Living Room Budget

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September 5, 2016 by biblionna

Can you get a stylish living room without breaking the bank? Let’s look at the real-world costs of what’s in my living room.

  • Sofa: $400, Ikea As-In section discount from $1,000. Model has since been discontinued and yes, this was the deal of my life, but it can happen. And there are many, many affordable sofas.
  • Chairs: $60. The orange one is Ikea, and has been discontinued. The wicker one was thrifted for $10.
  • Coffee table: $50. It’s nothing special but it does the job.
  • Chinese trunk/TV stand: $300. I mean, if you count the plane ticket to China, I guess it is more like $2,000 but you can find similar antique Chinoiserie for less than that so I’m going with the sale price.
  • Orange bookcase: Now on sale for $140
  • Bookcase/console table/whatever you want to call it: $100.
  • Rug: Free, from my mom.
  • Art and accessories: Flower painting: $50, Blondie poster: $24 for poster and frame, thrifted frames: $5, my own art: free, inherited art: free, teal ceramic bowl: gift from friend, various knick-knacks range from Target to souvenirs from travels, books are priceless and anyway, if you just want books for stacking (I mean, I would never, but not everyone is a book nerd like me) then just go to Goodwill and pick up the really cheap ones.

This room really didn’t have much room for side tables and extra lighting. I used these el cheapo Marius stools from Ikea ($10) for holding my coffee and I did finally buy a $50 pouf from Target. But even adding those in I spent a total of $1,200 to completely furnish this room.

When I first got into interior design (meaning I read all the mags we had at the bookstore where I worked, which was awesome) around 2007, I feel like there wasn’t nearly as much furniture for sale that was stylish yet budget-conscious. Now we have great options from Target, World Market, Ikea, Overstock etc.

Emily Henderson has been doing some amazing round-ups and budget-friendly makeovers and design plans lately. It shows how far you can stretch your design dollar. But beyond the big box stores make design more affordable, I encourage you to look around your own community. I’m so lucky to live in a college town. The artsy, hippie vibe is alive and well here, and I can often score great deals on unique art pieces (nice furniture is a little harder to come by since it gets snapped up so quickly).

While there are definitely some things I need/want to upgrade in my living room (SOFA, side tables), I’m pretty content with my super cheap room.



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Abi - librarian, artist, interior design padawan, nerd (obviously). Let's boldly go.

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