An Affordable Luxury Bedroom

by Shaunna Privratsky

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You love the look of designer bedding that includes the matching curtains, pillows, comforter, shams, sheets, and bed skirt. Yet the exorbitant cost leaves you languishing in your old mismatched bedroom. Don't despair! You can own a quality bed-in-a-bag at a fraction of the cost. All you need is a bit of ingenuity, a little time and a very basic knowledge of sewing.

First of all, consider your room. Does it need a total makeover, or will new bedding be enough to update and rejuvenate the look? Planning ahead will save time and money later. Decide on a theme if your room doesn't have one already. It can be as simple as a color scheme, as detailed as a period look or just an eclectic mix of things you love.

Once you know what colors and styles to look for, go shopping. Find a sheet set in the pattern and shade you desire. Comparison shop for the best bargain. Sometimes a very similar set will be much cheaper at another store. If you check the advertisements in the Sunday paper, it might save you a bundle.

In addition to the set, also purchase a plain or additional flat sheet. It is especially handy if the components of a sheet set are sold separately. If the store doesn't sell individual items, check Wal-Mart or K-Mart for low prices and buy only what you need.

Now that you have your sheet set, take the patterned flat sheet and your additional sheet and put the pattern sides together. I pin them together for easier sewing. Then sew a straight seam almost all the way around, making sure to do all four corners. On one of the sides, leave a large gap. Turn the two sheets right side out, pushing the corners square.

Next, take your old comforter or quilt and place inside your new duvet cover. Once it is flat, sew the remaining gap together, or use Velcro strips on each side. This is handy if you only want to wash the cover and not the whole quilt. You can add trim or embellish the edges if you wish.

You can also sew matching curtains from additional sheets in the same pattern or a complementary color. Sheets are ideal for sewing because the edges are already hemmed and there is a minimal amount of sewing necessary for a pleasing finished window treatment.

For any standard window, an easy but elegant style is a straight curtain, with or without a top pleat. Cut each panel twice the width of your window for a full, flowing look. Double over the top of the panel about six inches and sew a line. Sew another line about an inch from the top, to form a pocket for a curtain rod. Expandable and adjustable curtain rods are very inexpensive at discount stores.

For added interest, you can sew tiebacks for your new curtains. Add some funky trim or beads for eye-catching detail.

Pillows make the bed more inviting and luxurious. A square pillow in a home decorating store can cost anywhere from $15 to $85. I refuse to pay such ridiculous prices. A yard of fabric will make at least two good sized pillows and rarely costs more than $5. Simply cut two sides, put the pattern sides together and sew around all four corners, leaving a gap. Fill with your old pillows or buy pillow stuffing at a fabric or craft store.

The details you can add are only limited by your imagination. There are rows and rows of trims, laces, beads, edgings and contrasting fabric bands available at fabric stores, discount stores and craft shops.

A custom made bed skirt is just as simple to sew. I used an old white sheet and cut it to the size of our box spring mattress. Then I attached an eight-inch panel of fabric to the edges, using just a straight seam. It took less than three yards of fabric for a stunning touch to our four-poster bed. It also hides tons of under-bed storage.

Owning a fabulous custom made bedding set without breaking your budget is as easy as an afternoon of sewing. Decide on your theme for your new boudoir, shop for a pleasing set of sheets, and put together a homemade bed-in-a-bag. Your room will have a stunning makeover and you'll be sleeping in affordable luxury.

Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and gardening, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Please sign up for the free newsletters at The Discount Diva. You can also visit Shaunna on Google+.

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