Farmhouse Rehab: Budget Friendly Spring Refresh

Happppppy Monday my friends! Grab your coffee and a snack, because I have a doozy of a post for you–this is a long one folks. Today I’m so excited to be bringing back another edition of Farmhouse Rehab, which is all about helping you–my kind and loyal readers–design your own homes with farmhouse charm. I get so many questions through email and social media from people looking for design advice. Maybe it’s your living room that has you stumped, or a tricky bedroom that you’d like some input on. Whatever it is, this series is my chance to offer my personal ideas and suggestions for YOUR home. For today’s post I’m helping one sweet reader, Michelle, with her living room and dining room space. Michelle has done a lot of great things already, but she is looking to brighten up her home and get more of a fresh, farmhouse look. And what better time to do a complete refresh than spring!? We have a lot to get to today, so let’s just jump right into it. Here are the photos sent in by Michelle:

Farmhouse Rehab: See how this outdated living room is given a complete farmhouse style refresh for spring!

The first thing I notice about Michelle’s home is that she’s already done some awesome things to bring farmhouse charm into her living room and dining area. Not only does she have little pops of vintage decor here and there, but the overall layout of her home is great. Plus those hardwood floors are gorgeous. There is so much potential here! I have lots of ideas for her space and I’ve broken it all down below. First up is the living room:

Farmhouse Rehab: See how this outdated living room is given a complete farmhouse style refresh for spring!

Updated Living Room

Michelle wants to brighten up this living room and give it more of a farmhouse feel. I think she’s actually closer to that look than she realizes. In my opinion, there are only a few things I’d personally change about this space and it’s all very budget friendly.

Paint the Coffee Table: Instead of buying a new coffee table, I think Michelle could easy update this one she has with a fresh coat of paint. It would be such an easy fix. I’d suggest painting the whole thing a soft grey or white, or she could even stain the top of the table a dark color and only paint the lower half. I did a similar look on this dresser.

Keep the Couch: I think the couch can totally work in this space. I’d only recommend getting a handful of new throw pillows to brighten it up a bit.

New Artwork Above Couch: In order to give this space more personality, I’d suggest replacing the sunflower photo above the couch. Michelle could go for something more vintage, like a few old windows or even a gallery wall. Or she could keep it simple with a new sign like this wooden farmhouse sign. Here’s a few other options that would work well in this spot:

New Rug: To balance out the darker couch, I’d replace this rug with something lighter and more neutral. I love this oval beige area rug, but I think any of these options would work as well:

Farmhouse Rehab: See how this outdated living room is given a complete farmhouse style refresh for spring!

Freshen Up The Fireplace:

This corner of the room has sooooooo much potential! That fireplace is gorgeous, it just needs a bit of updating and it will shine. Here are my ideas:

Paint Brick & Mantel: Updating the brick and wood mantel with fresh paint would be a quick and affordable solution to brighten up this corner. I think Michelle would be safe to paint it a soft white color, which would compliment the cream colored walls. This is a gorgeous fireplace and a big of updating would really make it pop. And painting brick is actually very simple, I have an easy peasy tutorial here.

Add Shiplap in the Space Above Mantel: To really get that farmhouse look, I’d recommend adding shiplap in the space above the mantel. This will make the fireplace a focal point of the room and add character to the space. Very affordable and DIY friendly. I have a tutorial on installing shiplap here. And I also found this great tutorial for adding shiplap above a fireplace. If Michelle does decide to go this route, I’d recommend first painting over the brown paint with the cream color on the other walls. That way the dark brown doesn’t try to peek through the slats in the shiplap.

New Curtains: You can barely see just a bit of Michelle’s curtains, which look to be a shade of dark purple. I’d suggest switching these out for drop cloth curtains, which are super affordable and perfect of the farmhouse look. See my post about drop cloth curtains here.

New Accent Chairs

Michelle has two of these accent chairs over on the left side of the fireplace. Since she’s going for more of a farmhouse look, I recommend she upgrade to a pair of new accent chairs. I love this Serta Arm Chair and I think the style would blend well with her couch. Other great accent chair options:

Finished Look:

Farmhouse Style Living Room Design. Farmhouse Rehab: See how this outdated living room is giving a complete farmhouse style refresh for spring!

Design Sources:

I think Michell’s living room is really close to being what she wants. Just a few changes will make a huge difference. Using some of the existing furniture she already owns, like the couch and coffee table she can paint, will allow her to save money and leave room for a few new pieces like the accent chairs and rug. And that fireplace is just so full of potential, it could easily become the star of the room with some fresh paint and shiplap.

Media Center Area

Farmhouse Rehab: See how this outdated living room is given a complete farmhouse style refresh for spring!

This little corner of the room is small, but there are a few options here:

Paint: I’d start off by painting this wall the same cream color that is in the living room. That will brighten this space up and pull it all together nicely.

New TV Stand: The current TV console is too small for this wall. I’d simply replace it with a larger one that will take up a bit more of the wall space. I love this one, but here are a few other options that are would also look great.

