Furnishing a nearly empty room with $500
In January 2013, I set a goal of furnishing our living room for $500, what was left of a $10,000 loan I took out in May 2012 to afford renovation materials for the bedrooms, our gutted bathroom, and our gutted kitchen (which took the bulk of the money). We kept our electronics budget separate, thankfully, which includes the home theater, software, fans, air purifier, and various discs (CDs, DVDs, blu rays, Games).
To honor my husband's 3-item dream home list, I knew I had to purchase a papasan chair first for the living room, which used nearly half our furniture budget. We knew that if we wanted furniture, we needed to build our own.
It has been a 6 month furniture building journey, and I've loved every piece -- knowing we built and designed them, knowing building has saved us money, and knowing that we could custom create pieces we wanted. Using reclaimed wood, scrap pieces, and wood already in the garage, and using the same 3 paints for furniture and 1 container of stain has helped cut down costs, but also coordinate the looks in the living room.
We've kept a list of every piece of furniture we've purchased or made for our living room to help keep us on track with our $500 goal.
Our living room furniture budget (costs rounded up to the next dollar):
- Purchased Papasan chair: $223 Purchase
- Hand-painted floor cloth: $40 Project
- 2 - 120" curtain rods: $32 Purchase
- 2 - Small end tables: $5 Project
- 3 - Hanging Wood Lanterns: $25 Project
- Wooden Lantern Tree: $4 Project
- Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table: $5 Project
- Reclaimed 1x6 Topped Media Console: $29 Project
- 2x4 and Jalousie Rear Console: $10 Project
- C End Table: $1 Project
$126 left for repairing and slipcovering those sofas! Then I can crunch numbers for a living room decor budget. I have pillows to sew, plants to nurse, and second-hand decor for which to hunt. =D Admittedly, this is also the part for which I'll need the most help. Here's to soon turning another new leaf, old living room.