Budget Makeover: A Complete Living Room Update For Under $1500

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY The Havenly Team

Fill 1Created with Sketch.

Published on January 21, 2016

The budget was only $1,500.

The challenge was to design a comfortable, modern living space for a St. Louis couple who just moved into their first apartment.

This is the story of how Havenly helped Danielle and her boyfriend, Vince, create a space that was both budget-friendly and inviting.

A Couple’s First Apartment

Danielle’s decor journey started in July when she and Vince moved into their first apartment together.

“We were basically starting from scratch, furniture-wise. I may or may not have made him get rid of his bachelor pad furniture,” Danielle admits.

The couple needed help on a few fronts. They wanted their apartment to feel like home and a reflection of their personal styles, but they had a modest budget that limited their options. Plus, Danielle and Vince were looking for quality items that could be easily incorporated once they bought a house.

“Design is not my forte! I have a zillion Pinterest pictures of rooms that I love, but I get stressed out and frustrated when I try to put things together myself,” said Danielle.


Understanding Danielle’s Style

After completing the Havenly style quiz, Danielle was matched with an interior designer, Stafford B, to pinpoint the perfect look for the couple’s first shared space.

“Danielle has a bright, fun style and loves color, pattern, and gold–all things that are generally not male-friendly,” said Stafford.  

After brainstorming with Danielle and Vince, Stafford carefully implemented their feedback to create a cozy living room centered around a neutral palette that was still visually interesting. Creating a space that Danielle and her boyfriend could agree on, based on their conflicting styles, was no easy feat, but Stafford was determined to find the perfect balance.


Finding the Perfect Balance

After talking to Danielle about her likes and dislikes, Stafford began designing a space that had a neutral foundation, while incorporating a fun mixture of textures, materials and patterns to bring the design to life. With minimal direction, Stafford created impeccable concept boards for Danielle and Vince, leading the couple to choose the first concept option.

leather-pouf  CB2 Pillow

[CB2 Leather Pouf and Pillow]


[Crate & Barrel Starburst Round Wall Mirror]

Stafford was thrilled to help the couple design their first apartment together.

“Going into this project, I knew I wanted to find affordable pieces that Danielle would want to bring with her into her next home and keep for years–no ‘temporary’ pieces allowed! She wanted it to be budget-friendly, but not look cheap. With all of the affordable options out there these days, we made it work with some economical finds from Target, IKEA, and Wayfair. She was truly impressed with the quality!”

Danielle boasts, “We felt like kids on Christmas every time we got a delivery! We just love the way the room came together!”

Image 2 (1)

Image 5

Image 10

[Images by Matt Harrer Photography]

Still waiting for your room to come together? Havenly can help.