Relocate Bench: If possible, I’d consider relocating this bench. That will open up more space for the TV stand.

Add Storage: I’d suggest adding a few storage baskets on either side of the TV stand for blankets, pillows, and other living room goodies.

Finished Look:

Farmhouse style TV stand design. Farmhouse decor and media center

Design Sources:

I love the idea of using this wall as the media center area. With some fresh paint and a new TV stand, this area will look completely refreshed. Now let’s move on to the final space: the dining room!

Dining Room

Farmhouse Rehab: See how this outdated dining room is given a complete farmhouse style refresh for spring!

Keep the Chairs: I absolutely love the chairs Michelle already has–great style and perfect for the table.

Paint the Table: If Michelle wants to save money in this space, I think she would do well to paint her dining table. I think a crisp white would look amazing with her black chairs, but she could also paint the top white and use a different shade for the lower half–such as a gray or a soft pastel color. I did a similar paint combination on the table in our breakfast nook and I love it. See that project here.

New Light Fixture: Now this is the really fun part. I think this space is dying for a new light fixture and it’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to transition this dining room to more of a farmhouse look. I think any of these chandeliers would be gorgeous in this space:

New Rug: Depending on Michelle’s budget, she could consider adding an area rug underneath the table. This will help with two things: 1) an area rug will cozy up this space and pull it all together for a more finished look; 2) since this dining area is in between the kitchen and living room, an area rug will help define this space. Here are a few areas rugs that could work well in the dining room:

Farmhouse Style Dining Room Design.

Design Sources:


Wow. That was a lot. Are you guys still here? Bueller….Bueller? I sure hope you’ve stuck around through all of that, I know this was a long one. But I wanted to help Michelle bring a completely new feel to her living area and dining room with a full blown spring refresh! I’m so excited for her to make these changes, but I have to say–I’m the most excited about that fireplace. I think that little corner could look ammmmmazing with just a little bit of work. And really the same can be said for all of these areas–there is just so much potential. It will only take a few key changes, some fresh paint, and a little rearranging to make a big difference in her home.

I put so much time and energy into these Farmhouse Rehab posts and I really hope you all get a few ideas out of it. Or maybe it sparks something that inspires you to mix things up in your own home. Either way, I’m so glad to have you stop by and see what I’m up to. I’d love to hear what you think and definitely let me know if you have any questions!

Want to submit your space for Farmhouse Rehab?

If you’d like to get my input on a room in your home, just send me an email at with the subject line FARMHOUSE REHAB. Be sure to include a few good photos and let me know what you’d like help with! You’ll receive an email back if your space is chosen for the next feature!

Now let me give you a quick disclaimer. I’m not a professional. I don’t have any fancy design degrees or certifications. As I always say, decorating your home is very personal and you should always do what feels right to YOU. These are just my opinions and suggestions!

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Leave a Comment!


  1. 3.27.17
    JoAnne said:

    You really have put a lot of time and thought into this. I love how you put the design boards together to really get a good idea of how the finished room would look. These are all wonderful ideas and suggestions, Sarah!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thank you JoAnne, I really appreciate that!

  2. 3.27.17
    Kellie said:

    Love all your farmhouse updates Sarah! awesome, spot-on ideas!!!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thanks girly! So glad you stopped by. xoxo

  3. 3.27.17
    Melanie said:

    Love your ideas!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thank you Melanie!

  4. 3.27.17
    Cristin A. said:

    Great suggestions! You are always spot on, love seeing these make-over ideas for readers!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      That’s so kind of you to say Cristin, thank you!!

  5. 3.27.17
    Michelle said:

    Great job on updating these spaces! Hope Michelle is able to incorporate many of your ideas. There are so many affordable stores now like Home Goods, Michaels and Target that are fun to shop for that great deal. Enjoyed your post! Thx for sharing!!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thanks Michelle. And you’re right, there are so many affordable options out there now. You know I am obsessed with Michaels!

  6. 3.27.17
    Michelle said:

    I also wanted to add that while I know you focused on her dining room, and while she has her paint brush wet, she could paint the same soft white color under her cabinets for a very fast and easy room brightener in her kitchen to go with the dining table. Just sayin’!!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Oh definitely, she could totally change the look of her kitchen with a bit of paint!

  7. 3.27.17
    Marilyn Soto said:

    You are a born decorator ….. no fancy degree necessary. You have a gift and insight that’s God given and girl you are surely moving in that gift! I was glad put some of your own diys to refer to. I love love love that dresser you did. I’m sure Michelle will take your advice (what’s not to love and sooooooo affordable too )

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Marilyn, you are way too good to me! Thank you so much, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. And you!

  8. 3.27.17
    Jana said:

    Terrific job Sarah! I love to see before and after ideas…what a tremendous help you are and you definitely have an eye for design!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thanks Jana, you are so sweet!

  9. 3.27.17
    Annette Casanova said:

    Awesome ideas, I love the design boards. I would love to see the changes she makes to her rooms.

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      I hope we can see some after photos too!

