Fabric can be bought on sale from fabric.com for about 7 bucks a yard (I should only need half a yard per pillow). Pillow inserts can be bought for anywhere from 6 to 15 dollars. To get pillows that are unique with different textures (potato sack, furry or fluffy, for example) some pillows might have to be bought instead of made. Hence overall pillow budget is $100. About $200 for wallpaper, and the only other purchase would be the coffee table tray. Overall cost of the living room should be under $400.
red would warm up the room, and look good with the grey couch
the dark color would warm up the room. the grey couch is a cool color, which its difficult to put cool and warm colors in the same room. However dark colors like this can also have a warming effect, and make it less abrasive or out of place looking to have warm throw pillows. also, the busyness of the pattern would add dimension to the room, which is desperately needed. i like the look of the busy wallpaper against the simplicity of the couch, it makes for a good contrast. Also, since there is white furniture (TV stand and cabinet in corner) the contrast will be even better. It will make those pieces look pretty instead of beachy.
the pillows should be many different colors (4 at least) and many of them should be patterned. (Although maybe not all, as in this photo). They could also be different materials.
Since I dont like the coffee table, and it is such a large blank space, we could add a pretty, large, interesting coffee table tray. It would bring out more dimension in the room as well, since the pillows are couch/wall/pillows interest should be continued elsewhere in the room. If I can't find an interesting one for a good price, I can buy a simple one and paper the bottom myself and then laquer over it (magazine cut outs, pictures, whatever)
I think I like a desk where my legs are closed in, instead of open like a table
Wall Stencil, Moroccan Allower Pattern by OMG Stencils - $30
Since wallpaper is expensive and Joe might not be ok with it, this might be a good solution