Inspiring Budget-Savvy Living Rooms

From colorful wall treatments created on the fly to fireplace fix-ups that add big style for minimal cash, 11 HGTV fans share living room design tips that won’t bust your budget.



Go to Your Happy Place

Located in San Antonio’s Exchange building, this modern-meets-comfy loft has a cheery disposition and character to spare, courtesy of the owner’s creative (and budget-savvy) approach to decorating. A stained concrete floor is a wallet-saving option over hardwood floors, while slipcovering disparate styles of furniture rather than purchasing a new matching set is another money-saver. Design by HGTV fan barisax25
Photo By: HGTV fan Layla Palmer

Work With What You Have

HGTV fan LaylaPalmer turned a dark, dated living room into her home’s cozy gathering spot by painting the existing knotty pine paneling a room-brightening creamy tan and beefing up the fireplace surround with a distressed wood ledge and paneled molding.

Save by Splurging on a Key Piece

Never underestimate the power of just one accessory to give your living room an updated vibe. HGTV fan itsthesimplethings is a stager by trade and puts this rule to work for her clients every day. Here, the black-and-white chevron rug updates what could otherwise be a very traditional living room.

Add Color on Cue

HGTV fan nyclq relies on timeless basics like her looks-great-for-its-age 14-year-old white sofa and neutral draperies, then adds easily changeable color with pillow covers and throws.

Fix Up Your Finds

HGTV fan barisax25 certainly knows a deal when she sees one. This Louis XVI cane-back chair was a steal for just $5.00 at a garage sale. Painted a crisp white with a seat re-covered in timeless ticking fabric and paired with a toile pillow found on eBay, this oh-so-traditional chair looks perfectly at home in a sleek urban loft.

Add Quick-and-Easy Color

Have a wall in your living room that needs some extra oomph? If color and pattern are your passion, this creative treatment by HGTV fan Katherine Hanley could be just the trick and for less than $10, the price certainly is right. To get the look, layer pieces of card stock and attach them to the wall with double-sided tape.

Fake the Look of Built-Ins

Built-in bookcases surrounding a fireplace are a custom, traditional look, but unless you’re handy with a saw, hiring a carpenter to construct them can get expensive. HGTV fan jrunde came up with a money-saving solution: Simply surround the fireplace with matching ready-made bookcases painted the same color as the fireplace mantel for a cohesive look.

Faux Can Be Your Friend

While the real deal is great, reality often comes at a price. Where possible, swap out expensive natural elements for their nearly indistinguishable faux counterparts. In this rustic-meets-modern living room, HGTV fan jrunde pinched pennies by covering the fireplace wall with cast concrete for the look of expensive stacked stone without the high price tag.

Make Your Mark

This former commercial building converted into a sunny loft in downtown Philadelphia hits all the right notes. Simple, streamlined furnishings work well with artwork the owner painted, giving the home an art-gallery feel. Design by HGTV fan Matt99

Old Is New Again

Talk about making a transformation! HGTV fan Renovatrix rolled the clock back on this living room, taking it from a home constructed in the 1990s to the 1790s. From the ornate molded details on the ceiling, fireplace and walls to the draperies and cornices, this first-time homeowner did it all herself.
Photo By: HGTV fan Remodelando la Casa 

Maximize With Molding

A fireplace is a great focal point to have in any living room. HGTV fan Remodelando la Casa made a good thing even better by adding a to-the-ceiling overmantel using inexpensive MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and molding. Painted the same glossy white as the existing mantel, the new addition perfectly suits the living room’s sleek aesthetic.

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