Thursday, September 3, 2015

Living Room DIY and on a Budget

Hey all! I am pumped to start showing you guys my DIY and home decorating posts. I have been a homeowner for about a year now and I can' tell you how happy this home has made me. In college, I stayed in my sorority dorm for a year then moved into a town house type apartment. Decorating an apartment is fun and I think I made it feel quite "homey". When I was house hunting I knew I wanted a cottage style look and after much (much!) searching I found the perfect fit. My house is not super big but I have created ways to make it appear bigger and get the most out of the space I do have. I've also learned a few tips on decorating with a 20 something's budget so I am happy to share. Let's get started!

The living room was an essential room for me, I love having friends over and entertaining (I know that's the term they use on all the HGTV shows) so I wanted a big focus on this space. For starters, the paint color had to go. It was a dullish beige and as you may know, darker colors make areas look smaller. I chose a sunny yellow hue for the inside which instantly brightened the space and made it look more roomy. As stated before, I love the cottage style look you see in Southern Living but I wanted my own twist. I did not want the same pieces everyone else has in their house. You may be skeptical but antique shops are the best option for this. My mom and I would go out early (go with someone who legit wants to do this or else the experience will be miserable. Parents and besties are usually good options) on Saturday mornings and search for new treasures.

We discovered this amazing resale/antique shop, Encore Resales. They have new items but are mostly old items that have been refurnished or upholstered.  I got some really cool pieces for great prices and one of my favorites is the table pictured below. The railroad cart inspired table was a great find and good on my budget, around $200 for a standout piece. Here is a similar option (under $330).  I like to place a few books and magazines for decoration. I love heavier coffee table books like this one (under $35) and I own this book (on sale! Under $30). Look around antique and thrift stores for unique coffee table books. Pick something that stands out to you or is a conversation starter. I added a turquoise and white rug for a pop of color (I love this rug but beware that white can be hard to keep clean). During the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I couldn't resist this Zebra Stripe Rug. It is no longer on sale but you can still purchase it, I think it adds a little detail and character to the room. If you want a touch of Zebra but not the Nordstrom price, this similar style rug is a great choice and under $30!

I don't really do much shopping at places like Pier 1 or Pottery Barn because I find them to be quite expensive. However they are worth a look if there is a sale which is how I cam across the comfiest chair alive. This pale blue and white striped chair caught my eye and was surprised to see it on sale. It's reason? It was missing a small button. Yes, a small button meant the chair was on sale. I snatched it up and they gave me the extra button if I wanted to sew it on. Look for deals like this, if something has a minor problem that can be fixed then go ahead and take the sale! Lucky for y'all there is a sale over at Pier 1 and lots of chairs are reduced for Labor Day so take a peek here for the deals!

Also, don't be afraid to mix prints. I wasn't sure about this faux cow print ottoman (found at Encore but I love this similar style) but I think it adds a little more charm to the room.

Chances are if you have your own place you are an adult so that means no more Animal House posters as wall décor. I think you should have at least one piece of nice art in your home. I went to a local gallery and purchased the painting below. It was under $200 and I know it isn't a Picasso or anything like that but I love it. Check out your local art galleries so you can find a special piece for your home.

If galleries just aren't your thing or in in your budget, I am obsessed with Hobby Lobby! This place seriously has it all for home decorating. They usually have a 40% off coupon so check the website and in store.


My couch and love seat were purchased at Encore in the new furniture department of the store. I would also recommend places such as Ashley Furniture for lots of couch options (they are having a Labor Day sale now!). I also love throw pillows and yes, I know they have no purpose! Target is a great place to pick up pillows and I picked up this fun Zebra Pillow during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (I see a trend here...). Pillows can be a good way to add some color to a plain couch or to add a special touch to a look.

One of the many things I loved about this house was the huge bookcases in the living room. I'm still working on filling them but as of now each little level has a theme. You can find cute little knick knacks anywhere from Target to local boutiques. The English major in me loves books so I enjoy filling the shelves with vintage ones and my favorites. If you are looking for old books, hit your antique and thrift shops plus I really like 2nd and Charles and I found some great first edition and older books at excellent prices on Etsy (just type in what you are looking for in the search engine)!

There you have my living room! I have known several people who have hired decorators and spent LOTS of money and the things that are picked out aren't even their style. You don't have to spend a ton of money to get a great looking room. Utilize antique shops, look at local stores, and don't be afraid of buying something old and transforming it. I have an upholstering post coming soon as well as office, kitchen and bedroom decorating tips/posts already in production.
Please don't hesitate to ask any questions, I love hearing from you guys!
Happy Decorating!
The Complete Living Room


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Sandy!! Hope you enjoyed the post! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I love your living room and play on patterns! Your cowhide ottoman is definitely my favorite.

    1. Thank you! The ottoman is a big hit. Love your blog! Always nice meeting other Auburn fans :) Thanks for stopping by!