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A total bedroom overhaul—think upgraded mattress, new dresser and nightstands, fresh duvet, etc.—can work wonders on how well you sleep. But it’ll also do a number on your wallet. Fortunately, there are plenty of smaller, budget-friendly adjustments that can completely refresh the look and feel of your bedroom.
We went down a rabbit hole of Pinterest boards and design blogs to compile this list of low-cost but big-impact tricks to transform your sleep space. No matter whether your style skews mid-century, modern farmhouse, laid-back bohemian or all-out glam, these clever, money-saving tactics can be applied to nearly any bedroom makeover project.
This is your space and the room where you spend the most time, so make it look and feel uniquely you—not what a stuffy design book says it should look like.
Survey each piece of furniture and every accessory with a critical eye. You don’t need to go full-on Marie Kondo, but if that tchotchke on the dresser doesn’t spark relaxation or romance, off it goes to the donation pile.
You’d be amazed how different your space will feel by making little adjustments like shifting the dresser to the right a foot or taking a painting off the wall and propping it atop your nightstand instead. Consider an even bigger move—like how your bed is oriented—to really make your bedroom feel brand-new.
It’s wise to throw a few extra bucks toward the place where you’ll lay your head each night, but there’s no need to go overboard. Sure, higher thread-count sheets are worth the upgrade, but don’t break the bank when it comes to your comforter or duvet cover. Instead, why not make your bed like your favorite boutique hotel does? You can’t go wrong with all white—plus there’s always plenty of affordable options in this hue. Rely on blankets and throw pillows to add color, texture and pattern.
Before hitting any stores, first browse what you have sitting around your house: that throw pillow that’s never really worked on your living room couch, the artwork still stacked in the basement, the houseplant taking up space on your kitchen counter—you name it. Any of these (free!) things can take on a new life in your bedroom.
In just one weekend, this under-$100 DIY project can have the most dramatic impact. Whether you gravitate toward warm or cool tones, embrace a palette that brings you a sense of calm.
Not ready to paint over those antique white walls? Commitment-phobes can opt to paint just one wall—we recommend the one at the head of your bed—or try an unexpected pop of color on the ceiling. Removable wallpaper is another fun design solution, especially for renters. Wallpaper options abound online, so whether your tastes run traditional or you’re the more electric type, we can almost guarantee there’s a chevron pattern or tiger-print paper with your name on it.
Don’t forget about what’s beneath your feet. Adding an area rug over wood floors or even atop carpeting adds a visual element of interest. Don’t be afraid to layer a couple rugs to give your space a polished, highly curated feel.
Admit it: That frosted glass, flush-mount ceiling fixture is looking pretty sad. There’s perhaps no better way to add that “wow factor” than with a dramatic light fixture. Lighting can get pricey, so start your search for that perfect chandelier at your favorite antique or second-hand shop.
There’s no shortage of DIY headboard project ideas, from easy embroidery to woven wonders. Find one that appeals to you online, make a quick trip to your nearest craft store, and you’ll have a snazzy new headboard in no time.
It’s one of the oldest and most-used design tricks for a reason. Adding a mirror really does make a small space feel larger and brighter.
Instantly upgrade a dresser or nightstand with nothing more than a screwdriver and few new knobs or pulls.
Adding a thoughtful, eye-catching vignette to the top takes a blah piece from ho-hum to haute. While you’re at it, make it meaningful: Add trinkets from your travels and personalize it with framed photos. (Just don’t overdo it, or you’ll kick yourself each time you pull out a drawer to the sound of rattling knick-knacks.)
There’s nothing like fresh flowers to create a welcoming vibe. A simple $5.99 spray from the grocery store is all you need to bring a little cheer. Don’t feel like adding that to your weekly shopping budget? Then make it a one-time buy with a succulent; they’re pretty, they’re trendy and they’re nearly impossible to kill.
Sure, you don’t really need that armchair in the corner or that bench at the foot of the bed, but you’ll be glad you have them when you’re settling in with a good book or looking for an out-of-sight storage option for off-season sweaters.
Eschew what’s traditional and roll in a brass bar cart or wicker serving cart. Either one has plenty of surface space to hold a lamp, book and vase of flowers. The lower shelf can display your prettiest set of spare linens.
Whether you spritz the sheets with a scented linen spray, apply aromatherapy, or light a candle upon returning home from work, there’s nothing like fragrance to transform your bedroom into a sanctuary.
New window treatments can be pricey, but you know what’s free? Elbow grease. If you’ve never washed your windows, get on that this afternoon. You’ll be amazed by the difference it makes. Trust us on this one.
You’ve unleashed your inner decorator and put in the work. Your bedroom has finally become that oh-so-chic oasis you’ve dreamed of, so commit to keeping it that way. No matter how stylish that new wallpaper or light fixture looks, if you haven’t made your bed and yesterday’s outfit is tossed on the floor, that’s all you’ll see.
Now drift off to dreamland in a calming space that’s uniquely (and affordably) you by adding some soothing sounds — maybe some ambient music or a program on a sleep-promoting app.