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The living Room & dining area is the room that felt the least like ‘ours’ when we moved into our new home. It’s the room that everybody walks into when they walk through our front door and the room I spend the most time in, so it needs to be just right. When we moved the area had been quite neglected, with just a simple red feature wall adding personality to the room. Our living room/dining area is the biggest room in the house, so whilst the children were off school for Christmas making the most of their gifts, I began my living room & dining area DIY mission.
Long-term readers will know how much I love a DIY project, but if your new here, you should probably know that given the choice between new make up and new power tools, I will ALWAYS choose the power tools. As a self-employed, single mother of two, everything I do to our home is done on a budget. You won’t find recommendations for pricey cushions and expensive throws here. I take inspiration from Pinterest and Facebook groups and make my visions a reality at a low cost.
As you can see from the image below, a lot of work needed doing to this area of the house to make it truly ours. I knew exactly what I wanted to do to this room before we’d even begun unpacking, but finding the right items at a low cost was a challenge to begin with. My usual online and high street stores just didn’t have what I wanted, but I refused to give up and eventually found everything I needed. Today I’m going to share with you how I transformed our living room/dining area from neglected and dingy to beautiful and family friendly.
Lets start with the two biggest difference, the walls and the carpet. My biggest concern with decorating this room was the size of it. The living room/dining area is quite open plan, I knew it’d take me days to paint and I wanted a feature wall, but I worried about the cost of doing so.
Wallpaper can hugely vary in price, I usually purchase wallpaper from high street retailers such as Wilko and Homebase. I often find wallpaper I like in the sales or the reduced to clear section, but nothing caught my eye so I turned to eBay. After what felt like hours of searching, I finally discovered the wallpaper. At just £5.99 per roll, it was budget friendly and a perfect fit for the colour scheme I had in mind.
I’d highly recommend this wallpaper, it’s fantastic quality and so easy to put up. The thing I love about grey is how easy it is to match with other colours, so even if I fancy a change in a few years time, I can easily add accessories without causing a colour clash. As you’ve probably already noticed, I’ve gone for a neutral grey theme in this room and I intend to keep things neutral throughout the home, purely because it’s going to be so easy to adapt.
The rest of the walls are painted in Soft Grey by Crown. At just £15 for 10L of paint, it’s an incredibly budget-friendly option. It goes on really well, dries quickly and doesn’t distract from my feature wall. I love it so much that I intend on purchasing another 10L tub for other rooms in our home.
The other big change in this room was the carpet. The carpets that were installed when we moved in had quite a blue tone, and had become quite worn in places. I honestly didn’t believe I could replace flooring without spending hundreds of pounds, but then I discovered onlinecarpets.co.uk. Initially I was dubious about ordering carpet online and fitting it myself, but I’m so glad I did. The carpet I chose, the Oxford carpet in Rich Grey, is great quality, a gorgeous colour, and really easy to fit with a little determination. The cost of carpet for the living room/dining area came in at just under £120, which sounds like a lot of money, but for carpet, it’s a fantastic price. Definitely check out onlinecarpets.co.uk if your on the lookout for new flooring.
With the wallpaper and new carpet in place, I shifted my focus towards the finer details. I found a gorgeous brand new corner sofa on the Facebook Marketplace which, alongside a matching footstool, cost just £393. I also purchased a shelving unit similar to this one (aff) for all of our DVD’s and games, a drawer unit (aff) for all of our random bits and bobs, and a shoe storage unit (aff). Finally, for underneath the wall-mounted television, I purchased a cube storage unit (aff).
Everything else such as canvases, pictures, candles and trinkets I already had. I’m so unbelievably pleased with how it’s all come together, and it’s better than I ever imagined it would be. It’s gone from being an empty shell of a room to a room in which we can make memories as a family. It’s cosy, modern and practical, both myself and the children love it. What do you think? Are you thinking of starting a similar project, or have you already completed a similar project? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to see before and after photos.