One Room Challenge

Before and After: A $1,300 Bedroom Redo Keeps the Furniture, But Brings in Dreamy Boho Vibes

published Dec 16, 2022
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When it comes to room transformations, simply decluttering a space can be a serious boon. Moving out unnecessary items can take a room from a 1 to about an 8 or 9 — and then sprucing up the home decor from there can help it score a perfect 10. In other words, you don’t have to buy all new furniture to make a room feel brand-new again; clearing out clutter, rearranging, and making a few swaps here and there can make a major difference. Take it from Carolyn Re-Jacob’s primary bedroom redo, done for the One Room Challenge. (And check out these Marie Kondo-inspired redos for further proof!)

“Before the makeover, this room was mainly being used as a storage space with a bed to crash on for the night,” Carolyn says. “It felt dark, dated and cluttered. The furniture placement in the room was awkward at best, with the bed positioned immediately to the right of the door.”

By decluttering (finding another place for the treadmill, clothing piles, and storage bins), Carolyn made space to move the bed. Then, she steam-cleaned the carpet. This had the room feeling refreshed from Step One. After that, DIYs and decor were icing on the cake.

Bedding: Amazon

“One thing I had wanted to do was create a wall hanging above the bed,” Carolyn says. “I bought some fabric in deep green, cream, brown, and a touch of orange. It all looked beautiful together in the cart, but each time I went to hang it over the bed, it just wasn’t right and seemed too matchy with the rest of the room, so I put it down and went searching. I ended up with a gorgeous, large macrame piece above the bed, and I love it so much!” Her statement-making macrame was a $40 Amazon find.

Carolyn added extra texture behind the macrame, too. She used a grasscloth peel and stick wallpaper to create a horizontal stripe behind the bed that extends to the adjacent walls, and she created a border around it with wood strips “to frame it,” she explains, adding that the stripe detail is entirely removable.

“It was pretty easy to complete, and I feel it brings the room together,” Carolyn says. “I did paint the doors and door trim and absolutely needed to switch out the dated ’80s ceiling fan, but otherwise, it can all be easily removed and switched out for the next design change.”

Carolyn’s other decor upgrades include a new IKEA POANG chair and faux leather ottoman; a new desk and desk chair; new window treatments (bamboo shades plus khaki-colored blackout panels for the win!); and a second macrame hanging directly across from the larger one. The total cost for the redo was $1,300.

Another thing that was part of the redo: a cozy rug to cover up the existing carpeting. “The only thing I would do differently, if it was in my budget, would be to replace the floor with a wood look luxury vinyl,” Carolyn says. “Maybe next go-around!”

But for now, she certainly achieved what she was after — “a space that I could retreat to, disconnect, curl up with a magazine, and feel totally relaxed,” Carolyn says. And even better? She did it all while using her old bedroom set.

This project was completed for the Fall 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.