Budget Makeover Series: Spruce Up a Living Room on a Budget

Throughout my work in interior design, I’ve noticed a common theme with homeowners. They tend to think that if they don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on furniture, paint, and accessories, there’s no way they can alter the appearance of their home or even one room. I can say, from experience, that’s totally not the case! Putting your living room design ideas into action is 100% possible on any budget.

Sprucing up a room or two is something you can do for under $200 when you get creative with it. Just a few changes to a room’s layout and adding the right accessories can make all the difference between a drab space and one that’s comforting and inviting. If you’re on a budget (and who’s not?) and still want your room to have a different vibe, or feel more put together, here are some things you can do.

The Least Expensive Options

Let’s talk about the least expensive makeover options first. One of my favorite choices for making a room look more comfortable and inviting is to throw in a fun splash of color or pattern by adding pillows or throw blankets. You can do this to brighten your den or living room design or even just to transform a chair or sofa.

Mix neutrals – off-white, white, grays or browns – with bright splashes of color or a bold pattern to see how quickly it changes your space.

You can also add some inexpensive accessories to makeover your room. Check local antique and thrift shops, yard sales, and flea markets for bargain finds. You’ll be surprised at the hidden treasures that can lurk in these places! One of my favorite places for accessories is HomeGoods. It’s FILLED with accessories at extraordinarily reasonable prices.

I also find great pillows at Target and Wayfair. If you have a little more to spend, I’m obsessed with TonicLiving.com. Their pillows are very high quality with a lot of attention to detail (the zippers are everything!) and are overall just GORGEOUS. One of my favorite things about their site is when you click on a pillow, they show you all the pillows that could accompany the one you chose. It makes it super easy.

Another way to stretch your dollar and still get great results is to delve into the Do-It-Yourself world. With all the DIY options online, including inspiration on Pinterest (check out these DIY  light fixtures!) and YouTube tutorials, even if you don’t feel you have a creative bone in your body, you may be surprised at what’s possible. Besides, it’s so fun having a hand at creating something amazing for your home! And when you DIY it, you have the ability to style things exactly the way that fits you, or your family, or space. One of my favorite bloggers to follow for DIY stuff is Mysha from Remington Avenue. I see her tackling projects and I think, “there’s no way I could do that” and then she explains exactly how she does it and I think, “I totally could do that!!”

The Best Options When You Have a Little More to Spare

When you have some extra cash for your upgrades, you can go for some higher-end additions that might cost a little more, like drapery. Curtains are one of those things that can instantly upgrade a space. With drapery, remember, you get what you pay for – and that’s a good thing in this case. And the right drapery is a good investment because when you love it, you can live with it for a long time.

High-quality curtains can block out light when you need them to, stand up to normal household wear and tear, hold their shape when cleaned, and can even save you money on heating and cooling costs by adding extra insulation to your home. When you add in the benefit of making over a room, they’re practically priceless!

Another excellent way to boost a living room’s appearance is by adding an area rug to your space. For a den or family room, a super cozy, warm, fluffy rug is the perfect addition for a warm, inviting feel. Living room and dining room rugs usually need to be more practical, but there are so many shapes, patterns, textures, and colors to choose from to get you just the right look.

Rugs also give you a way to experiment with color without going overboard. If you don’t have the money for a fresh coat of paint, opt for an area rug with a burst of color instead.

Want a little more inspiration? See how my husband and I transformed our teenage son’s bedroom all in one day! Check out the before and after here.

See! It’s easy to make a room feel new with just a few inexpensive tweaks. There’s no reason to spend tons of money redoing every part of a room or dismissing a living room design you love because you don’t think it’s in your budget. Focus on a few things that can upgrade the space and get started on them. You can also see your makeover as a journey doing parts of it as you can over time. Love these ideas? Share them with a friend!

I’d love to hear about your recent room transformations, DIY projects, and any other things you’ve done to give your home a boost – leave me a comment below!

April 29, 2019

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