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Frugally Makeover Your Living Room For Under $100

frugal decorating, cheap home makeovers

Can You Frugally Makeover Your Living Room For Under $100?  Yes!

A little over a year ago we moved into our new home.  Instead of decorating right away I wanted to get settled in and get a feel for the space and used to my surroundings before diving in to paint and buy stuff. Purchasing a house and moving is expensive enough, we needed to replenish our resources.  Luckily our room color palate was pretty neutral and was something we could live with.

A few months in I knew I wanted to jump on the gray band wagon and paint our living room that color. Our house was built in the 80’s and thought going with a trendy color would help update the space.  Once I figured out the general color to go with it was time to start planning the redesign.

With some freebie finds, shopping clearance, reselling stuff and getting thrifty I was able to makeover our room for under $100.  I’m sharing my tips with you so you can frugally makeover your living room.

Make A Plan

Before going out to buy or get anything I put together a design plan.  I’m not a designer by any means, but I feel like I have a good grasp of what looks good together and what I like.


Pinterest was my best friend in the designing process.  I looked at pictures of different living rooms, color palettes and design ideas.  I also went to the paint store and brought home color swatches to see how shades looked in the light of my room.  There is a huge difference between fluorescent lights at the store and the lighting at home.

As you sift through pictures for inspiration go with what speaks to you and look to see if there is a theme between the different images.  For me I was drawn to different shades of gray, white accents and small pops of color.  I also liked to keep things simple.

Here’s a quick peak of the original decor in living room:


Another part to frugally making over a room is time.  As in accepting that it will take time to get everything you need to complete the look of the room.  I didn’t have $1000 to go shopping at one place to pick everything out all at once.

Make a list of the things you would like to change.  For me I pretty much needed everything.  New paint color, new furniture, drapes, and wall decor.  Use that list and focus your efforts on finding items one at a time.

Adding to your redesign with one thing at a time helps you get used to the new piece before moving on to the next thing. I tweaked my design plan as I brought things in, but ended up with very happy with the end result. It also eliminates impulse buys and gives intentionality and purpose behind everything you do get.


Make sure to include a budget into your plan. If you’ve ever watched HGTV you know they all have a budget to follow and hope to come under.  Whatever your budget is try to stick to that as much as possible.  If you can afford to get a few things now but not everything it’s okay to wait until you can afford the next thing on your list.  My budget was pretty much try to spend next to nothing.  Thankfully I was able to spend next to nothing for the most part.

Are you ready to see how this plan unfolded? Here is how I frugally made over my living room for under $100.

Get Things For Next To Nothing

It is amazing what people are willing to get rid of for free or cheap.  I love trying to see how cheap I can get something, but still maintain quality and cleanliness.  I used this approach with my frugal living room makeover.

Related Post:  Get Your Free Things Here

Freebie Finds

Our living originally was painted butter yellow.  We also got a decent olive-green couch for free when we moved in.  While it was functional it was way to huge for the room size so looking for a new couch was the first place I started.  Knowing I wanted to stick a gray theme I looked at gray couches.  I held off on getting paint because I thought it’d be easier to match a paint color to furniture than the other way around.

A few weeks into my search I got a velvety gray recliner sofa.  Cost:  free

Where did I find that?  Craigslist!

I set my Craigslist profile to send me email alerts for free sofas.  A couple of times each day I checked my notifications so I could stay up to date on what was out there.  One day I checked my email and there she was!  Gray, free, and available.

So my husband and I borrowed a truck to check it out.  It was in good shape and I noticed it was a good brand, so I knew it was of good quality.  (Another tip, research high quality brands of furniture and look for those when getting things 2nd hand.) Looking up the new value of this couch it would have been about $800. The previous owners were moving and had the couch for just a few years.  They just wanted it gone because they didn’t have the time to move it.

I vacuumed and shampooed the couch real well before bringing it into our house, doing so gives me a piece of mind.

We moved out the old couch and I sold that for $50.  So far I profited $50 from this make-over.

Shop Clearance

Once the couch was in I started looking at paint color.  I was amazed there really are 50 shades of gray but not all of them worked in the lighting of my space.  I got the general idea of what tone I needed. In case you’re wondering blue undertones worked better as opposed to tannish gray.

Little secret of the paint department, when people bring back gallons of paint for whatever reason, the paint gets marked down a lot.  I frequented the paint store and looked through the clearance paint.  Since gray is a trendy color it often ended up on the clearance shelf, along with other neutrals like white and tan.

Finally after about a month to looking I saw a full gallon of paint in the right share of gray. Cost:  $6.99 (instead of $25+)

With the sofa and paint color figured out I looked for new curtains.  I found a set at Home Goods on clearance.  Cost: $20

If you go to stores that are bargain friendly, like Home Goods or Big Lots, and shop the clearance section you can save even more.  If they don’t have what you are looking for it doesn’t hurt to go back a couple of more times since the inventory is constantly changing.  Or get creative, if there is something you really do like that you hadn’t thought of it’s okay to change-up your design and get that item.

Resell Your Stuff

I already sold our old couch.  I also found an accent chair I thought would work with the couch.  I bought it off of Facebook Market Place from a lady who had just ordered it but didn’t like the looks of it in her room.  It was originally $600, I got it for $40.

