I’m sure some wallets are empty and some credit cards are smoking in the wake of Christmas, so I am going to share with you how I put together a thrifty, yet elegant living room.
I’ve always loved the finer things. I don’t like things that look cheap. I also have never been super rich (monetarily speaking) and I’m a thrifty sort of gal. I think even if I had boatloads of money, I would still buy “junk” and fix it up to make it just what I wanted it to be. Well, maybe I would pay someone else to do the fixing…I don’t know. Excuse me while I have a little conversation with myself about it.
Well, I don’t have to worry about it, because I don’t have boatloads of money.
Back to my budget living room.
I want to achieve a custom high-end look in my home, without the custom high-end price. It can be done if you have a few key personality traits.
Creativity Willingness to learn new skills and put them into practice Patience And an eye to see past the obvious
I really believe that with those traits, a sewing machine and a paint brush, you can transform any room to look great.
Here’s the budget breakdown…
The Curtains are made from Waverly Sunbrella fabric bought at $10/yard x 12 yards + $3/each for twin sheets used for lining x 4 + $35 total for 3 clearance curtain rods…
Total = $167.00
The rug, curio, piano, desk and sofa were all free. I dug the rug out of my grandparent’s attic, the desk belonged to my great grandfather, I inherited the curio from my great, great aunt, my aunt Susan gave me the sofa and the 100 year old piano was a yard sale leftover that was given to us for free. The only expense to make these pieces work in the room was $26 for drop cloths and $10 for piping to slipcover the sofa.
Total = $36.00
The quilt on the sofa was $5.00 at Goodwill, two large white pillows were $35 total from TJ Maxx and the center pillow fabric was free plus $5.00 for the feather insert.
Total = $45.00
The French chairs were purchased for $50/piece out of a gentleman’s storage unit. (I gave him my business card at a yard sale and he gave me first pick of some things he wanted to get rid of.) It was an additional $33 for drop cloths and trim to reupholster them.
Total for the pair = $133.00
The pillows were made out of a $20 antique German grain sack, less that $1 of clearance ribbon and $7.00/each for feather pillow inserts.
Total for two pillows = $35
The ottoman was $5.00 at a yard sale and the chenille spread was $6.00 at a flea market. It’s slipcovered in about $6.00 of brushed white cotton twill from Walmart.
Total = $17.00
The bird cage was free from the Swanky Junque Swap, the Restoration Hardware candlesticks were $2 at a yard sale and the silver tumblers were free out of the attic, filled with boxwood topiaries I made for $10.
Total = $12.00
The trumeau mirror was $20 at a yard sale, the chandeliers were from Lowes for $64 for the pair, the bead board door was $2 at a yard sale, the “and” sign was $5.00 from Hobby Lobby and the framed family pictures were free from the attic. The basket was $16 at an antique store and it’s filled with free pillows made with scrap fabrics and heirloom blankets.
Total = $107
Side tables = $10 for the pair
Piano bench = $5.00
All of the ironstone in the room = about $80 collected over time
Grand Total for the entire room, floor to ceiling = $758.00
If you’re reading this and you feel discouraged, because you’re having thoughts like, “Well, what if my family doesn’t give me really awesome things for free?” or “My luck isn’t that good at yard sales.” I know how you feel. When I see awesome makeovers for nothing, I feel that way, too, but your time will come. Be persistent and patient and you’ll build a room you love. It does take time and it does take a bit of luck, but stick with it and stay true to your style and vision.