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Budget Rooms: Colorful Living Room with Sectional

Well, you asked for it (even I asked for it) and here you go – budget sectional living room. Let me go ahead and grandstand about sectionals for a bit. I love them. If you want a really formal room, then maybe they aren’t for you, but if you are secretly wanting a sectional but worried it isn’t cool, I’m here to tell you to go for it. I think because the 70’s are so back and comfort is playing such a bigger part of design these days (at least it is for me) that if/when we can use a sectional, we do.

Mel pulled together these boards for a modern colorful living room design to show you how you sectional lovers can design a room on a budget.


Sectional | Side Table | Coffee Table | Rug | Media Unit | Large Basket Planter | Floor Lamp | Pillow 1 | Pillow 2 | Pillow 3 | Pillow 4 | Pillow 5 | Brass Elephant | Side Chair | Art | Brass Bowl | Small Planter

I have that rug as a runner, by the way, and it’s awesome. The color is the perfect amount of “bright” (aka not too bright but happy enough to still feel like a real color). We felt that she could go lower on the rug, chair, sectional – well most of them. Sure, a living room for under $5k is absolutely on the budget side, but how low can we go?


Sectional | Side Table | Coffee Table | Rug | Media UnitLarge Basket Planter | Floor Lamp | Pillow 1 | Pillow 2 | Pillow 3 | Pillow 4 | Pillow 5Brass Elephant | Side Chair | Art 1 | Art 2Brass Bowl | Small Planter

$2500. That is pretty darn good for a living room. I will note that the rug looks big but it’s 6 1/2 x 8 in reality, so we put two of them side by side to make it twice the size. We have done this a few times before (like in this room) and it can work depending on the rug and the room. It is a great way to stretch a budget or if the rug you love doesn’t quite come large enough in the size you need. I secretly like this sectional more than the first one, though, and I even like this woven pouf more than the more expensive one.


Sectional | Side TableCoffee TableRug | Media UnitLarge Basket Planter | Floor LampPillow 1 | Pillow 2Pillow 3 | Brass Elephant | Side Chair | ArtBrass Bowl

Listen, it’s not quite as good, but man it’s under $1500 for a full living room and that is very, very budget friendly. Most of this I haven’t seen in person (except that first rug and the leather chair) so I can’t 100% vouch for it, but I think that #2 is a very great budget-friendly living room with a sectional.

Which is your favorite and what are you wanting to see us do next? Let us know below!

Here are some more budget room designs for your viewing pleasure: One Bedroom, Three TINY Budgets, Budget Living Room: Modern Farmhouse, Designing A Budget Living Room, Budget Dining Room: Modern Eclectic.


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47 thoughts on “Budget Rooms: Colorful Living Room with Sectional

  1. Killing it! Thank you.
    Can’t wait for the flea! 🙂
    Can you please ask your awesome target contacts, more Windsor chairs please? 🙂 finally ready to pull the trigger on 8 of them, sigh, sold out. ;(

  2. Emily and team, I appreciate how you consistently put out amazing posts for people wanting great style on a budget. This post actually inspired me to estimate how much I spent for my own living room with sectional, and I realized that I’ve spent more on pillows then I had on the couch they sit on! My total estimate (including lamps and art, but not books or accessories) was 2800. This is mostly due to the great deal I got on my sectional (550!) which is vintage and not in the best condition, but which I love anyway. What are other people’s estimates for their living rooms? I don’t wish to be nosey or make this a competition, I’m just curious what an average amount to spend decorating a living room is.

    1. … Cheap. 😉

      Everything we actually bought put together: under 800$, including the couch. (ok, excluding the gorgeous enameled wood stove that’s kind of a focal point, but it’s our main heat source in fall/winter/spring, bless quebec winters, so it doesn’t count as decor!)

      In our defense: the couch is the Ikea Ektorp (we wanted something washable that would do the job until we stopped having babies that would throw up on it. The intent is to replace it when it falls apart, which will hopefully be once the kids are old enough to not trash the new one. Since I’m currently pregnant with not-our-last, that’ll take a while). EVERYTHING else is either hand-made by us, inherited, or from garage sales or Craigslist or Kijiji. We like antique-y stuff, and we live in a rural area where really nice old console tables are 20$ online, so… add a few brass lamps (10$ from the garage in back of the thrift store, +10$ for material to re-wire it, +15$ drum shade from the discount store), some paintings (artists in the family), curtains (Ikea), display items (brass animals, drinking horn, etc), old piano (inherited), plants, etc… it’s hard to make the budget climb that quickly when individual items are priced like that.

      And yes, I’m aware that we are VERY lucky with regards to the availability of vintage items. 🙂

    2. I love these posts for the same reason – it’s super interesting to think about how much an entire room costs. My estimate is around $3k right now but it’s not what I would consider “done”. Seeing that number is kind of shocking actually, but we splurged big on the couch which will hopefully last FOREVER.

