A Complete Living Room Redesign on a Budget

When I wrote this post on finding your design style in 5 easy steps a few months ago, I was trying to be helpful. A lot of people have trouble putting what they like into words when it comes to home design, so I thought that explaining the different major design styles and elements of each would assist you faithful readers in honing in on what you really liked. One such reader, a longtime friend and one of my biggest supporters, did just that. The problem? After reading the blog post, Lindsay discovered that her design style was Scandinavian with a hint of rustic thrown in… which wasn’t reflected in her home at all.

It’s the same story for many 20 or 30 something adults, who may or may not have recently bought a home or started a family. They have been busy with college and jump-starting careers and paying back student loans and funding weddings and maybe even facing the prospect of paying for child care or living off of only one partner’s income again… and one day they look around and realize they are surrounded by hand me down furniture and decor that doesn’t really reflect their style at all. It’s a good thing to start caring about how your home looks and feels, but what happens when you start caring but don’t really have the budget to do anything about it?

Do you wait until years down the road when you can finally afford to completely revamp your home interior, meanwhile being miserable in a less than stellar home environment? Hopefully not. Do you max out credit cards and spend money you know you shouldn’t be spending to get the look you want now? Probably not a good idea either. But if you’ve read this post you know how I feel about living in a space that you love. Life is too short not to feel happy with your own home. So while you may not be able to spend thousands of dollars in one fell swoop to get the home of your dreams, there are easy and affordable ways to make your home start working for you now.

My first step to help Lindsay was to ask her what she still really liked in her home. Her first answer was nothing; then she grudgingly admitted that she did like the natural seagrass rug and painted armoire in her living room. But the rest of the furniture and decor had too much color, was too heavy and contemporary, and just didn’t exude the light and airy feeling that she yearned for. So we came up with a game plan: I would create design boards for her spaces that reflected her new style, using only extremely affordable pieces (which ended up being exclusively from Ikea because hello, budget friendly), and she would work on slowly selling and replacing her old pieces as she felt comfortable.




I started with her living room design board. In keeping with the minimalist yet warm feel that embodies Scandinavian style, I chose furniture in white and light wood tones, and went with a neutral gray sofa that wouldn’t be difficult to keep clean with her two little ones and her dog. I kept the accessories pretty clean and simple as well, with stylish white lamps, textural baskets, and some plants to bring life into the space. Splashes of mint green and emerald were brought in with throw pillows, but overall the room stayed very calm and neutral. On the walls, I replaced her collage of photos with a white framed grid that looked less busy and cluttered, and a simple round mirror was placed between the windows. To complete the look, breezy sheer curtains replaced the heavier ones from before. The best part? To redo almost her entire room in a style that she loved would cost her a grand total of only $1,388 (before tax). I know.

The Nagele

I would say that spending under $1500 to completely transform your space into something you love, even if the furniture is not the best quality and will probably only get you through until you’re ready to spend more money down the road, is so much better than suffering through several more years of hating your space.

She has slowly begun to take steps to transform this room, and I look forward to sharing pictures of the finished product (when will that be Lindsay?!), as well as the design boards for her other rooms in progress, soon!

Interested in any of the pieces in Lindsay’s living room redesign? Click on the links below for purchase:

sofa / cube storage bench / wicker chair / coffee table / side table / desk / desk chair / desk lamp / picture frames / round mirror / cube baskets

Interested in having me create a design board for you? Click on the services tab on my site, and contact to get in touch!