12 swaps everyone should make in their living room, according to an interior designer

12 swaps everyone should make in their living room, according to an interior designer
  • Interior designer Jade Joyner, cofounder of Metal + Petal, shared her best interior-design swaps.

  • To upgrade a living room, she recommended replacing mismatched throws with coordinating blankets.

  • She also suggested occasionally switching up your living room layout to keep things fresh.

Swap out matching throw pillows for fresh patterns and designs.

throw pillows on couch
Give your living room a fun feel with new throw pillows.Andy Dean Photography/Shuttershock

According to Joyner, an easy way to change up your living-room design is to swap out matching pillows that may have come with your sofa for coordinating ones.

"Mix velvet and linens, add in silk, and bring in an animal print to keep the couch fresh," Joyner told Business Insider.

Joyner also recommended collecting throw pillows from your favorite shops to create your own bespoke or custom-made look.

Introduce real plant life into your home.

Snake plant close up
Real plants in your home even help to filter air.Ashley-Belle Burns/Getty Images

Though artificial plants can make your life easier, Joyner recommends swapping out all faux foliage and flowers for real ones to enhance your space and even your life.

"Live plants are key to any good room," Joyner told BI. "They clean the air and can sharpen the focus."

Replace floor lamps with sconces to add interest to a room.

Three patterned crystal sconces emit yellow light in dimly light room
Sconces are a more eye-catching way to bring light to a room.Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images

To give your living room a little more flair, consider changing up your lighting.

"I love a good sconce because it adds such interest to a room," Joyner said. "I use them often in bedrooms with adjustable arms, so you really have task lighting for reading."

Joyner also suggested using scones to add light to a dark hallway or to frame a mirror.

Upgrade your window treatments to something more custom if you have the budget.

Window treatments with white trim and white blinds behind gray seat and pillows
Custom window treatments can immediately update a space.John Keeble/Getty Images

Not only is going the custom route a great way to avoid poor-fitting window coverings that don't control the sunlight as you may wish, but also it tends to look nicer.

"Store-bought drapes are usually pretty thin and not very luxe," Joyner told BI. "Custom drapes upgrade your space immediately."

Joyner also said that with custom window treatments, you can also add puddling and widths together to create a more full appearance.

Exchange old throws with a lush cashmere or linen blanket.

Brown and white throw blanket on brown sofa
Quality throw blankets make a home feel more luxe.Catherine McQueen/Getty Images

Swap out your old throw blankets that don't match your interior aesthetic and invest in something that does.

"Think cashmere or linen," Joyner said. "Spend a little more money on one great throw blanket that works with the room, and then you never have to hide them."

Though your sofa may not be expensive, a quality throw blanket could upgrade the look.

Make a statement by replacing your mismatched lamps with coordinating ones.

Wooden desk and chair with telephone centered on top and two matching lamps in front of lavender and brown patterned wallpaper
Matching lamps can make a space look more cohesive.Mike Harrington/Getty Images

Joyner suggested making a statement by getting lamps that are either oversized or super scaled-down.

"I love a good lamp, and search high and low for the right ones for the right space," Joyner said. "Lately, I have been obsessed with lamps in the kitchen. They could not be more perfect for adding low light to any kitchen."

Make your home more eco-friendly by changing out all of your bulbs to LEDs.

Hands screwing on spiral LED light bulb and another light bulb hanging on duo light fixture
LEDs don't need to be changed as much as regular bulbs.Volodymyr Plysiuk/Shutterstock

According to Joyner, the glow from LEDs is softer and prettier, and much more energy-efficient

"I want my rooms to read clean, not yellow," Joyner told BI. "Plus, they last so much longer."

Start an art collection by swapping out your posters for real art pieces.

Black and white abstract art on wall with black circular decoration to the right of it and gray couch below
Pieces created by local artists can be a great addition.Followtheflow/Shutterstock

"Find up-and-coming local artists that you love and start a collection you can grow over time," Joyner said.

Joyner recommended ordering affordable art prints from places like Juniper Print Shop and Artfully Walls and having them custom framed to make a lovely piece for your walls.

Add fun and fabulous wallpaper to your home in place of plain, painted walls.

Brown wall with center painted over with white paint and white stool in front to the right. Red X and arrow pointing to white painted part of wall
If you want to give your living room a fun feel, avoid plain walls.Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images

"While I do love a good paint color, wallpaper can transform the space," Joyner told BI. "Textured papers specifically can add so much warmth to a space."

Though there are many options to choose from, Joyner recommended adding texture to a space through a print or grasscloth.

Move your layout around each season to keep your space feeling fresh.

Living room with brown two brown sofas and window with view of cityscape surrounding a glass table with a vase on top in front of a white fireplace and large flatscreen tv
Changing the direction of your furniture can update a space.Roger Brooks/Getty Images

It's free to rearrange your living space. For instance, you can move your sofa to face the fireplace in the winter and the windows in summer.

Joyner suggested also suggested angling your furniture and adjusting your sofa and chairs before you have guests.

"I touch every piece of furniture before guests arrive to make the room feel fresh," Joyner said.

Replace machine-made rugs with unique vintage ones.

Gray couch with green throw beside houseplants with white, basic rug on wooden floor and red X and arrow pointing to rug
Custom, vintage rugs can be a great talking point.athima tongloom/Getty Images

To bring more character to your living room, swap any manufactured rugs for something vintage.

"Find a great vintage rug at an estate sale to bring in character and age," Joyner told BI. "I recently found two 10-by-14-foot rugs at an estate sale for $200 each. They aren't high quality, but they have lovely colors and a beautiful design."

Machine-made, manufactured rugs are great, but if you really want to add some character, Joyner said, think about incorporating a hand-knotted rug.

Invest in a marvelous light fixture to replace your old ceiling fan.

Room with green walls, fireplace, and dining table and chairs with crystal chandelier hanging from ceiling
A sophisticated light fixture can add character to a home.Andreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

One way to (literally) brighten a room is with a beautiful ceiling-light fixture.

To do so, Joyner suggested swapping your ceiling fan out in your living room for a marvelous light fixture.

Even if it needs to be ceiling-hugging, Joyner said, just finding something unique or vintage is a great way to add character to a new home.

This story was originally published on April 2, 2022, and most recently updated on May 17, 2024.

Read the original article on Business Insider