Just Starting Out: A Smart, Stylish $1200 Living Room

Just Starting Out: A Smart, Stylish $1200 Living Room

Carrie McBride
May 27, 2015
(Image credit: Carrie McBride)

Furnishing an apartment from scratch is daunting, especially when you're just starting out and there's little left over in your paycheck after rent and food. One of our 5 Strategies for Outfitting Your First Apartment is savvy shopping so here's an example of the basics of a whole living room for a little more than a thousand dollars. It's still a lot when you're on a tight budget, but perhaps seeing a smartly shopped room broken down will make the effort seem more do-able.

There are no rules about what pieces of furniture a room does or doesn't have to have, but for this fictional living room I chose what I consider to be the basics of a living room: sofa, arm chair, rug, curtains, coffee table, lamp, bookshelf and some storage.

Here's a quick breakdown of how much the items above cost:

  1. CURTAINS = $28.49 per panel =$56.98 (Nate Berkus™ Metallic Curtain Panel at Target)
  2. CHAIR = $179 (RÅDVIKEN chair at IKEA)
  3. COFFEE TABLE = $42 (Marshall 2-Shelf Rolling Coffee Table Cart at Amazon)
  4. FLOOR LAMP = $82.98 (Chrome 3-legged Floor Lamp at Overstock)
  5. SOFA = $399 (9 By Novogratz Vintage Linen Mix Futon at Walmart)
  6. STORAGE = $17.95 lg + $12.95 sm = $30.90 (Storage baskets at H&M Home)
  7. BOOKCASE = $194.99 (Mid Century Modern Horizontal Bookshelf at Target)
  8. RUG = $229.99 (Green and White Stripe Dhurrie Rug at World Market)
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