One of my dreams for December was an easy bedroom makeover with new color and a polished, restful feel. I knew it would change the way we use and live in our apartment, letting us maximize a space that was so underused. Our one-bedroom apartment is essentially two rooms. There is a living room/kitchen space, which is one open room, and behind a door is a smallish bedroom. Most nights, we find ourselves out in the main room, cooking, eating at our small table, or relaxing on the couch with parallel laptops or reruns of How I Met Your Mother. That’s a lot of time to spend in one room.
Until now, our yellow bedroom has just been too harsh, too utilitarian, and too cluttered to be a relaxing sanctuary for anything but sleep at the end of the long day. It was dragging down my energy every time I walked in! My goal was to polish up the space, change the mood, and make it more usable and somewhere we wanted to spend time.
Here are a few easy steps to freshening your bedroom (or any room)!
1. Set a mood with color
Before anything else, color sets the mood. Before, our yellow paint, wood furniture, and empty walls made our space feel too shiny, sallow, and bare. The yellow reflected everywhere, making the light harsh and unwelcoming. It didn’t encourage reading in bed or relaxing away from the public spaces.
My first step was to sit down and think about how I wanted the room to feel. Did I want it bright and cheery, or exotic, like a foreign vacation? Were we looking for a minimalist, clean look, or was rich detail the answer? I realized that most of our time in that room is spent in the soft morning light, or in the evening. This means that I wanted a soft color that would be restful upon waking, but would also look cozy lit up by lamps at night. I settled on a soft, smoky blue:
From there, I started building a Pinterest inspiration board. Check it out here. I refined what colors I loved, what made shiny white woodwork pop, what accessories looked cozy and clean and sophisticated. We decided on Benjamin Moore’s Nantucket Fog for the walls. It’s saturated and deliberate by lamplight, and airy and calm in the morning. Brushes, rollers, tape, and paint ran us about $70. The change was dramatic.
2. Switch Out the linens
Before choosing new duvet cover and sheets, I referred back to my inspiration images. Shades of gray and white looked crisp and tranquil, and would make getting in bed more like a hotel getaway. We picked the Organic Woodland Duvet Cover from West Elm. The soft watercolor branches and leaves are light and delicate without being too feminine, and the grays and soft greens add dimension and interest without directly matching the blue walls. For $100, the centerpiece of the room felt fresh and soft.
3. Up the Usefulness
What do you need from your space? We needed better light for reading, and a softer overall atmosphere in the room. Petite brushed silver bedside lamps from Target did the trick. We also added a woven wood laundry hamper with a hinged top, because the less clutter I see, the more relaxed I can be. Maybe you also need a comfortable place to sit in the morning, or a desk for projects or bill paying. Maybe more storage would be useful, or slimmer, sleeker bedside tables to free up space. Think about what will make your room more functional and streamlined for your particular needs. With a few quick changes, we have 50% more living space.
If a room is dragging down your energy, chances are it’s not feeling like “you”. Showcase what you love! I couldn’t wait to hang our black and white photos in simple silver frames. (Look to my earlier post on living with photos for lots of tips!) I’m also working on art made from my grandfather’s old handwritten love letters. Stack your favorite books on the night table, maybe some cookbooks to mosey through when you can’t sleep. Hang your favorite necklaces on the wall, or display sand from your vacations in a set of DIY glass globes. Highlight objects, books, art, memories that you are excited to see!
Redecorating doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t all have to be done at once. I’m holding out for some TJMaxx curtains and someday some matching night tables. Until then, our room is a wonderful place to leave chores, work, and social obligations behind. What changes have you made in your home lately?