The bedroom is a private retreat that should evoke a sense of calm—but getting to this sweet spot can take some work. Renovating your bedroom might be the solution, but a small budget or the fact that you rent might get in the way.
Still, you don’t have to settle for a hot mess in the boudoir. With some savvy updates and even DIY fixes, your resting place can be the haven you’ve always dreamed of and deserved.
To help, check out the advice we’ve gathered from design pros so you can upgrade your bedroom without the mess and cost of full-on renovations.
1. Hang sheer, floor-length curtains
Easy, breezy, and inexpensive, sheer panels are a snap to hang, and they add elegance to any bedroom.
“Black-out curtains are better for sleep, but white ones bring soft light and instantly elevate your room,” says Elise Armitage, design expert and founder of What the Fab.
2. Paint an accent wall
“In the bedroom, the focus generally falls on the bed and the wall behind it,” says Pamela O’Brien, the principal designer at Pamela Hope Designs.
This means a new spread or coverlet is a must if yours is from your college days or a pet has made it into a personal nesting spot.
As for the wall behind your bed, this is prime real estate for a pop of color. A small can of paint, a brush, and an hour or two of your time yield a surrounding color block that frames your bed and elevates the entire room.
3. Try peel-and-stick wallpaper
When it comes to no-renovation renovations in the bedroom, Armitage says “stick-on wallpaper will become your best friend as it comes in a ton of different styles to match your aesthetic.”
Renters and homeowners both flock to this easy-to-hang design hack for its affordability and wide range of colors and patterns.
4. Add a pretty bedside lamp
“Matching nightstands that flank the bed create a balanced look, especially when topped with attractive lamps that are properly sized—no tiny lights next to beds,” says O’Brien.
You want enough light to read by, and a too-small lamp looks lost on most standard bedside tables.
5. Attach cool hooks
A mess in the bedroom equals stress and lost sleep—don’t let it happen to you! Keeping a tidy sleep space is a free and easy way to upgrade a bedroom’s look, and having cool spots to hang all your stuff makes it happen.
Update the hooks on your walls or closet door with something stylish, whether wrought-iron or colorful ceramic knobs.
6. Layer mirrors
A gallery wall is a great way to pump up an empty bedroom wall, but when you make one with mirrors, you’ll really up your game in this space.
According to O’Brien, “a set of mirrors behind your bedside tables creates a layered effect that adds glamour to any bedroom.”
7. Rearrange the furniture
This easy fix doesn’t always spring to mind right away, but it’s an excellent way to open up the space you have. Remember, your bed doesn’t have to live on the same wall for years on end. Shake things up! Ditto for your dresser and other pieces you own.
Move things around to improve the flow or create a new look. And if you have too much furniture in your bedroom, now’s your chance to edit (as in, that corner chair that’s a magnet for your PJs and yoga clothes).
8. Install a dimmer switch
Dimmable lights in the bedroom soften the glow overhead, helping you wind down after a long day (or set the mood if you’ve got company).
Truth: You should hire an electrician if you want to overhaul your lighting or install a new system in your bedroom. But for a single dimmer switch, this task is definitely a DIY one for most homeowners.
To do it, cut the power to the room you’re working in at the circuit breaker (and then double-check that it’s really off). Next, remove the switch plate and the old switch.
Inside, you’ll see wires attached to the switch you’re taking out; unwind those and clip them away; and then follow the dimmer packaging instructions for installing the dimmer and reattaching the wires.
9. Mix and match your bedding
A bedding set from a bag or a spread and shams that are the same shade of blue looks snoozy and outdated. But an eclectic design here adds loads of interest and may distract the eye from your bedroom’s other flaws (blah flooring, lack of light).
Make your bed into a showstopper with a bright duvet and funky throw pillows for an easy update in mere minutes.
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