How to rejuvenate your home on a budget – part 2

Dear Diary,

Today I can show you how with a tiny budget you can make dramatic changes to your home.  This homeowner inherited furniture that didn’t really suit her style or home, but just couldn’t afford a whole new interior. As with so many clients, I always find ways to make their pieces work.  Grab a cuppa and enjoy this transformation of a tiny budget makeover!  I will share the whole open plan space “before” photos to help you understand my choices in colours and finishes, but only reveal the living space today…… stay tuned for the second installment! 😉

Living room before

The client was stuck with a dated dark green leather suite, but in such a good condition, that it would be senseless to sell at a huge loss, plus have you seen the costs of new sets?  yep, its crazy, I can buy my 16yr old a car for the price of a new lounge suite :-0.  The floor and wall colours were good and gave me a great starting point.  The room however lacked style and mood and any decor for that matter (in the client’s defence however, she was just so uninspired by all the mixtures and felt it was a hopeless case, therefore gave up on the decorating part.)……AHEM, its NEVER hopeless!!

The furniture placement was so awkward and had no good traffic flow. The niches behind the tv was painted a very sharp lime green (I had them painted a charcoal as seen here) so quickly, even my head spun hahaha 

The client tried to marry the lime green in the kitchen adjacent to the living room with the green paint, but it was just to overwhelming, plus the shade was much sharper making it so much worse.  The lime green and bottle green screamed for a divorce so I complied haha. (sorry there is no pictures of the green wall, because I got that brush and paint out quicker than a cowboy could his gun out of the holster! 🙂

The warm beech wood tones in the cabinets is a little dated, but totally fixable with accessories to help it all blend a little better.

Opposite the kitchen (its one big open-plan space remember) is the dining area.  Again, inherited dining suite, but obviously it totally doesn’t work with the very modern built-in buffet unit. In the picture below, I had already removed the green seats to be recovered.

This nook ended up as a space to stash anything and everything. 😉  Not while I am around it aint happening! To be honest she hated it, as it served no real purpose to her.  Let me be the judge of that! – but I am getting ahead of myself….. more on that next time.

How to rejuvenate your home on a budget

Adding a grounding colour.

A grounding colour is used when a lot of colours are in a space or the colours are bold and not really cohesive in the design.  See how I used black in her study, office and entry for a high-end feel and to set the tone for the front area of the home. I chose a charcoal grey to ground this whole area and give a sense of cohesion.  Painting the niches in the wall was the first step and making the bold colour statement.  This colour also helps to ground the one odd grey reclining chair. Next was to repeat in a rug, (which creates a cosy atmosphere) and some throw blankets, soft charcoal sheer curtains and a huge abstract art piece in the living room.

OK, ready for the reveal?

Living Room – after

WOW, I know hey!?  Ok;- breakdown of how and why.  See that bit of lime in the painting?  That is ALL you need to give the kitchen colour some rhythm. 

Some natural, tan coloured items keep the kitchen cabinets harmonious.  I chose to use it on a textured deep tan linen lampshade, and some rattan decor items. Greenery is always great and give a lived-in look.

Different colours of grey work so well here.  Soft greys in the abstract and silver-grey in the hammered metal coffee table.  Also note I didn’t forget the dark green the lounge set….. repeated in the abstract as well as decor elements on the coffee table.

The furniture is now placed in a conversational grouping with good traffic flow through the room.  They are scaled, spaced and positioned correctly for the room size. Curtains always softens a space and this big room really needed softening!  The big black lamp table was found in a storage room of the client and with a little spray, that table works so well for the lamp and other knickknacks.  A small grey basket next to the recliner holds extra blankets for cold winter nights.

Now…….Just a reminder……we went from this….

To this…….A successful tiny budget makeover!

Believe it or not, this room was transformed for $1000….. yes, that. (you should no by now how I hunt for sales and treasures everywhere 😉  )   

Well friends, I hope you enjoyed your cuppa and this transformation, showing that even when you hate your current space and think its a hopeless case, it never really is.  The client has gone from hate to love, and feels so great receiving guests, not feeling shy or ashamed of her uninspiring space anymore.  Next time I will show you the second segment to this room.  What a little re-organising and some styling can do for a space.

Till next time!


Article by Teresa

Australian Interior Designer / Decorator & Photographer. I share my style, my creativity and love for all things decor.

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