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Budget Room: Eclectic Mid-Century Living Room

If you’re familiar with EHD and our love for navy and velvet then you will know that there are very few things in life that can compete with both of those, especially when they are combined together. You may remember years ago when what was dubbed “America’s Sofa” due to the fact that it had been photographed so many times in so many different spaces (and then showcased on the blog) was finally sold to a very loving new owner to make room for a new style sofa (cue: sellers remorse). But, just because the sofa is no longer in our lives doesn’t mean that we don’t love the classic combination of wood and navy velvet so we decided that it might be fun to take that classic velvet sofa and let it inspire a series of affordable mid-century eclectic living rooms. Here we go.

Emily Henderson Budget Room Living Room Mid Century 5000 New Lamp

Sofa | Rug | Coffee Table | Side Table | Sconce | Floor Lamp | Art | Frames | Black Vase | Accent Chair | Planter | Bar Cart | Art Deco Decanter | Tall Decanter | Tray | Coasters | Burgundy Pillow | Sphere Pillow | Cream Pillow | Throw Blanket

This first one is classic, timeless, but has some modern elements that help it to feel 2018. We wish we could show a 360-degree view of this sofa (click through to see it in all of it’s glory). But the back and sides of it are really why we selected it. Wood framed arms, brass pipe accents on the sides, a wood-paneled back and covered in a luxe blue velvet upholstery job. This is what the “America’s Sofa” after spending six months in the gym for “bikini season 2018” and eating a diet of only raw greens would look like. So many beautiful details. The sofa does eat up almost HALF of the budget which is why for the rest of the room we played a lot with some more affordable pieces in case you are wondering why the cost of the sofa is 10x that of the chairs. But, we paired it with a graphic brown and cream offset stripe rug that feels graphic but is in a subtle color combo so that it isn’t too jarring visually. In an ideal world we would have used the chairs that are currently have in our living room, but sadly Target is currently sold out of them in the cream color so we swapped them for these more angular versions (which still work so well in this version). And because no mid-century inspired living room is complete without a bar cart (even though just saying bar cart feels like 2015) we included this sleek wood version with a little drink setup for you.

Emily Henderson Budget Room Living Room Mid Century Under 3k New Lamp

Sofa | Rug | Coffee Table | Side Table | Sconce | Floor Lamp | Art | Frames | Black Vase | Accent Chair | Planter | Bar Cart | Art Deco Decanter | Tall Decanter | Tray | Coasters | Burgundy Pillow | Sphere Pillow | Cream Pillow | Throw Blanket

Our second versions still carries the same style with this blue velvet number from Article that we swapped in. We also used this sofa in the Barn makeover, and it is a great option (that also comes in a lot of colors) if you guys are on the sofa hunt. The rug underneath was swapped to this brown and cream stripe which is a little more subtle than the previous but still brings a nice warmth to the space. The sconce, side table and bar cart were also swapped out. But the art, which we haven’t talked about yet in this post stayed the same. The art that we have included are digital files that you can download instantly, have printed at your local copier/drug store and then frames which makes them way more affordable than anything else out there. In case you missed the post where we talked about that process head here. You’ll also want to note that the sofa’s in the second and third version are slightly smaller than the original although should still have plenty of room for everyone.

Emily Henderson Budget Room Living Room Mid Century Under 2500 New Lamp

Sofa | Rug | Coffee Table | Side Table | Sconce | Floor Lamp | Art | Frames | Black Vase | Accent Chair | Planter | Bar Cart | Art Deco Decanter | Tall Decanter | Tray | Coasters | Burgundy Pillow | Sphere Pillow | Cream Pillow | Throw Blanket

Last but not least we chopped the first price in half for this final most affordable variation. The rug was swapped back to an offset strip rug (which is shockingly only $118 BTW) and then the sofa was also swapped out although we kept it a navy velvet, which was the whole point of the post after all. All in all it still has a lot of the same vibes as the most expensive version but definitely not quite as much swag or elegance.

So, which one is your favorite of the three, and can any of you attest to trying that first sofa in person? It looks pretty tempting visually. Now, most importantly who else misses seeing that original blue sofa from years ago?


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Clara @Model Home Improvement
6 years ago

Hey Emily, Well representation! Love to show the slides.

