Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple

A beautiful area rug is an anchor for a room design, particularly one with hard surface flooring. Even if you’re working with a tight budget, the right area rug is a worthwhile investment around which the rest of the room can be created.

My son and his girlfriend recently moved into a beautiful new 3-story townhome. Like many young couples just starting out, their living room had only the necessities— a comfy leather reclining sofa, and a giant TV. 😜

Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple-- before picture

It’s a beautiful space, with plenty of natural light, and pretty LVP flooring throughout most of the main living spaces.

–> Best Budget Interior Designer Tip: An area rug is the easiest way to make a big difference in a room when you’re working with a small budget. It can be used to brighten up a room, add a pop of color, or pull in different patterns and textures. A good quality area rug is worth the investment.

When we decided to give their new place a little refresh, I knew that finding the perfect area rug was the first step in making a big impact on the overall room look, as well as adding warmth, both literally a figuratively.

The living room in this townhouse is right above the tuck-under garage, so the floor can be a little chilly during the winter. We also needed something to break up and contrast with the expansive wood-look flooring.

This post is sponsored by Boutique Rugs. All ideas and designs are my own.

The Trunding Plush Area Rug that the kids selected is the perfect solution. Its thick, high pile and warm charcoal and cream color scheme add both comfort and style to this living area.

Trunding plush area rug
Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple

How to Choose the Right Size Rug

An area rug can serve as a focal point to anchor the living space, but you don’t want a rug that is too small or too large.

A rug is too large if it touches the walls, or is too close to them. This can make the space look crowded and confined. Aim for a few inches of space between the edges of the rug and the wall.

On the other hand, if the rug is too small, it can appear as if it’s floating in the middle of the room, making the space look disjointed.

The right-sized rug works with the room’s scale.

Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple
Trunding Plush area rug from Boutique Rugs

How to Place an Area Rug in Your Living Room

The main living spaces of this 3-story townhouse are all on the second floor, with one big open floor plan that consists of the kitchen, dining room, and living room.

Placing a large area rug in the living room provided some definition of that space from the kitchen, while still maintaining the open and spacious feel.

In the past, traditional interior design may have dictated that all of the furniture had to fit on the area rug, or at least the front legs should sit on the edge of the rug.

While these more traditional guidelines still create beautiful rooms, modern designs have new “rules” that work well, particularly if you’re on a budget.

A slightly smaller area rug that fills the negative space in the seating area, with only the coffee table fully on the rug, will ground the space and even work as a statement piece in the room.

The bold graphic design of the Trunding Plush Area Rug functions like an art piece, while its neutral colors keep it from being too overpowering. The more modern design is perfect for a young couple’s place.

Trunding Plush Area Rug

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Limited Budget Living Room Makeover Ideas

Once we had the gorgeous Trunding Plush Rug in place, we set to work on some other simple ways to create a cozy living room feel.

We focused on small changes we could make right now, while still leaving room for them to add new pieces of furniture and wall art over time.

Lighting

The space had an existing ceiling fan with an overhead light, but the room definitely needed additional light sources, both for practical purposes and ambiance.

Lamps can be very expensive, so my first stop was a couple of my favorite thrift stores.

I always see tons of table lamps in various shapes and sizes at thrift stores and flea markets.

If you look past the finishes on the lamps and focus on the shape and size, you can usually find something that will work in your space if you just apply a fresh coat of paint. Yes, lamps can be painted!

Just tape off the socket and cord and paint the rest! If you’re lucky, you’ll find a lamp that has a decent shade with it, but even if you have to buy a new shade, you’ve still saved a ton of money on the lamp itself.

This is an affordable way to get a good quality lamp and give it a whole new look with any paint you like. You could go with something neutral, or something bright and fun, depending on your color palette.

Luck was on my side the day I went lamp shopping because I happened upon this nearly new gray lamp with a great shade for less than 5 bucks! Now that’s a good deal.

Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple 
Lamp from thrift store

Because we were working with neutral light colors for this room, it was perfect the way it was. No paint needed this time.

