Change Up The Look Of Furniture Without Spending Money

I’ve learned that no matter what furniture you have, you can dress it up or down.

Maybe you get tired of your furniture but can’t afford to buy more. How do you change the look so that you’re better satisfied with it?

By layering.

I’ll use my chair as an example.

Of course I like the look of quilts and use them all the time on my furniture. I’d say this is a very casual look.

But the chair is neutral and could be dressed up in a variety of ways to suit your taste. You could add a fancy throw across the back of the chair for instance. And take the chair from casual to elegant.

This is more a boho look with the jewel tone pillow. But it could be a traditional or modern look. The velvet turquoise pillow is simple but adds a bit of color to a neutral understated chair.

This was more my country farmhouse look. With the small quilt and the green and white pillow, it is quite casual and could even evoke the cottage look.

I didn’t realize that I’d used this quilt on the back of the chair so much! But when I go back in my photo archives, that seems to be the case.

This look is basically the same as the one above. It just has a different pillow.

Here is the chair with a sparkly orange boho pillow. This was moving my furniture from farmhouse to boho. Easily done with pillows.

And this is how the chair looks today.

You can have the same furniture and achieve a variety of looks just by adding a quilt or a blanket or a throw. Layer it over the back and tuck it in or have it trailing down the side.

Put the same over the back of the chair and tuck it in so that you see it both vertically and horizontally.

You could even add something like doilies or fabric napkins to the arms of the chair if you wanted.

Go completely neutral with a pillow the same color as the chair.

Buy pillow covers with zippers so you can change the look without buying a whole new pillow. This way you can also wash the pillow if it gets dirty.

There are so many ways you can change the look of a chair or couch just by adding something to it. You don’t need to go out and buy all new furniture when you can change things up so easily. Plus if there’s a hole in the upholstery, you can easily cover it up with something.

Try to look at your furniture in a new light. It may be the same old piece of furniture, but with a little creativity and layering you can really make it look different to achieve the look you want.

20 Comments

  1. We definitely have to become more creative with what we have as we age and our incomes become more limited. I also have to learn that I need to stop trying to lift so much and that I can’t move heavy furniture the way I used to. Making small changes like you suggested can help fulfill our decorating urges. xo Laura

  2. I absolutely love all the different ideas !
    My favorite piece of furniture is the chair I love the off white / or beige color and the brass or goldl accents it makes the room .
    Keep up the good work .
    Chipped a tooth on Saturday headed to the dentist tomorrow at 11 am ,I get nausea just thinking about it I had rather have surgery than go to a dentist !
    I am a big chicken !
    It is a big deal for me ,rather have a Colonoscopy ! Ha ha !

  3. Such a lovely post…no matter what you added..it seemed to be perfect..even with the black and white fur decor, too….lol It is so true. I have a pack of hounds and must always cover my furniture to keep it fresher and clean. I agree…pillows are so enhancing. Your home is great..Thanks for sharing… Shopping the other rooms and/or closets..can really brighten up our days.. :0)

  4. Great ideas and so much fun to be creative with what one has around the house. Not only is each “change out” inexpensive but each change makes such a difference in the feel of the room. I love seeing the different textures together. I have just pulled a basket filled with blankets, pillows, and other textiles down from the top of the closet and am going to see what small changes (with big impact) that I can make to a few of my neutrally colored chairs in my den.

    Thank you for so many ideas. Enjoy your evening.

  5. Brenda it never fails to amaze me at the beauty and creativity you manage to infuse in a small space. Thank you for continuing to share your inventiveness with us all, and for reminding us that we don’t need to buy, buy, buy to create beauty in our own lives.

  6. When I saw Ivy lying in the chair I tho’t you might be going to say that another way to change things up is to get a cat or dog to lounge on your chair or couch! Silly me! It does add a sense of homeyness to see a pet sleeping on a piece of furniture, though, don’t you think? My pets have always been allowed on the furniture and my last dog actually had a chair all his own.

    As for the change you made that is my favorite it is the last photo showing the little quilt on the seat of the chair with the large, neutral pillow. Just enough color to be interesting but neutral enough to be easy on the eye.

    Thanks for the ideas, Brenda. Hope your week is going well.

  7. I love the different ways you decorate your apartment. Would you happen to remember what the color of your curtains are and where you got them? Always love seeing the pictures of Ivy and Charlie. Enjoy your blog very much

  8. Great ideas as always, Brenda! Speaking of using pillow covers, I have an easy trick. Shopping in a discount store, I look for fabric placements. I usually pay about $1.50 for each. The trick is to make sure it has 2 pieces of fabric. Open one short end with a seam ripper or small scissors. Insert your pillow and sew up the end. It sure makes it easy to launder and switch out any time you need a little change. Now that I am getting older,I am looking for these kinds of shortcuts. I like using wreaths hanging and on flat surfaces and switching out decorative picks seasonally. Enjoy your day,

  9. I love color. I also agree to having neutral color furniture and walls. Then you can add color with pillows, throws and other items. And you can change your decor a lot.

    I do like the country cottage farmhouse look the best.

  10. I love the new look of your place. I also love to change things up in my own house, and I “shop” my house all the time and move paintings, furniture and more from one room to the other.

    Have a great week.

  11. The “tricks” and tips you use and give are what the pros use to easily change up the look of a room without spending a lot of money. It took me years to learn that before the internet was invented. Thank goodness for the internet and blogs like yours, Brenda. If you have a good stash of items to swap out regularly, you don’t need to spend a penny to change up the look of a room. Pillow covers are fabulous accessories that can change the look seasonally in every room in the house. You can always change out colors on pillows and throws, and even area rugs, but replacing furniture every year or two – not gonna happen in most of our worlds. That’s why it’s important to buy neutral colors that will go with all kinds of color schemes. It’s easier and a lot cheaper to change the colors on your walls and accessories than to buy a whole new room full of furniture. Switching out curtains, pillow colors and artwork on a seasonal basis is what I do while keeping my sofa and chairs and all my primary case goods. I’ll move in (or out) small side tables and bring out different lamps and accessories and 5 x 7 area rugs (layered over a 9 x 12 area rug in black and cream) depending on the season. Who wants to be bored with the look of their own living space? None of us!

  12. I saw a decorating show recently in which the homeowner had a big boring brown couch and felt stuck with it. It drained the life out of the room. A decorator told her that he could fix that problem. He put four large cream colored throw pillows on the couch and it instantly solved the her dilemma.
    So glad to see a home decor post today.

    1. One of the things. Love about your blog is that you are REAL! You understand that not all of us live in McMansions and have unlimited budgets! Grateful, as always, for your affordable creativity!

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