Like with most home make-over projects, a good portion of the actual make-over involves simply getting rid of unneeded stuff that is cluttering up the environment. Sure, you like to read before bed, but do you need a whole stack of books on the bedside table? Put the unread tomes back on the bookshelf or donate them to the library (you read everything on your Kindle now, anyway).
Because your closet is in your bedroom, this is a good time to go through it and get rid of unused clothing, coats, and shoes. If you have a linen closet that needs organizing, consider paring down your excess towels and mismatched sheets.
Painting a bedroom is probably the fastest and cheapest way to change the overall character. Choose a color that works with your trim (this is where paint chips come in handy). Strive to find a color that enhances the exact ambiance that you want in your bedroom — cozy and warm, light and modern, or bright and eclectic — there are thousands upon thousands of colors to choose from. And remember, if the first color doesn’t work, you can always paint over it.
You may think that it’s the rug that really pulls the room together, but window dressings are more important in the bedroom. Because bedrooms tend to be smaller and dominated by large furniture, the eye is drawn upward beyond the bed — that’s where the window dressing can work its magic. Curtains, blinds, and shades can be very expensive, so first decide what kind of coverage you need, and then go from there. White panel curtains are simple, cheap, match with almost any style. If you need curtains that block the early morning light but don’t appear heavy, consider thick cotton or velvet in light colors.
The bedroom is a great place to display the works of art that mean the most to you. Whether it's paintings or silk rugs, sculptures or kid's drawings, make the most of whatever wall space you have. If you prefer a clean, uncluttered look, choose one or two pieces that you like the most. If your taste runs toward the more eclectic, you can fill up your walls with whatever you want. Framing art can be expensive, so look into cheaper art displays for your favorite works.
Hey, this IS the bedroom, right? Sleeping is the name of the game, is it not? Your linens should be comfortable first and foremost, with style coming in second. Unless you are the type of person who fastidiously makes your bed every morning, don’t plunk down hard-earned cash on pricey bedspreads and decorative pillow shams. Stick with the basics, in simple colors or basic patterns, and straighten up as needed.
You can usually identify a well-designed room by the type of lighting used — it’s always the exact right amount for the right time of day (or night). Is your bedroom suffering from too much light? Recessed pot lights are fine for the living room, but use a lot of electricity and can seem harsh in a bedroom. Consider installing a dimmer (between $60-100) to reduce the overhead glare. Alternately, your bedroom might have dim lighting that strains the eye. In either case, you can benefit from a few well-placed lamps that increase visibility without overloading the senses. Lamps are a wonderfully cheap accessory — check out IKEA’s selection before hitting Target or other big box retailers. Try out a new lampshade on an old fixture for an instant bedside accessory facelift.
New or different furniture should be your last resort in redoing your bedroom, unless a change is drastically needed. Sometimes a new coat of paint or varnish can completely change the character of your dresser or headboard. Check out DIY websites for inspiration, but don’t get too caught up in the idea of completely overhauling every piece of furniture you own. A plain white table runner can hide a multitude of surface damage to dressers. Sometimes, wooden furniture just needs a good polish or scratch repair.