The Budget Living Room Challenge

HGTV Magazine asked three designers—all winners of HGTV competition shows—to create a fabulous room with only a sofa and $2,000. See what they did.
By: Jaimie Dalessio Clayton and Catherine Anne Lowden

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Magnus Westergren

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufactuer

Photo By: Chris Eckert/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Chris Eckert/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Magnus Westergren

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Etsy

Photo By: Chris Eckert/Studio D

Photo By: Magnus Westergren

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturers

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Ben Goldstein/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Starts With a Sofa

The foundation piece was this sofa. Gramercy 81"-wide sofa in linen birdie, $1,325, shopsocietysocial.com

Tiffany Brooks, Season 8 HGTV Star winner

Tiffany’s strategy for pulling together her living room included working with a tightly edited blue and yellow color palette and adding lots of bold patterns. Painting basic pieces, like the backs of the no-frills bookcases and the frames of two metal tables, “introduced glam touches to the on-budget space.” Total cost: $1,956.

Window Treatments

Sanela 98" x 55" curtains in light turquoise, $50 for a pair, ikea.com; Adjustable 28"-50" curtain rod set with pewter ball finials, $29, overstock.com

Patterned Chair

Hudson Swoop upholstered chair in gorgeous pearl, $200, target.com

Table Set + Spray Paint

Vittsjö nesting tables, $60 for a set of 2, ikea.com. Tiffany spray-painted the black-metal frames Premium Metallic 18 kt. Gold Plate, $7 for 8 ounces, and the bottom shelf on the large table ColorMaster Paint and Primer in Gloss White, $6 for 12 ounces, both by Krylon, krylon.com for stores.

Pillow

Room Essentials Oversized Dots 24" x 24" pillow in yellow, $25, target.com

Console Table

Flank a console with bookcases to fake the look of a pricey all-in-one unit. Malm 47 1/4"W x 16 1/4"D x 30 3/4"H dressing table with glass top, $150, ikea.com

Lamps

Steel Droplet accent lamps in yellow, $60 for a set of 2, lampsplus.com

Side Table

Safavieh Kendra 30 1/2"H x 22"-diameter pine end table in dark teal, $150, overstock.com

Solid Chair

Safavieh Amanda Robin’s Egg birch and polyester chair, $321, wayfair.com

Bookcase + Paint

Billy 31 1/2"W x 11"D x 79 1/2"H bookcase in white, $60, ikea.com. Tiffany painted the back of each bookcase with leftover wall paint.

Rug

Squares 7' x 10' polypropylene rug in blue, $250, target.com

Meg Caswell, Season 6 Design Star winner

With raspberry pink walls, gold-painted tree stumps subbing in for a coffee table, and a rustic wheeled console, Meg’s living room feels “warm and cozy, but chic and edgy at the same time.” A tripod floor lamp and set of club chairs add the must-have light and extra seating. Pattern enters via pillows and fabric sewn into drapes. Total cost: $1,929.

Floor Lamp

Ore 41"H x 19"-diameter 3-legged floor lamp in white, $87, wayfair.com

Rug

Safavieh Courtyard CY6788 8' x 11'2" polypropylene rug in chocolate cream, $234, rugsusa.com

Mirror

The mirror’s intricate carving echoes the rug’s scrolling pattern. Segovia 36" x 24" whitewashed metal mirror, $100, worldmarket.com

Chair

Wildon Home Augusto armchair, $249, wayfair.com

Side Table

Weave 22"H x 16 1/2"-diameter metal barrel end table in antique gold finish with glass top, $96, overstock.com

Window Treatments

Richloom Sketch printed cotton drapery fabric in bengal, $9 per yard, fabricguru.com; Adjustable curtain rod set with pewter ball finials, $29, overstock.com; In-Tension Rod clip rings, $10 for a set of 7, Bed Bath & Beyond stores

Console Table

Aiden 50"W x 15 3/4"D x 31 1/2"H wood and metal console table, $290, worldmarket.com

Painted Tree Stumps

A blinged-out set of coffee tables for next to nothing: cast-off freebie tree stumps from a lumber mill are painted shimmery gold. Parlor Gold by Ralph Lauren Paint, $26 per quart, ralphlaurenpaint.com

Pillows

Watercolor 20" x 20" linen and cotton pillow cover in orange, coral, and magenta, $60, motifpillows.etsy.com; 20" x 20" insert, $3, ikea.com; Caravan 20" x 20" cotton pillow in orange, $30, pillowdecor.com

David Font, Season 1 Brother Vs. Brother winner

A snappy rug—like this blue and white design with a single red stripe—can kick-start a room. To offset the sofa’s classic shape, David brought in an arc floor lamp and a faux-leather petal chair. A tall freestanding mirror “fills a wall that doesn’t have any furniture—and makes the space seem bigger.” Total cost: $1,928

Chair

Best Selling Home Décor faux leather modern brown petal chair, $299, amazon.com

Mirror

Hanging-leaning 76" x 32" floor mirror in gray, $299, cb2.com

Pillows

Gurli 20" x 20" pillow cover in red, $3, and 20" x 20" insert, $3, both ikea.com; Pillow Perfect Concorde chevron 11 1/2" x 18 1/2" pillow, $27, overstock.com

Bookshelf

Hung horizontally, a long bookshelf in fire engine red is as eye-catching as artwork. Lack 74 3/4"W x 11 3/4"D x 11"H shelving unit in red, $50, ikea.com

Sideboard

Stockholm 63"W x 15 3/4"D x 19 3/4"H TV unit in beige, $299, ikea.com

Floor Lamp

Atomic Lobster 48"W x 28"D x 58 1/2"H arc floor lamp, $299, cb2.com

Window Treatments

Jacob 84" x 38" sheer gingham curtain panels with grommets, $25 for a pair, and adjustable 28"–50" curtain rod set with pewter ball finials, $29, both overstock.com

Coffee Table

Furniture of America Kress 47 1/2"W x 21 3/4"D x 13"H coffee table with glass insert in white, $232, overstock.com

Rug

Ocean Liner 8' x 10' cotton rug, $229, landofnod.com

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