Gorgeous Family Room Furnishings on a Shoestring Budget

Hi Everyone,

Oh man, before we get into our gorgeous family room furnishings…

It sure feels like the calm before the storm, right?

First turkey-day (have you started shopping yet if you’re cooking?) and then full-speed ahead to the December holidays.

And, then, it’s another year, shot to hell.

Well, not just yet. There are still six weeks to go.


But, I for one, feel an immense amount of gratitude and sense of accomplishment.


I hope you do as well. But, if not, don’t beat yourself up. I went for years knowing full-well that I wasn’t living up to my full potential.

One thing I’ve learned is to decide what you really, really want.  Then, once you do, go after it– full speed ahead. Don’t think too hard about what might go wrong. Or, even about whether or not you’ll succeed or not.


Even if you don’t succeed, then, hopefully, you’ll have learned something from the experience and will be the better for it.


And, if your mind can’t come up with anything, you really, really want. Sit down with yourself and try to figure out where the blockage is.

Easier said than done. And, again, I tried that too many years ago and came up dry. However, I’m proof that it’s never too late and don’t give up on your dreams even if you don’t know what they are yet.

End of sermonette!


Last year, many of you will recall we were treated to the talents of a reader, Laura, who is not a professional decorator. (yet.) And, she’s not a professional home stager or stylist. (yet.)


But, IMO, she certainly could be.

So, please let me take you back to the beginning………..

Laura, a brilliant musician, I have no doubt and her pipe organ playing hubbie along with their two (pretend) children live in a large home they share with in-laws. But, they live separately.


Laurel, forgive me for interrupting, but what’s a “pretend” child?


Oh, I see… Well, if you have to ask, it means you either never had children and/or you HAVE a pretend child(ren.) Those who have REAL children will fully understand.

Pretend children, most commonly girls (apologies for being a sexist pig, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.) are those like myself, that virtually raised themselves. Raise your hand if you were a pretend child.

Yes, as I presumed, nearly all of you.

You will definitely know if your child is not a “pretend” child.

Children who are not “pretend” are those who do things like throw ice at the waiter and tantrums (when they are waaaaaay past two) in the middle of church. They also require a great deal of parental supervision. In fact, many require a leash. Actually, that is no joke. These are the children where it not only takes a village to raise them, but a town, county and state, as well. I see a lot of nodding heads.

That gives me comfort to know there are others in the same boat.


Moving back to our topic. I promise that there won’t be a lot of further unnecessary chatter as we’re all busy.


After we were treated to Laura’s glorious music room that she “threw” together for just over 1,000 bucks,she presented us with her kitchen.

And, family room sea of brown heaviness.

I remember that post, because I had the worst headache after I finished it.

Well, several weeks ago, Laura sent me some photos of the new family room furnishings.

But first a refresher of what was. Below is one image from the Excedrin Headache family room. I’m calling it. There are many more images on the post.


However, after everyone’s great advice and for only $3,300.00, she went from this:


Bookcases open floor plan - family room


To this!


family room furnishings on a shoestring budget

Oh my!!! I know. Laura sent this shortly before my mom passed away last summer and it brought tears to my eyes to see how beautifully she transformed this room. And, with very little money!


Let’s take a closer look at more of what she’s done with these family room furnishings.


family room furnishings - beautiful bookcase styling

Love how she styled the bookcases. Honestly, I never imagined that they could look this good. Laura still isn’t wild about them. But, actually, I think at this point, I’d rather her put that money into the kitchen. What do y’all think?


Family room furnishings - Opium coffee table

Laura says she found this opium coffee table for $175.00! Wow! That’s amazing! Really, my only note would be that I’d do some larger vases, but this is really awesome.


This is very similar to the coffee table I did several years ago.


One other slight thing and I’m being super knit-picky-fussy.


But, these are pretty hunky sofas, so I’d do the pillows about 10% bigger. For this size sofa, I find that a 22″ pillow and 20″ pillow look great.


Paxton Sofa from ArhausActually, I found the sofa at Arhaus and it’s on sale right now!

In fact, they’re having a 40% off upholstery sale!


And don’t forget that whether you do a down and feather insert or a down alternative, that the insert should be two inches larger than the pillow.

For more about throw pillows, please check out this post.


Family Room furnishings with piano

Laura still plans to change out the carpet. Admittedly, it doesn’t bother me as much as it did with all of the brown. However, I do think a hardwood floor and a beautiful area rug, would take the space to an even higher level.


AND, there’s more that she has planned for this room.


But, seeing Laura’s classic baby grand piano reminds me that there’s a section in the new Rules and Tips Guide You Need To Know, about pianos.

I’ve had a few requests for a post about how to work with a piano. However, I’m not sure if enough people are interested. So, I put that info in the new guide which just came out on Friday.


piano beforeA little teaser. But, in the guide, I take this room a reader sent me not too long ago. And, discuss what I would do to make it work with that big black grand piano.  I think you’ll enjoy the way it turned out. There’s an easy trick I love to use when you wish to make an element not stand out so much.


333 decorating rules you need to know


How do you get the guide?


There are three ways:


  • One, you pay for it.(please go here)
  • Two, you order something else (Laurel’s Rolodex, Paint and Palette Collection, Six Figure Income Blogger or a combo of the above) and get it as a freebie.
  • Three, if you ordered anything from me in the last year, you were bombarded last night with emails from me with a promo code, so that you can get a free copy. I hope you’ll forgive me, for my bungling. So, if you’re looking for it, please check your email. The last one has everything you need to get your free guide. Sorry, this offer is only for those who’ve ordered in the last year because they paid more.


please note: What you will be receiving is only part I – Living room rules.


Parts II and III – Dining Room and Bedroom Rules will be coming out on December 12th. So, you will get a whole new and complete book at that time. The living room rules and tips are already over 100 pages!

And, note that this is a digital download. I cannot print it out for you. But, should you wish to do that, you can have that done at a place that does that sort of thing.

Also, please note that gifting is available. When you go to order, just click on the gift icon and put in the info and time you’d like your gift sent.


Alright, back to Laura’s beautiful family room furnishings!


Here are some comments Laura made about what she has done.


No matter how much I love my classic yet masculine proportioned Arhaus down sofas, that carpet! Ugh. The arches. Ugh.

Really, I’m hardly noticing them now. Ahhh… the power of paint!!!

What shade of white paint, you ask? I think Laura may have mentioned it, but I don’t remember for sure. But, I’m pretty sure it’s one of these.


Laura went on to say about her family room furnishings:


By religiously following your posts about furniture that can work with every style and the classic pieces that never go out of style, I have gathered a (hopefully) cohesive blend of antiques and Craigslist/Facebook marketplace finds. And, for a total of about $3300! And  I’m really starting to dig this room!


Me too! I’m very impressed once again with Laura’s innate decorating talent!


family room furnishings before and after

please pin to pinterest for reference


Thanks so much for sharing your lovely home with us, Laura. I’m looking forward to seeing the room as it evolves further.




Please also check out the newly updated hot sales and the holiday shop filled with great ideas for holiday decor and gift guides.


Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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