Budget Bedroom Decorating

by Kathleen Wilson

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The bedroom is the place we spend much of our downtime, yet we don't tend to give it the attention we do our more public spaces, especially if the budget is tight. You should take care of yourself too, and part of that is providing a comforting, serene spot to unwind at the end of the day. Whether you are decorating a pre-teen room from disaster to decor, or a master bedroom change of seasons for yourself, the elements are much the same. Here are some great tips to bring more cool to your comfort space, on a budget!

  1. Clean up the clutter. Because our bedrooms are out of the public eye, we tend to use them as a dumping ground for all the stuff we don't know where to put. I am as guilty of this as you. File your excess in some labeled cardboard boxes, and shove them under the bed or in the closet and try to resolve not to use your comfort zone as the local dump. No matter how much work and creativity you put into wonderful projects for your room, no one will notice (including you) if it's visually buried in clutter.
  2. Paint. This room needs to have a mood created, and there is no better, faster, or more inexpensive way to do that than to paint it! Consider that cool colors such as blues and greens tend to be soothing and calming, while warmer colors such as yellow and reds are invigorating. White walls are dull in bedrooms. If you don't want to paint the whole room, consider adding a stenciled border around the ceiling line (where you are looking while lying in bed!) in a soothing color. If all your furniture is mismatched, paint it all the same color. It will all blend seamlessly. You can even use fabric paints and stencils to create one of a kind linens! You can find paint made for fabrics at any craft store. Follow the directions for permanently setting the color so they are machine washable. Imagine, for the cost of plain sheets and a few paints, you could have custom linens.
  3. Pick a theme. I advocate a theme for all my room redos, even if your theme is as simple as a color scheme. It gives you a blueprint to work with, and keeps you from adding too many items that don't relate to each other that will cause a busy, and non-restful look.
  4. Add spark! Whether it's cool shapes for a teen, or flowing romantic fabric for a master bedroom, pick an inexpensive idea to do all out to add individuality to your room. Tape off geometric shapes all around a teens room in varying shapes, and paint in a contrasting color. Buy inexpensive muslin at the fabric store or plain sheets, and drape it lavishly around a master bedroom for instant romance! Create a "canopy" by hanging fabric from the ceiling with ordinary cup hooks, wrap it around the curtain rod, cover a dresser top or swag over pictures. Add cup hooks to a teens wall for them to hang sweaters, purses, and even baskets of makeup. The trick here is to not use it sparingly. Whatever you choose to be your spark, do it all around the room. Inexpensive materials used lavishly is a designer's best trick!
  5. Remake that outdated comforter easily by creating a quick duvet cover. Buy two flat sheets of your comforter's size in your color scheme, sew together on three sides with right sides together, and then turn inside out. Use Velcro, buttons, or grommets and ribbon to create a closure on the fourth side. Insert your old comforter, and voila! Make throw pillows out of rolled or folded up old towels covered with pretty fabric, and tied at each end with ribbon. Sew up simple rod pocket curtains to match your comforter or other fabric in the room. It won't matter that they aren't elaborate. Having fabric coordinate around the room will give it style and bring it all together. You can even make a throw rug out of a large terry bath towel. Just sew your coordinating fabric around the edges as binding.
  6. Bring in meaningful accessories. Frame your children's artwork with dollar shop frames, and fill an entire wall with it. Hang your wedding veil or your child's christening gown on the wall. Keep books you love stacked on your end table. Even hang plates from your Grandmother's china. There are no rules when it comes to creating your personal space! In a kid's room, display their art projects or let them keep those bottle collections. Let them make the space their own. It breeds creativity in your child. Cover sturdy cardboard boxes with contact paper, glue them together to create a "tower," and let them display the things that are important to them. Drape your Grandmother's scarf over your lampshade and tie with a ribbon, or hand paint inspirational sayings on the walls or furniture with a gold paint pen.

The key to successfully decorating a bedroom on a budget is to remember who you are designing it for, and then use your creativity to create abundance within your means!

Kathleen Wilson is an author, national columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator. Visit her for hundreds of free ideas at TheBudgetDecorator.com. Sign up for her free newsletter while you're there and get a free decorating ebook!

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