You can spruce up your outdated living room just by following a few simple tips. It can be done for very little money, sometimes for no money at all. The first thing to do when you want to give your living room a new look is to de-clutter. This is a term made popular by all of the real estate shows. You'll see realtors bring in a stager or decorator to help sell a home, and the first thing they do is get rid of the clutter. This means ridding the room of magazines or books lying around, extra accessories, or even too much art. Perhaps you can move your wall hangings around, group similar pieces together, or remove the one piece that doesn't match the rest of the decor.
When it comes to accessories, the rule is to group in odd numbers. Three accessories is the minimum on a side table. Any more than three and you'll want it to be items that are the same color or are a collection of the same thing (millefiori paperweights, or all black vases). Simplify and streamline the look of your room - it doesn't cost a dime and can make a world of difference.
The least expensive re-do is to buy or recover pillows. Change your pillows and you change the room completely. Pillow covers are easy to sew, fabric for a pillow is extremely inexpensive, and you can sew it by hand in less than an hour with an easy stitch (if you aren't handy with a machine or don't own one). Go for a pillow cover that has a designer feel, like a Missoni textile pattern or bright geometric design.
Go to your local thrift store or visit weekend garage sales and look for a pair of matching lamps. This will alter the look of your room for very little money. Or, change out your lamps for sconces. Lighting and home stores have sales on sconces constantly, which is a great place to find a new lighting look. Changing the lighting, sprucing up your pillows and de-cluttering can make the world of difference to your room.