid of Something Old or Ugly

Is there something in your living or dining room that makes you cringe when you walk into the room, or that is so old it came with the house? It might be time to change or remove it. Whether it is replacing your light fixtures, repainting the room, replacing old molding, or even repainting a built in structure, many times, it can be easily updated or replaced something that is outdated or just simply ugly in your living or dining room without breaking the bank.

Light Up the Room

The lighting in a room can make a big difference in its look and feel. Updating your light fixtures with some new lights or getting some thinner curtains so that natural light can get into the room a little more easily can make a big difference to your living or dining room. If you like different levels of lighting for different parts of the day or activities, it is a good idea to consider either installing dimmer switches or getting smart lightbulbs that allow you to adjust the brightness of the lights, which can be perfect for mood lighting.

Give the Walls a Shine

There are some fun, lustrous wallpaper designs available these days that can give walls a little bit of a shine. This can add a little bit of dimension to the room since the walls have a little shine to them, giving the light something to bounce off of.

Add a Beadboard Ceiling

If you want to give your ceiling a new look, a great way to do that is with beadboard panels. These can be installed on the existing ceiling, so they are a quick and easy project that can go in the living or dining room without breaking the bank. The finished project can make a significant impact on your home, making it a great investment for a project.

Find the Perfect Statement Pieces

Finding a few key statement pieces to include in your living and dining rooms can be a great way to breathe some new life into the room. In the dining room, a great statement piece could be hanging an attention-grabbing chandelier over the center of the table or even making the table itself the imposing statement piece. A fireplace wall, beautiful bookcases, or even an area rug could be a good statement piece in the living room.

Author – Auz Burger is a freelance writer and an expert in faux stone and brick veneer and home DIY projects. She has a BA from Washington State University and has been writing and editing professionally for over a decade.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal, tax or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. TurtleVerse does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.



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