Decorating Around Existing Wall Color


For most of us, decorating a home does not actually occur in a dramatic burst of design in which a whole new interior emerges. In fact, decorating a home is more of an evolution. And often, that evolution is dictated by changing tastes and changing budgets.

Such is the case with this reader, who wants to give her room an update, but without an expensive price tag. In fact, she’s decided to leave the existing wall color and decorate around it. This is a great choice, as the walls are already a lovely shade of green, seen below.

She is bringing in one big-ticket item, in the form of a brown leather sectional, which I’ve imagined in the following images.

Option 1 (Scroll down to end of post for details from all options):

My first recommendation when doing a budget update, is to REMOVE ALL ACCESSORIES.  Take away all decorative items from tables, remove all wall hangings and window coverings and even take out the pillows. This will give you a clean slate to visualize some updated accessories. Below is the simplest room update, where I’ve kept the existing table, lamp and pillows and updated window coverings, rug and few other accessories.

Option 2: IKEA

IKEA can be a wonderful place to create some clean and cozy decor for a great price. If you pick the right items and mix them in with other furniture (such as the leather couch), your room won’t look the IKEA showroom. Instead, you’ll get an updated style with a modern look. I particularly like the sheer window panels for their clean lines and friendly geometric pattern. Also, a rug really helps to define the space and add warmth.

Option 3: West Elm

West Elm is another great source for affordable modern. They have great textiles, which give the room a modern, elegant look. Also, since much of the collection comes in lovely neutral colors, you will easily be able to update your wall color in the future. Look for statement pieces like a unique double coffee table or this dramatic branch/votive wall art.

Let’s look at the details for this budget-friendly update.

Option 1: $527.92

  • Existing pillows, coffee table, lamp and wall art ($0)
  • Wooden blinds from IKEA ($19.99 each x 3)
  • Pablo side tables (Set of 3) from CB2 ($129)
  • Shag rug from CB2 ($299)
  • Russian dolls table accessories from CB2 ($39.95 on sale)

Option 2: $536.92

  • Sheet curtain panel: ($9.99 each x 3)
  • Klubbo coffee table ($59.99)
  • Pillows and throw blanket ($2.99, $29.99)
  • Table vases ($9.99, $3.99)
  • Barometer floor lamp ($59.99)
  • Framed wall canvas ($99.00)
  • Persisk wool rug ($229.00)

Option 3: $1,104.99

  • Linen window panel ($59 x 6)
  • Bridge coffee table ($249.99 on sale)
  • Channel rug ($299)
  • Bengal Tiger pillow ($34 x 2)
  • Chunky tassel throw ($69)
  • Wall art with candles ($99)

By my estimate, you can update an entire room for $1,000 or less. Just buy a few key pieces of furniture, update your window coverings and carefully curate your existing accessories. And as you and your budget evolve, so will your room.

Check out these similar posts:

Finding Inspiration: Kris's Color Stripes
A Coordinated Color Palette Update
Finding Inspiration: Fox Hill B&B
Canvas Art Above a Couch
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  1. Wendy

    Thank you so much for your decorating ideas. I have to say that all of them are great but my favorite would be option 3. I’ll make sure to send you new pics to show you my decoration in progress. Thank you again for all your help and the time you dedicated to my living room.

  2. carly

    I’m so glad that you found these images helpful! I certainly never expect anyone to use all of my ideas, I’m just trying to help you find some inspiration — an more importantly, help you make some decisions and get over some decorating fears! Afterall, home decor is only great if you actually execute it. I can’t wait to see the progress. Good luck!

  3. BarbyCPA

    I love this feature! Costing it all out, that is. Definitely makes it seem more do-able. Please do more of this! Thanks!

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