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Before And After Living Room Makeover On a Budget

October 21, 2020

Disclosure
Updating your home doesn't have to cost a fortune.

You can get a dramatic new look with a few quick swaps and a couple of easy DIYs. My own living room makeover is proof.

Roses and Apples On A Rustic Tray

I have big news folks.

Big news.

Today, I'm finally ready to show you my living room makeover.

Ok, well maybe not such big news to you.

But for me, this was a long time coming.

You see, we moved into this house almost 20 years ago. And in that time, this room has had basically one look.

This one.

It's now the before. 

Rustic red and white country cottage style living room in fall

And don't get me wrong.

I loved it.

So much so, that the idea of any sort of update never entered my mind.

Oh sure, over the years, as seasons have changed, I've swapped out pillows or updated furniture.

But most of the main players stayed the same.

Including my red, beaded valances.

They let in tons of light and punctuated the room, with the perfect pop of color.

Unfortunately, after almost two decades in the sun, they started to fade and fray. They looked tired and worn and were dragging the room down.

That's when my hunt for curtains began.

You may remember that it didn't turn out exactly as I'd planned.

However, in the end, $30's worth of fabric and $10 of red ball fringe saved the day.

Well, that and a little bit of sewing.

While I initially had some trepidation about touching this room, I couldn't be happier with the results.

Cottage Style Living Room Makeover

Something about it wows me.

The big change here is the addition of those full length panels.

They took me no time to make and have completely transformed the room.

It still has that cottage style vibe I adore, and those bold pops of red, which just feed my soul, but my like my kitchen, after its own recent makeover, it's now a much more grown up and elegant space.

Red Floral Curtain Panels In The Living Room

Of course, a change this dramatic did require a few extra swaps to make it all come together, but I shopped my house and didn't spend a dime.

I moved my old sentimental birdhouse lamp back into the corner and grabbed a shade from the basement.

I also decided that there were a few too many red pillows and roosters in the room. So I borrowed...ok stole...a pillow from my daughter's bed to lighted up the couch.

And there was something about the floral Waverly table skirt that just didn't quite meld with the rest of the room now. So I made a new panel.

Just for the front.

Skirted Side Table

It was simple enough, I grabbed a few scraps I had in my basket and created a patchwork version that tied some of the other fabrics in from around the room.

I also moved that small cream colored lamp from the other side of the room to the skirted table and replaced the shade with the one that was on the birdhouse lamp.

Musical accessories, if you will.

Red Hydrangea Wreath In Living Room

Case in point, I added my signature red hydrangea wreath to the wall next to the fireplace.

Once it came off the hood in my kitchen, I just couldn't say goodbye. Now it has another place of honor.

On the other side of the room, I whipped up a curtain for the porch door. It's the same style as the one I made for our garage

Except this one is lace, to let in some light and add a charming touch.

It's been on my list for a while now, and I figured while I had the machine out, and it was behaving, why not?

Lace Panel For Glass Door

Lastly, I took the tray I made over last year and added it to the coffee table from the basement with some roses and a beautiful silver bowl.

The bowl was a surprise gift from my very sweet and very thoughtful friend, Ann, from The Apple Street Cottage.

Long ago, I'd mentioned that I loved silver bowls, but could never find one in my area. Ann remembered my comment and when she found two she bought them and sent them to me.

How lovely.

Red Roses In The Living Room

I think this one adds another touch of sophistication to the room, a little bit of sparkle and a piece with a personal story.

Which is necessary in every room.

Don't you agree?

There are still a few tweaks to be made in here, tiny nooks, I haven't shown you yet. Accessories to be added.

Rest assured when they're finished, I'll share.

I'll also share all the curtain details and tutorials with you soon, as well.

So hold onto your hats.

However, the big takeaway here is that big budgets and big projects aren't always necessary for big change.

For less that $50 and a tiny bit of DIY, I gave this room a fabulous makeover.

I recently shared the complete list of sources and DIYs .

And I hope that idea inspires you the next time you want to makeover a room in your own home.

Do you have a space that's ready for a redo?