Accent Tables

There is no place to put a lamp without a side table, so we repurposed some end tables that the kids already had, but were using as nightstands.

They were handed down from grandma and grandpa’s house, which is an inexpensive way to find furniture if you’re just starting out with a new place to furnish. Ask family members for things they are looking to unload!

If you don’t like the way it the hand-me-down looks, painting old furniture is a great trick for inexpensive room makeovers.

Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple
Boutique Rugs Trunding Plush Area Rug

The coffee table was another great find. It is a nice solid piece that is just the right size for the space.

With a coat of black paint, and a DIY marbelized epoxy resin top, it works as a makeshift dining table when they want to eat in front of the TV at the end of a long day, but also makes a great place to play board games or just decorate with some pretty living room decor.

New Pillows

To add some contrast to the dark leather sofa, I found a couple of gorgeous like-new pillows for just $3.99 each. Another great score for not much money. The black, gray, and ivory color palette worked perfectly with the colors in the Trunding Plush Rug.

Trunding Plush Area Rug from Boutique Rugs
Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple

Curtains

The Nautica drapes were a lucky HomeGoods find. The sheer white panels with gray stripes frame the window without blocking any of that beautiful natural light.

Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple

Accessories

Adding “new” accessories was an easy way to jazz up their existing living room space. We “shopped” their townhome to round up some items to use in the room.

  • Candles add a cozy glow to the coffee and side table
  • Lighted twigs in a vase brighten up a dark corner
  • Corner shelves near the window create just the right place for a collection of small plants
  • A collection of whiskey bottles and glasses are gathered together to make a mini home bar area on top of the electric fireplace
Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple

Final Result

Without making any major changes, we gave this room a whole new look. Just adding the area rug was a great way to make a huge difference instantly.

The rest of this room makeover was very cost-effective.

Total Price (not including the rug): $57.95

  • Lamp- $4.99
  • Sofa Pillows- $3.99 x 2 = $7.98
  • Side Tables- free (handed down from grandma & grandpa)
  • Coffee Table- free (handed down from a family member and given a DIY makeover with paint and resin we already had)
  • Curtains- $16.99 at HomeGoods
  • Curtain Hardware- $9.99 at Target (I already had a curtain rod, just needed the brackets)
  • Electric Fireplace- free (used to be in my house, but we no longer needed it, so we passed it along to them)
  • Rustic Wood Corner Shelves– $17.99 from Amazon
  • Lighted Twigs- free (I bought at an estate sale last year and never used them)

Later, if the kids want to paint an accent wall, add a piece of artwork, or some additional furniture, they can easily incorporate those things into this design as their budget allows.

The good news is that for now, the space is inviting, comfortable, and sophisticated.

Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple
Trunding Plush from Boutique Rugs

The Trunding Plush rug that this couple chose for their townhome has more of a Bohemian Farmhouse vibe, but Boutique Rugs has hundreds of rug choices to suit any style and budget.

Boutique Rugs generously sent us this Ulubey Area Rug too. It’s stunning as well, but with a more traditional vibe.

You can see it here on my Instagram:

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PS. I think the kitties approve, too. 🐾

–> You can see more home decor projects from The House on Silverado HERE.

5 thoughts on “Budget-Friendly Living Room Makeover for Young Couple

  1. That rug definitely pulls the space together. It compliments your decor perfectly and adds such a cozy element to the room. Thank you for sharing your post on the Home Imagined link party.

  2. Great tips and you really cozied up the space! I helped a young friend of mine with a similar thrifty makeover several years ago and it was so fun to share her joy. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  3. Thank you for linking up to Whimsy Home Wednesday! l and sharing your inspiration with us. I’m loving your living room redo! I am sharing my daughter’s apartment budget living room soon, love when we can give our kid’s a beautiful cozy space!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristin! Yes, I agree. It was fun to help our kids get set up in their own spaces as adults! I loved helping them design and decorate their rooms while they still lived at home, and this was a fun extension of that. I’m going to pop over now and check out your daughter’s living room.

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