Decorating My Living Room on a Budget

Monday, December 08, 2014 Stef dela Cruz, MD 0 Comments

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.

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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!

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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.

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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)!


Projected Expenses

Actual Expenses


Wall art + installment
Center table
Single sofa
Side table
Window installment
TV console








I love my living room now. I love that each piece means something. I love that I helped recycle by buying second-hand furniture. I love that I did my research before I started spending my hard-earned money!

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If you’re thinking of decorating or furnishing your living room, the easiest thing to do is head to the nearest mall. But two things might happen: it’s going to cost you or you’ll end up with pieces that won’t last. Even worse, you might end up spending more than you should and end up with furniture that you’ll be throwing out soon!

Do you have any tips on how to furnish or decorate the living room while on a budget? It’s time for you to share your knowledge. Do us some kindness and hit the comment section!

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.