One Room Challenge-The Double Parlour Low Budget Makeover Reveal

Today is the day that all of us One Room Challenge Guest Participants get to reveal our completed spaces.  I’m so excited to finally show you the completed double parlour.  I think it’s simply amazing what a stunning transformation we were able to create on such a low budget and on a tight timeline… and in the middle of a pandemic when the majority of our suppliers were closed.

Our budget for this room was $3,000.  While that’s a lot of money, it’s a teeny tiny budget for a room this size.  It’s separated from the hallway with a beautiful set of french doors on the front half of the room and the back half of the room is open to the formal dining through a wide cased opening.

As a reminder, here is what the room looked like when we bought the house:

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Interior designer tackles living room in her old Victorian located in Windsor

The room was nice when we bought it.  It had great bones with some gorgeous stained glass, wide painted trim, and fantastic hardwood floors.

But grey definitely is not our style as Kyle and I both love colour.  I’m so sensitive to the impacts of colour as most people are and grey is a colour that does not faire well for our mental health in our homes!  

In addition, this room was very dark most times of the day because of the California Shutters blocking much of the light.  They couldn’t be fully swung open because they were so large and would hit the furniture no matter where we placed it in the room, so we knew those needed to go.

We also wanted to create a space for better conversation and gatherings during parties as we are often the host for all of our friends and family.

Usually when I re-do a room I move the older furniture into a more casual space and get all new pieces for the room.  However, this time around we needed to use what we had which was all grey furniture.  The sofa and two chairs were from my previous design firm office in Windsor, Ontario before we moved.  And we had 4 Bergere chairs that we purchased when we moved in.  I also had a coffee table set with 2 end tables that I bought when I moved into my first condo 12 years ago and a hand-me-down console table that once beloned to my parents.

I needed to make it all work so, you might recall from my first One Room Challenge post that this was the original plan:

Mood board for Victorian double parlour by interior designer in Windsor

The jumping off point for the room was this stunning wallpaper by Graham & Brown called Tori Teal.  My mom thinks it’s hilarious that I have a bird chinoiserie wallpaper in my house because I’m absolutely terrified of birds.  They’re my all time biggest fear!  But I do love the look of birds in a classic paper.  The live ones can just stay outside far, far away from me thanks.

We also had navy blue doors that weren’t getting repainted because they run throughout the main floor.  The navy colour was in our area rugs for this room already along with a light aqua that was present in the flowers on the wallpaper.

You can see that there was initially a plan for a bit of wine and lavender coloured accents, but that was thrown out along the way in favour of keeping the scheme to teal, navy, pink, aqua, and grey.

This may seem like a lot of colours, but when colours are repeated multiple times throughout the room they can really come together in a fresh and clean statement that doesn’t read too circus-y.

These 5 colours alllowed me to really play into what we already had to create a show-stopping room on a teensie weensie budget.  The aqua and pink creates a focal point around my favourite arched stained glass window.  The navy kept the doors a stand-out feature.  And the grey allowed us to keep the furniture we had to make the room really come together.

Our list for this room wasn’t too exhaustive, however everything HAD to be perfect in order for this plan to succeed because it was such a fine balance between colour, pattern, and detail.  

On the list was:

– Wallpaper
– Paint
– Lighting
– Window Coverings
– Styling
– Furniture Plan to maximize conversation areas
– Creating multiple focal points to break up the long narrow room

And here’s how the room turned out drumroll please:

Eeek! I coudln’t be happier with everything we were able to accomplish in here.  I mean, what a stark contrast from the before to the after:

The room is SO much brighter despite the darker wall colour because we added an appropriate amout of lighting and better wall coverings to maximize the amount of light coming through the windows throughout the day and evening hours.

Can you even believe we did all of this for just $3,000?

Here’s how the budget broke down:

– We spent the majority of our budget on the wallpaper.  We needed 9 rolls which cost $1,423.80.
– We spent another $678.12 on drapery and hardware
– $227 of our budget went to paint and supplies like the couple tubes of baseboard + trim filler needed to prep the space for a perfect finish.  We needed 2 gallons of Blue Bayberry by Dulux for the walls (we painted behind the paper in the same colour), 1 gallon of Pink Booties for the ceilings, a gallon of primer to seal down the old paper, and a quart of white to touch up and refresh the windows.
– $635.06 was spent on lighting because I did use a few lamps that we already had.
– And $0 was spent on styling.  I pulled what we had out of other rooms and from the garden to complete this space.

That’s a total of $3,089.98.
A tiny bit over budget because we needed 2 more rolls of paper then the measurements called for due to a high amount of waste in the repeats.  (We did save the large waste pieces and hope to use them in a future project somewhere).

Now, the biggest reason that we were able to complete this room on such a small budget is because we already had all the key furnishings to make this work.

Had we needed to purchase all of the things in this room, the total would have been more like this:

– The $3089.98 we spent
– $1790 for the sofa
– $1140 for each of the two chairs flanking the fireplace = $2280
– $650 for each of the four chairs in the front half of the room (I bought them a couple years ago on clearance!  That’s a steal of a price for these feather down chairs) = $2,600
– 
Two machine woven area rugs, one 8’X8′ square and one 8’X10′ would be around $1,400.  I’ve had these ones from NuLoom so long I have no clue what I paid anymore so this is a guess just based on my experience.
– Had we contracted out the painting and wallpapering, that would have cost another $2,500.
– The 6 lamps in the room retail for $2,412 normally.  We had 3 of them already so they didn’t cost anything on this project.  And the other 3 we could buy at wholesale since they were from a supplier.
– I’ve had the glass and black coffee + end tables for so long.  They were a Tepperman’s special back in the day so I don’t think I paid any more than $600 for them.
– We also have a gorgeous little marble and iron side table that we pulled form our warehouse which is a $300 table
– And to purchase a new solid wood console would have been around $1,800
– Pillows, throws, and accessories easily total over $2,000 in this space because it’s a huge room.  Even though the majority of the accessories are inexpensive from Homesense, Ikea, etc. I’m sitting here and adding it all up and it’s a lot more than you’d think!

So, with all of that, to recreate this room would cost around $21,000.

That may seem crazy, but in my experience this is what a room this size typically costs when adding in good quality furnishings.  It’s actually a bit lower than normal because we didn’t have any construction elements in the room since the trim and fireplace all suited the plan well.  

I used to be shocked when I’d sit in my room and add up what I had spent over the years.  Granted, this is more like two living rooms because it’s pretty big, but do it for your living room — I’ll be you’d be shocked also!

So I’m pretty darned proud of everything we accomplished on the timeline and budget.

If you want to explore more of the design rationale behind each and every decision in the room, all of my One Room Challenge posts in this series are linked below so that you can follow along the journey from beginning to end.

But before I link that, here are some more pictures so that you can see all of the details around the room.  I now sit in here every single day and just love it SO much!  It really does feel so much more like us.  It’s a welcoming space that is timeless, comfortable and a reflection of who we are.

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