Three Steps to a New Bedroom Look

In just one weekend, you can remake your bedroom's style.

Give your bedroom a makeover.
Just three steps to a whole new bedroom!. Tara Moore/Getty Images

Is your bedroom in need of a whole new look? Would you love to give it a makeover, but don’t have the desire or the budget to buy all new furniture? Well, don’t despair. There’s no need to resign yourself to a bedroom that lacks character, pizzazz or style. In fact, if you are willing to put in a weekend or two and apply some elbow grease, you can give the room a whole new look without buying any new furniture at all. It just takes three steps:

  1. Clean it up
  2. Buy new bedding
  3. Paint the walls

Depending on the condition of your room to start with, and how quickly you work, you can accomplish the makeover in one long weekend, or take your time and spread it out over two or three weekends. Either way, once you’re finished, the bedroom humdrums will be gone and instead, you’ll have a fresh new space that brings a smile to your face. 

Step 1: Clean it Up

Your bedroom should be a peaceful retreat that invites you to rest and restore your energies. Instead, many bedrooms become a jumble of clothing and shoes that belong in the closet, papers that belong in the home office and clutter that seems to multiply with a life of its own. Your first step in any bedroom makeover is restoring order.

Start with a quickie clean. Begin at the far corner of the room, and work your way towards the door. Everything in the room other than furniture has a category:

  • Trash – throw it away immediately.
  • Misplaced – if it belongs elsewhere in your home, put it there.
  • Clothing – clothes are the most common offenders in bedroom disorganization. Hang it up, store it in the dresser, toss it in the laundry basket or bag it for the Goodwill – whichever is the appropriate choice.
  • Shoes – don’t leave them scattered across the floor. Shoes deserve proper storage in the bedroom closet or other organizer.
  • Clutter – a cluttered bedroom is not a restful bedroom. If it isn’t something you love or something useful, find it another home.
  • Belongings – These items belong in your bedroom.

Once you have the quickie clean accomplished, you’re done with the first part of step 1. You’ll finish by vacuuming, dusting and wiping down furniture after you paint the walls.

Step 2: Buy New Bedding

Once your basic cleaning is done, it’s time for new bedding. As the focal point of the bedroom, your bed sets the pace for the room’s style, so you can create a whole new look just by changing the comforter, sheets and pillows. No more stained, faded comforter and dingy, threadbare sheets -- instead, take the time to choose bedding that is soft and luxurious against your skin, complementary to your desired decorating theme and matching in style, color and design. Start with the main piece: quilt, comforter, duvet or spread, the choice is yours. Now it’s time for the sheets – splurge a little bit here, because good quality sheets pamper your skin and make you feel good all over. Finish with a new bed skirt, shams and just a few toss pillows.

Once you have all of your new bedding, leave it in its packaging, because it isn’t time to show it off yet – instead, use your phone to snap a picture of the comforter, and head to the paint store. You’ll be making your bed with all of the new linens after the painting is finished.

Step 3: Paint the Walls

Creamy white, soft gray or pale tan are all safe choices for your walls, but if you’ve been contemplating something a bit bolder, now is your chance to take the plunge. If you are going with color, make sure it matches the new bedding and the general mood you are trying to set. If you are uncertain about the paint color, purchase a small can and try it out on a section of your bedroom wall.

Once you’ve chosen your paint and supplies, it’s time for the most time-consuming step. Don’t cheat by skimping on preparations, though. It might be tedious, but taking the time to mask off windowsills, doorjambs, and trim is well worth the effort. Move as much furniture as you can out of the room. If it’s impossible to move a large piece, cover it completely with drop cloths. 

Paint the walls, working from top to bottom, and left side to right. Follow the paint manufacturer’s recommendations for number of coats and drying time. You’ll probably want to spend the night in another area of your house while the paint dries.

After the walls are completely dry, put away your painting supplies, and move your furniture back into place. Now is the time to finish cleaning by vacuuming and dusting, and then make your bed with the new purchases.

Step back to take it all in, and then sit down to enjoy your new bedroom at your leisure, preferably with a well-deserved drink in hand. While it might have been quite a bit of work, creating a bedroom that feels just right when you step inside is always worth it.