Friday, October 21, 2011

Life & Style: how to update a living room look for $100 or less

When Jason and I had settled on our new apartment, the planning frenzy began. What key pieces did we need for our new living arrangement? What colors did we want to use? Whether you're moving to a new place or just want to update your living room space, there are three key ideas to incorporate into your living room for $100 or less each.

We keep our basic pieces... basic! Our couch, chair, lamps, and tables are in neutral tones. This makes it easy to move them from apartment to apartment, no matter what the apartment's "colors" may be.

This is the color of our living room walls.
Because I love color and can't stand white walls, we have painted two of three apartments we've lived in. Painting is such a great DIY project! It's by no means easy - we have utilized my dad every time we've painted to teach us good painting techniques and to help us with the edges. You don't even need to paint all four walls - we painted three in this apartment, but I think the look of just one wall painted in a color is great, too. My favorite kind of paint for the living room is Benjamin Moore Aura - there's very, very little smell and there's no VOCs. This paint is very good for you, and you won't want to die from lack of fresh air while painting! The colors are fantastic, and most places will create a paint in a color of your choice on request. We've created paint to match a towel and to match curtains. I've been really impressed with this service at paint stores. Be sure to check before you buy your paint - there have been coupons in the past for $5 off a gallon of premium Benjamin Moore paint. Perfect!

Delano curtains from BBB
Curtains are the next best way to update a living room look for less. Bed, Bath and Beyond is the one retail store where we have regularly found curtains of all kinds that we have been attracted to, but JCPenney's, we have found, is better at stocking odd sizes, which came in handy for our last apartment's windows. Opt for a pattern in the curtains to zing up your living room, and of course, decorative rods are a good way to have the look pulled together (no pun intended!). Also, if you're handy with a sewing machine, hit up a fabric store and sew the curtains yourself.

SureFit Logan slipcover in camel
Sadly, the last option, I cannot utilize myself. Slipcovers on a couch are such a good way to not only update your living room look but also to hide stains on the couch's original fabric! I was devastated when I discovered that my couch has extra wide arms and slipcovers are not made to accommodate this. When we buy our next couch, I'm going to be sure the couch can have slipcovers. I wish I could have a slipcover for our couch right now - it's looking a little ratty. My favorite slipcovers are those by SureFit. I researched all slipcovers when I thought I was going to purchase one - SureFit slipcovers look the nicest and are surprisingly affordable. Some even come in patterns!

Share with us: In what ways do you update your living room look?

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