I kept the chair for several months.  It wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t like it either.  I really wanted a matching set of chairs.

I also had an older recliner with a gray and white slip cover.  It matched the couch okay, but looked rather dumpy because the slip cover always for rumpled up.

One day I got an email alert that Kohl’s had marked down their chairs and I found one I liked.  The chair was 40% off plus I had another 30% coupon and I’d get $20 Kohl’s cash.  After all the markdowns I could get a new chair for $140.

I re-sold the two chairs I didn’t like for $225 and used that money to buy a matching set which ended up costing $280.

In the end to get the new chairs cost:  $55

Is there anything in your home that you can sell?  If you don’t plan on using it, why not make some money from it?  Clears the clutter and the money you make can help offset the cost of something else. I also sold some other things from the old room like curtains and picture frames. Facebook Market Place and Craigslist the platforms I mostly sell from.  I heard web-sites like Offer Up are good.

Shop Your Home

Now that the walls were painted and the seating elements were taken care of it was time to fill in the gaps.  The end tables we had used no longer worked.  I swapped those out with the ones from our family room.  The lamps looked a little blah so I traded those with a matching set from a bedroom.  I also had some other throw pillows and decorative baskets I moved to the living room.

New tables and lamps cost: free

Take a look around your home.  What things can you move around?  Do you have anything just sitting there that now can be used in your newly decorated room? It’s amazing what you can find.

Get Crafty

I had two perfectly good throw pillows to use but they didn’t match the sofa.  I remember my mom would recover pillows with cloth napkins.  I thought I’d try to do the same thing.  I didn’t find cloth napkins but I did find pillowcases at Wal-Mart.  I found a set of pillow cases in a print I liked and my mom converted the cases into pillow covers.

New pillows cost:  $4.50

If you can sew take advantage of your talents!  If you can’t, like me, take a look around you to see who sews and ask them for a favor.

While I was at Wal-Mart I thought I’d make a little floral arrangement to add as an accessory and color to the room.  I’m pretty handy with a hot glue gun and liked the end results.

Craft cost: $5.00

Get Thrifty

The room was mostly complete but felt it needed a few little decorative accents.  I had shelves in the room that I left up but wanted to updated accessories.  I went to a local thrift store and found perfectly good candles, glass cubes and metal wall hangings that coordinated well.

Total accessories cost:  $7.00

So there you have it, total room make-over under $100.  In total this project took about 9 months to complete.  There may have been a few little hidden costs, like getting hardware to hang pictures and paint brushes that I didn’t include.

Even though it took time and patience getting everything to complete my living room redesign it was a fun process being a sleuth and look for things frugally.

Are you up for the challenge to frugally make-over your living room for under $100?  I hope this post gives you inspiration!

frugal decorating, cheap makeovers




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  • candy

    Okay you are the queen of decorating on a budget. Heck decorating for free. I have learn much and will be patience about finding just the right item at the right price.

    • admin

      Sorry I thought I replied but guess it didn’t go through! Just keep telling yourself it will be worth the wait as you go bargain hunting.

  • Liz Chapman

    Great tips! It’s nice to know you can make over a room for relatively cheap. We recently put up a new shower curtain in our bathroom, new rug and towels and it felt lighter and brighter!

    • admin

      It’s amazing what a little change can do to a room. You’re right, just getting a few new things can make a space feel greatly updated, you don’t have to do big things like repaint or get new flooring.

  • Laurie

    There are so many wonderful tips in this post to refresh a living room with a budget! I also use the LetGo app to find deals. I was able to find a beautiful mirror for about 25% of the cost of a brand new one. It was the perfect addition to my bedroom. You are spot on when it comes to redecorating. With a plan, a budget and some ingenuity – you can get what you want. Thank you!

    • admin

      That’s great! I have not heard of let go before. Decorating is fun, but being resourceful and using ingenuity makes it a lot more creative and fun!

  • admin

    That’s great! I have not heard of let go before. Decorating is fun, but being resourceful and using ingenuity makes it a lot more creative and fun!

  • admin

    It’s amazing what a little change can do to a room. You’re right, just getting a few new things can make a space feel greatly updated, you don’t have to do big things like repaint or get new flooring.

  • Amy

    This is so cool! You did really well on this! I am not very good at reselling our old stuff, because of the time investment required. But I have a feeling I need to get better at it. Thanks for sharing!

    • admin

      Facebook market place has made it a lot easier to post to multiple resale groups on fb all at once. I just take pictures on my phone and post the item there with the details and check off the groups I want it posted to. Before you had to individually repost the same item to each group. That was a pain. It can be sort of time consuming to make arrangements and then have a no show and wait for another person to buy it

  • Jennifer | Contentment Questing

    Wow! This is the kind of redecorating post that I love! My current living room has much the same color scheme as yours did before you redid it. I have pinned this for future reference for when I re-do mine. You scored some amazing pieces and I love that you did it for under $100!

  • Kayla

    I love being creative and finding thrifty ways to decorate the house. These are great tips to help someone spice up their living room space with limited income.