Simple Ways To Give Your Bedroom A Refresh Without Spending A Fortune

A bedroom is seldom just a bedroom. It often doubles as our entertainment center, dining room, home office, reading nook, hideout spot, and sanctuary. However, it's possible the bedroom you painstakingly designed a few years back no longer matches your current aesthetic. If that's the case, perhaps it's time to give it a new look. The good news is there are plenty of simple ways to make your bedroom look new without setting aside a sizable nest egg (really!). For instance, something as simple as updating the outdated knobs and handles on your furniture and doors with a matte or brass one can shake things up.

Another quick way to freshen up a room is to strategically place a few mirrors to maximize natural light and make your small bedroom appear spacious. Alternatively, give your headboard a makeover to make a statement. But before you dive off the deep end, determine why the bedroom feels off. Is it the curtains from the '90s or the kitschy art (or both)? Or does the thrifted furniture in the room no longer serve your current design preferences? Maybe you're no longer a fan of the paint on your walls? Pinning down the exact reason will help you get to the source of the problem and make an informed decision. Struggling to identify areas you could improve to give your bedroom a refresh without spending a fortune? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Declutter and organize your bedroom

Is your bedroom a cross between a hoarder's den and a bird's nest? If yes, decluttering and organizing it should be your top priority. Besides being unsightly, a cluttered room will make it difficult for you to relax, shrink the available space, and might impact your sleep. Begin by clearing up items off the floor so you can move around comfortably without tripping on your red-soled heels. Don't make the mistake of scooping everything up and dumping them elsewhere, making them tomorrow's problem.

Since you only want to keep items you truly need in the bedroom, create five piles to sort out the mess: keep, trash, donate, store, and recycle. Tackle one visible surface at a time, keeping items you can't part with and need constantly. Move everything else out of your sanctuary, including decorative items, furniture, books, magazines, and other trinkets. In case your progress is tedious at best or slow at worst, TikTok's 3-second rule will add a little excitement to your home organization. Once the visible surfaces are clean, move to the dresser drawers, closets, and under the bed storage options. The next step is to organize everything you've decided to keep. Put everything back where it belongs — dirty laundry in the washing machine, not-too-clean yet wearable clothes in a laundry basket, books on the shelf, purses back in the wardrobe, and shoes on the rack. Get dedicated containers, baskets, drawer organizers, trays, and bowls to neatly store your trinkets.

Give your bedroom a deep clean

Cohabitating your bedroom with a thin layer of dust might seem normal to you, but you'd be surprised by the changes a deep cleaning session can bring about. So, gather your trusty vacuum, a Swiffer with an extendable arm, a broom, a microfiber cloth, a dustpan, trash bags, a ladder, and disinfectant spray. Change your clothes and wear a face mask, protective eye gear, and gloves to minimize contact with the grime.

Roll away the rug and start from the top, swiftly making your way down to avoid cleaning your floors twice. Cover your furniture with an old cloth to keep it from getting dirtier when dislodging the elaborate cobwebs on your ceiling, and employ the umbrella hack before cleaning that hanging light fixture if you aren't superstitious to minimize cleanup. Switch off the lights and fans before dusting them. Next, remove the dusty curtains and clean the window treatments. Dampen the microfiber cloth to wipe your bedside table, windows, other furniture, and decorative items on top of them to establish a dust-free zone. Don't forget to remove unsightly fingerprints from mirrors and disinfect gadgets. After the visible surfaces are clean, strip your bed, vacuum your dirty mattress, and toss the grimy bed sheet, pillow covers, bed skirt, and duvet covers in the washer. Use your broom and mop (or vacuum) to clean the dirt and debris from your floors. Dust beneath your bed, under furniture, and behind closets for a satisfying deep clean.

Change your bedroom's layout

An inexpensive way to give your bedroom a refresh is to change its existing layout. While, in theory, rearranging the furniture might not seem like a big deal, this is one of the best before and after makeovers you have to see to believe in. Just like a new haircut changes your appearance, giving your bedroom a primpover — switching the room's layout using existing furniture and decor items — will change things for the better. A stress-free tip for rearranging your bedroom is to remove just-because furniture and seating options and design the layout based on the bed's position — arguably the most important furniture piece in a bedroom.

Although it might seem second nature to plop it against the biggest blank wall, go rogue, and place it under the window (provided there's enough space). Or, if you follow Feng Shui, dump the window idea and ensure the bed is diagonal to the door (the commanding position) without mirrors in its direct sightline. But if you're a fan of the classic against-the-largest wall or have no other options, maintain a gap between the wall and your bed to give the illusion of a larger room. Whichever position you choose, ascertain there's enough room on either side of the bed for you to move in and out and open closet doors comfortably. Now, configure the positioning for the other furniture pieces, including your closet, dresser, and tea table. Work in descending order and knock out the larger items first.

