Add new light. When your living room appears dark and dreary, new light can really brighten up your space. Add table lamps or a floor lamp for additional lighting. If you wish to take action more long term, consider adding recessed light into the living room ceiling.
The living room is really as comfortable as a vintage shoe and as shabby. Don't accept "make do" because the budget doesn't say "makeover." Reinvent your dated salon with ingenious swipes of color, astonishing curated collections, a few new traffic patterns and an alteration of upholstery cloth that appears more ambitious than it actually is.
Add a molding to your room, which can only help lift the ceiling. If nothing of your dark furniture pieces are tall, car paint the molding dark to attract the attention with the color upward.