  10. 3.27.17
    Jessica said:

    This is such a great post! I love the baskets on coasters! Great ideas! This series is really helpful! Thanks for all the time you put into this!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thank you Jessica, I’m so glad you like the series!

  11. 3.27.17
    Suzi said:

    Sarah, great ideas! Well thought out, beautiful job…inspires me to get some decorating accomplished on this beautiful Monday! 😉

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Oh yay, so glad it inspired you Suzi!!

  12. 3.27.17
    Helen said:

    Wow Sarah really good ideas and I too thought once she’s got that paint brush out, keep on going through to the kitchen! Those cabinets are a perfect style to continue the farmhouse feel. I hope Michelle sends you some piccies when it’s done, they’d be so good to see!x

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      I agree Helen, so much potential in that kitchen!!

  13. 3.27.17
    Nancy said:

    I love your ideas for this post. Could you come to my house? LOL

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      haha I would love to Nancy!

  14. 3.27.17
    Pamela said:

    WOW! Excellent post. All your ideas are fabulous. I would love to fly you to my house to do some updates. I really hope we get to see some after photos. What a difference there would be.

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      I would love that Pamela! Haha! And yes, I hope we can see some after photos too.

  15. 3.27.17
    Brenda said:

    This reader has to be so blessed by your help! I just love everything you suggested to her! This advice from a “professional” designer would cost her a pretty penny and couldn’t be any better than what you have done for her!
    Really great job!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thank you Brenda, I really appreciate that! xoxo

  16. 3.27.17
    Tracey Tobin said:

    Love this post!!!! You are so talented! So many great ideas! Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us – it’s such a huge help!!! Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s post!!!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      You are too kind Tracey. Thanks so much for the sweet words and encouragement!

  17. 3.27.17
    Heather Hoben said:

    Sarah, You may say that you’re not a professional decorator, but you are pretty darn close!! Great, very doable ideas! You are awesome!! P.S. Love the Bueller reference, lol!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      haha thanks Heather! Gotta love a good Bueller reference!

  18. 3.27.17
    Julie B. said:

    LOVED reading this, Sarah. Great job and very inspiring!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Thank you so much Julie!

  19. 3.27.17
    Ronnie said:

    One of your best blogs, love it! Great ideas that I’m sure everyone reading this could tweak and incorporate into their own spaces if they are after that fresh farmhouse look. Great work!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Wow, thanks Ronnie–I really appreciate that!!

  20. 3.27.17
    Donalee said:

    Sarah, I love your posts and these are my favorite!!! Keep inspiring others!!!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Aren’t they fun?! I love Farmhouse Rehab too, it’s so nice to mix it up.

  21. 3.27.17
    Mary Kaiser said:

    You are amazing! Love your suggestions for her. She is sure lucky, and so are the rest of the readers who read your post.

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      You are way too kind, thank you Mary!

  22. 3.27.17
    Pam said:

    I am always in love with all your ideas! Your designs awesome!

    • 3.27.17
      Sarah said:

      Aw thanks sweet Pam! xoxo

  23. 3.28.17
    Heather said:

    I love these posts, they are so helpful. Thank you for your time in putting it together. I’ll have to submit my farmhouse rehab request too! Thank you for doing this service.

    • 3.28.17
      Sarah said:

      Yes, please do that Heather. I’d love to see it!

  24. 3.28.17
    Dawn McDaniels said:

    What a cute house with so much potential. Great ideas Sarah. There are some ideas on Pinterest about re-doing chandeliers to make them look vintage and adding Edison lights. I have done a few of those and they turned out really nice and saved me money. Really enjoying this farmhouse rehab series.

  25. 3.28.17
    Molly said:

    I love your ideas. I like how you gave the final look pulled together!

  26. 4.1.17

    Really enjoyed this post, Sarah. Your thoughts to lighten and update the spaces were affordable and practical. Looks like painting the kitchen cabinets could be next!
    Your “client” had “good bones” to work with and already had a collection of nice accessories. Other ideas to keep costs down: Buy a dresser on Craigslist or at a thrift shop and paint it for the TV stand; Paint the dining room chandelier distressed white and replace globes with seeded glass or even wire bedsprings; Slipcover the chair in the living room with drop cloth or neutral fabric.
    Loved the bench next to the TV cabinet. Would love to see that in an entry or at the end of a bed.

    • 4.2.17
      Sarah said:

      Thank you Ann, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and found my tips helpful!

  27. 4.4.17

    LOVE the dining room idea board! I’m at a similar place in my home — replacing all my mix matched furniture with cohesive pieces. Can’t wait to see the final product!

    • 4.4.17
      Sarah said:

      Thanks so much Emily, I’m glad you like it. Good luck redoing things in your own home!

  28. 4.14.17

    All of your tips are amazing here! She’s got great bones to the space and some paint will really go a long way to brighten the space up! LOVE this series that you do, I think it may be my favorite posts on your blog.

    • 4.16.17
      Sarah said:

      Wow thanks Chelsea, I really appreciate that! I love doing these Farmhouse Rehab posts too.