Living Room Makeover on a Budget

HGTV Magazine met a family who jettisoned everything but their leather sofa and a round mirror—then did a total revamp on a budget.
By: Jennifer Berno DeCleene and Matthew Gleason

Meet the Owners

Nathan and Jennifer Carpenter (with, from left, Grace, 8, Emma, 4, and Mae, 6) wanted to crank up the personality in the bland living room of their ’90s Chester, Connecticut Colonial.

Family Photo

Family Photo

the family in their new living room

Photo by: Miki Duisterhof

Miki Duisterhof

Boring Living Room Before Makeover

Boring Living Room Before Makeover

Wake up this blah room with bright colors and patterns

Photo by: Miki Buisterhof

Miki Buisterhof

Before: Since moving in two and a half years ago, they’d done zilch with the space—and were desperate for color and excitement.

After: A bright and sunny space that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

Green and Yellow Living Room Makeover

Green and Yellow Living Room Makeover

This once boring space got a bright makeover

Photo by: Miki Duisterhof

Miki Duisterhof

The Updates and Improvements

  • Bold curtains are splashed with tropical fig leaves.
  • Vivid pillows instantly energize the old sofa.
  • Cheapie vases spray-painted shades of green only look pricey.
  • A wowza pattern animates the whole room.
  • Pea green chairs add gutsy color.
  • Layering scrapbook paper makes easy DIY art.
  • A neglected spot gets styled up with a new console and fuchsia lamps.

Total Cost: $3,447

How they spent it:

  • coffee table, $399
  • drapery fabric and accessories, $390
  • nesting tables, $149
  • art, $44
  • rug, $799

Vases, $33

Green Vases on Mantel

Green Vases on Mantel

Mismatches from a thrift store, $15 total; Spray paint: Grass Green, Malaria, and Desert by Montana White, $6 each, dickblick.com

Photo by: Miki Duisterhof

Miki Duisterhof

Mismatches from a thrift store, $15 total; Spray paint: Grass Green, Malaria, and Desert by Montana White, $6 each, dickblick.com

  • pillows and inserts, $150
  • lamp $270

Console and Lamps $237

Console Table and Wall Art in Living Room

Console Table and Wall Art in Living Room

Wildon Home Haycock 42"W x 14"D x 30"H glass and metal console table, $177, wayfair.com; Lamps Steel Droplet lamps in fuchsia with drum shades, $60 for a set of 2, lampsplus.com

Photo by: Miki Duisterhof

Miki Duisterhof

Wildon Home Haycock 42"W x 14"D x 30"H glass and metal console table, $177, wayfair.com; Lamps Steel Droplet lamps in fuchsia with drum shades, $60 for a set of 2, lampsplus.com

Art, $270
Just As You Are by A.F. DueAlberi 24" x 24" unframed acrylic on canvas, duealberi.etsy.com

Wall paint, $78
Classical Yellow by Sherwin-Williams, $39 per gallon (2 gallons total), Sherwin-Williams stores

  • chairs and pillows $470
  • end table $158
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