Welcome to my new living room tour! I have long waited to show you how to revamp your living room on a budget. I made it a space that both reflects my personality and matches the rest of the house. What actually got me started on this project was that Missy Moo started walking and with two toddlers the little corner behind our living room armchair was no longer big enough for them to play together with their toys. They needed their own space in the house which is something up until now we haven’t really done for them.
On top of that my old living room which you can peak at here, was decorated two weeks before I gave birth to Buba. We had just moved house and the buyers of our old house only wanted the our house if they could buy all the furniture in it too. So we moved with our bed and about to give birth. I know crazy. So our living room was quickly thrown together with a black and red theme only because that’s what our old house had. I have hated it ever since. Huge advice don’t move house when you are about to give birth and hormonal! Not only did I let others talk me into decor I would never have chosen myself because I didn’t care at that point, I was sick of sitting on the floor 9 months pregnant and also the decor didn’t reflect my personality and the house at all.
*apologies with a north facing room, photos are very grainy and hard to capture clearly. If it’s sunny they are too washed out, if its cloudy it’s a dark pit, and if I turn our lights on it makes things yellow, so this was the best I can do in such a room*
The first thing I did was strip off the gold wallpaper to brighten the room as a whole. Stripping is hard work but anyone can do it with a steamer – don’t pay someone! My steamer was only £20 at homebase and I have used it several times so worth having around. Its not a very big room and the dark colors I had before just closed it off completely. I then painted the one wall a light grey and used this same paint throughout the room.
I repainted all the black pictures frames, and candle holders with this same grey paint called Alfie from Crown, I believe. This way I didn’t have to buy any new frames and I had lots of paint left over. I have been told this is upcycling. Saves money and why buy new things when you can fall in love with your old things in a new way!
Right away, the room felt more me with it’s grey wall and light coming through the window. The grey looks so much better in person and when the lights are on you can see it dance on the walls.
Next I added these Ikea shelves which I think are about £8 each to hold all my lovely little knickknacks.
I got these gorgeous cotton & cable lights that you see all over at the moment. (No mine weren’t free I bought them). I was drawn to them because you can pick your own colors and I wanted to stay with the pastel rainbow colors of my cushions. I was a little disappointed the grey ones were lighter grey they look brown and I wanted more of a baby blue to match the rug better. But other than that I love them.
When the kids go to bed we turn them on and string them across the shelves. It makes everything glow. By day, I like to hang them down the side as you can see below and the kids play with the light shadows on the opposite wall and it makes their kitchen area glow.
Here are a few of my little favorites out of my new living room revamp. This white unit from Ikea is great because it has glass doors so the kids can’t touch my books and magazines that I want to display. Before they were constantly trying to rip and throw them around. I always feel a cluttered room full of the things I love is a home. My old living room was too much of a empty space and boring. Everywhere I look in my living room revamp there is something bright and breezy and it makes me smile daily.
It doesn’t have to cost much to revamp your living room. If you are a tight budget like I was, here are some tips.
Top Tips to Revamp Your Living Room:
1. Draw out what you want the room to look like.
It’s easier to visiualize if you have a plan written down.
2. Think about how can you reuse the things already in your room to achieve that look?
Maybe you can repaint old decor like I did. Re-sanding or recovering old furniture for a fresh look. Get new sofa covers or new cushion. It can change a whole look to a room.
3. Can you sell old furniture and use the money to buy the new furniture?
I sold our old brown units and actually had money leftover after buying my new white units. Ebay is great for selling things. I used the extra money for the blue rug that I was going to save up for.
4. Immediately take out what you hate the most about the room.
Even if you have to wait awhile to replace it. The empty space gives you more ideas. I rolled up our black carpet, and moved the armchair into our bedroom. My creativity really started to flow then.
5. Bargain shop and be patient!
I got everything on sale at Ikea, Dunelm Mill, and Target in the states, etc. I just kept scanning online sales. My chandeliers should have been £95 and was down to clearance £35 and I sold the old one for £40 so I actually made £5 and got a far better chandelier. I absolutely love the yellow candle holder above to bring that vibrant color to the room and it was only £1 at Ikea. You don’t have to break the bank to have nice things.I love the glow the chandelier gives the room. Not great for photos but it’s so pretty to watch it shine back in the big mirror we have over the fireplace and on the walls. You can see it gives off a beautiful pattern on the ceiling too. I think the best part of the whole room is that it now provides the tots with their very own space. A corner to call their very own. A space they spend most of their time in now together. Whether they are whipping us up some fake dinner or just rooting through their toy boxes there is always something creative going on in this space. They love their new kitchen area too!
The yellow toy box was just an old trunk with ugly green leaves painted all over it so I painted it yellow to match the room. It needs one more coat to match the tote next to it but the box and paint only cost me £15 all together and my time.
My curtains have made a great difference in my living room too. I had gold blackout curtains before and they really didn’t let any light come in. I traded them in for these white ones from Ikea and the blue ones on the outer edge from Next to help pull more light into a small, north facing, dark room. As you can see when the sun is shining so it blares into this room now. Not good for photography but oh so amazing to bask in that sunshine now.
Want to know a little curtain trick too?
When using two toned curtains always put your dark colored curtains on the outside and the lighter ones on the inside of the window. Make sure your curtain pole goes far beyond just the edge of the window. My blue curtains actually are on the wall on the outside of the window. They don’t cover the window at all, obviously unless I close them. This allows maximum light in but it also makes the window appear bigger in the room and the room more open!
