How I Spent $660 to Furnish and Decorate my Living Room

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Hey all!
I’m really excited to be writing this post today.  I have been waiting for the right moment to show you all my living room decor and I think this is it!

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I’ll start by saying,  I spent a grand total of  $660 furnishing and decorating this space.  While it is NOT complete by any means (I want to add a cosy rug to help dampen noise echo,  organize my TV stand better,  and get a piece of art for above the TV), I think it looks great and I’m so happy and proud of how its turned out.

So how did I spend so little?  Well let me tell you first what I actually bought in here! The coffee table ($315, made by a local craftsman),  lamps ($160, Costco),  small chairs (second hand, $60), patterned pillows (16.95 x’s 2, grey pillows ($12.97 x’s 2) and side tables ($65 total at Homesense) were purchased.  The couch,  large chair and entertainment center are all second hand from friends or family who no longer wanted them.  The art work above the couch was a gift, along with the pink bolster pillow, as was the X’s and O’s game (my dad hand made that!). My TV was a crazy generous housewarming gift from my sister!  And my dvd player was a Christmas gift as a teenager.

I think the key to furnishing and decorating on a budget is to not get too set on an aesthetic or style that you think you “need” to have. When I was looking at houses and thinking about what I wanted to do for decorating, homes like Rachel Parcell’s :

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and this Toronto townhouse I saw on Architectural Digest’s website: dam-images-decor-2013-12-2013-top-pins-top-pins-of-2013-39-powell-bonnet-toronto-living-room

Really resonated with the bright, airy and slightly glam but not overtly feminine aesthetic I wanted. BUT, what didn’t resonate with me was the BUDGET that would be required to make it happen, and I don’t have the space to fill that either of those homes have. That doesn’t mean that the inspiration wasn’t there though- the cool, muted pinks and blues from Rachel Parcell’s home are mirrored in mine. The graphic windows in the Toronto townhome were also inspiration for how I styled some of the mirrored pieces in my living room and kitchen. This is anchored by industrial touches and plenty of black to make it my own personal style, on a dime!

What I never envisioned was having so much black in my space! Originally, I was so in love with a gorgeous powder blue couch but I just couldn’t justify the $1500 (on SALE!) cost. Thank God I didn’t decide to buy it, because last month I was the lucky recipient of a second-hand couch from my parents! Yes, it is a very, very dark charcoal and couldn’t be further from what I thought I wanted, but it is also so comfortable and exactly what I needed! (I had a black loveseat that was two theater chairs screwed together before that- free and 100% awesome!) The blanket and pillows on this couch are from Walmart.

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The two small black chairs were a total impulse buy at Find, a social-works based thrift shop here in town. I sat in them, and I needed them- I didn’t care what color they were! This soft grey bolster pillow is also from Walmart.

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Also black (and free!) was my parent’s old entertainment unit. It has a pretty dominating presence in the room since it was designed to support a tube TV, but it’s the perfect spot for my TV, movies, magazines, cable box, DVD player and coffee table X’s and O’s! It also looks great with my matching lamp set that I got at Costco. This piece was also made by my dad, who can make furniture, vanities, x’s and o’s games, gorgeous vaulted gazebos, pizza ovens, ponds, 2 story garages, and tiered gardens. You name it, my dad can make it and potentially has before. This doesn’t even include all of the things he knows how to fix. I really respect his hard working and go-getter attitude, no obstacle is ever a match for his determination and I try to emulate him in a lot of ways in life.

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Also black and free is this great chair I got from a super generous coworker. This piece wasn’t working in his home and it needed a new home to live in. I love it because while my other black chairs are quite small, this chair is designed for a taller person! Or at least I’m guessing, it could just be that I’m short! But every male friend I’ve had in to watch a football or hockey game says how comfortable it is! I love to read in it, too.

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Thanks to not getting too anchored on one specific style, but picking individual pieces and accessorizing in ways that incorporated what I like aesthetically, I was able to put together a space that works and looks good! It definitely pays to keep an open mind when you’re trying to keep a budget in furnishing your home, every substantial piece in my living room was free or extremely affordable and in some cases was just re-styled from its previous life. While they can be a pain to get on and in the right size, also keep slip covers in mind if a friend or family member is looking to find their couch a new home but the color or pattern is completely not your style. Furniture can be incredibly expensive and a $50 slip cover sure beats having nowhere to sit! Never look a gift horse in the mouth, right? You could end up with an awesome piece thanks to someone’s generosity.

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I hope this post has given you some ideas of where to shop for affordable decor (Walmart, Homesense) and a different perspective on thrifted and second hand furniture. It’s 100% possible to have a great space on a dime! If you ever feel like you can’t do it, send me a tweet @thebrokebloggr because I have been there and my mum and sister were so instrumental in helping me come out on the other side with an awesome new house I didn’t have to bleed money all over to make look good!


5 thoughts on “How I Spent $660 to Furnish and Decorate my Living Room

  1. Well done. I was chuckling at our similarities while reading. Looking at those 2 designer pics you posted- i found that I have similar taste to you.. But i also have ‘Champaign taste on a wine budget’. I also went to buy a powder blue linen type lounge & came back with one in grey/beige instead. I also have a wooden noughts & crosses game in our living room. But I love how second hand thrift furniture can make your home look unique. I really like your arm chairs.

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