Living Room Makeover on a Budget

After the addition of our family room, our living room became a dumping ground for all things extra and unwanted. It was way past time for a living room makeover.

mood board and before image of my living room makeover

Why Did I Do a Living Room Makeover?

I was chatting with a blogging friend and she suggested I join in the fall one room challenge.  What?  Me?  Really?  “Yes!”, she said.  “It’s a great way to network with other decor bloggers, be seen by brands, and when it’s all done you have a completely new room!”  Hmmm…our poor living room could use a makeover…

After thinking it over, for about 2 hot seconds, I told her I would do it!  I love room makeovers, I had done two already in our home (our $100 master bath makeover and our $100 home office makeover) so I knew I could handle this.




What is the ORC you ask?  The One Room Challenge (ORC) is a challenge put together and hosted by Linda from Calling It Home and media partner House Beautiful.  20 feature bloggers and 200 + guest bloggers have 6 weeks to makeover a room of their choice, sharing their progress weekly as the challenge moves along.  And yes, you will be able to get to them all from a link here.

This is a much bigger stage and I have to confess that I am very nervous, but I am pushing forward and putting myself out there, for better or worse.  Please let it be for the better, my fingers are crossed!

Living Room Makeover: The Before

Three years ago we built a 900 square foot room addition.  It is marvelous and that is now where we spend all of our time.  It is where all of the family gatherings happen.

The room addition left our poor living room all but forgotten, ignored, like yesterday’s leftovers.

image of living room before the living room makeover

Every piece of left over furniture made it’s way into this poor room.  Our youngest daughter moved back in at one point with her two kids and the carpet is a mess.

before image of living room

The paint color, Valspar’s Crocodile Tears, is one of my favorite paint colors, but I am going towards a more unifying paint scheme in our home.  And let’s not even talk about the builder grade faux wood trim (some painted white, some not…please don’t judge) and hollow core doors!

This poor little room is long overdue for a facelift!

Living Room Makeover: The Plan

mood board for living room makeover

This is my inspiration for the space.  I plan to use a mix of metals, colors and patterns to create an eclectic living area.

Now let me just stop right here and tell you that without a plan for your space, it can easily go sideways and end up costing way more than you plan.  It could also end up not being exactly what you want.

With any project I do, I set a budget (not saying I always stick to it), I look for inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram, and I set a timeline for when individual things will be done.  Following a timeline is particularly important.  Without it, I would drive my husband crazy.

So back to the plan…

There are some things that I can’t change at this time.

  • The carpet has to stay so I will shampoo the carpet and buy an area rug to tie my whole design together (and to cover up any stains that may not come out)
  • The love seat is a sleeper sofa, the grand littles love sleeping on it when they stay all night, so it is staying.  I can’t disappoint the grand littles!

My list of to dos

  • paint the trim and doors white
  • paint the walls and add an architectural detail to the room
  • fix the carpet at the entry and replace tiles
  • clean the carpet
  • turn an old cedar chest into a cushioned bench
  • create a new media console for under the TV
  • create and purchase new wall art
  • replace vertical blind with new updated plantation style blind
  • source or make new throw pillows
  • refinish side table, and current console table
  • refurbish 2 chairs or reupholster 1 chair
  • purchase an area rug to tie the whole space together
  • pull it all together in a room with way too many openings and doors

That’s my list, it may or may not change as the next 6 weeks go by, depending on how much help I need. The plan is to do this all by myself. I’m up to the challenge.

Here is a sneak peak at what I picked up this week for the room.

wooden pineapple, pillow and dog figurine

I am ready to get this makeover started and to see what everyone else does with their space!

Thank you to our host Linda from Calling It Home and media partner House Beautiful for organizing such a fun event!!

visit guest participants visit featured participants

Living room makeover, One Room Challenge week 1


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  1. Brautifully written and so well planned. I love your mood board!I have a feeling the forgotten room is going to turn into the favorite room…..within about…. six weeks. Can’t wait to follow with you! Looking so forward to seeing more and more!!! Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Thank you sweet friend! If it turns out like I want it to, I may not let the grand littles in there, lol!! I am looking forward to watching your progress too!!

  2. We are both doing our living rooms!! Love the chairs and inspiration for your room!

    1. Hi Ruthie!! I saw that we are both doing our living rooms, I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!!

  3. Love and I think I have a trunk like the one on the mood board. I store my Easter bunnies and mimosa glasses in there1

  4. Susanne, I’m so excited to what you do in here! I love that mood board!

  5. You are going to love this challenge. This is our third time to join in and it’s so awesome how other bloggers support each other! Can’t wait to see what you do with this living room!

  6. I feel exactly like you do going from doing a makeover where you stay under a low budget to a makeover with no budget. I am nervous. I really love your vision for the room and I love using mixed metals. I’m glad you are doing this because I love your design style.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Sherry!! The whole budget thing makes me a little nervous, but I have a cap set 😉

  7. We have a similar sized boring Living room, so I am looking forward to be inspired by your transformation!

    1. Hi Mary! I hope I don’t disappoint!! The room is made worse by multiple openings…ugh! I am banking on this makeover to take care of all of that!!

  8. The room I’m doing for my ORC is also “a forgotten room”! Poor thing has only a couple pieces of furniture and they both are from my old apartment. Looking forward to seeing your transformation!

  9. What an exciting project! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do! I love the little peek of things you’ve found so far!

    1. Thanks Dara!! I hate shopping unless it is for home decor, lol! I can’t wait to see how your space turns out!!

  10. Looking forward to seeing your transformation! I think an area rug will make a big difference.

    1. I think it will too Claire! I am afraid some of the stains won’t come out 🙁 Lucky for me layering spaces is in style!

  11. You’ve totally got this and you have nothing to fear!!!!!!

    1. Thank you Jessica!! I am excited for this makeover and this challenge! I am meeting so many new designer and blogger friends!!

  12. I love your plan to mix metals, textures, and colors. I can’t wait to follow along with your living room update!

    1. Thanks Jenny!!! I always use to play it safe, but I am throwing that all out the window with this one 😉

  13. I think all husbands hate it when our projects become theirs, they sure do like having a beautiful home to relax in though! Cant wait to see how everything unfolds for you.

    1. You are so right Susie!! I am on track with my timeline…fingers crossed that it stays that way! I am impressed with your mad wallpaper removal skills btw!!

  14. I am excited about your choices. I love the sneak peek at the end. That pillow!

    1. Me too Stacy!! My hubby thinks I am a little nuts, but he should be used to it by now, lol!! I buy home decor like most women buy new shoes 😉

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