The $50 Living Room Makeover

Well for goodness sake. I am such a flakey liar. I know, I know. I promised this yesterday (and the week before that) but the urge to purge overcame me again and I must obey its call while I can.

Without further ado. I give you the $50 living room transformation.

While I certainly do appreciate warm colours and cozy spaces (obviously), I’ve been in that mode for a long time and felt that it was long past time for change. For ages now I have craved a bright, beachy and serene/uncluttered feel to my living room. The craving gets particularly strong every Spring when the instinct is to lighten up. I think it will make Winter seem brighter and lighter too though, and that is always a good thing.

I kept putting off making the change though, because I was sort of intimidated by what it would take to create the opposite effect of what I already had in my living room, on a very limited budget. Enter that fateful Friday just after school break when my intrepid friend Cindi and I spied this cute white changing table/cabinet for $10 at the garage sale across the road.


I did not think that it screamed “changing table” at all and it fit perfectly with the theme I had in mind. Did I mention 10 bucks? It has tons of storage space inside. Sold.

An hour or so later we were slapping white paint on anything without a pulse. And within 48 hours my airy beachy dream was reality.

Here’s are some views of the room before, including the ever scary perpetually messy coat closet for your perusal.. (the strange kids and the weird woman with the arm in the air is just a bonus…)

DSC_0281 DSC_0274DSC_0189

And here are the afters: Voilalivingroom! If that light blue lampshade looks a little….wrong…it’s because I drew it in there. At the time of the photo we did not yet have an appropriate shade for that lamp. The “slipcovers” as I’m sure you can tell, are white sheets. I have ordered these real slip covers from


and anxiously await their arrival. The blue cushions are actually my existing cushions wearing a variety of blue shirts and sweaters from our closets….I just had to get the effect on that very day. (I’m sort of…ok totally an instant gratification type of girl). I was thinking plain cotton/canvas in the shades of blue/green I have in the sweaters/shirts.

Almost everything that was meaningful to me in the “African-ish” motif we had before has remained or relocated to my office space (the family photos were in there before) which pleases me. I didn’t want give that stuff up. It was definitely a case of use what you (or your generous friends) have.

So here’s the first thing we (and by we I mean Cindi) painted. She believes me to be an appallingly bad painter. No comment. This is a very nice quality oak entertainment center we bought from Craig’s List. I really did not love it though and found it looked very dated in its original finish. You can sort of see it on that last unpainted door. I think it is much better now. Did I mention Cindi hung in til the wee hours of that morning and came back the next day (while we weren’t even THERE) to continue to work? She even broke in again to clean up when all was done. She’s a gem that one.


Here are some other views (click to enlarge). We actually just acquired another piece of furniture via Kind Friend Decor(thanks Joanie!) so there’s a whole new thing going on in one of the corners there….(and yet MORE storage space-Yay!)

sofatable southside changing tableentryfireplacemirrorandbookshelf

The little mirror on the bottom left was my most expensive purchase in this venture. It was a whole $20 bucks at Big Lots ($16.00 after my 20% off good customer discount). It is super heavy and so pretty. I love it. The beautiful wooden thingie above the closet doors was living in Cindi’s garage. It’s on an extended loan. Cindi has the coolest stuff…

As you can see, I have kept the floors mostly bare for now…I love bare wood in warm weather but it will need a rug come winter. Serendipitously, has invited me to check out their wares. (Which as you can tell from the slipcover purchase, I do anyway. Love me some overstock). I am salivating over the plethora of choices (click to go to the link and view larger. ) What do you think?

rug or this dot rug

maybe this one?

leaf rug maybe?sunburst

Sooooo prrriiiiteeeee…..

So what do you think of the makeover? I realize the stark and white is not for everyone but I love it. It feels cool and calm and soothing to my soul. And for those of you who freak out over the thought of four kids, all their friends, a dog and a bunny and all that WHITE… Surprisingly it has been fine. My house looks a lot cleaner now in fact and I honestly have not been going crazy with keeping everyone and their muddy paws and popsicles off the couch. I have a washing machine and everything is washable. I think once the couch covers come, I will toss a sheet over it for every day lounging. I got this idea from someone with many kids and white slipcovers and you really can’t tell.

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Kallie said...

personally -- love it. We just got a new (king-sized) bed (aren't we spoiled...) and the comforter set I went with is white with a few BIG bright blue and lime green tropical flowers. but mostly white. some thought i was crazy -- with kids climbing in bed and spitting up etc -- but I agree with you that I just need the clean, white look sometimes.

Michaela Stephens said...

I highly approve of the painted entertainment center.

I vote for rug number 4 with the starbursts as my first choice and my second choice is rug number 3 with the vines and leaves.

Anonymous said...

Me and Kallie - personally, love it SO much. A truly awe-inspiring make-over. Your energy levels amaze me, and the commitment to friendship of our darling Miss Cindi I will always be grateful for.

The Sayer Family said...

LOVE, LOVE,LOVE IT! When can you come to Idaho and help me? hee hee! I don't know if I could pull the white off with the age my kiddos are at now, but maybe someday.

chacha said...

Damn. $50? That looks great. Never would have guessed it only cost that much.

Excellent job!

I am probably partial to the first pale blue rug. But the one just below it is very nice too.

Eos Mom said...

Amazing transformation! I wish I had a friend who would come over and paint for me. ;-) I choose the top right rug (sand and light blue).