Thursday, June 17, 2010

My $30 (Okay, $36) Living Room Makeover

A few months ago, I decided that I was sick of the way my living room looked. It wasn't like it was terrible looking, but it was a hodgepodge of things that had been in various rooms at our old house. Now, mind you, we've been in our current house for over a year, so it's not like I just moved. But, evidently, I had reached my limit as to the number of times I could look at the living room as it was.

So, I talked my husband into giving me $30 to re-do the living room. I wasn't sure what I was going to be able to accomplish with that, but I thought I'd give it a go and see what happened.

So, first things first, I decided to spray paint everything in sight. Okay, maybe not everything, but a lot. You already saw one of the projects in an earlier post. I also painted a lot of photo frames. I love having pictures of friends and family everywhere, but my frames were a sad mixture of styles, materials, and colors. Some examples:

(Excuse the white powder in the bottom picture - it's not anthrax or something illegal - I didn't realize that Mr. 31 had sprinkled carpet powder all over before I took the pictures).

But after a few coats of Rustoleum White, they started to look a little better as a group. Although, I do have to admit that I managed to melt one of my frames. Oops. Note to self: try the spray paint made for plastics when painting a plastic frame.

I purchased some green ribbon to hang a couple of the frames from (I also want to mention that you won't see much hanging on my walls because we are currently renting our house and aren't supposed to put holes in the walls. I lucked out and discovered the three nails above the mantel that were already there).
I also had a few pictures I wanted to use that weren't quite the right size for the frame. So, I used the same green ribbon as a fake matting.

Altogether, the frames and candlesticks from the earlier post cost me $17.00.

I also had the ugly brown pillows to contend with which I talked about in an earlier post. They cost me $12.00.

And, because I like to pay attention to the small things, another small project I tackled was our coasters. We had the coasters you can put pictures in (we only had pictures in half of them - I have no idea why). I removed the pictures and cut squares out of scraps of the wallpaper border from our dining room (which is open to our living room and decorated in the same colors).

This project was free!! My favorite kind!!

With some other small additions (like a couple of candles), my grand total came to $36. I went over budget - but just a little... Don't tell my husband.

Here are some before pics of my living room:

And some afters:

Still some things I would like to change and fix up, but all in all, not too shabby for $36!


  1. Great idea with the ribbon as matting! It looks great -- only $36.00!?!

  2. Thanks! And yep - gotta love Salvation Army & Walmart!

  3. Amazing how far you can make a few dollars go! It looks great! Thanks for linking up to We Can Do It Cheaper!!

  4. awww this is sooo cute! You did a great job, and your family is adorable!!! Keep up the excellent work!!

  5. Wow! That's a great update, especially for $36!

  6. Wow I like the transformation, looks great...amazing how only a few changes make a big difference. You did a great job....


  7. I love the ribbon as a matte idea!!

  8. What a great redo on a budget, you did well! I love the great red with the neutrals in your room, and you've pulled it all together. You have a knack for this! I love red (check out my blanket chest project) so I really like to see someone else using it so stylishly.

  9. A great update!

    Stopping over from Frugal Friday.


  10. Diane@InMyOwnStyleJune 20, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Hi Vanessa-
    I love the power of spray paint. It's instant, inexpensive, and easy. Tweaking the details in your room really refreshed it. it looks great.
    My best- Diane

  11. I always think the best projects are when you don't have a lot to spend, and you have to rely on your own creativity. That has been the case many times at our house! Great job and thanks for sharing it on Modern Craftswoman Monday! Rory

  12. Vanessa, it's looking great! Amazing what a few little tweaks here and there will do a space.

    Thanks for linking up to Fab Friday -


  13. A great transformation for only a few dollars. You did a great job!

  14. Your living room turned out great and for so little money! You go girl :o)

  15. Stopping by from the Pumpkin Patch party! You have to love what you can do with paint and thrift store finds!!

  16. Thanks for joining us for Anything Related #12! ~Bridgette