Interior designer shares what to replace in your living room + why

Replace matching cushions with new patterns and designs.

Give your living room a fun feel with new throw pillows.

Andy Dean Photography/Shuttershock

According to Joyner, an easy way to change up your living room design is to replace any matching pillows that might come with your couch with coordinating pillows.

“Mix velvet and linen, add silk, and bring in animal print to keep the sofa looking cool,” Joyner told Insider.

Joyner also recommended collecting throw pillows from your favorite stores to create your own bespoke or tailored look.

Introduce real plant life into your home.

Snake plant close up

Real plants in your home even help filter the air.

Ashley-Belle Burns/Getty Images

While artificial plants can make your life easier, Joyner recommends replacing all fake foliage and flowers with real ones to enhance your space and even your life.

“Live plants are the key to any good room,” Joyner told Insider. “They clear the air and can sharpen the focus.”

Replace floor lamps with sconces to add interest to a room.

Three patterned crystal sconces emit yellow light in a dimly lit room

Sconces are a more eye-catching way to bring light into a room.

Alexander Zubkov/Getty Images

To give a little more cachet to your living room, consider changing your lighting.

“I love a good sconce because it adds such interest to a room,” Joyner said. “I often use these in bedrooms with adjustable arms, so you really have task lighting for reading.”

Joyner also suggested using scones to light up a dark hallway or to frame a mirror.

Upgrade your window treatments to something more personalized if you have the budget.

Window treatments with white trim and white blinds behind gray seat and pillows

Custom window treatments can immediately update a space.

John Keeble/Getty Images

Not only is the custom route a great way to avoid ill-fitting window coverings that don’t control sunlight the way you want, but it also tends to look better.

“Store-bought curtains are usually quite sheer and not very luxurious,” Joyner told Insider. “Custom curtains immediately enhance your space.”

Joyner also said that with custom window treatments, you can also add puddles and widths together to create a fuller look.

Swap out your old throws for a lush cashmere or linen blanket.

Brown and white blanket on brown sofa

Quality blankets make a home more luxurious.

Catherine McQueen/Getty Images

Swap out your old blankets that don’t match your interior aesthetic and invest in something that does.

“Think cashmere or linen,” Joyner told Insider. “Spend a little extra money on a great blanket that suits the room, and you’ll never have to hide them again.”

While your sofa may not be expensive, a quality cover could improve its appearance.

Make a statement by replacing your mismatched lamps with coordinating ones.

Wooden desk and chair with telephone centered on top and two matching lamps in front of lavender and brown patterned wallpaper

Matching lamps can make a space more cohesive.

Mike Harrington/Getty Images

Joyner suggested making a statement by getting oversized or super downsized lamps.

“I like a good lamp and I search high and low for the right ones for the right space,” Joyner told Insider. “Lately I’ve been obsessed with lamps in the kitchen. They couldn’t be more perfect for adding dim light to any kitchen.”

Make your home greener by replacing all your light bulbs with LEDs.

Hands screwing a spiral LED bulb and another bulb hanging from a duo light fixture

LEDs don’t need to be changed as much as regular bulbs.

Volodymyr Plysiuk/Shutterstock

According to Joyner, the glow of LEDs is softer and prettier, and much more energy efficient.

“I want my rooms to be clean, not yellow,” Joyner told Insider. “Plus, they last a lot longer.”

Start an art collection by trading in your posters for real works of art.

Black and white abstract art on the wall with a black circular decoration to its right and a gray sofa below

Pieces created by local artists can be a great addition.


“Find up-and-coming local artists that you like and create a collection that you can grow over time,” Joyner told Insider.

Joyner recommended ordering affordable art prints from places like Juniper Printing and Clever walls and have them custom framed to make a beautiful piece for your walls.

Add fun and fabulous wallpaper to your home in place of plain painted walls.

Brown wall with the center covered in white paint and a white stool in front to the right.  Red X and arrow pointing to a white painted part of the wall

If you want to give a fun touch to your living room, avoid plain walls.

Alexander Zubkov/Getty Images

“While I love a good paint color, wallpaper can transform a space,” Joyner told Insider. “Textured papers can add so much warmth to a space.”

While there are plenty of options to choose from, Joyner recommended adding texture to a space through a print or grasscloth.

Move your layout with each season to keep your space cool.

Living room with two brown settees and a window with a view of the cityscape surrounding a glass table with a vase on top in front of a white fireplace and a large flat screen TV

Changing the direction of your furniture can update a space.

Roger Brooks/Getty Images

It is free to rearrange your living space. For example, you can move your sofa facing the fireplace in the winter and the windows in the summer.

Joyner also suggested tilting your furniture and adjusting your couch and chairs before you have guests over.

“I touch each piece of furniture before guests arrive to give the room a fresh feel,” Joyner said.

Replace machine-made rugs with unique vintage rugs.

Gray sofa with green throw next to indoor plants with white base rug on wooden floor and red X and arrow pointing to rug

Custom vintage rugs can be a great talking point.

athima tongloom/Getty Images

To bring more character to your living room, replace any manufactured rugs with something vintage.

“Find a great vintage rug at an estate sale to bring character and age,” Joyner told Insider. “I recently found two 10ft by 14ft rugs at an estate sale for $200 each. They’re not high quality, but they have nice colors and a nice design.”

Machine-made rugs are great, but if you really want to add character, Joyner said, consider incorporating a hand-knotted rug.

Invest in a wonderful light fixture to replace your old ceiling fan.

Room with green walls, fireplace and dining table and chairs with crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling

A sophisticated light fixture can add character to a home.

Andreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

One way to (literally) light up a room is with a beautiful ceiling light.

To do this, Joyner suggested replacing your ceiling fan in your living room with a wonderful light fixture.

Even if it has to be on the ceiling, Joyner said, just finding something unique or vintage is a great way to add character to a new home.

Betty K. Park