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How to Save Money on Renovating and Decorating a Front Room

How to Save Money on Renovating and Decorating a Front Room

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Furnishing and decorating a front room could easily cost between $20,000-$40,000. Even on websites with ‘less expensive’ ways to remodel and decorate a front room, the cost for it were upwards of $15,000!

Are you remodeling or wanting to decorate a front room yet don’t have $15,000, $25,000, even over $40,000 to spend, and you want it to look nice?

No Worries.

I am here to tell you it is possible to spend less than $1,000 on quality furniture and decor. Heck, my front room cost half that. It came in (without flooring) at a total of $560.00.

The flooring was another $1,950.00. So with the real hickory and walnut hardwood, the install, sanding, and sealing, the total renovation came to $2,510.00.

Here’s how…I’ll start with a ‘before photo’ although it really is not the best photo of the room because it was taken from the adjoining room.

The front room had no lighting (why no-lighting was once a trend is beyond me). But other than the need for lighting and flooring, this room didn’t require a lot of renovation (unlike my family room downstairs – renovation pictured here).

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.25.03 AM After:

Here’s how I was able to furnish and decorate this front room so inexpensively:

First, I had an electrician wire the room for the main light and a track light. I bought the main light for $1.00 at a garage sale. (Tutorial on how to shop at garage sales successfully here) and the track light for $4.00 (classifieds).

Total for wiring the lighting and lights: $105.00.


Next, I chose a color scheme (tutorial here) based on a lovely color I found on a $1.00 gallon of mistinted paint. We spent about $6.00 for the other painting supplies. Total $7.00.

Then I found the furniture. The ‘Like-New’ two matching Broyhill couches were found in a ritzy neighborhood as a sidewalk offer for $90.00 each. I was able to talk him down to $160.00 for the pair.

I bought the little side table for $5.00 from a sweet old man at a garage sale.

Mirror – New at a garage sale. Total $15.00.

The rug was brand new off of the classifieds. The lady I bought it from couldn’t return it, and the color didn’t match her room, so she listed it for sale. Total $50.00.

Plants were bought off the classifieds $65.00.

Pillows $7.50 on a deal site called (if you haven’t, you should check Zulily out here). I also picked up a pillow (new) $3.00 thrift store. Total $48.00.

The large couch was given to us by a very kind neighbor for free.

livingroom7 copy
Shelves found at a garage sale were $2.50 each. $5.00 total.

The lamp (garage sale). Total $5.00.

Decor I either had or found at a discount decor barn for $30.00.

The two-round side tables were $30.00 each of the classifieds. Total $60.00.

Granted the framed images hanging on the wall are from my ex-husband’s inventory. So we are lucky to have fine art in our front room, but it does rotate out as he sells it. It would add a hundred or so dollars if I were to have to decorate the walls without his art—which I am doing now with artwork I found at TJMaxx.  livingroom5
I love patterns on hard wood floors. And it just so happens that I found a lot of really nice hickory and Walnut flooring. The hickory I used as a border around the room and the walnut I matched and bought more of for the center of the room. The remnant for about 1/3 of the room cost $65.00. The rest of the walnut cost about $1,200.00. Install, sanding, machine rental, and seal cost the rest: $685.00  Total: $1,950.00

So if you are wondering if it is possible to renovate, furnish, and decorate a front room for way less than a ‘modest’ $15k figure, rest assured that it IS.

What tips have you used to decorate inexpensively?

These other posts have additional ideas and ways to save on renovations:

How to Save Tens of Thousands on Home Renovations How to Save on Home Renovations How to Save Tens of Thousands Garage Selling Efficiently

Garage Selling to Save Big Save Thousands on Living Room Decorating

living room money saving tips


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How to Save Money on Renovating and Decorating a Front Room



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Thursday 5th of March 2015

This is so rad!!! I have a couple rooms in my house that need work... now that I see how BEAUTIFUL your room looks for so cheap- I have a new motivation! You're awesome!

Anita Fowler

Thursday 5th of March 2015

Thanks so much! Yes decorating on the cheap is so fun for me!


Thursday 26th of February 2015

Can I come go to garage sales with you?? I need a good partner! :) Fabulous looking room. I'm impressed! - Meredith

Anita Fowler

Thursday 26th of February 2015

Meredith- FOR SURE I'm always looking for garage selling buddies. I wrote this post here which explains how I garage sell. I go about it pretty strategically. It's always fun when I have someone to go with. My sister-in-law and I usually go out at least once or twice a summer together. She loves it but with 4 kids in tow its tough.


Thursday 26th of February 2015

I'm impressed by all your great garage sale finds! I love shopping at garage sales, but with kids I don't have much of opportunity.

Anita Fowler

Thursday 26th of February 2015

Kim- Yes! I hear you. It is so hard to garage sell with kids. I was just telling Meredith from Perfection Pending that I try to go with my sister-in-law but with her 4 kids its tough. I usually made my husband stay home with the kids while I go out for a few hours. It doesn't always happen but sometimes it does.