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Adding and subtracting makes a difference

Transform a room by simply adding and subtracting elements


By Samantha Nicole Alarilla

You look at your living room and you decide to stop running away from the truth. Yes you think to yourself my living room is in dire need of a makeover. You look through numerous home and lifestyle blogs and magazines and are disheartened; a beautiful total renovation is incredibly expensive, and perhaps it just isn’t going to fit your budget. Do you give up? No, because luckily for you, simply adding and subtracting elements from your living room is going to transform it in ways you couldn’t even imagine.

Here are a few things to add and subtract from your living room to freshen it up and make it look brand new:


  1. Subtract clutter, add storage.

First thing’s first: get rid of all your clutter.  This includes old books and magazines, broken or malfunctioning gadgets, random knick-knacks stowed behind your couch or within the confines of your cabinets. Throw away anything that you haven’t used in the past six months and aren’t likely to use it again. You’ll be surprised at how less bulky and cluttered your living room is going to look.

You might ask what am I going to do with the things that I do need to keep? Make your living room more spacious and add creative and minimalist storage such as shelving underneath your TV stand or coffee table, or perhaps a small bookcase. That way you can store your things stealthily, and keep them from taking up too much space. Now, just because you’re adding storage doesn’t mean you should fill it up to the brim – in which case, you’d need to add more storage. That just defeats the purpose of your de-cluttering. Keep it clean and minimalistic.


  1. Subtract old furniture, add new pieces.

Hang on.  You might be thinking suspiciously.  I thought you said I wouldn’t need to go over my budget? And that’s right!  You don’t need to go over your budget to add even just one new piece to your living room. Oftentimes, the only thing making a living room look dull and boring is an old piece of furniture that’s drawing all your attention. Maybe it’s a run-down coffee table that doesn’t match your color scheme, or the ratty, lint-covered cushions of your couch. Identify at least one or two similar pieces in your living room, and replace only those pieces. Remember, when it comes to renovating any room, you don’t have to start completely from scratch. Not all elements of your living room look unsatisfactory so only refurbish the ones that do.

  1. Subtract drab walls, add art.

Now, this isn’t necessarily subtracting something, as in, taking something away, but you get the idea. Does your living room have drab, plain walls that cause an eyesore? DIY your own accent wall by hanging up tapestries or framed posters and pictures on one wall. Doing this is just as budget-friendly as it is creative, too. Colorful mandala or tie-dye tapestries are cheap and easy to come around. Printing a poster-size of your favorite image, painting, or motivational quote and framing it is easy as well.


  1. Add plants.

You don’t necessarily need to subtract anything from your living room to add plants; that’s how versatile and low-maintenance plants can be. Be it a few small potted succulents atop your coffee table or tall vases of snake plants beside your couch, plants can completely transform your living room into a more calm and serene place. They add an atmosphere of relaxation and freshness to any room. Pick a plant or two for you and marvel at the instant change.

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