Yes, it’s possible to be modern, chic, AND rustic—all on a budget. A rustic atmosphere is warm and inviting, humble and comfortable. It’s everything you want for your living room.
Ready for a room redo to create a comfortable space you can truly enjoy? And need some inspiration to do it on a budget? You’ve come to the right place.
12 Modern Rustic Living Room Ideas on a Budget
For rustic yet modern room makeover DIY ideas, the key is to incorporate natural elements or select natural-looking pieces. The natural aesthetic can be dressed up or dressed down. It’s charming, comfortable, and has no pressure to look polished or glamorous. It’s how a functional living room should be.
The classic farmhouse look is all about cozy comforts that layer neutral tones and textures to create an inviting atmosphere. While muted colors work best for this theme, accents like wall decor and vintage-inspired items allow you to add more color to the space. Distressed signs, unique mirrors, and wicker or wooden baskets are all excellent accessories to create the classic farmhouse look.
For rustic living room ideas on a budget, artificial flowers or plants are a one-time buy that last year after year. They can be used to fill decorative vases or plants and can add a lot of life to any space.
When designing a farmhouse living room look, classic is where traditional meets modern. Though a real farmhouse doesn’t require a TV stand, your classic farmhouse-inspired living room does! The Corin TV Stand has barn-style cabinet doors and plenty of shelving. Similarly, the 60” Farmhouse Universal Stand Console’s barn-style cabinet doors slide shut and feature metal handles and accents.
Open your windows for maximum warm lighting. Select lampshades that are light or ivory colored. To create warmth in the winter, use LED light bulbs under 2700 Kelvin for a warm glow. (Some LED bulbs last up to 20 years, saving on replacement costs.)
Fill your living room with literal patchwork quilts, or go for an eclectic, creative, patchwork quilt-inspired space. Get artsy! Fill your living room with homemade ceramics, paintings you’ve done yourself, and blankets you’ve knitted.
The ultimate room makeover DIY hack is to reupholster furniture yourself. Breathe life into an old chair, or fix a broken one you still love. Getting furniture professionally reupholstered can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You likely have many of the materials needed to get started around the house already, like a bread knife and scissors. (And your new fabric, of course!)
Self-sufficiency is both modern and rustic. Make your space personal and unique. Repurpose an old-fashioned chest as a coffee table, fill it with family heirloom books, and display all your handmade creations.
Sustainable, Simple, & Minimalist
Designing to be authentically rustic means going simple and being sustainable. It means transforming a large branch in your yard into a coat rack with your bare hands.
Okay, so we’re not all carpenters! But let’s use that sentiment as inspiration for scaled-down, natural, minimalist, rustic living room ideas on a budget. Minimalism, by definition, saves you money because it means you’re purchasing fewer items. You may find that just a few high-quality pieces is all you need to live comfortably and in style.
If you have a smaller space you’re working with, perhaps all you need to do is rearrange (aka, reduce and reuse) what you’ve already got. For a space-saving multi-use storage piece, the 4-in-1 Hall Tree Coat Rack Shoe Bench lets you lace up your shoes in the same place you store them.
Bring the outside inside by filling your living room with a plethora of indoor plants. Re-pot them and paint the pots for a DIY room makeover on a budget. Aloe vera is an affordable plant that doubles as a healing moisturizer. And a pitcher of water to keep your plants hydrated can double as visual interest. Create balance with both flowering plants and purely leafy ones.
Green spaces are natural and calming - this is especially important in your living space if you don’t have a large patio or access to the outdoors. Intersperse them among neutral modern living room chairs. Plants look great with any style of furniture: gold, wood, or industrial. And just like plants, the “rustic on a budget” look can be elegant or casual.
There’s a way to go Western without being tacky. A faux cowhide rug, buffalo art, or even a faux deer head mounted to the wall can set the scene. Fill your coffee table with cacti and succulents. Whether you’ve had a long day herding cattle or answering emails, there’s nothing better than a brown or caramel High Back Rocking Chair with a Ridgewood Ottoman to kick back in at the end of the day. Opt for touches of brown, tan, beige, and leather to create the perfect cowboy den. As the final touch, consider a thrifted record player to play some country & western tunes.
To get some of these more specifically western-inspired pieces, check out eBay, consignment stores or sites, Facebook Marketplace, and talk with family and friends. If you’re in the western U.S., it may be cheaper to find these pieces there.
