When we moved into our first flat way back in 2009, I wanted a sleek, red-white-black themed living room that would appeal to both Rich and I. However, as time went on, I was less and less pleased with the look of our living room. By the time we moved into our house 3 years ago, I didn't feel entirely comfortable with our room theme. It felt like a rental. That might be because it is a rental, but it didn't feel like a home. I didn't have that cosy, warming feeling when I was relaxing on the sofa.Eventually, this year, we decided to go for it and finally create the room of our dreams. Well, my dreams. Rich is very much of the "If you're happy, I'm happy" train of thought and I've given him full reign of his computer room so we agreed the living room would be under my creative direction. Since we rent, we were unable to paint or wallpaper the walls so, instead, we got creative with our furniture.
Of course, we're hardly millionaires, so we had a strict budget for renovating our room. When setting a budget, it's important not to go beyond your means. If you decide to borrow money, especially when it comes to expensive items like sofas and chairs, a tool like the TSB Loan Calculator can help you work out just how much you can afford. Then, with some clever, careful planning, you can stretch your money even further than you'd expect.
Our pink sofa and heart-shaped footstool (Eee! Dreams do come true!) are from DFS. We first saw them in September but, by the time we were able to buy them, they were out of stock. However, we discovered something even better! DFS has an eBay outlet store that sells ex-display models at a discount rate. We ended up getting both items much cheaper than we'd anticipated and they were available immediately!
I love how the pale pink of the upholstery sits against the duck egg rug which originally belonged to my grandparents. If you know anybody who is moving or having a clear out, it's worth asking them if there's anything they might be able to donate to you.
To add more interest to plain walls, cheap shelves (these were £5 from Ikea) decorated with knick-knacks and photos can make a real difference. I also like to frame posters in simple clip frames to make them look more special and use greetings cards or postcards to decorate my office area for just a pound or two. Charity shops are also a fantastic place to pick up interesting accents without spending too much. These vintage hardbacks and the crochet rug on the arm of the sofa were both from charity shops for just 50p each. I've further decorated the sofa with novelty cushions such as this adorable deer one from Flamino Gifts*
Finally, the cheapest, most effective way to complete change the look and mood of your room is extremely simple: Rearrange the furniture. Since moving our sofa around, the room feels larger but also more enclosed and comforting. We have a defined office area in the corner (I bought the desk cheaply from a vintage site a few years ago) and a much happier room.
If you have any other ways to redecorate and renovate on a budget, I'd love to hear them!
This post was written in collaboration with TSB