I have always heard to invest in furniture, buy the best quality sofa/bed/whatever you can afford. Today I am going to tell you not to do it. Not because it isn’t worth it, but because sometimes it isn’t an option. When you only have a $2000 (or less) budget. You could buy a nice couch but overall it wouldn’t do much to change your space. I suggest with $2000 you could buy a slipcover, art, throw pillows, all the pretty stuff that make a huge difference in how your home looks and feels.
I have found that living in rentals I would hold off on decorating until we were somewhere nicer or somewhere more permanent, so I would hate where we lived but not do anything about it, making me hate it even more. Somewhere along the way I realized this was dumb and decided to just make what we had pretty and man I am so glad I did.
We bought our couch on Craigslist for super cheap but it had stains when we got it, then 2 kids later it looked even worse. It’s still super comfy so we bought a slipcover for it. It’s clean and white and can be thrown in the washing machine when there is Cheeto cheese smeared along the back! Now I haven’t done this yet but if you simplify your sofa then you can get all sorts of fancy with throw pillows. Add a throw for bonus points and it’s still cheaper than a new sofa.
My next favorite way to make an impact is with vignettes or as I like call them a little spot of happiness. You know those spots that have all the little stuff you love. We added floating shelves to a blank wall and loaded them up books, art, and some plants, insta happiness. The nice thing about all of these updates is that you don’t have to pay for everything at once, you can collect one or two things as you find/can afford them.
My third suggestion would be to buy small furniture that is useful. Get an ottman to make the odd chair more comfortable. Get trays to corral your remotes, side tables to put your drinks on. And plants lots of plants.
The living room obviously isn’t done, we still need a TV console, some throw pillows for the couch, a bigger lamp for the console by the entry, a frame for the big foot print, a frame for a trio of moon prints that go on the bottom of the floating shelves, a new rug, those cords, the list goes on and on. But the thing is it still looks and feels like us. It makes us happy! We have now moved to a new house and are figuring out how to make all of our pretties work in the new house which is a completely difference style but we still love all of the details from our old house.