Genius Tips for an Affordable Room Makeover + Living Room Reveal

This post is sponsored by Apt2B.

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Jun and I have been working on putting this room together for a while now, and I’m finally excited to share our living room with you in partnership with Apt2B! This space also shares the same room with the dining area, so I wanted to give a distinct theme for this corner to really separate the functionality of each space.

Expensive or cheap paint for my walls? Hire painters or do it myself? What kind of brushes do I need? How can I ensure an opaque coverage without wasting paint? Here’s an in-depth tutorial on how to paint your walls without hiring painters or paying tons of money on expensive paint. -

Let’s also take a look at the transformation of this area from when we first moved in vs. now! When we moved in, the walls were painted with dirty flat beige paint and the windows still had old crumbling blinds. It just goes to show what some fresh paint and curtains can do to transform a space.

Check out my last home update for more info on how I painted our home: How to Paint Walls: Money-Saving Tips to Do it Yourself

Many of my Instagram followers have been asking me for tips on doing their own home refresh. I am by no means a professional interior designer, but I do have quite a few tricks on making a home makeover (or room!) much more simpler and more affordable without all of the overwhelming bits.

Stick to a Neutral Palette For Your Walls and Floors

If you follow me on Instagram, by now you should be familiar with my neutral theme for our home since I’ve been posting about it so much on my stories. We decided to go with white cabinets and light grey walls and also plan on getting both black wood-tile flooring and painting the ceilings dark grey to add more visual height. With this color palette, my furniture from Apt2B totally fit the aesthetic.

While many interior designers may claim that neutral is dead and gone or flat-out boring, I actually disagree – the beauty of a neutral palette is that it takes the guesswork out of pairing furniture. “Blue looks best with what color?” “Is this a complimentary color?” “Should I stick to a tertiary color palette?” “We can’t buy that because it doesn’t matter our color palette!” While a neutral palette might seem restrictive at first, it actually allows for so much versatility in the long run because you can always play with accent colors for your home decor pieces.

Neutral Furniture Will Also Save You Money in the Long Run

For larger and more expensive pieces of furniture, I also prefer getting them in neutral colors like black, white or grey. Color trends will come and go, so it’s not just not practical to shell out $2,000 on a coral sofa even though it’s currently the 2019 color of the year. I already know that by 2020, I’ll grow tired of that color and want something else.

Sticking to a neutral color is even more essential if your furniture is multifunctional: although we have a guest bedroom, I opted for a sleeper sofa in the event that we have a lot of family staying over during the holidays. It just wouldn’t make sense to spend more money on a sleeper sofa only to have to replace it in the next few years because of its color going out-of-trend.

Side note: the sofa I picked is from Apt2B’s Fillmore collection, which is a beautiful contemporary collection of sofas, loveseats, sectionals, and chairs that can be customized with over 41+ colors. They also have sofa sleepers and sectional sleepers which also come with the choice of a standard innerspring mattress or a memory foam mattress.

Use an Accent Color 

A neutral color palette doesn’t mean you have to avoid fun colors at all costs. You can add in accent colors for lower-priced home decor items like throw blankets, accent pillow covers, rugs, and other pieces. That way, even if you do grow tired of your accent color and want to try a new color, you’ll spend less. I know that many savvy interior decorators have different sets of living room decor pieces that they use for each season, so they aren’t subject to just one accent color all year.

Invest in Large Furniture

Although it might be tempting to grab a $250 couch, it’s better to just say no – cheaper couch cushions have a tendency to get too soft over time, causing major discomfort after about a year (or even within just months).

Here are the items you should definitely avoid skimping on in each room:

  • Living room/family room: Couches, sofas, sectionals
  • Bedroom: Mattress
  • Dining room: Dining table
  • Kitchen: Appliances

Out of all the items in each room, these are the things that will be subject to the most wear-and-tear, so it’s better to stick with something that you know will offer longevity for both visual design as well as functionality. Other things like dining chairs, end tables, and decorative pieces are much more affordable to replace and can also be dressed up: dining chairs can get a second chance at life with new seat cushions or textured covers, and end tables can always be painted.

