Low-Cost Living Room/Home Office

So often, I see decorating shows or articles which say they are low-cost, but then I see that they have spent thousands of dollars on one ROOM! One night, just for fun, as I sat in my cozy living room, I thought about where our living room furniture came from and how much each piece cost. You might find the origin (and price) of the furniture interesting:

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  • Ikea birch veneer-style computer desk ($30 at the Salvation Army. We had a truck and took it home ourselves, saving delivery costs)
  • Upholstered office chair (probably one of the more expensive items at $90 on sale at Office Depot, floor sample)
  • Wing chair ($30 - thrift shop)

  • Reclining chair: ($35 - Goodwill)

  • 40's/50's solid wood side drawer tables (junk store - $15)

  • 50's beach solid wood table (junky thrift store - $15)

  • Office lamp with green glass shade (thrift store $5)

  • Ikea-type printer stand (found on side of road - $0)

  • Tall office bookcase (found on the side of the freeway - $0)

  • Pine shelves (found on street, refinished - $0)

  • Shelf (Ikea scratch-n-dent section - $20)

  • wooden bookshelves (Inherited - $0)

  • 2 metal CD stands ($5 each)

  • Large ceramic lamp (thrift shop - $30) + shade (found - $0)

  • Standing lamp (yard sale - $10) + shade (thriftshop - $7)

  • Corner shelf (rescued from trash - $0)
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  • Oriental bin (rescued from trash - $0)

  • Oak TV unit (found on street - $0)

  • 1990's TV set (won - $0)

  • Fax machine (community swap - $0)

  • Rattan shelving (estate sale - $15)

  • Wood shelving ($15)

  • Period ceramic lamp with shade (thrift shop - $7)

  • Large wooden office trash can (thrift shop - $7)

  • 2 fake oriental rugs (bargain store - $25 and $15)

  • sheer white curtains (Anna's Linens bargain store - $20)

  • 2 magenta pillows (rescued from fresh trash - $0)

  • 2 lighthouse pillow covers on old pillows (99 Cent Store - $1.98)

  • 2 cylindrical pillows ($1 each)

  • Hassock ($15)

  • Mirror (thrift shop - $10)

  • Solid wood occasional table (thrift shop - $16)

I won't go into the knickknacks - but I do have a 1930's lithograph commercial print which I snapped up for $80 (probably worth $400?) Other art includes: 4 period lithographs (thrift shop - $10 each = $40), marine oil sketch (swap meet - $7), oil painting (thrift shop - $15), seascape (gift - $0)

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Shall we add it all up? If my calculations are right, it's about $600! The two upholstered chairs would have costs that much new! These pieces were all accumulated over time - much easier on the pocketbook. These are NICE pieces of furniture, which are not to be ashamed of. Food for thought.

By pam munro from Los Angeles, CA

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