How to Update Your Living Room In Time for the Holidays

Produced by Architectural Digest with The Home Depot.
Make your living room a place to gather with these simple fixes to ring in the season.

Between shopping for the perfect holiday gift and making appearances at every social engagement of the season, the last thing you have the time—or the budget—for is a top-to-bottom living room overhaul before guests come a wassailing. But with a few quick fixes, you can completely reinvent your space, turning your living room into a cozy gathering spot for friends and family that lasts into the new year and beyond. From making over key focal points to adding cheer, here are eight simple ways to update your living room in time for the holidays.

Rearrange your furniture.

Most living rooms tend to be centered around a television, but if you want your space to be a place for social interaction, rethink the configuration of your furnishings. If you have two sofas arranged in an L-shape, pull one off the wall so that it’s facing the other to encourage conversation, or cluster matching side tables in place of a cocktail table to help ease movement during parties or gatherings.

Slipcover your sofa.

Looking for a big change that won’t cost you? Slipcover your sofa for a fresh look that’s as versatile as your imagination. Choose a neutral or solid color as a base to layer colorful throw pillows, or opt for a vibrant pattern to create an unexpected focal point that will surprise guests.

Remove clutter by adding storage.

Create a clean look by hiding magazines and papers behind closed doors, whether that means a bookshelf outfitted with lidded canvas boxes, a storage ottoman, or a furniture piece with drawers. The simplified backdrop will allow colorful accessories appropriate for the season to take center stage.

Layer on a rug.

A cozy living room includes a variety of textural accents, but a rug is the most impactful. Make a statement—and adjust to cooler temperatures—with a fuzzy flokati or Beni Ourain layered over natural woven fibers like hemp or jute.

Refresh your accessories.

Ring in the holidays with festive accents that can be changed out with minimal fuss. Cozy throws and pillows, scented candles, and seasonal fruits like pomegranates, cranberries, and figs can bring warmth into your living room without breaking the bank.

Add a bar cart.

Turn your living room into party central by adding a bar cart in an unused corner. Display seasonal spirits, colorful glassware, and festive cocktail napkins and stirrers alongside metallic accents for a celebratory element that is also functional.

Add natural greenery.

Evoke the season with greenery that brings the outdoors in. Evergreen boughs are a classic décor element that brightens any mantel—you can also display them on the edges of a bar cart or media console—while amaryllis or lily bulbs strike a minimalist note on side tables or cocktail tables. Or fill a display bowl with berries to infuse a space with color.

Play up your bookshelves.

Using a festive fabric as a backdrop can transform the look of bare shelving, but if that’s too much of an impact, make a subtle statement by paring down shelves to display clean stacks of books with pops of bright accessories. Be sure to vary the size, shape, and form of objects to create a gallery-like appearance that encourages conversation and discovery.