August 30, 2009

bedroom overhaul.

I loathe our bedroom. Loathe it. It is a hodge podge of mismatched furniture, bland decor, and no overall decorating scheme whatsoever. I painted the room five years ago with Benjamin Moore's Silver Lake, and it is now looking dingy and dull. All of the furniture is still the same from when I lived here alone five years ago. We have three bulky dressers (that I inherited from my mom when she upgraded) that don't make very good use of the space, two mismatched bedside tables, a stuffed chair, a closet that barely holds anything, artwork that I hate, and an Ikea wardrobe that I bought off of my best friend/former roommate when we moved out of our old apartment.

Sounds awesome, right?

Lately I have been getting more and more fed up with our bedroom, but we don't have the cash to do a complete overhaul. However, we are still newlyweds, and I think it's important for newlyweds to have a nice, relaxing space to slumber. Nick has seen how cranky the room has been making me lately, so we're now on a mission to spruce it up on the cheap.

The one thing I actually like about our bedroom is the bedding, which was from our wedding registry:

Italian Percale by Hudson Park. We have the Lagoon color, which is a teal that seems to no longer available; it is shown here in Marine.

It is crisp, simple, and will work with a range of decor. I am really glad that we went with something more classic instead of some of the trendier prints that would dictate the rest of the decor.

I hate to repaint the room when we may only be here for another year, but it might be necessary in order to really be happy with it and feel like it's a new room; painting is such an inexpensive way to make a big change. It makes the most sense to just paint a fresh coat of Silver Lake, but I think I'd be much happier with a new, more bold color.

I like the contrast of this light teal bedroom with the dark headboard and furniture and simple white linens

this blue is darker, but so pretty against the crisp white woodwork, via Young House Love

Nick probably wouldn't be a big fan of this, but I think an accent wall in a vibrant orange would be so striking against the white bedding with subtle teal details

The furniture is certainly our biggest hurdle (and expense), and due to a lack of built-in storage in our apartment, it's definitely a necessity. I am always inspired by the before & afters on Design*Sponge, but we don't have a backyard or any outdoor space in which we could sand down any furniture in order to repaint it, so that may not be our best option. My brother and sister-in-law recently had these Hemnes dressers from Ikea that I think would work perfectly. (They recently sold them when they moved into a new place, but we didn't really have the foresight to think of buying them off of them until it was too late!)

Two of these would probably provide the same amount of storage that our three bulky dressers do currently. I've been scouring Craigslist with the hopes of finding them a little cheaper than they're sold for at Ikea.

The Ikea wardrobe that we have is not the most attractive, but it really serves its purpose and has been a lifesaver compared to the awkward and incredibly small built-in closet in the room. I'm thinking I could at least make it blend in a bit more by covering it with some dark woodgrain contact paper to coordinate with the dark dressers, and maybe covering the transparent window portions with a fun pattern.

In terms of art, I most definitely want to grace our walls with some more personal pieces. I love the idea of silhouettes (which I have posted about before).

Or a fun presentation of various patterns would also add some interest, but not be as personal.

Over the next few months, if I actually keep up with this little project, I'll be sure keep you posted on the progress!

What are your best tips for redecorating without breaking the bank?


  1. Good luck with your project!!! I am feeling the same way right now about our whole house. We are looking to move in a year or so, so I don't want to make any changes. Last weekend I began to declutter and after toting 5 boxes of stuff out I was able to breathe a sigh of relief...even that had made things a bit better. We are going to repaint the whole place soon just so I can stay sane for the last year we are here. Keep us up to date on your progress!!!

  2. My husband and I are also in a rental and really needed to do something to hold us over until we can buy a home. We started w/ our family room and got a new couch. I got some inexpensive Ribba frames from Ikea and framed some colorful wrapping paper from Smock- they sell doublesided paper in some great prints and colors. It was quick, easy and a cheap way to add some color. Can't wait to see what you pick!

  3. We are in the process of decorating our whole about stressful! I've learned I'm not as good at decorating as I hoped I would be, lol. Looking forward to your project, maybe it can provide me with some inspiration!

  4. We're on the same boat here. My husband and I are also newlyweds and we live in a one bedroom apartment which is just so tiny for the both of us. The bedroom is also my proble just because to me, everything just doesn't make sense in there. We can't really do anything much with our white painted wall because of the apartment policy, but Brooke, I think re-painting the wall would definitely make a difference! I was also thinking of painting an artwork or patterns like your last image up there, so it wouldn make it a bit more personal.

  5. @Lillindy - ME TOO. It's funny, I can design anything on a page, but give me a big blank room and I am clueless! I have such a hard time being able to tell if things "go" together without making them too matchy-matchy, and maintaining some sort of consistent style in a room. Decorating scurrrrs me!

  6. My husband and I just started this project! We purchased a new platform bed, but are waiting to move it into the room until we paint and get a rug (mostly for insulation in the upcoming cooler months). We're hoping to make our mis-matched, over-stuffed, unorganized bedroom into a soothing, calming haven. We're aiming for a more subtle "bray" color (a warm, brownish-gray) for the walls. We'll have to share DIY ideas. Best of luck to you on your bedroom make-over!

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