Doing a living room makeover. It was at the beginning of March 2022 that I decided I’d finally had enough of the living room and hated how it was decorated.
We’ve almost been in the house for 2 years now, and much of the furniture we had in it was furniture we took from family members who didn’t want it anymore, and used as ‘it’ll do for now’ furniture until we found something better. Both moving out of our parent’s homes we didn’t really have furniture of our own and we were just taking what we could for free.
But as I’ve figured out what my decor style was, there wasn’t much in the living room that was that style. In fact, the only piece of furniture that I kept was the sofa, everything else was sold on to loving homes. I found that the living room was a place I was spending less and less time in because I didn’t love the space as much as my newly made-over bedroom. None of the furniture in the living room really went together, there wasn’t a theme to it, and there wasn’t any sort of harmony to it. Basically, it wasn’t really a room that I wanted to spend time in or felt like ‘me’. It was definitely time for a living room makeover. The only thing I loved about it was the wall colour, which is Red 01 from Lick and the bookshelves, which both stayed the same.
Once I decided that I was doing a living room makeover I threw my heart and soul into it.
I wanted to go for a Sherlock Holmes vibe, which really helped with choosing what decor I wanted and what furniture to get.
The most important thing for me is that I wanted to do it as cheaply as possible. I really don’t like buying furniture as it can get super expensive, but I also didn’t want to use IKEA furniture. There’s nothing wrong with IKEA furniture, and it’s great if you’re on a budget, but it’s just not really my style at all. Been a vintage lover I knew a lot of the items I’d buy would be second hand – which is great as it’s more sustainable!
My living room makeover started by replacing all of the furniture I wasn’t happy with.
The old rug but moved it to the office, and got rid of the bar cart, the coffee table, the chair, and the cupboard. This meant that, technically, I got all of the ‘new’ furniture for free because I used all of the money I made from selling my old stuff to buy the new things second hand, No, really, I’m serious!
I managed to find some great pieces secondhand.
The old trunk i found I use as a coffee table, the writing bureau, the side table, and the chair altogether came to a grand total of just £50 thanks to bargain finds on Facebook Marketplace. All of my old furniture was sold for a total of £115, which meant I was also able to buy the new rug for £60 too. These pieces were gathered over the course of a couple of weeks, and it took a lot of time sleuthing on Facebook Marketplace to find things so cheap, but it is definitely possible!
Next I put my mind to was the gallery wall.
I wanted to switch my prints out for a more antiqued look. The only thing on the gallery wall that is second hand is the large floral piece, which was an oil painting I already owned prior to the makeover. Can you believe I just had it in the office not even hung up on the wall!? It goes so perfectly in here! This gallery wall was an important part of my living room makeover.
All of the other artwork is from Etsy and the frames are from Memory Box. (all these are linked for you).
- Vanitas Skull Print:
- J.W Waterhouse The Lady of Shalott print:
- Edmund Leighton God Speed Canvas
- Girl With a Pearl Earring Print
The gallery wall and the frames actually ended up being one of the most expensive parts of the makeover, but it was SO worth it as I absolutely adore all of the artwork. It really brings the whole room together!
The little reading nook is so so much more like I imagined in my head now – I absolutely love it!
It’s such a cosy little space and is the perfect place to read. I found this green chair for £10 on Facebook Marketplace from a house clearance and originally got it just to replace the orange chair until I found a chair I liked better. Now I adore this little green chair and have formed some kind of emotional attachment to it. I can’t see it being replaced for a while, especially as it’s now of the cat’s favourite places to snooze! Not bad considering I technically got it for free by selling the orange chair for £10! And the Zebra cushion really makes it.
I never actually planned on replacing my white net curtains, but around halfway through the makeover I realised that they weren’t working in the space anymore and they would need to be replaced. These curtains were a bit pricey, and funnily enough were actually the single most expensive thing in the entire room by quite a lot. The curtains are from Made.com, I already have the same style in the office and the bedroom so knew I could vouch for the quality, but I couldn’t imagine that the colour would be so perfect too! I actually think they were one of the things that made the most difference to the living room, it made the room so cosy, especially at night.
Keeping costs down was something that I was very mindful of throughout this process, which often meant looking at small decor pieces I already owned in order to style my new bits of furniture. I hardly bought anything new in order to style the room, the majority I already owned and were being stored away in drawers as they were just photography props – who knew they would actually make great decor pieces too!? It made the living room makeover much cheaper for me too.
I think I did a pretty good job of giving my living room an entirely new personality without breaking the bank or changing the wall colour.
Here are some tips I have if you’re wanting to do a living room makeover for as little money as possible:
1 Scour Facebook Marketplace.
You can find some REALLY cheap and lovely furniture on there, especially if people don’t actually know the value of what they’re selling or selling it for super cheap as they just want rid of it. The more you use Facebook marketplace, the more the algorithm will figure out your style and recommend you things you think you will like. I didn’t actually search for the chair – Facebook found it for me! You definitely have to get through a lot of tat, but you can find some hidden gems on there!
2 Sell your own furniture
This is a pretty obvious one, but sometimes the makeover can pay for itself depending on what you want to do. I put all of my old furniture on Facebook Marketplace and everything sold within a matter of days of it being up
3 Shop second hand and vintage
Not only is it cheaper, but it’s more sustainable and you’re more likely to get unique pieces. You can even get IKEA furniture secondhand!
4 Figure out the things you want to splurge on
For me, I’m much happier to drop more money on something if it’s the exact thing I want, and I only allowed myself to splurge on one item.
5 Know the things you’re willing to compromise on and the things you aren’t
For me, the curtains were something I wasn’t going to compromise on because they were the exact fabric and colour I was looking for and I couldn’t find anything like them cheaper. For everything else, I wasn’t too attached to the idea of one specific thing. For the green chair, I originally wanted a Green Queen Anne chair, but it was super expensive and knew it was something I would have to save up for. But when I saw the green chair, I was willing to compromise and I have no regrets.
6 Sticking to a theme will help block out a lot of noise
I used to find decorating so overwhelming until I put a name on my style and that helped me so much, and stopped me buying stuff that looks out of place. I was going for a Sherlock Holmes/antique look, which subsequently kept me on track with the type of pieces to buy.
Decorating and completely transforming a space on a budget is 100% possible, and is often a lot more fun than decorating with an unlimited budget as you have to look at things differently or get a bit creative with the way you shop. I absolutely love how the living room turned out, and it’s now a space that I absolutely love to be in. Every single penny I spent on this living room makeover was 100% worth it and I couldn’t be happier!
Links to other decor items: