A Calm & Serene Bedroom on a Budget
The most appealing bedrooms are a place of refuge…a safe haven where you can feel at peace…a tranquil retreat…a cozy nest. Yet, creating a unique personalized space that is affordable can be challenging.
Since decorating on a budget is one of my favourite past-times, join me as I share my DIY projects and resources for creating your own calm & serene bedroom on a budget (of course)!
Steps to create a calm & serene bedroom on a budget
Step 1 – First of all decide on the look and feel you are seeking
In this room, I decided to create a tranquil and peaceful space with white and various shades of blue as my palette.
I chose Benjamin Moore’s Horizon for the walls as the ideal neutral background for the fresh and pretty look I was seeking. Horizon is a very pale silvery blue-gray which does not appear cold or formal.
A few years after I painted this room Horizon, I can honestly say I still love it and would use it again in a heartbeat. It’s a versatile neutral and paired with crisp white trim works well with other fresh colours including various shades of blue and blue-green, yellow, green, orange and pink.
This cool blue-gray shade is right on trend, Pantone, the worldwide authority on colour systems has (for the first time) introduced two shades, Rose Quartz and Serenity, a blue-gray, as the PANTONE Colours of the Year 2016.
Step 2 – Create an easy DIY headboard
Your bed is the most important piece of bedroom furniture and the focal point of your room so make sure it is distinctive! A headboard really takes a basic bedroom up a notch and is an easy way (really!) to create a more restful and personalized retreat. Plus an upholstered headboard creates comfort for the bed readers, laptop users and TV watchers among us!
There are lots and lots of DIY upholstered headboard tutorials online but mine was very basic and cost under $80.
You will need the following materials:
1/2 inch thick MDF or plywood – cut to size
My bed is a king so I made sure that the headboard was a couple of inches wider than the bed and would sit two inches below the top of the mattress – I had mine cut to 76 inches wide x 36 inches tall at Home Depot. It only cost about $25 total – they just charge a couple of dollars per cut so it’s a good deal.
I used queen size batting and simply doubled it for extra thickness – it cost about about $10 at Walmart
I used 2.5 metres of a linen textured heavy weight fabric in a soft blue gray slightly darker than the paint colour, which I picked up at Fabricville on sale for $10/metre – Total $25.00
Iron your fabric well and carefully spread it out on the (clean!) floor – right side down. Lay the batting on top and the piece of wood on top of that. Yes, this is a two person job. I trimmed the fabric and batting at this point so that the overhang was about 4 inches all around. Begin stapling in the middle of each side. You will need that extra pair of hands to help stretch the fabric evenly. Now wrap your corners as if you are wrapping a present. Make sure you staple all around the board so that the fabric and batting is secure.
I hung the headboard with a 12 inch french cleat which was surprisingly easy to use and there have been no issues with the stability or security of the headboard.
The nice thing about this project is that I can easily replace the fabric if I desire a change.
Step 3 – Dress up your bed
I love the crisp, clean look of white bedding- which always washes up better than dark colours. And, no white is not boring because not only does it always look fresh and clean but it’s also the perfect background for colour! Add layers of colour on your white bedding with quilts and blankets and pillows. And, when you need a change, throw on some different throw pillows or a new blanket. With a neutral wall colour like Horizon the possibilities are endless.
My favourite on-line source for plain white bedspreads and quilts is Quilts Etc. They have a good quality basic white bedspread that is quite affordable. I have had mine now for a few years – it is 100% cotton and after several washes it still looks great. They also carry a Super King size which is 93″ x 114″ (a regular king is 90 x 106″) Is it just me or do regular kings size comforters and quilts always seem too small?
My euro pillowcases (24 x 24 inch square) used to be white but I decided to dye them a dark blue to add some more colour to the room. Have you tried fabric dye before? It’s actually very easy and I was very pleased with the results. It took about an hour from start to finish. I then threw them in the washing machine for a cold water mini wash. My biggest fear was that they would turn out splotchy but they are an even colour and exactly like the colour on the package. I used Dylon Fabric Dye (in Jean Blue) available at my local Fabricville for the bargain price of $4.99.
