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Eric and Kelsey’s Budget Living Room Makeover

Most of you know that Better Homes and Gardens is one of the main sponsors of Domestic Imperfection. Every other month they send me a Walmart gift card, then I incorporate some their products into a project I’m working on and write a post about it.

So for my June post they e-mailed to say that they were going to send me a bigger gift card than usual and wanted me to makeover my living room. That sounded pretty darn great…except for one little problem. Even though I technically own two living rooms right now, I don’t actually have any to decorate. One living room looks like a semi-empty room full of boxes, and the other looks like this

So I wrote them back and said that I couldn’t participate, and they said “no worries…it doesn’t have to be your living room”.

“Well then”, I thought, “I know exactly what living room to do.”

You may or may not remember that I have a younger brother, Eric.


(He’s the tall tan one, I’m the short pink one, obviously)

Last August he married Kelsey.


Eric and Kelsey are also building a house.

(Did I mention it’s about half a mile from the house we are building?)

They are doing basically the same thing we are, having a builder build the shell and doing all the finish work themselves. They’ve been living in a RV on their property since getting married and just moved into their house about a month ago. He and Kelsey are cash flowing finishing their house just like we are, so we are both going to be working on our houses for a very long time. We are also keeping our very helpful parents very very busy.

Here is their current living room….

living room before

living room before 4

Living room before 3

As you can see, it looks like…well it looks like two newlyweds moved a bunch of hand me downs into a shell of a house. I mean, their end tables are boxes and their kitchen is random old appliances, a mop sink, and a card table. I’m not judging…I’ve been there. I’m about to be there again. It’s all part of the process.

Our goal was to make this corner of the house feel more like home with a Walmart gift card and a very tight budget. This is what it looks like now…

rustic wood accent wall

I have to say, I think we hit the nail on the head.

The first thing you probably notice is the rustic wood accent wall. When I sat down with Kelsey to pick apart her Pinterest page and see what she likes, two things kept popping up…neutral white interiors and rustic wood walls. Most of the wooden shiplap walls she liked were over a fireplace mantel, but there isn’t a fireplace in their house… so we faked it and made a TV wall accent plank strip thingy (I’m pretty sure that’s the official name). It makes a huge difference in the room and cost a total of $30. I found the wood at a local fencing company that was selling old boards for 59 cents each, but even if you bought them from a big box store this would be a cheap project. Eric simply brad nailed them to the studs, and, well…thats it. Super easy (says the girl who did nothing).

installing a rustic wood accent wall

It adds so much to this room, without it the room would still be nice, but a little barren.

How to make a $30 rustic accent wall

Also, if they ever decide they want something different it is easy to get rid of. All they have to do is pull the boards off the wall, and aside from the small holes left by the brad nails there’s no damage done.

rustic wood accent wall DIY

The shelves are very simple (and cheap) as well, they’re just some white-painted boards and metal brackets. You could do bigger bulkier ones if you need them to hold electronics, but Eric thought ahead and  designed a IT closet for all that stuff just off to the left (though he does still need to mount speakers in the living room).

The main pop of color in this room comes from the two accent chairs.

affordable accent chairs

These are from BHG at Walmart and are super cute. They’re $129 each, these are the “Seafoam” ones and    they also come in navy, gray, and paisley. I particularly like the weathered wood legs, which just so happen to match the wood on the end tables

Farmhouse end table

These are also from BHG at Walmart and fit perfectly into their farmhouse living room. Also, they are quite a bit nicer than the previous end tables…

end table upgrade

They also added some curtains and curtain rods, a rug, and some accessories and greenery to round out the makeover. Oh, and trim, I can’t forget the trim….it’s chunky and beautiful.

Budget farmhouse living room makeover

Total price, including everything (trim, Walmart gift card, rug…everything) is right at $1,000. Not bad, especially when you compare the before and after…

$1,000 living room makeover before and after

budget living room makeover - before and after

For even more inspiration follow Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

*This post was sponsored by the BHG Live Better Network. All opinions are 100% my own.

Love this farmhouse living room makeover, the entrée transformation was done for $1,000!

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  1. Wow, that wooden feature wall turned out great. Great Before and After, which are my favorite posts. Your a nice Sister :) lucky brother. Great job.

  2. What a sweet thing to do! … too bad you’re not my sister-in-law! The room looks amazing and I love the wood wall!

  3. So lovely of you to share, looks stunning, so stylish and functional. Thanks so much for sharing, I love the soft rug to tie it all together and to contrast texturally against the concrete, really well done.

  4. I am super impressed by the difference between the before and after. Wow! You guys did a great job. The accent wall brings it all together and shows what a difference a good focal point makes.

  5. That feature wall is gorgeous. I couldn’t help noticing their floors. Can you share what material those are? They’re stunning.

  6. Very nicely done! So proud of all of you. How wonderful that you care for each other in this way, and so many other ways as well.

  7. Wonderfully done! I love the wall…makes the room. How nice it is to have family so close to where you are moving. Job well done and thank you Walmart!

  8. The round basket next to the couch…is that from BHG? I’ve been looking for something like that forever!

  9. We are getting ready to build, too. Need a sister and brother-in-law?! In all seriousness, it looks simply amazing. Love the wooden accent even without a fireplace. It really warms up the space and pulls the room together with a grand focal point. Bravo!

      1. It’s from Rugs USA, it’s where I get almost all my rugs. If you wait until a big holiday to buy their sales are kinda insane. Kelsey bought hers over Memorial Day for almost 90% off.

  10. I would love to know more about your concrete floors. I am a registered designer but have done high rise commercial work. We are going to build a farmhouse in the Texas hill country and I am hoping to use concrete floors but know nothing about them.

    1. I don’t know all that much about them (this isn’t my house in the post), but if you have a specific question I can find an answer for you.

  11. Amazing. We are doing something very similar to our living room. How high did you mount the TV? It looks great.

  12. Hi,

    I know this was from a few years ago, but I love it. Just curious, where did he end up mounting the speakers in the room?


  13. I have a very tight budget, with 5 kids and I work as a server at 2 eaters, I have a very large living and dining room combined which has carpet & with an open kitchen,I have a dark brown sectional that my mom gave me & a recliner 2 end tables with 1small white lamp nothing on walls, I can’t get new furniture, but I go yard sales& goodwill, can you give me some ideals

  14. Wow beautiful!! My space looks like that! Approx how high are the ceilings? Trying to see if the wood planks would look as fabulous in my space. Thanks!

  15. Looks amazing! I need to re-do my basement and ripped out the carpet. I found this while looking for ideas on what to do with a concrete floor. Ours has paint on it, but once we clean it, we can paint over it with epoxy paint. thanks for the ideas!

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