How to design your living room on a budget

How to design your living room on a budget
PHOTO: Unsplash

Finding ways to maximise space in your living room can be tough. And as we spend more time at home, with our partners and families, the living room is the centrepiece for in-home entertainment, relaxation and family bonding.

However, you won't be able to fully enjoy the living room if it is cramped, messy and just an eyesore.

With a bit of planning and effort for your living room design and organisation, you can also achieve the living room of your dreams.

Even with newer BTOs with lesser space, we have tips to help you make the most out of your living room area without breaking the bank.

Tips to maximise your space

Plan the layout carefully

Planning is half the battle won when you want to design your living room. Even if you're revamping your space, planning is vital; simply moving your sofa and tables around won't be effective in squeezing out the best version of your living room.

For new homeowners, never buy furniture before you physically view your unit. Our imagination can be a wonderful thing but dimensions and measurements are important as well.

You can try Floor Planner (free demo) to help create a floor plan that can be more accurate in gauging the way your furniture would fit. Purchasing furniture that won't fit is one mistake new homeowners do that kill their budget.

Magic mirrors

Mirrors are a go-to for interior designers to expand smaller homes and create a spacious atmosphere. Multiple mirrors give off the illusion of a bigger room, welcome additions for homeowners who dislike cramped spaces.

Of course, limit yourself to a few mirrors and avoid going overboard.

Bigger isn't always better

If you foresee space constraints in your living room, you can opt to design your living room with smaller sized furniture. Opt for a small 2 seater sofa rather than an L shaped one and stools over chairs which would be perfect when you have guests over.

Ditch that coffee table for a side table which just functions as well. Coffee tables usually end up under-utilised and take up a lot of space.

Try modular storage furniture

Modular storage is becoming more popular and it is simple to see why: it can be easily arranged and transport of such furniture is more convenient (should you move to another abode).

Some pseudo-minimalists also swear by modular furniture as well. You basically only purchase the components you need and if you require more capacity, you can buy additional parts.

For example, modular closets are great at saving space as you can customise its shape to fit your bedroom.

For living rooms, modular sofas are a great idea for young parents with growing families. You can store away different sections of the sofa when you need the space and slot them in once your young ones grow up and take up more space.

Homely theme ideas

Before you aimlessly trawl through Pinterest for ideas, you can start off with broad concepts or themes that will streamline your research.

Feature wall

Display your character using a feature wall in your living room. A feature wall is used to bring life to empty walls and dispel any monotonous atmosphere.

Plus, using your walls for decor can help save more space than you think. A simple start could be photo frames with pictures that reflect your artistic preferences or even family photos.

One idea you can implement for your brick wall that is wallet-friendly is using wallpaper to create a feature wall. One common wallpaper is a brick wallpaper that introduces a rustic atmosphere into your living room.

Another cost-saving idea would be to create a storage wall that doubles up as a feature wall. In between cupboards of your storage wall, you can put in racks or display areas for ornament pieces.


It is important to also make your living room an intimate space because after all, you and your family members would spend the most time in it.

Textures can create an intimate atmosphere to a living room that otherwise could look aesthetically pleasing but essentially lifeless.

If you're confused, textures should vary in a room to create intimacy. One simple example is including a rug underneath your smooth glass coffee table.

Carpets help in creating a balanced feel to your living room as they contrast with glistening mirrors and glass ornaments. We recommend taking a look at some value for money carpets from FortyTwo.

You could even go a step further and vary the texture of your floor. Choose tiles with textures or gradients that contrast with your walls to create a homely atmosphere. Smooth flooring and shiny ornaments all around could create a corporate/ commercial ambience.


The lighting in your living room can vary based on your preferences. It's also important to take note of the amount of natural light your living room receives throughout the day.

Make your living room more spacious with bright ceiling lamps that sufficiently illuminate your room. Some ceiling lamps can be installed to help accentuate ornaments or focal points of your living room like your feature wall.

However, if you prefer a cosy and intimate living room, you can plan to set up more floor lamps which could make your living room a bit more dim. Especially if you use your living room as a place to wind down or relax.


Be it minimalist, rustic, vintage or industrial, there are many themes you can choose from to help tie in the whole living room design together.

Planning around a theme helps to streamline your furniture purchasing decisions and design elements. This not only saves time but possibly costs in the long run as well.

Your desired theme is really based on your taste and there is no wrong one to choose. Of course, you can implement the tips we suggested in this article to help value add to your chosen theme.

This article was first published in Shopback.

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