Anatomy of A Room: The Living Room / Dining Room

I think it's about time that I give you a little peek into my new little apartment!  My boyfriend and I moved together almost two months ago now and the living room/dining area finally feels complete :)  We live in a teeny tiny 600 sq ft space which to us is just fine.  I don't work from home anymore as of June so getting my workspace out of my old house really just left me with a bed, a dresser, a side table and a few kitchen things!  ...and a lot of shoes...  So I felt completely fine moving into a small space since we didn't have much to fill it with initially and, heck, it's way easier to keep a small space clean than a big space!  And my favorite feeling is just being cozy so, cozy apartment it is!

I thought it might be fun to break down how I decorated the space to show that it can be pretty easy to decorate on a tight budget.  I had been really careful with money this past year because I knew I'd be moving in with Max this past month and that we basically owned nothing.  So with the money I saved, I was able to buy a few Ikea items and the rest was thrifted/craigslisted/yard sale scored.  Ready?  Set?  Here we go!

  • Little Antlers - Etsy.com  gift from Max.
  • Art - Made by Me.  $0
  • Bookshelf - Thrifted.  $7
  • Little Tiger Rug - gift from Dad.
  • Vintage Chair - Yard sale score!  haggled $50 for two
  • Pillow - Ikea  $12
  • Books - accumulated over a long time.
  • Stacking Table - Fremont Flea Market, haggled 2 for $30
  • Cactus - Craigslist.  FREE $0
  • Coasters - c/o Ethical Ocean.com
  • Wooden box - had for years.  Maybe got it for $15?
  • Glass Candle Holder - Thrifted.  $3
    TOTAL:  $77

  • Andrew Bird Poster - gift.
  • Bonsai - had for years.
  • 2 Cactus - Craigslist.  FREE $0
  • Coasters - gift from this lovely friend
  • Lamp - Ikea.  $19
  • Small Extendable Table - Ikea.  $150
  • 4 Dining Chairs - Ikea.  $160 (since the table is against a wall, we use one of the chairs at our desk.
    TOTAL:  $329
  • A Paper Cut Piece of Art I Made in College... took 30 hours and it's cut out of one sheet of watercolor paper.  It's a song I wrote about family.  2 of these hang above our couch.
  • Couch - Craigslist.  FREE $0  (saving to have a custom grey couch cover made.)
  • Ottoman - Fab.com Sale.  $30
  • Table - Fremont Flea Market.  2 for $30
  • Candle - Ikea $1
  • Mini Succulents - Ballard Sunday Market.  $4
  • Pillow - Ikea $10
  • Wool Blanket - Ikea $50.  Best investment ever.
    TOTAL:  $110
  • Guitar - Max's, had it for years.  I have one two that I've had since I was 15, but our space is so small that it hangs out in the closet.
  • Shelf - Max's as well, had it for years.
  • Cactus - Craigslist.  FREE $0
  • Books - both of ours accumulated over a bazillion years.
  • Salt Lamp - c/o Ethical Ocean
  • Porcelain Bear - a gift from my bestie.
    TOTAL:  $0 
  • Little Antlers - Etsy.com  gift from Max.
  • Art - by me $0
  • Books - accumulated over a long time
    TOTAL:  $0
  • Vintage chair - 2 for $50
  • Sheepskin - Ikea.  $30
  • Curtains - hand me down from a friend.  $0
    TOTAL:  $55
There are a few last things missing from our living room in the photos like our TV and tv stand that Max has had for forever, a little table I got at a thrift store for $3,  a globe Max got for $5 at a thrift store, and a basil plant.  But even including those, we were able to stay on a pretty solid budget for filling a living room and dining area with a mixture of thrift, yard sale, and Ikea scores.  The grand total is $571.  I've heard investing about $1000 in a room is a good budget friendly investment.  So I think $571 for two main living areas is pretty good, especially since more than half of that went into our dining table and chairs! 

What are your tips for decorating on a budget?  Yard Sales and Thrift Stores are where I found most of my favorite things!


Chelsea Hansen said...

Amazing! You did such an incredible. And I absolutely adore the paper cut piece you made- just lovely! When we moved, some of our furniture didn't match the style of home we were envisioning. I like the challenge of restoring those pieces so that they do. It may be paint or new knobs. Sometimes it's just styling it in a new way or utilizing the piece a little differently, but I love that challenge!

Nicole said...

It looks fantastic!! It's simple yet complete. I love it! I'm super jealous of your FREE cacti plants from Craigslist! I swear my eyes popped out of my head. Going to search mine for some. Fingers crossed!

she. said...


Krystal said...

it looks really great, i think you did a good job curating some items to purchase!

thedemuremuse.com said...

I love the way you decorated your space!! I have the same pouf (also from Fab) but in red and I think I paid $70 for it during the sale.

I can't believe how you were able to decorate so beautifully on such a great budget. I definitely need to find more yard sales in the area!!

Anonymous said...

I am a complete nut for decor on a budget, I always look for useful things when I'm thrifting!
Where are you having your sofa cover made? I recently got given a sofa and I'm wanting to get a cover for it at a decent price. I was even thinking of resorting to making my own, but I'm sure I'll make a complete hash of it!

Morgue x

Anonymous said...

These post are hilarious you would think you moved into a mansion lol.

he calls me wifey said...

gah, these are great!!

Michelle Y said...

Great seeing how people decorate on a budget. We have been in our rental flat for over a year and still hardly have any furniture in our living room and only mismatched (with some awful) pieces in the bedroom which aren't all super functional. Definitely inspired to take action and decorate with this.

Kate said...

Looks great. Love your aesthetic.

The Hedgehog Chronicles said...

I LOVE the little antlers, have to convince my hubby I need those too. Apartment looks great congrats! We live in a small space too & its perfect.