September 14, 2022

Sam + Eric’s Living Room Makeover

My college friend Sam lives with his roommate Eric in the West Village. They asked for my help in designing a classic and masculine living room – on a $3500 budget.

Thankfully, they hadn’t bought furniture and I got to start with a blank slate. With the help of a discounted APT2B couch and some serious penny pinching, we spent around $2,500 total — a whopping $1,000 under the amount they were willing to invest.

In order to get this project off the ground, I sketched the space and Hannah collaged different product options together. After many iterations, we settled on the below design. When we set out to source all the pieces that would make my mockups really come to life on a budget, I turned to Amazon. You can view everything we purchased on this curated Amazon list.

For reference, here is the before:

Here are our mockups & sketches:

Initial SketchUp Design – left side angle
Initial SketchUp Design – right side angle
Clare’s final sketch
Collage of product possibilities

Hannah and I headed down on a sunny Friday, blasted some pop punk, and finished in only a few quick hours! Here’s the result:

The existing antique mantel provided the classic charm that we relied on to pull in thrifted decor like prints and pillows.

Hannah’s idea for the space behind the couch really set this room apart. By placing a long skinny table and two identical bookcases on either end of it, all with the same depth, we created a seamless storage unit without wasting any space in the small living area.

Measuring ahead of time comes in handy, but sometimes things don’t work out when you order online — so we held our breath as we pushed in the final bookcase, hoping our math was correct and the unit would fit against the back wall. Thankfully, Hannah’s math major background SHINED and everything fit!!!

I filmed the process and uploaded it as a 3 part series on my TikTok. I hope this post inspires you to take on your own #BudgetLuxurywithClare project!

PART 1 – Intro to Sam and Eric’s apartment redesign!

PART 2 – New couch from APT2B + console and bookcases behind it!

PART 3 – Finishing touches + THE FINAL REVEAL



home decor


Welcome to my world & website!
I’m Clare, a designer, content creator, small business owner, and artist obsessed with making everything around me beautiful.
I hope my site inspires you to do the same! 


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