Guest Post by Linda Merrill
Have you ever thought about how much time we spend in our bedroom each day? If you add up the eight hours of sleep we’re supposed to get, plus an hour or so for changing and another couple of hours on average for TV watching and more – well you get the point. When all is said and done, on average we probably spend a good 40% of our day in that one room. So why is it that the master bedroom is often last on the decorating priority list? One reason, of course, is that it’s not a public space and the lights are off for much of the time – so why spend the money? Yet wouldn’t you rather retire to a lovely inviting space that is a quiet oasis from the hectic pace of the average day? All that, and it doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money. Here are a few of my favorite easy updates that are big on style yet won’t break the bank:
- Paint is your best decorating friend. A new coat of paint on the walls is a low-cost/high-impact way to freshen up your bedroom. No time to paint the whole room? Trying a contrasting color on a single wall, perhaps behind the bed, or even something different on the ceiling.
- If your furniture has seen better days and it’s perhaps not worth a full re-finish job, it too can be painted. There are many products on the market that give great coverage and are very easy to use. We’re really limited only by our imaginations.
- If you’ve been making due without a headboard, now is the time to up your look with something new. Going back to paint – one of the prettiest “headboards” I’ve ever seen was in a hotel in Florence where a pretty headboard was simply painted onto the wall behind the bed. It was fanciful and fun and a great project if you’ve got some decorative painting skills. Upholstered headboards are luxe and very comfy and not that difficult to DIY. Wrap a square or rectangular piece of plywood, cut to size, with batting and decorative fabric stapled around the back side and mount it on the wall behind the bed. If you’re into the rustic chic look, an old pair of large shutters or pretty doors makes an unusual headboard, as does a garden trellis. Just make sure to mount all sturdily on the wall!
- Keep it soft underfoot with new wall-to-wall carpet, or expose and refinish an existing hardwood floor and lay cushy area rugs for warmth. Switch out area rugs seasonally for instant updates.
- Update your lighting with pretty new table and floor lamps. Make sure all are place on dimmer switches (a plug-in lamp dimmer will do the trick) so you can change lighting levels as needed.
- Replace all the electrical switch plates and sockets. These often overlooked items can easily become dingy and dated (think shiny lacquered brass of the ’80′s) yet are a snap to replace. There are gorgeous decorative plates everywhere from the hardware store to elite arts and crafts shows. And, while you’re at it, switch out standard toggle switches with more flexible dimmer switches so your bedroom has more than one lighting mood.
- Swapping out your linens and bedding seasonally is an easy way to refresh your space every six months or so. I do this and even though I’ve been using the same bedding sets for a while, they always feel like new when I make the switch.
- Invest in some pretty storage options such as wicker hampers or baskets to help keep the clutter at bay. This is one room that truly benefits from a little organization.
- Reframe and relocate any art and photographs you have on your walls and tabletops. The longer they stay in the same location, the less we notice them.
- Get a whole new perspective by simply moving your furniture around the room. We all become entrenched in how our rooms should be laid out, but often there is more than one furniture arrangement possible in each space. Start with the bed and see if it can be moved to a different wall and then go from there. In the end, you may move everything back to where you started, but you won’t have spent a dime and you might just find a few underneath the dresser!
Based in Cape Cod, Linda Merrill is a talented interior designer who likes to write about projects for The Home Depot. Linda provides tips on everything from paint colors that coordinate with your furniture, to fun projects using crafts supplies, to creating gorgeous unique spaces.