If you hate your bedroom and want to create a whole new space, you’ll want to think carefully before you buy anything or invest any money in the project. It’s easy to head to the furniture store and buy a whole new bedroom set. That does not mean you’ll get the bedroom you want. Your project should instead follow these steps:
1) Start dreaming your way to a new bedroom
Before you spend another penny on the room, consider what you want – and what you have to work with. You will also want to look at lots and lots of photos of bedrooms and even create a file of your favorite looks. HGTV has a number of inspirational ideas for bedrooms here. You may also want to take pen and paper to answer questions such as:
- What will I be using my room for (besides sleep)?
- What did I first notice and like about my bedroom?
- What do I not like about my bedroom?
- What things in my room do I already have that I can use to create a different look?
- How much space do I have for what I want?
- Do I need to consider any specific needs (i.e. pets or children)?
- Who else will be using the room, and what are their tastes like?
- Am I drawn to modern rooms, traditional rooms, or another style entirely?
- Which colors make me feel most at home?
- What kind of sleep am I getting in my bedroom now?
- What is my morning and evening routine like and what can I do to my bedroom to make these routines easier or more pleasant?
- What bedroom have I liked sleeping in best? What did I like about the room?
- What feelings do I want to evoke in this room?
- If I could only change three things about this room, what would they be?
- How often do I want to change my bedroom up?
- Are there health concerns in my bedroom I need to address when decorating or making changes?
- What would my bedroom look like if money, time, and practicality were not an issue?
These questions will get you thinking about what you want – and don’t want – in your new bedroom. They may also help you realize things that could affect your décor choices. For example, if you’re going to want to re-do your room often, you may want to buy less expensive furniture so that you can change it without feeling bad about the budget.
2) Plan well
To avoid disaster, plan on paper or online before you make any changes. Carefully measure your bedroom and any furniture you think you might keep. Then, consider different colors, styles, and ideas for your room. You can use online tools to get a sense of how the space would look like with specific changes, which is very useful when comparing styles and choices. You can see a list of online planning tools here.
3) Create a budget
Renovating or making over a bedroom can be costly, especially if you want to make changes to your furniture and the structure of the room. Create a budget for your project. If you need help, there are online calculators here, here, and here.
4) Focus on what you can keep and work with
If your bedroom has good basics, you may find your job is much easier than you thought. Maybe you have a large closet, a decent solid wood bed, and attractive windows. Find ways to highlight what you love. For example, beautiful ceilings can be showed off with a light fixture. Rather than replacing everything, find ways to salvage what you own. If you have a nice dresser that is in bad shape, for example, you may want to repaint it and add new drawer pulls to create a whole new look. Don’t just reinvent the wheel – think about what already works and what can be make better with a little paint and imagination.
5) Then, work on changing what you don’t love
Of course, some things will have to go – like the mattress that gives you a terrible sleep or the broken nightstand. This is where your budget comes in. Just be sure to use the money wisely – hunt around for quality items that you adore rather than settling on something that is just available.
6) Give yourself permission to have temporary items and in-between stages
Unless you hire a professional, you will likely have ugly-duckling stages where your bedroom looks less than ideal. Maybe you’ll have trouble getting the paint right or will have to wait a few months to be able to afford a beautiful dresser. That’s OK. If you can’t afford gorgeous bed linens at first, for example, buy cheap bed-in-a-bag sheets and keep saving until you can afford the items you want.
7) Start with the basics
There’s no point in buying the extras for your room until you have the bare bones, which include:
Once you have these in place, you can start thinking about accessories and additional items. You can add a pile of pillows to the bed, for example, plants, and art for the walls. You may also want to add a vanity area or a cozy spot for reading or relaxing.
8) Give yourself a chance to rely on serendipity
You may find the perfect canopy bed at an antique market one Saturday when you are more worried about your latest work project rather than the state of your home. Or, you may find the perfect armoire at a flea market one year from now. The point is, don’t focus on getting things perfect in your bedroom. Give your room permission to change and grow by seeing the makeover process as a journey rather than a perfect room that looks as though it belongs in a magazine.
Don’t make design mistakes because you rush too fast into your bedroom makeover. If you’re handling the re-do yourself rather than hiring a pro, take the time to carefully consider and plan the project so that you get your dream bedroom with fewer mistakes and hassles.