Recently, I took up the creative challenge to help my Mum make-over her sitting room on a non-existent (and I mean ‘zero dollar’) budget. Course we did have a little more than zero dollars though we just wanted to see what we could come up with.

Here’s the space before (quite a few years ago, complete with my brother and sister in pre-Débutante poses)….

The room had changed since these photos though I didn’t have a proper ‘before’ shot which included the floral lounge suite.

You see, up until recently that floral lounge suite was still in the space, and although Mum did have plans to update it, the motivation didn’t come until some irresponsible pet owner (whose name may begin with ‘K’ and rhyme with ‘pristine’) left their new puppy unsupervised on what was clearly a very tasty looking floral sofa. Needless to say, that sofa is now in heaven.

So, with the old floral lounge suite finally gone, the hunt was on for a thrifty replacement, and if we were going to replace that, why not update the entire space? So that’s just what we did.

Mum wanted a sophisticated, semi-formal yet comfortable feel on a tiny budget (I know it may be hard to believe though she’s even tighter than me when it comes to spending cash on decorating!). She has more traditional and less eclectic taste than me, so while I feel the final result is a little too matchy-matchy, Mum just loves it (which is the main thing – plus it’s a vast improvement on how it began!).

After a long search I finally found an appropriate pre-loved lounge suite to form the basis for the ‘new’ room on eBay for just $100! It comprised two sofas (we only used one in this room) and two armchairs plus a bonus coffee and side table.

And here’s where the ‘zero dollars’ thing comes in. As we didn’t need the two ‘bonus’ tables we on-sold them both for double the price we paid for the whole set to begin with – crazy! Hence we managed to makeover the entire room for FREE using just the profit from the sale of the tables. In fact, we actually came out waaaay in front cause we were still super stingy!

Anyhoo, here’s the space before with the new lounge suite in place….

And after….

The lounge suite could easily have been overlooked for being too ‘Nanna-ish’ though I saw some potential for a Soho feel in the regency lines and geometric upholstery so we teamed it with ice-blue, apricot and silver highlights to pull it more towards contemporary.

Aside from the new lounge suite the other big changes came from a coat of paint (to one wall only) and ripping up the ugly old carpet.

Mum polished-up the rustic hardwood floorboards herself while Dad gave the north wall a fresh presence by painting subtle wide stripes.

The coffee table (which I failed to get a before shot of – sorry!) and two end tables (as can be seen in the first set of ‘befores’) had been in the room for years. Rather than replace them we simply attached some resin mouldings and painted the bases black to add some drama and depth to the space.
Dad also added bun feet and shelves to the base of each end table to give them some extra height and another area to display decor.

We retained the neutral curtains. I simply removed the tie-backs to streamline them a bit.

Mum made all of the cushions herself from inexpensive fabric we found at Spotlight.

You may recognise the framed pictures above the sofa – I have the same ones in my living room. They are vintage style postcards I received as a gift. The pack came with double-ups so I gave some to Mum. She cut the matte boards herself and transformed some cheap black plastic frames with nickel spray paint.

The gallery wall is currently a bit of a mish-mash (and note, whilst there is a nice grown-up photo of both my brother and sister there’s only me as a baby – middle child syndrome or what?) though with more grandchildren on the way (have I mentioned my sister is pregnant too?) more photographs will need to be added so it will be re-done soon anyway.

Pretty much all the decor was sourced when we ‘shopped the house’. The only exceptions being the lamps, which Mum bought ages ago on sale from Target, and the larger of the two cases beside the armchair which was purchased from a discount store (The Reject Shop I think) for just $20.

Now, just because I haven’t already totally overloaded you with photos, here’s some side-by-side before and afters just for comparisons sake….