Living Room Makeover on a Budget, Going Grey

Hey there!  Wow, can you believe it's already November?!  This gives me a small heart attack.  Like, what happened to September and October??  They were just here and then... POOF!  Gone.

I am going to be dragging my Christmas stuff out of the basement in a matter of days.  DAYS, people.  I love Christmas and decorating for it but wow, doesn't seem possible that it's just about that time of year again.  (Except at Hobby Lobby, where Christmas started in July... insanity)

Anyway, I re-did my living room over the Spring and Summer.  Yeah, way back then and I'm just now posting it in November because I am so awesome.
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog living room makeover, Holbrook Coffee Table

You can see my old brown living room here.

It was fine but I was really over the brown.  So over it.  I didn't want to spend any money so I just started selling stuff.  I sold my ottoman, I sold most of my throw pillows, I sold my curtains and even some random accessories.  I got decent prices because I sold most things through the classified ads through Mr. Chic's work as opposed to a garage sale where people want to pay you ten cents for your coffee table.  Although craigslist is great, using the hub's company classified ads took the craigslist-creepy-factor out of it because at least you know these people work at his company and probably won't try to kill you when they come over to buy your curtains. (call me paranoid but you never know);)   

After my sales I had a decent chunk of money to work with.  I wanted to throw in some touches of grey.  I did not want to paint because my paint color is neutral enough and because this room has a two-story vaulted ceiling so I'd have to pay someone to do it.  No thanks.  I knew I'd be able to throw in some grey accents and be a-ok without painting anyway.

I found this Restoration Hardware-esque mirror at TJ Maxx for crazy cheap.  It has great old barn wood coloring and a nice touch of rusty metal framing the mirror.

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating  living room makeover, Restoration Hardware style mirror

I checked my favorite thrift store and almost hyperventilated when I found these chairs.

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog, Marias Arm Chair
At the time they were still in the Home Decorators catalog for full price, $399 each.  They still have this style, the Marais Arm Chair, with different fabric at their online outlet for $319.  They were in brand new condition at the thrift store which was buying new or like new furniture that had been a sample or customer return.  I got these suckers for 75% off retail plus no shipping.  One needed a screw in the leg tightened and the other had some dirt on the seat that cleaned right off.  Easy fixes.  What a deal!

I already had the $30 mirrored table.   I got pretty mercury glass knobs for it 50% off at the HobLob.
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog, mirrored table

I'm pretty sure you can see dust sitting on the mirrored drawer front plus a big smudge on the bottom right.  I'm fancy.

Also, because I'm so fancy I have still not repaired the broken mirror on this table.  Someday.  Could you even tell in the picture?  Me neither.

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog, Holbrook coffee table

The Holbrook coffee table was from the same thrift store with a similar story.  Still for sale on Home Decorators website for $379 plus $60 for shipping and tax.  Mine cost $70 total.  Had to use a little wood filler in one of the top boards.  Can you tell?  Me neither.

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog, purple orchid

I love the color of these orchids with grey.  I splurged on it because I don't have the best history with raising orchids.  This one is now to that scary point where all of the blooms have fallen off and I have to patiently wait and care for it to see if one day the blooms will grow back just as beautifully again.  Unfortunately, I have yet to ever have that happen.  I am an orchid serial killer.  Not for fun, I just suck at orchids.

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog, Marais Arm Chair, document script fabric
I did the happy dance when I found this garden stool at TJ Maxx.  I had been longing for one for one meellion years but I refused to pay the designer catalog price.  Yay for TJ's and saving $$!

The furry pillow, otherwise know as the "dead cat" pillow, was a cheapy clearance find at Tuesday Mornings.  Did you know that Tuesday Mornings is now holding their big re-openings on Sunday mornings?  What's up with that??  Are they going to change their name to Sunday Mornings? 

I scored my other pillows at, wait for it.... TJ Maxx.

Because I was able to find such cheap new furniture I was able to keep my costs very low.  I initially had not planned on replacing anything but the ottoman  with a coffee table but couldn't resist those chairs at that price.  I know the document fabric is trendy and will eventually go out of style but the chairs are a classic shape that I could easily recover.  The sad news is that I went to the thrift shop and they said they are no longer getting any of the Home Decorators stuff anymore.


Broke my heart.

But really,  I do not need to buy any furniture.  My house is full.  I'm lucky I got what I did for those amazing prices. 

Anyway, I didn't make any huge changes but the room has a very different look and feel to it.  I'm pretty happy with it, especially with the small amount of money I spent.

Have you ever scored any major furniture deals??

Linking: Home Stories A to Z


  1. Kate, your room is so beautiful! I love the deals you got, you scored big (gotta love TJ Maxx and thrift stores). I love every single thing in here!

  2. so very chic and pretty. love it. jen-COM

  3. There is not much more I like than amazing thrifty finds and you hit the jackpot! Those chairs are gorgeous.

  4. Beautiful! I love the mirror!

  5. Hi Kate,

    What a great transformation on a budget. Indeed, it has a different feel to it. Love the chair and mirror.

  6. Your brown living room was beautiful too, but the gray just gives it a little more of a modern edge that I love. It is amazing what paint and ingenuity will get you! Well done!

  7. I love your chairs.........and they caught my eye because I have one similar to yours that needs to be reupholstered and I like the fabric that's on yours. Also, did you know the style of your chair is called an Empire style? Here is the link for a really nice resource from One Kings Lane to help you identify the style of your furniture:

  8. you have a lot of interesting ideas and i love your pretty tastes, i hope you see my blog at International Decor

  9. Those chairs are fantastic, Kate! It's so thrilling to get a good deal like that. :) That mirrored table is pretty sweet too and I really like the knobs. I love Hob Lob and their sales (and coupons). :) Your living room looks wonderful!

  10. Beautiful! I need to visit your thrift store. I haven't had any luck like that.

  11. Love your sense of humor and your thrifty style!

  12. First of all, I can't believe you found those chairs at a thrift store. What a major score!!! I would of did the happy dance if I found those babies. This room looks stunning.


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