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  1. That looks FANTASTIC. Very 'rich' looking and done on a budget! That is such a pretty room and I love all the red pops of color. I have never really used red in decorating but I love it in someone else's home. I take that back. I did have a kitchen with red and white 'pillowcase ticking' wallpaper back in the early 80s and loved it. It was very country at that time. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! xo Diana

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    1. Thanks Diana! Honestly, I don't know where this love for red came from...it just popped up when we bought this house. I think it suits it. I've always loved the cozy cottage style look and flowers, of course, but if you told me when I was younger that my home would've been filled with red, I would've laughed.Hope your weekend is wonderful. xoxo

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  2. Love the new look! Those curtains really did change the room!

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    1. Thank you, Penny! Very different and a long time coming for sure!

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  3. It all looks great i love all the changes and your choices of curtains.

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    1. Thank you so much, Marlene. I'm sitting in the room right now answering comments and it's very cozy. Enjoy the weekend!

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  4. It's lovely and so amazingly cozy! I think those are the very same curtains I have throughout my apartment. Fantastic job my friend!
    Brenda

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    1. They just might be, Brenda! I've seen yours and I love them. Great minds...I got the fabric at JoAnn's for a song. It was so much less expensive to make them than to buy...which isn't always the case.

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  5. I am wowed too. The room looks fabulous!

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  6. Looking great. Sew glad the sewing is going well. Your projects look very professional. Love your fabric choices.

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    1. Thank you very much, Lorri. And they just look professional. From afar. In pictures. Trust me! Haha!

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  7. Wow! Kim you are so talented! I LOVE the fabric, trim, and curtains. They came out so nice and look beautiful in your living room. You have new curtains in the kitchen and living room. Yay!

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    1. Thanks Julie!! It was about time. I was sitting on that fabric for so long, it was ridiculous. I'm glad they're finally done and now I can just relax and enjoy the view. Enjoy the weekend!

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  8. I liked it before, but WOW, it looks even better.

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    1. Thanks Betty! I was so hesitant to change things. I'm such a creature of habit, but this worked out really well. Enjoy the weekend!

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  9. BEAUTIFUL. It really is fantastic Kim. It really is something how just a few changes can create a new room.

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    1. Thanks Carla! I think it's all about the ball fringe in this room. Tiny touches...big change. Can't wait to see your room!

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  10. Beautiful!! Your cottage look is timeless and oh so pretty.

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  11. I always love seeing your cottage! Tell me about your sofas--I absolutely love them.

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    1. Oh thank you so much!! Big smiles over here from those words. You're not the only one who's asked about the couches. I have to turn those cushions over and find the name. It's on the tip of my tongue. I promise to follow up this week!!

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  12. Kim, I am in awe!! I never thought your living room could be more beautiful, but, as usual, I was wrong! The colors are so warm and inviting and those new curtains shine! What a great choice of fabric and the little fringe finish them off so nicely. It is a room to be very proud of..Stay well, my friend..xxoJudy

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    1. Thanks Judy! I was so hesitant to make any changes in here. I get attached to the way rooms look and I have a hard time letting go. But this fabric spoke to me and I figured I could always put things back if I didn't make too many changes. However, right now I think it's just right. xoxo

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  13. Wow! I really liked it before, but it is just perfect after. Cozy and charming. I remember the wreath on your hood, glad you found a good place for it now!

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    1. I'm so glad I found a great place for the wreath too, Mari. It was hanging out on top of my piano for too long...waiting. And thank you!!

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  14. Kim, love the curtains especially the trim you added. I love the added fabric at the base of the table too. You are the fabric Goddess.

    Cindy

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    1. Thank you so much, Cindy!! I have to say that playing with fabric is my favorite kind of DIY. I don’t love to sew, but I do love the results.

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  15. Kim, EVERYTHING looks fabulous. Although, I will say I will miss your previous decor. I have a thing for chickens!!! We are kindred spirits when it comes to RED. My kitchen has red, blue, and yellow decor. I never seem to tire of it. My den also has lots of red, including my VERY FAVORITE red gingham comfy chair and ottoman! Could you tell me what color your walls are? In the photo they appear to have a lot of yellow, but I know the computer screen can distort true colors. I really, really, really need you to be my next door neighbor. Of course, if you were I would probably bug you constantly begging for help with DIY and other ideas! Congrats on a beautiful home.