Upgrade your bedding

Since a bedroom is literally defined by a bed, upgrading your bedding will transform the space. Don't worry; you don't have to replace the bed if it's in fairly good condition or relatively new, especially since the price of mattresses has gone up drastically. Simply go with the seasonal flow and swap the sheets, lumbar, accent, euro pillows, quilt, or duvet, and throw blankets accordingly. For instance, using cotton sheets instead of flannel when the temperatures soar will transform your bedroom from a winter wonderland to a heat-scape, helping keep your mattress cool during toasty summer nights.

The first step is to decide the color, pattern, and material for the bedsheet, depending on the weather (light colors and fabrics in the summer and vice versa in winter), your preferences, and your bedroom color scheme. Once your base is ready, begin layering it. Choose among duvets, quilts, and comforters before getting a gorgeous washable cover (in case you aren't going with an all-white look). Remember to add a bed skirt when storing items under the bed to avoid detracting attention from the bedding. Flirt with new designs for your pillows to add visual interest. Ideally, you should place two Euro shams for a queen-size bed (three for a king) before two lumbar (or standard) pillows. Finally, add plenty of accent pillows (or nestle one between the lumbar and Euro) to make the bed look inviting. Top the look with a decorative throw at the foot of the bed.

Layer the bedroom lighting

Although light plays a vital role in how your bedroom looks, it's mostly treated as an afterthought. Change your room's appearance by upgrading the existing light fixtures and taking a layered approach with task, accent, and ambient lighting. Task lighting will offer focused illumination for a 'task,' whereas accent (or decorative) lighting outlines a room's focal points and lends some much-needed personality. Contrastingly, ambient (or general) lighting is responsible for illuminating a room.

Start with general illumination for your bedroom. Recessed lights, chandeliers, and pendants are some of the most popular options. To determine the number of bulbs or lights you'll need, check their light output (you'll most probably find this information on the box) and measure the square footage of the room. Since you need 20 lumens per square foot to illuminate a room adequately, buy lights accordingly. Of course, the width and height of the ceiling will play an important role when going with hanging light fixtures. As for task lighting, such as lamps and sconces, calculate the square footage of the space and increase it 50 times to determine the lumens you need. Based on the brightness required for a task, install warm (between 2,700 and 3,000 Kelvin) or cold lights (between 3,500 and 4,000 Kelvin). Accent lighting, like track, structural, and picture lights, must offer thrice the amount of brightness as ambient lighting to highlight decorative elements. Finally, consider natural light sources or lack thereof when layering the lights in your bedroom.

Make room for houseplants

Looking for the right statement piece for your refreshed bedroom but don't want to spend an obscene amount of money? Go to your nearest garden center and make some room for houseplants. This Pinterest-approved bedroom design trend will bring the outdoors in and help you connect with nature. Besides, having ready access to greenery will have a positive impact on your mental and physical health (per the United States Department of Agriculture). Moreover, certain houseplants, like a few types of orchids, can improve your IAQ (indoor air quality) by removing pollutants like formaldehyde, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, trichloroethylene, and benzene (according to a literature review undertaken by Wageningen University & Research).

However, you shouldn't simply bring home any plant that tickles your fancy or looks gorgeous. You also need to consider the amount of natural light (sunlight) you receive, the average temperature of your bedroom, and the humidity level in the air. Get only plants that can thrive in these conditions. Plus, consider the care requirements of the houseplant; you don't want to get saddled with a high-maintenance diva if you don't have the time or resources. Next, decide how to display your green friends around the bedroom. Do you have a window sill you can plop them on? Or can you dedicate an empty shelf? Perhaps you'll be investing in hanging baskets? Your nightstand is a solid contender, too; just place a saucer underneath to catch running water. Cut flowers are a good alternative for brown thumbs.

Go for a statement wall

Refresh your boring bedroom with a statement wall. These walls allow you to narrate the story of the room (or your life) in a unique manner. Plus, you can play around with different textures, patterns, and colors while exploring budget-friendly options. Win-win! When done right, they'll shine a spotlight on the statement pieces in the room. But take care to avoid shining a spotlight on an uneven wall since it'll showcase the imperfections in stark relief instead of concealing them.

Generally, there are three options to bring a statement wall to life: paint, wallpaper, and a wall panel. While these are the most popular, don't shy away from a path less frequently explored: wall murals. Exposing your brick walls is another option if you're a fan of the industrial look. That being said, there are a few rules you must abide by to design an eye-catching accent wall. One, choose the wall carefully. A good example is selecting a wall that naturally draws the eye when you first walk into the room. Alternatively, the wall behind your bed or other visually interesting furniture will work wonders. Remember to steer clear of walls that are too small to make much of a difference, or all your effort will be for naught. Regarding the shade, the accent wall must have something in common with the rest of the color scheme since an isolating tone can stand out too much (and not in a good way).