If you are a basic sewer – I am talking straight lines only – no zippers or fancy stuff – you can make your own throw pillows very cheaply. I purchased the pretty blue and white fabric from Tonic Living, my very favourite on-line source for fabric. My how-to post on affordable pillows has detailed instructions for making easy envelope pillows.
Step 4 – It’s OK to mix and match your furniture
I love a mix of old and new and wood and painted furniture. By painting my two mismatched and different sized vintage pieces, a small cabinet and a washstand, with white chalk paint – Rustoleum Linen White – see this post for more information on painting with this affordable and easy to find chalk paint – I created a cohesive look for my nightstands. Not that this is essential for a bedroom – in fact, nightstands can be whatever you choose – it’s your space so anything goes!
Matching lamps purchased on sale at Target during their brief foray (alas!) in Canada create symmetry which is restful to the eye.
Here is my painted cabinet aka nightstand. I purchased the cute little battery operated clock with vintage appeal online from Chapters/Indigo.
The white-painted washstand and a willow basket filled with throws:
While I love the look of painted furniture I also like to add the warmth of natural wood in a space. This old 1920s dresser has been with me for several years and has furnished a few different bedrooms.
Step 5 – Natural woven blinds are timeless and affordable
It is no secret that I love the timeless appeal and warmth of wicker or rattan blinds – you can find them in several rooms of my house. I have a Pinterest Board filled with inspirational pictures of rooms with natural blinds and if (when) we move I will continue to use them.
I was able to purchase three of these blinds off the rack and cut to size in-store at Home Depot several years ago for under $200. We installed them as “inside mount” (as opposed to outside mount) because I love the look of natural blinds installed inside chunky window frames. The balcony door was installed as an “outside mount.”
I recently noticed however, that my local Home Depot is not selling them anymore…why??? But, there are several on-line sources available. I purchased my dining room blinds from Select Blinds and I was happy with the quality and service. Make sure you order the free samples since it is hard to determine the precise colour and texture online.
Step 6 – For a truly restful space get rid of the clutter
It took me a long time but I recently became a fan of Space Bags. You know the bags that you insert your vacuum hose into and suck out all the air to create a teeny tiny package? Well I don’t know what took me so long but these things work great. I was a little concerned about using them for throw pillows but my flattened pillows popped right back into shape when I removed them from the bag. Space bags are ideal for out-of-season bedding and clothing. If you are out of storage space simply slip them under the bed. No one will know!
I have also revolutionized my clothing storage by adapting a vertical file system for the clothing in my dressers. Those messy, disorganized drawers used to be a waste land until I began using Marie Kondo’s system. I wrote all about Kondo’s system, with detailed instructions for how to fold your clothing, in my post, 7 Steps for Awesome Dresser Organization.
Step 7 – Surround yourself with things that you love
Add art and accessories that reflect your spirit and personality!
I happen to love birds and found the perfect vintage bird illustrations to frame from a calender by Cavallini & Co., a quality publishing company that publishs unique and beautiful calenders based on archival antique illustrations, with a new collection each year. The pages are printed on thick high quality Italian paper and are perfect for framing. I wrote about the framing of my bird prints in my post, 3 ways to add Meaningful &Affordable Art.
My bright and cheerful flower print, purchased from a local framing shop, was originally framed in black metal. I painted it white using chalk paint in order to match it to my bird pictures. Ok, maybe that seems a bit obsessive but I do like the look of white frames!
I love to style the top of my dressers – yeah I’m kind of weird that way. But, this is the ideal place to insert personality in your room.
My turquoise bowl – bowls always work on the top of a dresser, perfect for loose change, jewellery, etc. – was a gift from my daughter several years ago when she was 12. I have no idea where she got it but I still love it. The turquoise framed mirror was re-purposed from an old battered frame that was found in our basement when we moved in our house and simply painted and then jazzed up with a new mirror. The framed picture came from a book on modern art – I love how the orange and blue pick up the colours throughout the space. And, my old-fashioned square mason jar was picked up at a thrift shop for $1.00 and painted with (that old standby!) chalk paint!
So there you go…I love this restful room, which is exactly what a bedroom should be. The light fresh colours make me feel happy and when the natural blinds are closed at night and the three lamps are on it is cozy and inviting, a perfect refuge for one or two.