Friday, November 25, 2011

Living Room & Dining Room Makeover Revealed!

This Living Room and Dining Room took a bit longer than the goal of two weeks (more like 6 weeks!!) but mismatched schedules, priorities and getting into the holidays stretched it out a bit. The important thing is, the project is finished, we met the budget and these newlyweds are happy! (See the before blog here)



The room had no clear focus before so for the first thing I worked on was creating a couple of different focal points around the space. I left the wall color as it was since it had already been recently painted and it was a nice neutral color - a great way to save some money right from the start. I chose the longest wall to be an accent wall and painted horizontal stripes across it. Every other stripe is the original wall color. For the other stripes I chose a color just slightly darker with a little more orange in it to add intensity. Across the top I painted a smaller stripe of bright orange to create a nice border. Since the stripes on the wall added such a bold presence, I simplified the rest of the room to keep it from being cluttered. Sometimes rooms can be "over designed."

The records on the wall create a neat focal point on the smaller wall and make for an interesting entrance since its the first thing you see coming in the front door - it was also very inexpensive to do! They were found at a thrift store for less than a quarter a piece.



The sunburst was a fun and inexpensive DIY project along the way.....I will share the instructions with you next week. The total cost for this was about $10. Can't beat that!

 Other new additions to the living room were new drapes, a new tv console, a new little chair painted bright orange (the same orange as the stripe across the top), new throw pillows, new frames, and a new lamp. Not a whole lot of new stuff, really. Mainly I just rearranged furniture and accessories which changed the look without spending a lot of money. 

LIVING ROOM cost breakdown:
~New tv console $90 from IKEA. Ikea is great for a budget and this small, streamlined console was just what the room needed.The tv was wall mounted with a kit the homeowners already had.
~New Drapes - $80 + $35 for the grommets we added for a total of $130. Curtains can always eat up a budget very quickly which is why most people skip over buying these. They are such an important part of a room and add privacy, character and warmth and instantly make a space feel more finished. For a window this large, we needed 4 panels. I consider $130 for 4 panels an incredible deal. Even if you're a handy sewer, to buy that much fabric for that price would be tough to do!
~Black frames - $80 total. The frames are from Kohl's. I went with black and white Ansel Adams prints to keep the wall simple. The large frames with thick white matting also help keep the striped wall toned down. I didn't want to get too crazy! The best part about this is the prints were taken from an old calendar so there was no money spent for the prints!
~Polka dot throw pillows $20. 2 lumbar inserts and 1 yard of fabric was all it took to make these little guys.We even had enough fabric left over to recover a little bolster pillow.
~Orange chair - free! The chair was already a piece the homeowners had out in the garage. It was primed and painted orange (from the orange paint I attempted on my kitchen looks much better as an accent!) so there was no new cost here - just a little sweat equity.
~Table Lamp $45. The lamp came from Target and is a nice neutral greyish brown color that works nicely with the curtains.
~Striped throw pillows $50 total. The Ralph Lauren pillows on the sofa came from TJ Maxx and were a great buy. They have really plump goose-down inserts that can always be recovered in the future.
~Starburst Mirror DIY project $10. Stay tuned next week for more details on this!

Total for Living Room: $410.




 The dining room was super inexpensive to get this upbeat, cheery look. We removed the hutch from the base cabinet because it just felt a little large in the room. It went into storage to use for another day. In its place we added open shelving which helped continue the flow of the horizontal stripes, and also allowed the color of bottles to pop out from the walls. Against the wood backing of the hutch, the bottles barely showed up. New artwork and paint for the table and chairs, and two new curtain panels in just a slightly darker color than the two already there were added to help ground the window with the rest of the room.

DINING ROOM cost breakdown:
~Shelves $35 from Lowes. Got these babies on clearance! They had them in lots of different lengths and colors and I love that the hardware is hidden - It helps to keep the look more contemporary. They were also very easy to install.

~New Drapes - $20 for both panels! Another great buy from TJ Maxx. They have a really nice sheen to them as well and just help frame the original curtains. Before, the previous drapes blended in with the wall color. Now they stand out better. I admit these drapes aren't of the best quality and I probably wouldn't use them by themselves. However, I just added them to add a little "oomph" to the drapes that were already there. For our purposes they're great!
~Watercolor Painting - free! The painting was done by yours truly and I gave it to the homeowners as a gift.
~Paint $35 for tables and chairs. Not too shabby!

Total for Living Room: $90.

Total for the Project = $500!!! 

I hope this gives you some good inspiration for redoing a room or two in your own home. You can find nice things at local stores - it doesn't have to be designer! Maybe you can invest in one or two designer pieces and then go cheap on everything else. Trust me, no one can ever tell. This is coming from a girl who's majority of furnishings come from thrift stores! And the few expensive pieces I do have, only other designers notice them :)

Rearranging furniture can really change a lot. Drapes and new throw pillows work wonders.

Have a great weekend!



  1. Definitely interested in the sunburst! Would also love to paint our oak table... Just dont know what color

  2. Great transformation on a very small budget in both rooms! Love the striped wall and framed calender artwork.

    Congratulations on winning the polaroid art at Carol's blog! You are on a winning streak, you lucky girl! :)

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!


  3. I know! I need to buy a lottery ticket.....I'm never this lucky! :)

  4. Wow! That's an amazing transformation! May I ask how you attached the records to the wall? So cute!