Friday, July 1, 2011

{ haute household under $25 } living room

Hi everyone! I’m Emily Marie from Sprout Through Concrete.

When I read that Jessica was hosting a guest post series on home furnishings under $25, I was ecstatic. As a 20-something living in Chicago, I know the feeling of needing to decorate on a budget. I recently signed a lease to live on my own for the first time, so my pocketful of change seems to be getting smaller by the minute. Needless to say, I’ve been exploring home décor ideas that are cost effective and easy to do.

I love the indie look of crafting your own space. It creates a very stylish atmosphere that it truly all your own. So, for my section, I’ve chosen to focus on creative DIY ideas for your living room.

Jars are great for everything accessory-based. Flowers? Perfect. Candles? Put ‘em in. Buttons? Start a collection. You can find jars for cheap almost anywhere – a good find online is through Goodmans.


A table is a terrible thing to waste. Solid colors on wood is clean and works in almost any room – but for your living room - why not have some fun and jazz it up your wood table with wallpaper? There are some beautiful designs on Etsy – here are some vintage designs that would complete a middle-table look.

Bonus: Better Homes and Gardens has provided a list of creative things to do with wallpaper. Check out the photo credit for more ideas!


As in any room, lighting sets a mood. The living room is no exception; in fact, it’s probably the most important room to have great lighting in. As the room that houses hang outs, guests and relaxing chats, it’s important to provide a pleasant ambiance.

I’m a huge fan of string lights – they provide subtle creativity to a living room as they are underused and can be hung in so many different ways. I love the referenced DIY light board and unique low-hanging pendant lights above. Target has some cute options for string lights!


A quick way to add some quark is through regular paper. Country Living has a great “how to” for transforming lampshades. A paper-made shade would be adorable on a side table or near a couch. Plus, the flexibility of this option means that if you get tired of the original paper you chose, you can quickly change it up!

Paper source has some lovely papers that would be perfect, like this or this.


With staple pieces like couches and chairs, the living room can be pretty expensive to furnish. But, if you don’t mind hand-me-downs, Salvation Army can hold some gems. My boyfriend and I recently fixed up a cabinet from Salvation Army that cost $25 – and it turned out to be pretty cool. Check out my blog for a run down on how to make a “Creative Cabinet.”

The best thing about thrift purchases is that if you goof on a DIY technique or paint job, no sweat, it was cheap! They’re fun and surprisingly easy to transform.

Thanks so much to Jessica for allowing me to write this post – and to all of you for reading! May all your households be "haute."

Thanks, Emily! Be sure to visit her at Sprout Through Concrete or on Twitter @EmilyMarie703.


  1. your corner cabinet was a great find! Love the mason jars too - i've seen people turn them into chandeliers, which is pretty cool.

  2. great tips! i love the idea of putting wallpaper on top of a desk. xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  3. This was a TERRIFIC post! Thank you Jessica and Emily for sharing :) I love your cabinet makeover and your idea of wallpapering a table.

  4. I love that second pic of the lights!

  5. Love these tips! Especially the "jazz up your woodwork" one.

  6. These are fantastic deals, great post!

  7. I love all of these ideas. I can't wait to try some of them out in my new room. I have to say that the cabinet makeover is incredible!


Thanks for commenting - each one means a lot!

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