      Side note, I’d love one of those woven poofs but I’m 99% certain my cats would shred it. Sad face.

    3. I reckon in total we’ve spent about £6,000.
      … £3k on chairs/sofas (3 sofas and 3 chairs)
      … £100 on an ikea rug that desperately wants replacing
      … £300 on cushions and a throw
      … £200 on art/frames
      … £200 on accessories
      … £500 on lighting
      … £500 on coffee table/ two side tables
      … £1k ish on getting a the existing woodburner refitted, with new hearth and stacked stone behind
      It’s a big room and we entertain lots, so there’s a lot of furniture in there, but still, frightening to think that we’ve spent such a huge amount of money! (eeeeeeeeek and another £5k on an electric piano, but that’s a whole different story… let’s not even start adding up the guitar collection, which happily doubles up as art..!)

      1. Oh shoot… now my brain is going into overdrive. should I have included the £60 log basket, the (splurge-y but very adorable) £120 footstool? OH AND… I dropped about £1500 on 4 pairs of custom made curtains (which actually, was SO worth it) ….

  3. These as usual are all great but, oh I mean-AND, I am looking forward to the day that most posts are not based on blue and pink. The going colors I know but…and you have had plenty of posts with others but blue definitely is the forerunner.

  4. Hi, the link to the sectional in the 2nd(midrange) living room appears broken. Hope to see an updated link soon. TIA

  5. I would love to see how to decorate around a black leather sectional . I have a hard time finding pillows and lamps that go with it !

  6. YES! Love a sectional! So great for apartments because A. they usually come apart to fit through the door and B. Both my fiance and I can stretch out on one piece of furniture to watch our shows instead of having a sofa and love seat which would take up more space.

    Currently saving my pennies for this beauty at West Elm, because not only is it a nice sectional, but its also a sleeper sofa WITH STORAGE. No more deflating air mattresses for guests! Nothing like being almost 30 and asking people to sleep on a RAFT in your living room. Ahhh city life!!

  7. Sadly, the CB2 coffee table has been discontinued. I’m not sure why it’s even shown on their site because I called over a month ago and they said there weren’t any left in stores or online. I’ve been searching for an affordable rattan/woven coffee table for awhile now and I may get the less expensive option shown here! Unfortunately the one I really love is $798 from Serena & Lilly (plus a $209 handling fee…)

  8. I love these posts! But come on, that Ikea rug is not to scale. But I get it, it needs to be pretty for the blog. But it’s only 8′ wide IRL..

  9. I was thinking about that second rug, possibly–I would have to see it in person first–but it was too small for my space so I am VERY grateful that you mentioned putting two next to each other. Never thought of that before.

  10. I would love a post about wood floors vs laminate and different levels of cost in each category.
    90% of the bottom floor of my 2 story is tile. I live in AZ and had high quality laminate in CA and I would love to do that here as well. We had installed the CA floors about 13 years ago and I know the products out there have improved dramatically.
    Thanks for the help 🙂

  11. I would really love to see a stylish and modern Montessori room for a baby/wobbler (almost toddler) in the vintage/eclectic/mid-century mash-up mix that you do soon well!

    Or even better a stylish way to mix Montessori into the entire home.

  12. I like all of the options. Since I am renovating my kitchen next year we also decided to replace the furniture in the family room that is connected to the kitchen. The hardest thing for me using a site like Wayfarer is not being able to see the furniture in person. What if it’s not comfortable or the fabric isn’t as it seems? I also have this thing about the welted (?) edge. It’s not comfortable to sit on which my big complaint about our current couch.

  13. Man oh man I feel like your content has been just SO good lately, Emily! Kudos to you and the rest of the team! It almost seems unfair how good all of your posts have been lately–like I should be paying for them, or something.

    Thanks for putting so much love and thought into this, on top of everything else that you do!

  14. 1. Overall, like this post and LOVE this series.

    2. Where are the curtains / window treatments? Never been in a living room with no windows.

    3. In this series, I’m assuming that every room is painted white – is this correct?

    4. As another poster said, there has been a lot of peach and denim blue on this site recently (very on-trend, I know). Maybe mix it up a bit?

    5. There have also been a lot of accent chairs on here recently. As someone who prefers comfy chairs, I’m hoping that more plush chairs show up in some fashion some time.

    5. Sorry to be nitpicking. 95% love it, 5% want to make it even better.

    1. I’ve never been in a living room without windows either, but I sit in one without window treatments every day — mine! We have French doors out onto the balcony in our Parisian apartment, with coved ceilings that the top of the doors/windows run right into . . . I have never been able to figure out how to rig anything up (nor how to afford what I would need to buy to make it happen) . . . .

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