Decorating My Living Room on a Budget

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You’ve made it this far – good for you! It’s the last of the three-part series on living room savings and you’re about to see what my living room looks like now. (Check out the first and second parts of the series.) Excited?

Before I show you my living room, here are three more tips on how to save on living room furniture. Three more and you’ll see my living room!

Tip #6: If you can’t commit to an expensive couch (yet), settle for a less expensive settee.

A settee makes for a makeshift couch! It won’t cost as much as a sofa because it isn’t as long. But if you are determined to neither spend a lot on a quality couch nor settle for a substandard one that might droop after just a couple of months, a quality settee is a classy and affordable alternative!

The brand-new chaise longue I purchased cost me PhP12,500 – steep, given that it seats about two to three people. However, it’s made of quality foam and I expect it to last many years, not just a couple of months.

flower vase on floor[2]_thumb
I expect this settee to stay with me for a long, long time. It’s better than a pricier yet more disposable sofa!

For me, buying it was better than spending the same amount of money on a cheap couch you usually see in the department store. Those aren’t made of quality foam, so they get deformed much faster. Prepare to bid your money farewell after just a few months of sitting on those cheap babies!

Tip #7: Substitute a single sofa with a cheap armchair.

A single sofa costs a whole lot more than an armchair. Although an armchair might not be as cushy, it’s not going to eat up your savings. It’s the perfect solution for the budget decorator!

phone corner[2]_thumb
This armchair was waiting for me under the sun, hoping I would notice it. I did! It now enjoys its second life as one of my favorite chairs, right beside my living room settee.

Just make sure the height of the armchair you’re eyeing is about the same height as your couch. Otherwise, it will feel out of place.

Tip #8: Can’t afford real windows? Fake them!

Not only could I not afford to have real windows installed, but I actually wasn’t allowed to because I was renting!

I needed the feel of windows. The solution: fake windows.

cheap mirrors[2]_thumb
I bought these 13” x 38” mirrors for just PhP300 each!

I looked for cheap mirrors to install as fake windows and I found several at a hardware store for just PhP300 each. I painted their frames white and hung them on the wall. Voila, fake windows!

The space opened up because of the mirrors. It seemed brighter, too, what with the mirrors allowing the light to bounce around.

My Living Room: PhP29,000 Later

Finally, my living room is ready! Take a look at my living room and remember that everything you see cost me just PhP29,000. That’s less than half of what I thought I would be spending (PhP72,000)!

Furnishing My Living Room: How I Saved PhP40 Thousand

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“Expect to spend more than PhP70 thousand if you want to furnish your living room,” my friend, an interior designer, told me.

I believe I shrieked at the moment. “Seventy thousand?!? That’s ridiculous! Perhaps your estimate is based on expensive furniture?” I asked – no, I hoped.

I had hoped she was wrong. I was asking her how much it would cost me to furnish my living room from scratch and her estimate just shocked me. No way was I spending seventy thousand anything on living room furniture and décor!

living roomThis is now my living room. Spoiler: It did not cost me PhP70,000!

I took a peek at the piece of paper she was writing on. Her list included a rug, couch, table, a big painting for one of my walls, and a few other items. The total screamed out to me like a morbid number, making me forget any hope I had previously clung to.

I shook my head; I had no plans of spending 70 friggin’ thousand just to furnish a living room!

Wall art + installment
Center table
Single sofa
Side table
Window installment
Rugs (floor area: 5’ by 8’)
TV console




After all, I had two bedrooms, a dining area, small kitchen, bathroom and a small closet to work on after I finished with the living room. Did renting a house really have to be this expensive?

Working at Home: Why Home Improvement Matters

I work at home. I need an environment that makes me want to work, one that makes me feel energized and awake. A dark, gloomy home environment is the last thing!

“Why not just buy cheap laminate furniture?” you might ask. Although they are cheap, they last just a couple of years before the wood starts warping or getting mold. I’m too old to buy laminate furniture! It’s time I invested in pieces that will last me a long time.

I asked my friend how I could furnish my home for less. She gave me a few tips and together with a few things I learned on my own, I’m sharing with you how I saved more than PhP40,000 while furnishing my living room.

How to Save on Rugs and Paintings

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So you’ve learned to shop for second-hand furniture and you know what to do with your expensive rug. Let’s continue with the third tip on saving money while furnishing and decorating the living room!

Tip #3: Want your floor to look expensive but you’re on a budget? Layer your rugs!

If having a rug is a must for you (as it is for me), buy two (or more!) affordable rugs and layer them, instead of purchasing one expensive shag rug!

Initially, I wanted an expensive long-pile rug, but I knew it would break the bank. I bought my sisal rug for PhP4,500 and decided to buy a smaller (read: cheaper) shaggy rug, which I layered on top of the sisal. I didn’t have to sell my kidney but I got my soft, shaggy carpet!

Tip #4: If you’re looking for a small shag rug, try the bathroom section.

I found my soft, long-pile rug in the bathroom section of the department store! It’s made of microfiber so it’s really soft underfoot.

two layered center table[8]
See that soft rug? Believe it or not, it cost me just over PhP700!

It costs much less than a shag rug you might find in the carpet section, but it accomplishes the same effect. My 26” x 45” microfiber rug cost me just about PhP700 (I got it at 10 percent off), a far cry from the PhP2,500 you’re likely to spend on a carpet of the same size!

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