how much does it actually cost to decorate a living room from top to bottom?


modern eclectic living room with ikea billy bookcases
An eclectic modern living room with a mix of high and low.

Before you embark on a design project, it's a good idea to have an idea of what you should expect to spend to fully decorate a room. Let's use a living room as an example. Your budget will be dependent on a number of factors. First, think about where you like to shop for your home. The chart below shows over 40 different home decor stores and the budget ranges they fall under.


home decor store price and budget ranges

Now that you have an idea of the budget ranges of different stores, there are several others things to consider. Are you thinking about having custom furniture made? Will your furniture selections include stain-resistant fabrics or leather upholstery? All of those will increase your budget. Are you looking at investing in original artwork vs. prints? Original artwork will definitely up your budget. Are you dreaming of a marble topped coffee table instead of wood? Up. That. Budget.


Another thing to consider is the size of the project space. If you have a very large open concept room, it will require more furniture, more lighting, more wall decor, more window treatments, and a bigger rug. More of everything. All of which means...upping the budget. On the other hand, a much smaller room like a cozy den would mean needing to purchase less. A smaller loveseat versus a 3-seater sofa. You get the point. And don't forget to factor in things like shipping, handling, & taxes. Those things can really add up and all of a sudden you have an expense that you didn't plan for.


Are you ready to see what it all adds up to? Check out the table below to see the average cost of decorating a living room from top to bottom at low, mid-range, and high-end stores.


table showing the average cost of decorating a living room at low, mid-range, and high-end stores

While it is possible to completely furnish a living room for under $10k I do not recommend doing so. Generally speaking, the lower the cost of a sofa, coffee table, or chair, the lower the quality will be. When you buy furniture from budget-friendly stores like Ikea, chances are good you'll need to replace it in a few years time which means you're going to end up spending more money in the long run anyways. For furniture that can withstand daily use for years and years stick to stores in the mid to high range. In addition, the lower your budget, the smaller the selection you have to choose from. The options for sofas under $1k are pretty limited. But when you increase your budget to $2k a whole new world opens up!


I think a happy medium is a mix of high and low. Splurge on the sofa but save on pillows or decorative accessories like coffee table trays and storage baskets. Places like Target & Zara Home are great for budget friendly decor and oftentimes they look pretty high-end. Snatch up the super cheap vintage coffee table from Facebook Marketplace and splurge on a really well-made rug. When you mix high and low the end result is more curated and unique looking. You definitely don't want your living room to look like you bought the showroom at Ikea.


So, were you surprised by how much it really costs to decorate a living room? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


 

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