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Chic & Cozy Living Room Makeover

Back in October 2018, I had a one month break from travel and well… I was going stir-crazy! With all this time at home, I decided to remake my living room.

It took a bit longer than I hoped it would but that’s because I spent a good amount of time picking out the right piece without going overboard with the budget. Mike told me I could only spend €1,000 and I laughed! “Do you even know how much ONE pillow cover will cost?”

But note received– be mindful of spending. Nine months later (I could’ve had a baby by now), here’s the finished chic & cozy living room makeover! See the four changes I made that completely changed up the living room.

Please note: Bemz and Desenio provided me with their products in order to provide an open and honest review. All opinions are proudly our own.

Scandinavian Sideboard

The first thing that I chose to makeover was the wall with shelves opposite of the couch. It was cute but not very functional.

Originally, it was planned for our first apartment in Amsterdam with a living room about half the size of the one we have now. I used to even use one of those shelves as a desk; nope it was not fun to work on.

The inefficiency of this wall was driving me nuts. It was nice to look at but there was SO much wasted space.

Plus, I knew that Mike wanted to eventually get a record player and speaker system and with all my camera gear building up, I wanted something more practical but still beautiful.

I wanted a more vintage look in my home so I searched ruthlessly for a wood Scandinavian sideboard that would be large enough to hold records, a record player, camera gear, workout gear and more, but still sleek enough to make a statement.

Most antique Scandinavian sideboards that I found were in the €1,000+ range, but considering that Mike said I only had €1,000 to spend, which I was obviously going to ignore, I didn’t want to go all out with spending a ton of a sideboard. I personally couldn’t bring myself to anyways.

I finally found my dream sideboard on Marktplaats, which is like the Dutch version of Craigslist. I basically had saved my search results, put it in my Bookmarks tab, and clicked that baby every single day until I found the sideboard that I wanted at a reasonable price.

This sideboard cost me €350 and about €50 finding a shipping company that would bring it from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. In total, this cost €400.

The difference between this €400 sideboard versus the €1,000 ones was that this one came directly from someone’s house, not an antiques or woodworker’s business. As a result, it wasn’t sanded and re-finished, noted by the scratches on the bottom and on top. But I figured that one day when I feel up to it, I could always do that myself.

Beni Ourain Style Rug

I have been drooling over rugs since I first realized rugs even existed, but omg, the price that comes with them? NO THANK YOU. And the choices? ENDLESS. How can I just pick one?

I decided to settle on the ever-so-popular Beni Ourain style rug because of its timeless, classic look. If I decided to switch up anything in the living room, then I wouldn’t ever have to worry if the rug would match; it will!

As it went with the sideboard, all the rugs I was looking at was €1,000+ including ones from Target. They looked soft, plush, and oh so easy to roll around on. But I foresaw either Mike and me easily spilling on it or our future child getting it dirty then me crying.

Ok a bit dramatic, but still, spending a grand on a rug wasn’t in our budget right now so I opted for a €100 knock-off rug (from a Dutch store) that wasn’t handmade and certainly wasn’t plush. I got the rug and immediately realized why it cost only €100; it’s SO thin!

It looks good in photos though, and considering we moved the plush rug from my office to the living room to create a stretching/meditating space (no, I barely meditate on it), I am perfectly happy with having spent €100 over €1,000.

Cozy Pink Velvet Ikea Couch Covers

After getting the sideboard and rug, the space already felt like it changed up quite a bit, but I had been unhappy with the look of our couch since we bought it so this was next on the list!

I’ve always wanted a chic, green velvet couch with copper and wooden legs, but all the couches I wanted were €9,000 and up. Considering our IKEA Kivik couch was only a couple years new and quite comfortable, it would’ve been absurd to get a new couch.

a few colors of the velvet samples that you can order

As a result, I found Bemz, which is a company that makes custom IKEA couch covers and legs. They have a huge variety of colors and fabrics to give your living room and couch the makeover you’re looking for.

I started off with looking through their Instagram to get an idea of how my couch would look after putting on new couch overs then ordered five free samples of their fabrics.

Even though I had forever been wanting a green velvet couch, I opted for one of their newer colors and got a pink velvet fabric instead!

Velvet Clover Pink

Getting custom IKEA Kivik couch covers in Velvet Clover Pink costs €578 (€229 for the chaise lounge part and €349 for the sofa part), which is definitely better than buying a new couch overall. Plus it’s greener!

The couch covers were easy to put on and completely changed up the look of the living room. It also made our living room much cleaner; there were so many crumbs hiding in the couch that we had no idea about and we found a toy that my niece left from last summer!

Click here to read more about Bemz and their custom IKEA sofa covers.

Chic Art Gallery Wall

Behind the couch, we originally had these photo shelves from IKEA with IKEA frames and our own photos or art pieces we bought while traveling within them. But the shelf constantly collected dust, and although the pieces in the frames were personal to us, there was nothing chic about it.

Enter our new Desenio art gallery wall! It’s chic, calming and somewhat trendy all at the same time, and I loved picking out all the pieces that go together.

Here are the exact pieces I chose just in case your living room wants to twin mine:

In total, these four pieces and the frames cost €143 on their site, but if you want just the posters without the frames, they get as low as €8.95 each!

TBD: Side Table

Wood Coffee Table from Friday Next

There’s one last piece that I’m still keeping an eye out for but am in no hurry to get– a side table to replace the painted IKEA stool there now. Perhaps one with a black marble top? Who knows?!

I’ll update this post when I find that perfect piece!

Final Value of Makeover

Now that you saw each piece of the makeover itself, here’s the total value of the makeover.

  • Scandinavian wood sideboard from an online marketplace – €400
  • Moroccan style rug from a Dutch store – €100
  • IKEA Clover Pink velvet couch covers from Bemz – €578
  • Posters and frames from Desenio – €143

Total €1,221

Not that I was really trying, but I kinda came close to Mike’s €1,000 ask… or at the very least, I wasn’t outrageously over it. Yay.

Making Your Living Room Over On a Tighter Budget

If you want to make your living room over too but have a tighter budget than me, there are two components you can really tweak (besides opting to not get a piece at all):

  • The Bemz couch covers come in various fabrics. Choosing one like cotton will make your new couch covers cost less but still have a fresh feel.
  • If you have existing frames you can use, the Desenio posters themselves get quite inexpensive. Even just changing one or two frames out will make the room feel different!

Want to talk through your living room makeover and costs? Feel free to DM me on Instagram.

‘Till next time,


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