Dan has been a homeowner for some 40 years and has nearly always done his own repair and improvement tasks. He is a licensed electrician.
Cheap Bedroom Decorating
Bedrooms can be the simplest room in the home to work on and as a result DIY bedroom makeovers are popular. There is no plumbing to worry about, no cabinetry and even furniture is inexpensive when compared to living or even dining rooms.
We will only be looking at inexpensive makeovers here, and that limits the possibilities. A new bedroom set won't generally be considered, unless you can find something at a yard sale or on Craigslist.
Nevertheless, there are still lots of possibilities and chief among them is the idea of a "theme" room; a bedroom decorated around a particular theme. The photo above is of a bedroom that has been designed around the theme of an African safari (additional photos below), for instance, and makes an interesting stay for visiting guests.
The Safari Bedroom
Bedroom Makeover Ideas For Adults
The obvious first choice is a new coat of paint; about the most inexpensive thing possible and yet something that can change the look of a bedroom radically. Most people will prefer a light pastel color for a bedroom, but don't limit yourself too far here. An accent wall can add a great deal to the appearance; one wall that is painted in a complimentary color or a different shade of the same basic color. A pastel green room, for instance, might have one wall painted maroon or a much darker green. Trim (baseboard, window and door moldings) might be the same; either painted a darker shade or a complimentary color. Ceilings are commonly white, but off white is also popular.
Take a look installing a new light fixture. A simple task that most homeowners can easily do themselves but that can again change the looks of a room. Although few decorators will advise a ceiling fan, this too can be very nice in a bedroom and provide a gentle breeze during hot summer nights. There are thousands of possible choices for either simple light fixtures or ceiling fans and there has to be something out there that will pique your interest. In addition, a ceiling fan with a light kit that is controlled by a remote means you can turn the light on and off from the bed and that can be a nice added feature for the elderly or disabled.
Cover plates for light switches and outlets also come in a wide variety of designs. Wood, different colors or shapes and stainless steel are commonly available. You might even consider replacing worn outlets or replacing switches that are failing with a different type; both are easy to change out.
If it is within the budget you might consider new flooring. Most bedrooms are not overly large and the cost of new carpet need not be exorbitant. Another possibility for your DIY bedroom makeover might be to install new hardwood flooring; engineered hardwood floors are not difficult to install and are fairly inexpensive.
New draperies and/or bed coverings are another good choice to look at when decorating a bedroom. As the bed is a major piece of furniture in the bedroom a new spread can change the look of the whole room, and the same goes for window treatments.
New wall pictures or paintings may be in order. Few people are interested in hanging a $10,000 painting on a bedroom wall where it will seldom be seen; pictures for a bedroom need not be expensive. Try to match paintings in some way; a collection of Thomas Kincaid prints or a group of forest scenes maybe. Pictures of Victorian towns or homes. Winter scenes. Something to tie them all together. Along with pictures, consider a whole wall mural. These are not expensive, can cover an entire wall with a single scene and can be extremely realistic. One poor lady had taken a picture of her kids on a seashore but could not remember doing it; it had been taken in front of a basement wall mural.
We mentioned theme rooms; here are just a few ideas for your own theme:
- A sea or ocean theme. Decorations from the sea; glass fishing balls, fishing nets on the walls, sea shells, a whimsical stuffed fish, paintings of ocean scenes, colors of blue, green and sand, a coconut tree painted on one wall.
- Victorian theme. Victorian bedding, sheer and lacy window treatments, a Victorian night stand with lamp.
- Forest theme. Painted in woodsy colors of browns and greens, lots of plants either real or plastic, paintings of forest scenes or animals, A ceiling fan with bamboo blades, a wallpaper mural with a forest scene.
- Western theme. Sand colors, pictures of adobe buildings or national parks, an old dried skull on the shelf, cactus plant.
- Travel theme. An Eiffel tower on the dresser, pictures of foreign cities or sights, world maps, a road painted all around the walls leading to different scenes.
Decorating a Child's Bedroom
Doing a makeover for a child's bedroom can be a lot of fun as the possibilities are endless. Try to involve the child where possible (let them pick the color with a little gentle guidance) and do match the room to the child.
Try to think ahead a little; a child's bedroom will always need storage space and this is a good time to provide some. Hooks for clothing, containers for small toys, a place for school work or to display the latest art work - every kid needs storage space in their own room.
This is an area where paint need not take a back seat to anything - let your imagination (and that of the child) roam free! One memorable bedroom was painted in a light yellow but Dad then dipped a small child's feet in bright blue paint and, with Dad's help, the child walked up the wall, across the ceiling and down the opposing wall. Years later any visitor was drug to that bedroom and, with great glee, shown those footprints.
Brighter colors are the name of the game here as children in general love them. Nor should you limit the paint; older dressers can be painted and given a new life. One parent painted an thirty year old dresser in white and metallic blue automotive paint in a beautiful bedroom makeover.
When it comes to ideas for decorating a child's bedroom there are no limits. Themes are especially appropriate for children and here again are just a few:
- Cars theme. Perhaps a car bed for a young boy, pictures of cars on the wall, shelving with matchbox cars or model cars, a "visible engine" on the dresser.