Style your bedside tables

Re-styling your bedside table can offer a fresh view if you aren't ready to commit to major changes around the room. A nightstand often holds too many things, including your eyeglasses, books you're in the middle of finishing, your earphones, hair ties, a charger, light fixtures, a bottle (or glass) of water, one or two decor items, a vase of flowers, and more. However, being practical about the things you display on the table can help set a refreshing tone for the room.

So, when decorating a nightstand, the most important consideration is the size of the table at your disposal. Then, come up with the things you truly want near you when you're in bed, like a lamp, phone charger, pictures, medicines, and a bottle of water, and house the rest inside the drawers (or somewhere else). After you select the non-negotiables, style them in a way that is accessible when your brain is clouded by sleep yet simple to put back if you veer off course. For instance, position your bedside lamp such that it's easy to reach the switch during the night, your phone charger near you but not directly next to you (electronic devices emit heat when charging), and keep the water, medicine, and frame on the far side so you can access them when required without knocking them to the ground. If books fall under the non-negotiable category, use them as makeshift trays for your medicines, picture frames, and chargers.

Add comfortable seating options

Even though it's fun to resemble a vegetable when you're in bed, sometimes you might want to act human (for propriety's sake!), read a book, stream a series while sitting, or invite guests to your bedroom. Under such circumstances, you might require a few seating options besides your fluffy bed. But instead of spending your hard-earned dollars on new furniture, steal a chair or two from your living room, provided they go with the rest of your decor. Or, get your thrifting hat on and look for the top furniture designers at estate sales, according to our antiques expert, to score an unbelievable deal.

Now, for the hard part: strategically placing the seating options. You'd be remiss not to place a comfortable armchair, loveseat, daybed, stool, built-in seat, or pouf by your bedroom window. After all, how else are you supposed to bird-watch and overthink everything? If you're low on space, don't discount the armchair in the corner for a cozy reading nook. This way, you get to utilize an awkward corner without much hassle and find a space for your chair. But when there are no awkward corners in sight, position an ottoman or bench at the foot of the bed to tie your shoelaces with ease, place a breakfast tray, or toss odds and ends without cluttering the room. Don't rely on just one option (given you have the space), and play around with different styles to design a functional yet playful bedroom.

Spruce up your bedroom with art

Hanging art in your bedroom will add personality and style to the space. The best part, though? You're free to express yourself and tell your story visually to make your bedroom feel more like a sanctuary. It can also double as a focal point or anchor the room and tie the varied decor elements for a cohesive look. You only need to answer two questions. One, what kind of artwork do you want displayed on the walls? Two, where do you want to position the masterpieces?

Regarding the kind, you can either choose to display your already-owned envious collection or dip your toe in the art scene and pick up some fresh pieces for your bedroom. But that's not the only option. Don't shy away from displaying sentimental pictures to create a space that makes you happy and resonates with your soul. Go with a soothing piece or something chaotic — the choice is yours. However, never display anything you don't connect with; it'll leech your bedroom of life. When addressing the positioning, one of the most common ways is to put the frames above (or opposite) the bed. If you have a headboard, maintain a gap of 7 inches. Otherwise, the gap should be between 14 to 16 inches. This will make your walls pop and keep you from headbutting the pictures whenever you lie against the wall. Play around with symmetry and scale, curate a captivating gallery wall, or follow a theme.

Let the ceiling stand out

Though you might not place much stock in a fifth wall, an interesting ceiling will make it fun to count sheep and ponder the many secrets of the universe while lending your bedroom a distinct personality. There are multiple ideas to spice up a boring ceiling, whether you're dealing with a plain white, antiquated drop or a glow-in-the-dark sticker-addled canvas. Remember, you're limited only by your imagination.

The easiest way to make your ceiling stand out is to go over it with a fresh coat of paint. But be aware that the beauty lies in the color you choose. To elaborate, you can opt for a bold color like black for some added depth, choose the same color as your walls, or go with a shade that contrasts beautifully with the wallpaper on the walls. Otherwise, put up wallpaper for a dramatic appearance. Contrastingly, if you're a "Bridgerton" fan and have been obsessed with the intricate detailing from the Regency era, frame a gorgeous light fixture with an attachable crown molding or trim. Faux antique ceiling (tin) tiles are another DIY option. If you're a DIY pro and aren't afraid of using power tools, exposed wooden beams will add texture and character to the fifth wall. But if you're an artist, unleash your creative side and design a striking mural for your bedroom's ceiling. In case you aren't ready to make big changes, stick pretty decals for a soft look.