Before and After: This Living Room Redo Cleverly Maximizes Its $3000 Budget

published Aug 8, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: empty two-story living room

Sometimes, even when you’re building your dream home, it takes time to get the exact space you envisioned. When Mansa Krishnamurthy of Simplicite and her husband built their home a few years ago, they had one thing they really wanted: a “warm and welcoming” two-story living room. “Our home is completely open concept, and this room is visible from all areas of our home and is definitely a major focal point,” Mansa says. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish the room as we wanted by the time we moved in due to budget constraints.” So it sat unfinished for a while, with “a few holes in the wall and a makeshift mantle made of Command hooks,” Mansa says.

But, a few years later, they had both the time and the funds to take on the living room. “We had set aside some money to make over this space but again had to get creative with our finishes to get the look we wanted but for less,” Mansa says. They gave themselves $3000 to turn the bare room into an inviting gathering space.

Most of the reno budget went to a contractor, who custom built the mantle, shelves, and cabinets. Other clever swaps made the most of the $3000 budget: rather than stone for the mantle, Mansa chose a high-gloss white shelf, and instead of tile for the surround, she chose Fabricut wallpaper. Both upgrades offer lots of style for a lot less money. Mansa was also able to repurpose most of her existing furniture to save even more.

“We are so happy with the decisions we made as we were still able to achieve the look we had always dreamed of all the while adding value to our home,” Mansa says. “If we were to do this project again, we would definitely have started this project sooner. Now we cannot wait to welcome our family and friends into this cozy and warm hangout spot!”

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