personal: Formal Living Room Budget Breakdown

A bunch of you asked for this post, and these days I share budget breakdowns for every room renovation I share anyway… so yay! Here it is- the complete budget breakdown for the formal living room. Quick disclaimer (I say this at the beginning of every budget post)… if you’re not into budgeting or think the numbers behind a renovation is a boring topic (I totally understand just showing up for the pretty stuff!), consider this your cue to skip this post! No hard feelings. Hopefully budgeting posts are helpful and shed light on how much certain things cost if you’re considering a renovation of a similar caliber. Of course costs vary depending on your location, room size, and home. Click through for the itemized budget list, and in case you missed the living room reveal, click here to check it out!

For reference, our living room is around 18 feet long by 14 feet wide, which equals 252 square feet. It’s a good size room! We also took the space down to the studs, so part of the budget went into rebuilding and reworking the boring (non cosmetic) things. You can see the before images in this post.


I do think its worth noting, we used and repurposed many items we already had on hand… like the abstract artwork, leftover soapstone from our kitchen countertops, and millwork (crown moulding, etc). I like to make use of things we have prior to purchasing new items! Ready for the breakdown?

For all of the source links, please refer to the linked items in the reveal post.

Here is the final number crunching…


  • Sconces (2) – $628
  • Picture Lights (2) – $768
  • Floor Lamp – $550
  • Table Lamp – $279


  • Entry Door Hardware – $676
  • Cabinet Hardware – $39


  • Mantel – $2,100
  • Gas Insert (+ Installation) – $7,500


  • Wallpaper (2 rolls) – $250
  • Area Rug – $609
  • Sheepskin Rug – $65
  • Entry Door Runner – $264
  • Drapery / Curtains (Fabric, Hardware, Seamstress Labor) – $1,700
  • Woven Roman Shades (2) – $90
  • Pillows – $700
  • Throws – $378


  • Millwork (Built-in Materials, Crown, Casing, Base, Panel, etc) – $2,000
  • Beams & Brackets – $1,985

Building Materials:

  • Lumber, Drywall, Insulation, Nails, etc. – $2,250
  • Paint + Primer – $350
  • Electrical Materials – $50

Unexpected Replacements From Renovation (Chain Reaction Items):

  • Updated Plumbing Materials – $1,000
  • New Hot Water Heaters + Installation Labor (2) -$3,500


  • Herringbone Hardwoods (see this post for the tutorial) – $2,000


  • Sofa – $2,335
  • Swivel Chairs (2) – $928
  • Coffee Table – $100
  • Side Tables – $510
  • Zebra Ottomans – $746
  • Woven Ottoman – $869
  • Console Table – $1,385


  • Artwork, Books, Objects, Plants, Florals, etc. – $1,476


  • Obviously we did all the labor ourselves, so that cost was basically our time spent working on the living room- rather than a dollar amount (which was a LOT of hours).

TOTAL= $38,080

I do want to say, finance and budgeting posts are a very personal thing to share, BUT- I know that numbers are incredibly helpful in planning a realistic renovation and setting expectations, so I’m happy to share our records. With that in mind, I’d appreciate if comments are kept friendly, positive, and constructive. You guys know I’m always happy to answer any questions about our renovations, my line of work, or our timeline. I try to be an open book for educational purposes!

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment section below! This renovation seemed never-ending and nearly sucked the life out of us. Ha! We ran into one issue after another, spent more money than planned, and of course it took far longer than we intended. That’s just reality when you’re remodeling though. Sometimes things don’t always go accordingly to the plan, and that’s ok. This one was definitely a doozy, but we’re finally enjoying the space and think it was worth it! Who is ready to follow along with the basement bathroom renovation next? It’s currently underway!


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