1970s homes · Budget friendly design update · Budget friendly shopping · Decorating · DIY · DIY Coffee Table · DIY Console table · DIY Media Center · Living Room Updated · Uncategorized

How To Update A 1970’s Living Room On A Tight Budget

After we purchased our very first house, we were on a tight budget. I was so anxious to decorate my whole house with new furniture and new decors, bedding, etc. Soon I came to realize that it is not going to be as easy as I was thinking. When I was in Pakistan, I was able to buy everything new but things were little different here. My love for interior decoration was still there though, I just had to find ways to make things happen.

Our house was a 1970s Ranch Style Home, but the interior was very flat and the old homeowner was a retired lady so everything was according to her taste. Old carpet, very dull wall color. Overall pretty boring, boring, and boring period.

I went to Ashley Furniture to buy this couch set and it was over $3500 including a loveseat and coffee table and that was just for the whole sofa set. I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t want to add any debt to me by purchasing furniture on my credit card. I hate to be indebted.

I started to look on Craigslist, as I buy and sell a lot on this site. It was almost two weeks of looking every night and finally one lucky night when I was about to go to bed, I thought I should take a look again and my eyes totally forgot to blink. Someone was downsizing from almost 4500 sqft house and they listed the same couch for sale the whole set. The whole freaking set! But she listed it for $2500 because it was barely used.

I emailed her asking if she can accept $1000 for that. She countered back at $1500 but a few more emails and I got everything including couch, loveseat, coffee table and side table for only $1100. The couch and loveseat are super comfy. I was so glad that I didn’t lose that sale by going any lower than that. She gave me the receipt and throw a few more goodies with the furniture.

Okay, here we go with the before listing pictures in 2010

old living1
This is how it was before… pretty awful (new in the listings) carpet. Ugly and boring paint color and just very plain and flat. Looks so dark.

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Here is the side wall. The front door is a few feet to the left of this fireplace on the same wall.
diy cofetable
Here is a final look. We replaced the flooring in the whole house in 2016. It made a whole lot of difference. I was going to paint the cabinets either side of the fireplace white but never found time to do it.
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This half media center is opposite the fireplace. See darkness everywhere!
living room after
The coffee table is another DIY by my husband. It lit up with LED’s at night.
media center DIY
My husband built this media center as you saw the bottom cabinets were already there. We decided to take it up to the ceiling and he did an amazing job with it only under $150. Let me know if you need a free plan I might have it somewhere buried in my files. He drew it before he built it.
media center 1
This is how he started it.
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That’s how it looks behind the love seat. My husband built this industrial bench as well. I liked something similar to this on Etsy and it was $700 and I was simply not going to pay that much. Our version is probably $120 or less. I am so proud of him, It looks so pretty. You can find these stunning  Better Home and Gardens Lamps here!
shelf 3
That little Console table is also built by my hubby and it sits behind the door. You those little-weird places hard to put something else. Only custom made stuff looks good on those place. The mirror is from Hancock Fabrics, I purchased it when the store was closing out. I spray painted the clock to match it.

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51 thoughts on “How To Update A 1970’s Living Room On A Tight Budget

  1. Bushra..you sure are a creative person with eye for details and lots of patience…making every penny count is not everybody’s cup of tea…you have really done your house so well in a tight budget..
    God bless you..

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wow, you made some amazing changes, between the before and after pics! I love how you lightened the overall appearance and enhanced the aesthetic appeal. It’s great you got such great deals, too, on your furniture, AND have a “handy hubby” who could make some of your pieces.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow..I love the way you lightened up the room. This is really wonderful you done this on a tight budget. I can’t believe it! I am waiting to remodel my house on a less budget.

    Liked by 3 people

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