Living Room Redo

My wife and I have lived in our apartment for about a year and a half. Up until about a month ago we had been surviving on a collection of unwanted furniture from our family. Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely grateful, the last thing you have money for as a newlywed couple is brand new furniture. But we wanted to change our living room up and make it more of a place we could call our own. A place with style more suited to our taste. Here is pic from an old post where you can see our old eclectic living room in the background:

It worked for a while but it was time to put our personal stamp on this space. We wanted to  modernize the space, but keep it balanced with both masculine and feminine elements. It is a shared space after all. Here is where the inspiration for our living room redo came from:


Based on our inspiration room it was going to cost us a pretty penny! Here was the breakdown of our inspiration room:

Sofa: $4,015 (www.allmodern.com), Coffee Table: $499 (www.westelm.com), Bar Cabinet: $699 (www.crateandbarrel.com), Lamp: $75 (www.allmodern.com), Vase: $50 (www.crateandbarrel.com), “I love you” Pillow: (www.nordstrom.com), Agate Coasters: $155 (www.calypsostbarth.com) (Yellow pillow and fiddle leaf fig for color inspiration)

We didn’t have an extra $8,000 lying around so we started hunting and hunting… and hunting some more. It took a while but we built a comparable space on a more realistic budget. Check it out:

Living Room Redo

We found a similar but more affordable sofa at Macy’s for $979 (that’s a savings of over $3,000). We put our money toward pieces we knew we would want to have for a number of years and that would work in a different space once we move on. The West Elm coffee table was one of the pieces we invested in. As a couple of bloggers living in a small space, the pop-up desk and extra storage were too great to pass up! And I love that we’ll own it forever. We added a little extra seating with this cream velvet tufted accent chair from Wayfair.com for $155.

Living Room Redo 3Living Room Redo 10

Had to make room for my wife’s favorite Anthropologie candle (I have to say it smells pretty amazing) and coasters on the coffee table. She got those and I got my succulent (I’m going to try really hard not to kill it).

Living Room Redo 7

We saved some money on the bar storage cabinet by picking up this one at Target for only $150. The wall cubby was a find from HomeGoods and it does double duty–functions as extra bar storage and serves as an interesting art piece featuring bottles, glasses, and bar tools.

Living Room Redo 1

Not sure if you could tell but we love to ampersands–they’re everywhere! (picked up the metal one above at HomeGoods for $16)

Living Room Redo 9

Found a similar lamp at Target for only $37 (that’s 50% less than our inspiration lamp). Perhaps my favorite thing about our living room redo was finally getting a fiddle leaf fig tree. We went with a neutral color palette and wanted to add pops of color through greenery, select accessories, and our wall art. (Got the great white plant pot at TJ Maxx for $15).

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We still loved our vintage media cabinet (painted and updated the hardware ourselves–see post here) and we think it mixes with the modern furniture just fine.

Living Room Redo 2

We have collected some decor over the past year. You can find these mercury glass candlestick holders (above) at West Elm We finished the space by creating a gallery wall which mixes vintage prints with some IKEA postcards as well as some of my personal art–you can find select pieces at my Etsy shop here).

Living Room Redo 5

We are in love with our new space and couldn’t be happier with it. And saving a few thousand dollars doesn’t hurt either! Something important to remember when decorating a space on a budget… It can seem daunting but having a clear idea of what you want and putting the time and energy into hunting for pieces can pay off big time.


  • Reply
    March 14, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I love your living room makeover, and am in love with the rug. Can I ask where you got it from? Thanks in advance!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Thank you so much! The rug was a find from Home Goods (I think we got it for $99). I know West Elm has a similar one (all their rugs are 30% right now too). Otherwise keep checking at your local Home Goods/TJ Maxx! Thanks again! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 20, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Love your ampersand pillow! where is it from!?! I am waiting for the fiddle figs to come back in stock at ikea. cant wait to get one! Gorgeous space!

    • Reply
      March 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks Kim! The ampersand pillow was from Crate&Barrel. Unfortunately they don’t carry it anymore, but I bet you can find a similar one on Etsy. I love the fiddle leaf fig–you will too! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 10, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Hi Ryan, I too live in Orange County Anaheim Hills. I’m redoing our entire downstairs living area and saw your blog. I love the wall color you chose. Do you remember what it is? I’m looking for a greige color. We have a warm taupe now and I would like to go a little lighter and a little grayer. Love this room!

    • Reply
      December 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Chandra! Nice to hear from someone so close by! This room was in our apartment and while it is a great color, we didn’t choose it so I have no idea what it is. However, we are currently redoing our new house in Tustin and we chose Smoky Embers by Benjamin Moore and it is a gray that is a little more on the brown/beige side. Check it out here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/160300067962610872/. Good luck on your home redo! Thanks for reading, means a lot! 🙂

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