Before & After: Gail’s Living Room

My friend Gail has a big, beautiful, empty home, so she called me in to decorate.

I was determined to go as far as possible with her budget, so I literally hit every thrift store in town I know (Reason #271 I love Austin: plenty of thrift stores), and kept a close eye on Craigslist.

The result: a bright, inviting, airy living space for $150.

My design plan for the living room was born when I found this pair of giant green and yellow tweed pillows at the Salvation Army for $2.50/ea! I knew they’d make great sitting pillows on the hearth (when there’s no roaring fire). From there, I gathered different tones of green as I found them, with white accents.

Gail had a great leather sofa, three end tables, and a coffee table that I used as my building blocks for the room.

There were a few “must’s” the room needed, including more seating which I added with these banana leaf chairs (Craigslist, $40). Their condition isn’t perfect, but I spruced them up with some pillows ($6, Goodwill), a bright throw ($7, Ikea), and some fun vases (grass vase: $5, Craigslist).

The other “must” was more lighting. I found coordinating table lamps for a steal (white: Goodwill, $4; silver: Craigslist, $10), and two bargain white drum shades that I painted green.

On top of my committed bargain-hunting, I saved money with a couple DIY projects.

The mantel was begging for some fun, and I knew I wanted some bold graphic art. But the closest I found to what I was looking for was an ottoman at Target. Can’t put an ottoman on the mantel. So I used the fabric as inspiration to paint a canvas. J’adore!

The brass candlesticks ($6, Salvation Army) just needed a coat of primer and spray paint to become a perfect fit in the room.

Plus, I shopped Gail’s house for a few of the finishing touches, like most of this coffee table setting (pair of gold trays: $7, Savers).

And my favorite… the ceramic porcupine Gail’s son made when he was a tike.

I’m happy to report that Gail is thrilled with her new room. I rather love it, too!

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  1. Mike says:

    Wow. You’re good. Do you barter for your services or possibly have layaway?
    Keep up the great work!

    • Amy says:

      Let’s see… you got a cruise to Jamaica or a Vespa? I could probably arrange a trade for one of those. Thx, Mike!:)

  2. Tiffany Blackstone says:

    You are amazing! The room looks outstanding! So warm & inviting, yet cool at the same time. Love it!

    • Amy says:

      Thanks, Tiffany. It’s really helpful to pick one thing to build around… makes it a fun puzzle to pull together that way! And I do love green for that reason… it can be inviting AND chill at the same time.

  3. WOW! I love the green/brown/white theme! I love the canvas on the mantel and the little white critter. I like the way the seating is arranged and the way it compliments the fireplace. I’d move the fireplace tools to the floor to the left of the fireplace on a squaire plate or tray.

  4. Gail says:

    boy, that ‘Before’, sure looks really terrible! Who lives like that? 🙂
    But you sure are amazing!

  5. Gina says:

    I love the colors in this room and how you’ve demonstrated so many great ways to decorate frugally (Craigslist, thrifting, DIY). Great job!