When it comes to home improvement, the bedroom is easy to ignore. We often spend more time in the kitchen (or even the bathroom) than the bedroom, and guests are more likely to hang out in the living room than the sleeping quarters—which makes it tempting to treat the bedroom like a storage space instead of a refuge for relaxation.
But these days, we need a fantastic bedroom more than ever.
“The bedroom is meant to be a retreat, haven, and a space in which one can decompress, relax, and ultimately drift off into a blissful, deep, REM-filled sleep,” says Christopher Totaro, a Realtor at Warburg Realty and a professional contractor.
If sweet dreams are your objective, keep reading to discover easy projects that any homeowner can tackle to take the boudoir from bleak to blissful.
1. Upgrade your bed with a DIY headboard
A new headboard is an easy and impactful way to make a statement in your bedroom—and the bigger, the better.
“Nothing says elegant like an oversized headboard that doubles as an art piece,” Totaro says.
To make your own headboard, start by determining the size you want, then head to the hardware store and ask for a piece of plywood to be cut to size and delivered.
To finish your project, you’ll need some fabric, upholstery foam, and a heavy-duty stapler.
A new headboard is a great project for beginners, because anyone can learn the steps from watching YouTube tutorials or finding instructions online, Totaro says.
“The key for beginners to have successful results is to do the research and make a detailed, step-by-step plan,” he says.
2. Streamline clutter
Does decluttering count as renovation? Maybe, maybe not. But a messy bedroom makes it nearly impossible to unwind at the end of a long day.
“If your room is filled with clutter, you will constantly be thinking about addressing the clutter,” Totaro says.
If you don’t have the budget for a professional organizer, don’t worry.
“You can certainly address clutter yourself with a bit of ingenuity, a tape measure, a Container Store, and some elbow grease,” Totaro says.
Once you’ve finished sorting through your belongings and deciding what stays and what goes, stock up on vacuum bags in different sizes to efficiently pack up your offseason clothing and other items.
3. Add more storage
No walk-in closet? No problem. There are plenty of ways you can increase your bedroom’s storage, even in a small space.
“If you want to improve the space efficiency in a bedroom, consider custom closet design or other built-ins, like a headboard nook or Murphy bed,” says David Crompton, head of construction at Pro.com.
If you’re comfortable with some assembly and using basic power tools, Totaro suggests heading to Ikea to pick up floating cabinets or wardrobe cabinets for your bedroom.
4. Change out light fixtures
Installing a skylight is one way to brighten up a bedroom, but for many homeowners, that kind of project is daunting.
Luckily, there are easier ways to add light to the bedroom.
“Installing new light fixtures or adding new paint in a cooler hue can make the room feel larger,” Crompton says.
When you swap out fixtures and lightbulbs, be mindful of which bulbs throw the best light for optimal mood lighting in your bedroom.
5. Freshen up the paint and decor
We’ve said it before: Putting up a fresh coat of paint is a beginner-friendly job that doesn’t require any special skills.
“Since any paint job can be redone, it is a great project for someone who is not sure they can be good at home projects,” says Docia M. Boylen, owner of Handyman Connection of Golden.
If painting the whole room is intimidating, start with an accent wall—the wall behind the bed is a good option.
“In order to pick the right color, search for ‘color wheel’ on the internet and find a complementary color to what you have on your walls now,” Boylen says.
Once you’ve decided on a color, make sure to protect your floors and furniture from drips with plastic sheets before you start painting.
6. Mount mirrors and swap out accessories
For an even easier project, make strategic choices with decor and accessories to give your space a new look and feel.
“Adding mirrors and other reflective objects can tend to make a space seem larger,” Boylen says. “Look for reflective objects like picture frames, closet doors, or even pillows.”
And don’t forget the bed—the most important element of any bedroom. Aside from switching up the appearance with a new duvet cover or throw pillows, try incorporating different accessories to add personality to your bedroom.
“If you have a comfy blanket in another room, bring it into the room and experiment with it on the bed, covering a pillow or hung over the foot of the bed or even the headboard,” Boylen says.
7. Reimagine your bedroom altogether
Who says a closet has to be a closet? It’s your bedroom, your rules. Challenge yourself to find creative ways to make the most of a quirky space.
“Do you have an older home with really small closets? Change up the space by making one small closet into a coffee area,” Boylen says.
Take off the closet door and rearrange the shelves to create a coffee nook, or whatever else your heart desires.
“You may need to work with an electrician to get some power in there, but you can start with an extension cord,” Boylen says.
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