Rest assured, investing in quality furniture doesn’t have to break the bank. Apt2B also has an extensive outlet collection from where I got most of my living room pieces. You’ll find many gorgeous sofas, chairs, bed frames, tables and more at discounted prices. I was able to snag my sofa for $779 off the original price! Although the clearance deal is gone, you’ll still find my Bodie side table for 40% off!

Use Existing Items as Home Decor

You don’t need to buy new things in order to decorate a space. Think about the items you already have and give them a new purpose as home decor! Think about the books in your bookcase and pull out some interesting books with covers that might match your desk or coffee table. Your bedroom walls can be adorned by putting some nails in the wall and hanging up your favorite hats. Have an empty room? Turn it into a walk-in closet by putting your shoes and bags on display in some cheap bookcases and installing some rods for clothes hangers.

Many of the items on my shelves are books, newspaper cutouts from my features, awards, and other decorative knick-knacks I already had. 

Don’t Forget to Take Measurements

Measure, measure, measure, and then measure again – I cannot stress this enough. Measuring might seem like such a trivial and unnecessary step in the grand scheme of things, but trust me: take the time to measure now and it will save you tons of stress and headaches later. This is even more important if you purchase furniture online because if in the event something really does not fit, you’ll either wind up paying a lot of money to return an item or spend time trying to resell it.

Use a Rug to Define the Separation of a Space

Because my dining area and living room are in the same room, I opted for a large area rug to separate the living room and give it its own space separate from the dining table. The table is literally just a few feet away, but the change of flooring creates a distinct boundary line between both.

Rugs are also a great budget-friendly alternative to dramatically transform a space without making any permanent changes. We have future plans to replace our old carpet with a dark wood-look tile flooring, so I planned ahead opted for a rug that would contrast with this dramatically. Currently, the rug might be a similar color to our carpet, but the ultra-plush pile shag gives the floor in this area much more texture.

The Aliso shag rug is sold out in beige, but it’s still available in a rich dark graphite.

Opt For Functional Furnishings

If it’s possible, minimize statement furniture and opt for pieces that serve functions. You can utilize both my coffee table and side table as discreet storage, which allows me to store away small items like candles or matches (I personally store away my tarot cards, sage, essential oils and other spiritual items). And if you’re expecting last-minute company, it’s easy to quickly hide clutter.

Additionally, my sofa is also available as a sleeper sofa, so if we are expecting a lot of company (usually during the holidays) and the guest bedroom is already occupied, 2 guests can also sleep here comfortably instead of resorting to sleeping bags on the floor.

Get Free Swatches Whenever Possible

The tricky part about buying furniture online is whether or not the colors of your upholstered pieces will actually match your room. Before you rush in and buy something that won’t wind up matching, you can always over swatches of the colors and materials prior to buying your furniture! This allows you to feel the fabric and see if the hue is compatible with the color palette of your space.

Apt2B offers up to 10 free swatches on any upholstered pieces: select it below the “Add to Cart” button on any qualifying item and choose from leather, woven fabrics, velvet and more. And unlike most stores, you don’t have to pay for shipping either.

Take Advantage of Free Delivery

Another common caveat of buying furniture online? Shipping fees. Luckily, Apt2B offers free shipping on everything on their site, from small to large items – no minimum purchase is needed either. 

If you live alone, you also have the option of White Glove Delivery for only $99. Prop your feet up on delivery day and have Apt2B assemble and move your furniture into its rightful place!

If you’d like to grab some of the same pieces from my living room, make sure to shop my picks below and use code Baller2B for 15% off your purchase! As always, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my newsletter below for the latest home decor posts and money-saving tips.


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This post is sponsored by Apt2B.

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