Given the amount of furniture it takes, its public use, and the amount of time we spend there, one can sink a lot of cash into a living room. But you don't have to. There are two key "Ps" for doing up a living room you love within budget:
Do you have a friend or colleague, maybe, with an amazing sense of fashion and pricey-looking wardrobe? How do they afford it? One old but good tip when it comes to setting up your wardrobe (and your living room, it just so happens) is to flesh things out around a few basic, high-quality staples.
What pieces in your living room will you use every single day? What do you want to have that will last through the years? A sofa, perhaps. A good, natural fiber rug, maybe, A comfortable armchair, perhaps. Select these pieces with care and an eye toward durability and neutrality, which are keys to longevity in terms of wear and style.
Be willing to splurge on these pieces. Then flesh out the rest (pillows, end tables, lamps, art, etc.) with vintage steals, DIY projects, inexpensive retailers.
Which brings us to the second key tip:
If those living room staples have high price tags, owning them may seem impossible. That's where time comes in. Save up by setting aside a little of each paycheck. Scour eBay. Wait for annual sale events held by many high end retailers or inquire about showroom models. All of this takes legwork, though, which in turn takes time. Set a window of one year to acquire that perfect sofa that will last a lifetime. In twenty years, you'll be happy you have the sofa that endured and the year you spent tracking it down will be forgotten.
This said, patience is also handy when it comes to those vintage steals and DIY projects. Take time to attend and rummage estate sales. Do DIYs right.
What tips do you have on where to save and where to splurge when setting up the living room?