10 Living Room Refresh Ideas You Can’t Overlook in 2023

The new year is the perfect time to breathe new life into your living rooms, great rooms, family rooms and dens. Days are starting to lengthen, but we still have months until we can enjoy the long hours of summer twilight. While temperatures may warm into the afternoon, sunset’s chill quickly drives us inside. These are the months that we seek out the comforts of these spaces—and realize that we might be due for a living room refresh. If this is you, Coburn’s is here to help with a few living room makeover ideas to try on for size.

1. Update Form to Function

When was the last time you moved a piece of furniture in your living room? You might even have a piece of furniture that you continually shift back and forth because it doesn’t work anywhere. Now may be a good time to reassess the layout of the room versus how you’ve come to use the space.

  • Do you have good flow? Real-life traffic patterns to, from and throughout the room may differ from what you initially had in mind when you placed your furniture. Pathways should clearly signal how to move within the space with ease.
  • Is the space balanced? Are your furnishings arranged so that the room has a cohesive feel, or are all the larger pieces clustered or lined up to leave smaller pieces floating like odds and ends?
  • Can you do the things you want to do in the space? Do your furnishings allow you to have a conversation with guests, watch a movie or game, enjoy a snack or glass of wine, spread out a simple project or lounge when you’re sick?

2. Refresh Your Color Palette

You may love the basic color palette that you have, but you might also like the idea of tweaking it a bit. One of the easiest ways of doing that is to work with your accent colors—shifting light accents to darker tones, for example, or adding pops of color throughout the room. Area rugs, pillows and throws, artwork, books and even painted furniture are easy ways to brighten up or cool down a palette. If you’re more adventurous, consider a different color altogether or mural for a wall or alcove.

3. Replace Worn Out Details

Even with the best care, textiles have a limited lifespan. A living room refresh is a good time to assess the condition of upholstery, throws, pillows, curtains, rugs, carpets and even lamp shades. Children, pets, guests, everyday use and even insects can all leave their mark. The same goes for more solid furniture. Many imperfections and scratches may just need a touchup and some polish, but furniture that is broken or no longer stable probably merits a replacement or repair.

Related: Shop New Accent Furniture

4. Transform Your Aesthetic 

Styles change significantly over time. So much so that, after only a few years, you may need a complete living room update. This doesn’t mean getting rid of treasured quality antiques or classic vintage pieces that you love. Instead, give them their due in a setting that confirms they are stylish pieces in a 21st-century living space. Consider replacing or updating features and furnishings that detract from the aesthetic style you want—lighting and lampshades, for example, curtains and drapes, carpeting or kitschy artwork.

5. Repaint Walls and Trim 

If you’re looking for a bigger change, you just might want to consider repainting your living room walls, going darker, lighter or completely different. Palettes tend to fall into categories of warm, cool and neutral, and that’s the vibe your finished result will give. Even repainting in the same shade can really make a difference by clearing away the evidence of everyday wear and tear.

When you’re deciding on a color, don’t forget trim, features like mantles or built-in shelving and ceiling surfaces. Ceiling features like exposed beams, wood, tray ceilings and vaulted ceilings can give vertical interest and completely change the feel of a room. In fact, painting is an opportune time to add trim to areas that feel plain to you and could benefit from a more luxurious feel. Depending on your choices, you may also want to reevaluate any painted furniture.

6. Boost Utilization with New Cabinetry or Storage Pieces.

Clutter can destroy an aesthetic. However, built-in cabinetry, book shelves, alcoves, consoles and glass-door cabinets can be a double-duty solution. They provide ample places to hold electronics as well as collectibles or other items you want to display or use in the living space. They also contribute to the beauty, quality, charm and value of your home. With a myriad of options in styles, finishes and types of cabinetry available, storage can help make the absolute most of any space.

7. Transition into Adjoining Rooms

You can actually expand rooms if you use color and furnishings to extend the feel of a living room into neighboring rooms or spaces. A classic way of doing this is to keep flooring continuous—wood or wood-look flooring that runs throughout a home’s living spaces, for example. Other ways to extend the feel of a room include ceilings and lighting, color palettes and accents, the style of furnishings and even accessories as simple as plants. A particularly powerful choice can be moldings and millwork like baseboards, crown moldings or paneled moldings.

8. Add Some Sizzle to the Fireplace

The beauty of flames in a fireplace can soothe the soul. Many of us, however, simply don’t have the time to put in the effort to dealing with clean up and maintenance. However, built-in gas logs let you enjoy the flame with or without heat — and without the messy maintenance. They can also fill the fireplace box with a beautiful arrangement of logs that will last forever. If the fireplace has been a challenge, now may be a good time for a facelift for the hearth, mantle and surrounding area.

9. Get a Green Glow Up

Plants can make a space breathe and feel alive in the most calming way. Whether you enjoy a dramatic ornamental like a monstera or a subtle ceramic tray of plump succulents, the effect is more than the sum of color and texture. Just be sure to choose your pots and plants carefully. Each plant needs the right type of pot and exposure to light to thrive, yet you also want its composition to complement your room’s style and décor.

10. Add Some Mirror Magic

The addition of a mirror can make a room feel more spacious. Place it near a light source or vice versa, and you can increase the amount of reflected light in a space exponentially. A larger mirror can easily serve as a focal point, and depending on what it captures, it can even become an important transition piece to reflect what’s outside a window, for example, or in an adjoining room. The main differences between mirrors are the size of the mirror and the visual weight or value of the frame—a small mirror with a wide frame, for example, versus a large mirror with a narrow frame. Find the size and style that offers the right aesthetic for your room and its other furnishings.

Get Ready for the New Year with Coburn’s

If you’re ready to learn more about a living room refresh for your home, schedule a consultation with one of our showroom consultants at your nearest Coburn’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom. We can help you with everything from the little extras that make a space special to a major living room makeover.