Decor · Frugal Living

Living Room Inspiration: A New Project and a Surprise!

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What would you do if you had $500 to spend on one room of your home? Other than the purchase of our new couch and chairs in 2019, I’ve never spent more than $150 when updating the decor in a room.

Most of the time I just move things around my home and update decor over time with small accents. Well guess what?! I was recently given $500 by a kind friend, specifically to use in the living room!

Here are the main pieces on my shopping list:

  • 8×10 area rug
  • New window coverings
  • Something large, lightweight and soft for the hallway wall

I can’t tell you how many times my husband has bumped into the picture hanging on the hallway wall. That’s one of the few downsides of marrying a big, tough, athletic manly man…they barrel through the house and need larger clearance than we do. 🙂

For his sake I’d like to put something on that large wall space that won’t fall down easily and that doesn’t stick too far out into the hall (so no shelves, gallery walls or heirlooms).

If I have anything left in my budget after I’ve purchased those items, I would like to put a small table next to the bookshelf. I have one that I can paint, but I’m also looking for other options for this space.

Finally, I’d like to add something in the corner by the half wall – maybe a plant stand or something similar. There are several feet of empty space that I can work with. That’s also the location of the only outlet on that wall, so I would like something that hides all the cords over there.

Here are a few inspiration photos I’ve saved on Instagram with ideas for the window treatments (first pic) and corner table (second pic).

The style of container in the picture above doesn’t fit my decor – it’s just a jumping off point for inspiration. I’ve started shopping for the larger pieces and have a few ideas here:

Rug 1 / Rug 2 / Shelf / Blinds

Even though it feels so extravagant (to me) to have $500 to more or less “blow” on one room, I still plan to take my time and find the best deals on everything. Whenever the time comes, I can’t wait to share the finished project with you all!

By the way, long time followers of my blog might remember a similar post I wrote five years ago where I only imagined what I would do if I had $200 to spend in this room! That was before I had new furniture in here – the only pieces that are the same are my rug and coffee table.

It’s interesting to see how my style has evolved since then. One thing hasn’t changed – I still do the best with what I have and strive to be content with those things. I’m very, very thankful for the kind gift that will allow me to add several big pieces at once!

What would you with $500 in your home? Which room would you choose to update?

Click here to see the finished product of my $500 living room update!

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17 thoughts on “Living Room Inspiration: A New Project and a Surprise!

  1. Sooo excited for you! What an extra special blessing. Can’t wait to see what you find. We are empty nesters and plan on down sizing in the next year or so. I would save the money to see what we will need in our next home.


  2. You could put a decal on the wall. There are some nice ones with inspirational quotes. I purchased one at Hobby Lobby, and it was very easy to apply.


    1. I was going to say the same. We put several inspirational wall decals in our home and absolutely love the look. When applied correctly, they look like they are painted right on the wall. Besides Hobby Lobby there are several good websites, my favorite being A Great Impression.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an exciting opportunity for you! Yay for generous people. If I were gifted $500 I’d spend it on decorating our deck with outdoor furniture, rugs, umbrellas, etc. I am excited to hear about your deal hunting, thrifting, couponing to get the most bang for your buck. Have you seen those flat basket collages – tobacco baskets?? They would be really light and might be slim enough for your wall. Something like this –


      1. Such a kind gift! I hope that you will do a home tour when you’re done. I love seeing your home during each season.


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