White Farmhouse Chic
Incorporate the Norman Antique White Console Table, a white area rug, and an antique chandelier for a weathered, farmhouse-chic look in your living room. You can put anything on a console table: collectibles, picture frames, everyday items like wallets or car keys, etc.
To complete the feminine farmer look while saving money, grow your own flowers on your patio instead of buying supermarket flowers to fill your vases. Use dried flowers as decorations: place them under the glass of a coffee table, or frame them on the wall.
Keep your windows open and allow the breeze to come through. Select light and airy curtains to create a sunshiney, welcoming atmosphere. If you really want to save money and feel authentically rustic!
With a mountain cabin ambiance, the goal is to feel as snug as a hibernating bear. A sectional you can sink into, like faux leather Altera Convertible Sectional Sofa, is the name of the game. Go for deep browns, candles in mason jars, and a floor lamp with a tree trunk base. Take a photo of the mountains, enlarge it, print it on canvas, and hang it on the wall. Spritz evergreen scented room spray when there’s no fire roaring in the fireplace.
Skip the TV screen and gaming setup for a more restful, intentional, and affordable space. Incorporate plenty of fluffy pillows and throw blankets to create a mountain retreat escape. Have a wooden blanket rack to store and display those throw blankets.
Pick your favorite wood and go all out. Cheaper options are pine or maple, though it can depend on your region. Get inspired by some scrap wood or wooden pallets lying around from a former DIY project. Use wooden crates from your local farmer’s market to use as bookshelves or a TV stand.
In between wooden chairs and tables, leave room for seasonal touches like pumpkins and cornucopias. Hang photos of different types of trees. If possible, a wood-burning fireplace completes the lumberjack look. Lay down a statement rug made from all-natural or recycled materials.
For all these looks, it’s worth it to ask your friends and family for help. People accumulate pieces that they grow out of, and letting them know you’re doing a makeover for living rooms can score you some free stuff. You’ll be doing them a favor to take things off their hands, freeing them up to do their own DIY room makeovers! Yard sales can also produce great finds and are always fun.
Whether you’re on the beach or just want to feel like you are, a beachy vibe is rustic, simple, and easy to attain. Use shades of blue and tan to mirror the sand and sea. Try your hand at painting a seascape with watercolors or acrylics and hang it on the wall. Keep it open and decluttered, with flowing, cotton curtains. Hang picture frames made of driftwood and collect your own seashells to make a shell wreath. Purchase a couple of ponytail palms: they are actually a form of low-maintenance succulent but look like a miniature palm tree. For the finishing touch, a reed diffuser with sandalwood essential oil provides spa-level relaxation.
Incorporate wood, stone, and deep blues to feel like you’re lakeside. For modern living room ideas on a budget, goldfish in a fish tank might be the closest you can get to the lake - especially if you’re in the city. But you can still bring the fun. Though a little unconventional, why not put Adirondack chairs inside? Encourage family time by having plenty of space to store board games. Rest a repurposed wooden tray table atop your ottoman for appetizers. Display modern vases of artificial flowers or feathers on the floor, coffee table, or mantle.
For the most part, “DIY rustic” evokes cozy domesticity. But let’s think outside the box. It can be worldly, adventurous, and exotic. Rustic travels can mean traipsing through the rainforest, discovering endangered species of multicolored amphibians. For an explorer naturalist theme, incorporate accents like a magnifying glass, butterfly paintings, a forest green armchair, and of course, a spinning globe to plot your next adventure in the wilderness. A thrifted grandfather clock adds a touch of elegance.
Or go whimsical with a mushroom fairyland theme, complete with antique candlesticks and a plush green carpet to mimic forest moss. Display a water feature and rocks collected from your travels.
Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace, an electric one, or a digital one on an iPad, you can recreate a backyard camping experience in your living room. Put twinkle lights in mason jars to mimic fireflies. Create a reading nook by putting an armchair and side table by a window—light lanterns with candles to set the mood for ghost stories and sleepovers. Add floor sitting pillows, a plush rug, and plenty of blankets around a low coffee table with storage for board games. Leave space for blanket forts!
Shop Our Living Room Collection
Browse the Belleze collection of modern living room furniture if you need affordable, high-quality pieces to complete your DIY vision. Or inspiration to keep you going on your makeover mission!
Our pieces are made from eco-friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing processes, allowing you to relax comfortably while also feeling good about your purchase. Whether you’re looking for casual pieces, elegant options, or furniture that is both modern and rustic, we’ve got everything you need to makeover living rooms.