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Cheap & Cheery Living Room

Add energy to a neutral white space with bold red and blue accessories.

Former H&H staffer Michael Penney transformed this budget studio apartment into a bright, Scandinavian-inspired and multifunctional space. A sisal and cotton rug anchors the living area, filled with inexpensive furniture such as an Ikea sofa and two Parsons-style side tables pushed together to form a coffee table. In the corner, a plywood panel wallpapered with a colourful floral pattern acts as a large art piece. (A cheap and easy way to add style to a rental without angering the landlord.) Fern leaves mounted in Ikea picture frames create an affordable art wall above the couch, while in the window, a long piece of bamboo from Chinatown replaces a pricier curtain rod.

Get more Budget Decorating Ideas in our photo gallery.

  • Photographer: Kim Jeffery
  • Source: House & Home January 2010 issue
  • Products: Sofa, coffee tables, drapery panels, picture frames, Ikea; rug, West Elm; desk chair (painted by me), 60s swivel chair, lamp, chrome side tables, ginger jar, all Craigslist and Value Village; bamboo curtain rod, Tap Phong Trading Co.
  • Designer: Michael Penney

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