Curtains were definitely the right choice here, but some rooms are better with blinds or shutters. You can even use a mixture of curtains and blinds or shutters (read more here). Another point you might want to consider is whether you would benefit from sheers or privacy film. Both add privacy while still allowing light into your room.
Sheers can look great, but they’re not always practical, especially if you have young kids (or pets). They’re probably best for bedrooms.
Privacy film is available in all kinds of colors and patterns, from plain white to stained-glass style. It’s fairly affordable and pretty easy to put on. Privacy film stays in place so you can’t easily change how much of it is used at any given time. That doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but it is something to think about when you’re deciding how much of your window to cover.
I hope you like my new living room revamp and thought my tips and tricks were helpful. Again apologies for the grainy photos I couldn’t win either way on a gloomy or sunny day. I have waited for all weathers it just doesn’t work.
Why not have a virtual tour of it instead below. Just click on the play button! What do you think? Is my living room more me?
Life at the Little Wood says
I love all your little touches Jenny! We have the same IKEA units and fairy lights too – great minds think alike! 🙂 I love brightly coloured spaces for the kids as well – I love that they have a happy room to play in! Enjoy your new living space! Xxx
Thanks emma. Indeed great minds. Wish photos came out better. Too sick to fix them at the moment. Lol i love ikea!!!
I love what you’ve done with the room it looks lovely!
Thank you so much Pauline. We are in heaven and at the end of it I had made a profit. By selling old stuff.
Yeah, I have been so looking forward to see your living room revamp and it meets all expectations and beyond. Gorgeous room for all to enjoy, absolutely love it. X
I was worried i kept giving sneak peaks people would expect a bigger show. Hahaha then be let done. I need to redo photos when i am not so sick though. Hahaha they were so grainy which was frustrating.
Gym Bunny Mummy says
This looks lovely. We’re in the process of redecorating, our bedroom first but then the living room is next. My ‘office’ is being moved up into our room to make way for a ‘play space’ for Archie downstairs
Oh sounds great. All new things for you. And a great space for Archie. My two love their new space.
Looks fab Jenny – love the colours and the your little coloured lights are so pretty. Love the corner for your children to play in – looks great 🙂
Thanks Louise. Its much more bright and breezy now. Makes me feel refreshed to sit in it.
Katie @mummydaddyme says
Jenny it looks absolutely beautiful! I have been waiting to see it, and I love what you have done with it. I love the red colours in it, it looks great, and I love the yellow of course, as you know that is my favourite colour. You always say that we have similar tastes and I can completely see why, we definitely do! And of course nice to see our matching stags head make an appearance! x
Thanks hunny Haha I know i was going to text you a photo as it used to be in my dining room. But thought i would save stag for my living room post. So sad how grainy the photos are as the cushion colors are actual green, blue, and coral but you cant really tell how vibrant. When i am feeling better i am going to try again see if i can capture it better.
It looks absolutely stunning Jenny, really light and cosy and I love the little knick knacks that make it so very you 🙂 The kids must be loving their play corner too!
Oh yes i think they are in heaven as much as i am. I only wish photos cane out a little better. Thanks Carie.
Chichi Furniture says
The room looks really chic and elegant, you must be thrilled. You can never relax in a room that doesn’t feel right. I love the mirror and chandelier, they are beautiful features and really complete the look :O)
Thank you so much. The old room was awful and not child friendly so we never used it. Loving it now.
Love these little touches! And some really great bargain finds!
Thanks Kay. It was fun finding them and piecing it all together.
It looks awesome Jenny! It’s wonderful to see what you’ve done with the space. Where did you get that lovely rug from? I love it.
Thanks Carie!!! I got the rug in America at a little boutique. Its my favorite part of the room. Love the pattern!
Vikki Holness says
This looks amazing Jenny, you have such a wonderful eye for little touches and unique finds. We’ve just bought a load of these Ikea picture ledges for the boys’ room, aren’t they great?! xxx
Thank you so much sweets. I would line my entire walls of my house with them. So great. Perfect for any room.
Gina Caro says
I love your finished living room, it looks fab! I’m currently doing similar colours in our living room, although ours isn’t finished yet.
Where did you get your coral cushions and your coral candle from?
The candle I bought from dunelm mill I think. the coral cushions I bought in america at a little boutique. Wish I had bought more of them to be honest. The coral printed picture on the wall is from notonthehighstreet. I think Zazzle does coral cushions the same… might try there hun.
Capture by Lucy says
I LOVE this!!!!!!! I clicked through the photos thinking, I’d like that, I’d like that, he he!!! I love calming colours and I definitely think having neutral walls lets you bring out the colours that inspire you in your accessories. GREAT post! xxxx
Thanks darling. Thats sweet of you. I was so upset though that the photos werent better and more clear. It was worse on a cloudy day and then this was too bright and grainy. I couldnt win.
Emma T says
It’s a beautiful room. I love the blue, coral and yellow touches, and I’m a big fan of grey. Would love to decorate our house because it’s never been done properly, but I’d want to get someone in…plus the OH doesn’t like my inexperienced decorating style.
I have always wanted to get someone in but then i do love doing it myself too. Hahaha catch 22. Love a neutral room with accent pieces.