- Princess theme. For a little girl, a canopy bed; this need be nothing more than a wooden framework attached to the ceiling with sheer "draperies" hanging around the bed. Or simple posts attached to head and foot boards, again with a framework at the top. Sheer curtains, perhaps one wall covered in fabric. A wall mural with a castle interior.
- Sports theme. Pictures and large stickers of sporting equipment on the walls, soccer balls or footballs on the dresser. A locker with shelves instead of a dresser. A hockey stick hung on the wall.
- Space theme. A wall mural again with a space scene. Ceiling painted black or dark blue, with dots for stars and perhaps with a constellation or two. Space photos on the walls, printed out from the NASA website. A model of the space shuttle, put together by the child and sitting on a dresser.
- Horse theme. Many little girls love horses, build her a horse theme bedroom. Horses on the walls. Rather than a doll house, a horse barn on the dresser with hay, a fence and a few plastic horses. A small hay bale in the corner.
- Magic theme. Toys and props from Harry Potter - a wand, broomstick, wizards pointed cap. Statues of wizards on the dresser, a spell book, a cauldron, Star stickers on the walls, a stuffed dragon.
Bedroom Makeovers Can Be Fun
None of the ideas here are particularly expensive; the whole idea is cheap bedroom decorating, after all. Of course, if your budget is a little higher a new bedroom set may be order or even some basic remodeling with walls being added or removed.
If not, however, some of these DIY bedroom makeover ideas will hopefully spark your own imagination in coming up with something appropriate for you and your family. Just don't give up too easily; bedroom decorating can be fun, it isn't a lot of work (compared to, say, a kitchen makeover) and will result in something you or your children can enjoy for years.
© 2013 Dan Harmon
Mara Alexander from Los Angeles, California on March 14, 2015:
Great hub, thank you for sharing. Cheap is good
Voted it up
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 06, 2015:
Clever ideas on how to makeover any bedroom with inexpensive materials to update it. Voted up!
Whitney Rose Wood on February 21, 2015:
This hub speaks the truth on not having to spend a ton to update. Especially about the switch plates. I feel like everywhere I have lived has had those awful off-white light switch plates. I think this may finally convince me to just go to the hardware store and spend a few dollars to switch them out.
Patricia on September 02, 2014:
The tree on the wall looks cool. I like the idea of those light fixtures too!
Sillypineapple from Georgia on October 06, 2013:
Very cute ideas! This is perfect especially in a kid's room.
Vicki Carroll from Greater Birmingham Area on July 16, 2013:
I finally learned to take a photo and play copy cat : )
Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on May 28, 2013:
I like my fans. Summer is coming on and there will soon be a breeze all night in our bedroom.
Sure, tirelesstraveler, link away if you think it appropriate.
Judy Specht from California on May 28, 2013:
Great fun ideas. I am with you and Mz Lizzy concerning ceiling fans. Who are these designers anyway. May I link this to my hub on remodeling bedrooms?
Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on January 21, 2013:
@ Hezekiah: Well, I don't know; electronics can be pretty interesting sometimes! Truthfully, though, there ought to be something that could be done in even that kind of room. A them of inside the space shuttle, maybe!
@ Judi: Sure! I'm certainly no artist, but my tree was recognizable as just that even if it isn't really very lifelike.
Judi Brown from UK on January 21, 2013:
My daughter has been pestering for a bedroom makeover - I like your safari mural, perhaps I'll get brave and paint something on the wall for her.
Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on January 21, 2013:
This is wonderful wilderness and it's going straight onto pinterest. you have so many ideas, starting with the basics.. i love that woodsman type bedroom up there. voting and sharing!
Hezekiah from Japan on January 21, 2013:
Interesting Hub, my hubby room definitely needs a make over. It's just full of Elelctronics - bland!!!
Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on January 20, 2013:
Well, I think fresh paint is always the first step in nearly any remodel project, and it often makes the biggest difference.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on January 20, 2013:
I'm always looking for new and creative ways to recorate rooms in my house. I agree a fresh coat of paint can really make a big difference.
I enjoyed reading your Hub with your great ideas.
I voted UP, etc. and will share.
Dan Harmon (author) from Boise, Idaho on January 20, 2013:
Like you, I like my ceiling fans and have 4 of them in a 3 bedroom home. It can be a lot of fun decorating with kids; that bedroom with footprints across the ceiling was a masterpiece to the 3 year old that put them there.
We were never able to just give the kids free rein with their imagination - ages didn't match up with needed work - but that, too, would be wonderful for a budding artist. Love the idea of the leg and stocking!
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 20, 2013:
You posted some great ideas, here! As far as, "... few decorators will advise a ceiling fan,.." pfftt..phooey on them! The decorator doesn't have to live there, and a home must be LIVABLE and comfortable for the occupants--it isn't all about trying to impress model home set designers and architectural magazines! I like my ceiling fans, especially in summer! We did just recently upgrade our bedroom fans to remote-controlled units, and it is SO nice no to have to get out of bed to turn off the light or adjust the fan speed.
Involve the kid--yep--and be prepared. I am reminded of a cousin of mine, who, as a teen, was allowed free rein in decorating her own room--including being allowed to paint/draw, etc. on the walls. She was a budding artist, and went through a phase of drawing fashion designs, including an over-sized leg with fishnet stocking on one wall....LOL I was not allowed to touch anything like that as a kid..painting/decorating was 'the grownup's job,' and I was rather jealous of my cousin.
Voted up, useful and interesting.