10 Ways to Refresh Your Bedroom in Under 30 Minutes

published Oct 14, 2015
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(Image credit: Lindsay Tella)

You spend a huge chunk of your life in your bedroom, but if you’re like me, it’s one of the rooms you give the least consideration, in terms of decor. Usually there are a few central pieces of furniture to think about, and beyond that, it seems like a matter of keeping linens clean. But there are plenty of ways that you can easily and cheaply refresh your bedroom, even if you only have 30 minutes to spare.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Put away clothes. This is one task that I, admittedly, let go for far too long. I’ll even go so far as to fold the clothes, but for some reason, I find it onerous to actually put them in drawers. If you have dirty clothes on the floor, clean clothes in a stack, or clothes that are somewhere in-between draped over your chair, picking them up will go a long way toward making your room feel tidy again.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Add some flowers. A basic grocery store bouquet or even a stem or two plucked from the sidewalk will add color, life, and scent to your bedside. If your bedroom gets enough light, consider keeping a plant in there instead. Who doesn’t like some extra greenery and oxygen?

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Change the lighting. This fix can be as money-intensive (or not) as you’d like. Shift from lamps to sconces to save some table space. Change the standard overhead lighting to a dramatic chandelier. Add a dimmer switch. Put a lamp in a dark corner. Put candles on top of the dresser. Even if you aren’t looking to spend a dime, think about the height of your lights. For the longest time, I had a rinky-dink little lamp next to my bed that wasn’t even at the right height for reading. By putting it on top of a neat stack of books, my nighttime reading ritual was dramatically improved. For the most basic updates, spend 10 minutes thinking about what kinds of lighting make you happiest and calmest, and spend the additional 20 making it happen with the materials you have on hand.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Add a scent. Keep linen spray on hand or add a candle to your bedroom. I use a wax warmer, and I turn it on while I’m getting ready for bed. By the time I’ve crawled under the covers, the room smells glorious, and thanks to the soothing scent, I’m much calmer.

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Make your bed. We’ve stressed this one repeatedly here on Apartment Therapy, and even our skeptical Senior Writer Jennifer found that making the bed made her happier. You may not take the time to do it every day, but I promise that this is the fastest way to refresh your bedroom. Since the bed is the largest item in the bedroom, when it’s put together, the whole room looks put together.

(Image credit: Submitted by Mario Herrada)

Mario’s “Karen Blixen Meets Charles Darwin” Apartment

Hang some art. Most of us probably have some extra pieces of art lying around. Put those pictures to good use and add an instant dose of color to the bedroom. Even if your art isn’t framed, you can still use washi tape, binder clips, or vintage hangers to cheaply put it on display.

(Image credit: Lauren Turner)

Add some softness. What’s better than a soft, cozy bed to hop into at night? Add a cushy blanket, or take 2 minutes to fluff your pillows. The extra time spent making your bed even more plush will be less time that it takes you to fall asleep at night.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Think about sound. It’s no fun to be woken up by harsh, grating, blaring noises. Take some time to pick a nicer alarm to wake up to. I don’t recommend using a favorite song, though; you don’t want the negative mental associations that will come along with that. (Even using a song I liked as a ringtone for a person I liked was enough to make me lose my love of the song. I now jump for the phone every time it comes up on my playlists.)

Also consider using white noise or soothing music to help you sleep. I’m a huge fan of rainstorm sounds. There are plenty of apps that you can download for your phone that will cycle through sounds, and some even offer a sleep timer, so the sound will turn off after a certain period of time.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

Rethink the bedside table. What do you actually need when you fall asleep? A spot for a glass of water? Your eyeglasses? Hand lotion? A book? And what things could you do away with? Do you really need that decorative doohickey that’s always in the way? Taking a half-hour to retool your bedside space will ensure that your routines are more streamlined and, ultimately, that you’re more comfortable.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Rotate the mattress and clean the places you tend to forget about. To make your mattress last longer, you should flip and rotate it several times a year. If you haven’t done this in a while, do it today; you’ll instantly notice the difference when you lay down. Also, take a few minutes to clean the forgotten spots in your bedroom: sweep under the bed and dressers, clean behind the bed, dust decorative objects. A dust-free room is much more pleasant and healthy to sleep in.