1 Living Room Budget in 3 Different Styles
See how 3 designers each transformed a living room with the same $5,000 design budget, in 3 different styles...
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The $5,000 Living Room Budget
We see the entire range of styles and functional uses requested for living room spaces - some want a new living room for entertaining, others want it to be multi-functional and double as a guest room, others want a great place to unwind and eat dinner in front of the TV. All clients, though, talk about the living room being the central hub of activity for their homes. All also want to make the best use of their decorating budget for that activity and for it to be a great reflection of their personal style.
Here are 3 new living room projects we love that were recently completed. All of them have the same $5,000 budget but each ended up in a very different style. At that level of budget, each designer was able to make room for a few items to invest more in, but still had to help their clients make smart splurge-and-save choices. Looking at the rooms below, we'd say they chose wisely.
The Playful Traditional-Eclectic Room
This living room design is an art of balance and playful details, and also a great design lesson on how spending a little more on the details elevates the entire room. Working with a focused color palette of black, white and grays, with brass accents, designer Julie Daniel created a room that is traditional in style but with playful accents throughout. Julie brought balance to the design without using duplicates of any items; instead, she relied on items of similar shape or form to make the design feel cohesive without it looking too literally symmetrical. For this room's budget, Julie advised her client to splurge on the items with intricate details (the armchair with the piping, the ottoman with the nailhead details, the lamp with the balancing cubes), which make a big impact on the room.
3D rendering of living room design by Julie Daniel, Decorist Classic designer
The Sophisticated Southwestern Room
This living room project didn't start out with an orange accent wall but as the design process unfolded, the client and designer Casey of HCC Designs realized they both loved the color palette and kept pushing the design to make more of an impact. While the client and her husband both loved the color orange, Casey steered them toward a more nuanced shade and they settled on a warm, burnt sienna hue (Burnt Caramel by Benjamin Moore). Using that as a starting point, Casey added bold pops of color and mix of modern Southwestern-inspired graphic prints to give her a client a living room that looks like it belongs in a sophisticated luxe Sedona residence. Given that color plays a central part of the design, one would assume that the splurge items were the accessories but instead, Casey advised her client to splurge on the neutral furniture items (seating, coffee table) since accessories are more easy and affordable to replace.
3D rendering of living room design by HCC Designs, Decorist Classic designer
The Jewel-Toned Transitional Room
When your client asks for a white leather sofa in her new living room, it's easy to assume that the room will be designed around a light and neutral monochromatic color palette. That assumption would be wrong. In fact, designer Mikayla Keating went in the complete opposite direction, creating a transitional style living room with an array of colors that is decidedly saturated and jewel-toned. Also unexpected, but not surprising: the white sofa not only works, it provides a needed element of lightness to the design. Given how much the design is centered around the sofa, that is where Mikayla advised her client to spend a significant portion of the budget (there is very little middle ground with white leather; it looks exactly like the amount you've spent). The end result is a perfect representation of transitional style: classic color palette, traditional tailored armchairs and a very modern sofa that all look perfect together.
3D rendering of living room design by Mikayla Keating, Decorist Classic designer