Before and After: A $300 Bedroom Redo Packed with Smart DIYs, Including an Under-$50 Headboard Hack

updated Mar 21, 2023
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View of closet with wooden bi-fold doors in bedroom

Planning a home makeover? No matter the size of your project — from a gut renovation of your kitchen to a small bathroom facelift — it’s important to break it into pieces. Otherwise, that whole-room project can quickly get overwhelming. So, for example, if you’re looking at a bedroom redo, consider the smaller elements that you can chance. What can you do to zhuzh up your headboard? Organize your closet? Refresh your nightstands? Change up your window treatments? Revive your dresser hardware?

These individual elements present great opportunities for changes, since they’re easy to take on one piece at a time. Add them together, and you’ll discover that a whole-room makeover wasn’t as complicated as you thought. These kinds of simple-but-significant changes are exactly what helped Alexis Nicole (@alexisnicolemakes) transform her bedroom from “boring and bland” to a cozy, inviting space.

The Bedroom Before

Before, the bedroom “lacked any personal style and was a buttery beige,” Alexis says. “It wasn’t cute.” For such a personal space, that simply wouldn’t do.

Having worked to beautify the rest of her house during the pandemic, Alexis wanted her bedroom to match. “I wanted to wake up to a space I loved rather than one that just existed,” she says.

The Bedroom Redo Process

Alexis wanted to keep her makeover budget under $300, so she did all of the work herself. “Find your favorite design pictures and inspiration online and figure out a way to make it come to life in your own way, on your own budget, and with whatever resources you have,” she advises. “I sold some things on Facebook to help fund this project.” The whole redo took about a month.

To start, Alexis removed the brownish beige carpet — and “about 10,000 staples” — she says, replacing it with new flooring (luxury vinyl tile leftover from renovating the rest of her house). A Turkish-inspired rug brings back in some of the underfoot coziness she lost when she removed the wall-to-wall carpeting (but looks much more chic). On the walls, Alexis used a lime base and paint from Color Atelier, which adds some cool old-world-inspired texture.

“Upholstering the headboard really helped in softening it and making it seem to fit the space a bit more than it had before.”

Believe it or not, the bed is the same one that Alexis already had. Wanting to breathe some new life into her basic IKEA bedroom set, she wrapped her headboard in egg crate cushioning and quilt batting, then sewed a drop cloth over top for a casual upholstered look — all for $35. “Upholstering the headboard really helped in softening it and making it seem to fit the space a bit more than it had before,” she says.

Alexis made the headboard cover removable, so it can be taken off for cleaning or when she decides to switch up her design. She also used this same drop cloth reupholstery method on an accent chair in the space. Alexis says she likes that the materials were so affordable yet made such a big difference aesthetically.

Next, Alexis installed a picture rail underneath the bedroom’s existing crown molding “to elongate our crown molding and for its actual function — to hang pictures,” she says. It’s a vintage-inspired touch that plays well with the lime wash walls and other old-school details.

Speaking of old-school details: Alexis also transformed the once-brown closet doors in the corner by attaching painted 1/4-inch plywood slats for a charming paneled look. She also made new rustic pulls using plumbing hardware and dowels. The new closet doors don’t just add another textured element — their white color also helps brighten the look of the room overall.

Finally, Alexis focused on smaller details, like changing the knobs on her dresser and upgrading her nightstands a bit. She used stools for nightstands and wove her own rattan shades for sconces that she purchased on sale; those two little corners are now her favorite part of the space.

The Bedroom After

Alexis’s hard work proves that every little detail counts — and that you can work on those little over time to make your space look more sophisticated. Now, she’s proud of the “light and airy, yet also moody” vibe she brought to a once-lackluster space.