Budget Living Room Makeover

I have only been in my apartment in Birmingham for less than two months and for most of that time it has been a functional space I settled in but this weekend I decided it was time to make this apartment a home. I took up the MoneySupermarket ‘Room for Improvement’ challenge to take £50 to improve the look of my living room and make it feel a lot more like home. The challenge proves that you can make small improvements to your home on a real budget.

Living Room Makeover Before

Here is the before photograph of my living room. As you can see it is very bare and boring. There is a small expedit bookshelf from Ikea, a small vintage side table and a few bits and bobs dotted about. There is little focus and the whole room looks rather beige. I have thrown my favourite crochet blanket on the sofa and my beautiful Natasha Newton painting takes pride of place in a frame by the television. But otherwise the room is rather blah.

Before Room Makeover

Most of my belongings are still in storage as I have downsized from a two-bed house. So I am taking boxes bit by bit to sort through and edit down what I own. This means there are various bits of ‘stuff’ floating about and I have yet to assign a ‘home’ to everything. The room is constantly changing week to week. But the lack of focus in the living area has been a bit of a downer. But as I am living on quite a budget at the moment I haven’t really had the funds for a decent sprucing up of my apartment. So when I was offered £50 to improve a room in my home I jumped at the chance. What great timing, eh? I knew immediately what would transform the space …

After Living Room Makeover


I invested pretty much all of the budget (ok, all and some – it was £55) in a brand new rug which fills most of the living room floor and it looks rather spectacular if I do say so myself.

I wanted a bright, vivid feature to transform the space from plain and boring to interesting and awesome. The black and white graphic print of this rug from Ikea does exactly that. It is a woven rug that will be quite hard-wearing and I envisage it will get some decent wear in the future. I am utterly over-the-moon with the result. The room looks completely different and like a real home.

Living Room Makeover After

The boyf was also darling enough to treat me to a coffee table too. It’s just a basic rectangular Lack table from Ikea which was a very budget-friendly £16. I also unpacked a few more of my bits and bobs that had been in storage to had some more interest to the room including my vintage suitcases, some glass pieces, vintage china and my Singer Sewing Machine. I think it’s coming together a bit more and feels like a proper living room now.

It’s a joy to sit in.

And as a freelancer I do spend quite a bit of time in my apartment.

Of course, like most people’s homes, this is a work-in-progress and I will continue to add to and improve the room. The next plan is to get some of my prints up on the wall and maybe my vintage mirrors too.

What do you think of my quickie budget room makeover? 

The power of a rug to transform a room and give it a new identity!


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