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    1. Hi Cheri! Thank you and fear not, the chickens are not far away. And I’m sure they'll make an appearance again soon. They are my favorites, too. The room paint is called Philadelphia Cream from Benjamin Moore. You can see from the before and after photos that sometimes it appears more yellow and sometimes it’s more cream. The sun hits this room head on in the afternoon and they it’s a super warm yellow…and it would be fun to be neighbors!! We could chat decor and chickens!! And eat your fried chicken!! xo

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  16. Bravo girl. This is amazing how those drapes make such a pretty and cozy difference. The fabric skirt on the table Ohhhhh my that made my heart skip just a little. Great job. Looks amazing. xoxo Kris

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    1. Thank you so much, Kris! I love that new fabric too...and so quick to make. I love an easy fix. xo

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  17. It looks so warm and inviting Kim! The curtains are so pretty and made a huge difference. You know how much I'm loving the pops of red! I like the new painted coffee table and the side table too. What is the name of the paint color on your walls?

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    1. Thank you, Marie! I was so nervous to change anything, but it turned out well. And thanks, we painted that Pier 1 table years ago. It's worked out well in different rooms in the house. Now it's back where it started!!

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  18. It looks fantastic Kim. I love how the curtains totally transform the room. I have always been a fan of full length curtains, I feel they add elegance to any room. And I think you did good by shopping your home for things you may need. It is always preferable to shopping outside.

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    1. Thank you, Mary! I love them. I was always reluctant to add them, fearing they'd close the rooms in. Plus we're such a casual family, but I think the way they fit in the room works.

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  19. I love it Kim! The long curtains do add so much to the room. I love shopping my house for accessories. Often moving something from one room to another makes all the difference!

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    1. Thanks so much, Deanna! Rearranging a few treasures did make a huge difference. And it saved me a lot of dough! That's always a bonus.

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  20. You have such a beautiful home filled with so much personality and real loving touches Kim. And it shows <3 I hope those silly people who made dumb comments a while back are eating their sunhats or snow boots or whatever right now. Your living room looks like so comfy and filled with warmth. You can't find that in a glossy magazine, it can only come from the heart.

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    1. Michelle you always make me smile with your kind and heartfelt words. Too bad we are continents (and seasons) away from one another. I think we could have such fun together...in my new red living room.

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  21. Beautiful new look. Love the pops of red. The curtains look so pretty in this room with lots of texture. Enjoy your makeover.

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    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I'm enjoying the room right now.

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  22. Beautiful updates! Love the curtains.

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  23. It looks beautiful Kim! I love the look. In fact, I've always loved the cottage style & you've nailed it.

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    1. Thank you so very much, Florence!! It's a very pretty room. Sitting in it right now...

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  24. Everything looks fantastic Kim! So worth the wait!

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    1. Thank you so much, Tracey! What a kind comment.

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  26. The room looks beautiful....and the silver bowl! Yes, 'I-spied' it on your tray - so glad you're enjoying them!

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    1. Thank you my sweet friend. I adore them! ♥️

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  27. What are those tables?? The coffee table and the side table?? I absolutely adore them!! I never come across anything like that here in indiana and if I do, it's way out of my budget. I'm not crafty, but I need to start decorating and making my house a bit more "homey " and not sure where or how to start. Recently I've been so frustrated that I've lived in and am buying the wrong house for the last 11 years...so I came across your blog/site. I'm not crafty and so things arent as easy for me to figure out what goes together and what looks good vs having the budget to actually do these things...so here I am!!! Started with your post a year ago about buying mini Rose's at the grocery store (you had a white candle in what looked like it COULD be a small pot for a plant) I would LOVE to know where to find something like that for candles!! I burn them all the time and in every room, but i have fur babies and cats that i worry about, but that is so cute and nice to not worry about if a table gets bumped a bit!! Can't wait to start looking at the rest of your ideas and tips!!! That red wreath in this post is absolutely GORGEOUS and I like that "table tray"

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    1. Thank you for the sweet words, Jamey. 😊 I'm so glad you're enjoying my posts and you've found some inspiration here. That's my whole goal...helping people to see that they can decorate on their own and fill their house with what they love and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are a lot of ways to add homey touches, and whether you DIY or buy, they don't have to break the bank. Of course, I understand that a lot of people aren't into DIY, they'd rather just shop. So many people have been asking about items in my home lately, I'm going to try to put something together in the next few days to answer all the questions. I hope that helps!! Looking forward to seeing you in the comments again!! Take care!

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  28. What a pretty tray! Your whole space is so lovely. I love how you create a warmth to everything you create!

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    1. Thank you, Maria!! I like a cozy room for sure.

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