6 years ago

I like the middle one best! Navy is my fave color in general, and I’m a sucker for a 3 cushion couch! We had a two cushion years ago and HATED the way we sunk in the middle, but I keep seeing 2 cushion couches (gosh I feel so unfancy saying couch, but that’s our regional word. ;-)) in design and I’m wondering if we just had a really junky one and other double cushion couches are comfortable! Anyone have insight?

6 years ago
Reply to  Jb

My exact question. I have never liked two cushion. I have a ton of guests and my furniture really gets used. I’m also wondering if this article couch is durable and if anyone has personal experience.

6 years ago
Reply to  STacy

theres a super long thread on houzz detailing done recent complaints of longer-term owners of article couches. would def recommend you read that thread…

6 years ago
Reply to  Jb

I have a two-cushion from ABC Home that’s about four years old. I frequently sit on the crack (if you will) and don’t find it at all uncomfortable.

YMMV, but I don’t think you need to rule out a two-cushion.

6 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

Good to know! Thx!!

6 years ago

The 2nd is my favorite too. I love the navy sofa and the 3 cushions. I love everything you design though. You are amazing. Also, the printable abstracts are great and affordable. I’ve already bookmarked several on his site.

6 years ago

I think it might have been worth noting in the text that the first sofa is 100″ wide, the second is only 78″ W, and the last is a mere 72.5″ W. Without having the info. called out in the text, you can’t tell if the more budget-friendly versions are big enough for your needs. In my case, given that we usually have 3-4 people sitting on our couch at once, the last sofa would definitely not be big enough.

Is it weird that I’d prefer the first sofa because of the color, not wood or brass parts? The color seems like perfection to me.

Regine from The 256 Project
6 years ago

I love mid-century. I think I will never not love it. Thanks for this round-up!

6 years ago

Just dropping in to say I love the budget series SO MUCH.

I’m expecting in July, any chance you could do another budget nursery? I love the post from 2016 and have been using it for inspiration.

Also the outdoor dining/outdoor living room budget posts were gorgeous.

Thanks and keep up the great work!

6 years ago
Reply to  Janine

2nd this!!! A gender neutral roundup would be perfection!!!! I am expecting in August and am just now starting to think about the nursery. I’ve already gone back to all of your previous nursery posts for reference, but I would love something updated!

6 years ago

I always loved that navy blue velvet sofa! I used the many photos it was featured in + photos of Lauren Conrad’s (or was it Whitney Port’s?) blue sofa from The Hills to sell my husband on getting one for our first apartment together! Almost 7 years later and is still my favorite piece of furniture.

Thanks for the roundup – should we ever need to replace ours, good to know there are still options!

6 years ago

I was head over heels for your blue sofa. The first sofa in this roundup is also gorgeous, although the second is more in my price range. I’m just hesitant to order a sofa I can’t test first. How comfortable is Article furniture?

6 years ago

Same old crap day after day after day. Lets get weird!

6 years ago
Reply to  Bitchface

Ha, well…at least you owned it in the username. 🙂

6 years ago

Hi! I just thought of a blog post I would LOVE to read. Since most of us design our own homes and have not been trained, how do you go about doing that? Like how do you start designing one of your own homes? Pinterest first? And then, what do you do? Mood boards? Then floor plans? What’s a good way to design your own home efficiently/how do the pros do it?

6 years ago

Hey,Very nice work done.We are also in inspection services if anybody interested in Property inspection services contact us: Propertyinspect.Net

6 years ago

I’m having a hard time visualizing this round up set in an actual MCM setting. I’ve always be a huge fan of these round ups because it’s important that everyone get a chance to have a well designed space within their budget. Where I feel like this one is lacking is in MCM colour or interest. Maybe a more interesting rug for each of options could have made them more interesting? I’ve been discussing this with some other people and we’ve really noticed the term MCM is really being washed down and wrung out to be a watered down version of what it actually is. The West Elm house in Palm Springs is a beautiful house but if I hadn’t seen the exterior or knew it was in Palm Springs, it could have been any other new build in any city with vaguely MCM inspired furniture Maybe this is the evolution of the style but I miss the beautiful warm woods with bold bright colours, patterns and clean style. I’m finding that “people” in general are throwing a MCM inspired chair or lamp into a space and calling the design or house Mid Century-modern. I don’t get it and it… Read more »

6 years ago

Apologies if you have answered this somewhere, but what tool do you use to create these fantastic layouts?