My small living room decor on a budget: before and after

My small living room decor on a budget

Reveal: my small living room decor

My small living room has undergone a massive makeover... on a budget! Check out the before and after of my small living room decor

After our diy small kitchen remodel I tackled the second most daunting project in the house: changing my small living room decor on a budget.

Most times when people think of decorating on a budget they think of poor quality stuff, or a lack of originality. Let me tell you - it doesn't have to be like that, and I hope my small living room decor proves it.

A small living room for a small flat

When we looked round our new home for the first time, we fell in love with the living room. Yes it is a small living room but, what do you expect in a small flat? And it's small, not tiny. There's enough space for a sofa and a dinner table and the big window makes it feel light and spacious.

My small living room decor on a budget

Small yet stylish living room

The owner had decorated the living room (and the rest of the flat) in a style that was somewhere between colonial and traditional. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't my style at all, not in the slightest, not even a little.

Lots of light comes through the window and the built in shelves were perfect for our book collection so my main concern was how to get our modern urban boho style into a living room with popcorn walls and an old fashioned basket weave parquet floor. Not ideal but definitely doable.

To give it a modern urban base, I used a small color palette with lots of blacks and browns and furniture with mainly straight lines. Then I added a soft boho layer with lots of plants, photos and paintings.

My small living room decor on a budget

How to adapt your old furniture to your new small living room decor when you're decorating on a budget?

The diy copper coffee table was my first ever diy project. My initial idea was to get rid of it but Mick really, really loves it and refused to let it go. I tried to fight but then he reminded me that we were trying to save money and getting a new table was an unnecessary expense so... I had no other option but to admit he was right.

The thing is that the table was painted in a blueish green that didn't fit my vision for the living room. That was the main reason why I didn't want it in there, actually, so I painted it black and fell in love with the coffee table again. Sometimes it's that simple.

Other times it won't be the color. Maybe the problem is some outdated handles or some awful legs, like the ones our sofa had before I changed them. When you decorate on a budget, it is important to make the most of what you have and think twice before throwing anything out. Is it still useful? Can you change its look somehow? Sometimes little changes have a massive impact and, also very important, they'll save you a lot of money.

My small living room decor on a budget

My small living room decor on a budget

When decorating a small living room make the most of every inch

Our living room is not only the place where we eat and watch tv, it's also the place where Mick works when he's home so I had to distribute the space in a way that everything would fit without it looking too crowded.

When you live in a small flat, it's usually not just the living room that is small but every other room, so you have to use each room for more than one purpose. You really need to squeeze your brain figure out how to make the most of every square foot.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you achieve this:

  • If your living room is not only small but also narrow, you can get rid of the tv stand and place the tv right on the wall. This'll save some precious space.
  • When choosing furniture, go for pieces that have a double use: an ottoman can be a coffee table and also serve as an extra seat when you have guests, a chair can be used as a side table and also as an extra seat when throwing a dinner party and of course we can't forget the classic sofa bed. If you do this, you'll have the same functionality but with furniture, which will save quite a lot of space and mean you're not living in a cramped home.
  • Use rugs to mark the different spaces. My small living room has got two main areas: the sofa area and the dinin g area. But this is only in my head. There's no architectural feature or furniture that separates them. This is why I use a rug for the sofa area - it tricks your eye into thinking there are two different areas, without losing an inch by adding additional furniture.


My small living room decor on a budget

How to incorporate the tv in your small living room decor

The tv is one of those things that doesn't look good, but you can't really not have.

Creating a gallery wall is the perfect way to make the tv blend in with your living room decor. I used a mix of paintings, photos, illustrations and even a plant. You don't need to spend a ton of money. Just let yourself go, be creative and express yourself.

Make sure you include a piece that is as big or even bigger than the tv so the tv looks secondary.

My small living room decor on a budget

My small living room decor on a budget

Use light to make your small living room decor look its best

Lighting plays a crucial role in your living room decor and it doesn't usually get all the care and attention it deserves.

Using a main ceiling light in your living room is not enough. Doesn't matter how small your living room is, there will always be enough room for at least a couple of other lamps to give some ambient light or a task lamp next to the corner of the sofa where you sit and read.

If your living room is really, really small you can always resort to wall sconces. They won't take up any space and will give you an ambient light that will do wonders for your living room decor.

My small living room decor on a budget

My small living room decor on a budget

My small living room decor on a budget

My small living room decor on a budget

My small living room decor on a budget

Diy ideas to decorate your small living room on a budget

Almost every single piece in my small living room is a diy project or second hand furniture. I always go diy to save money so it's my number one resource when decorating on a budget.

Here you have a list of every diy project and furniture makeover in my living room. Click on the images for the tutorial:


What do you think of my living room decor? It may be small, my decor may be on a budget but I'm freakin' proud of it!

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