Before and After: A “Plain, Boring” Bedroom Gets a Cheerful Redo with DIYs Starting at $15
Primary bedrooms are often the last rooms to get the benefit of a makeover at home. Unlike the entryway, kitchen, or living room, these private spaces don’t get a lot of foot traffic — and because of that, it’s easy to move them down the priority list.
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Home stager Thora Tam, of 365 Staging in Santa Clara, California, once told AT this: “Most of my design and staging clients leave the master bedroom as their lowest priority. It’s almost like an afterthought, with plain sheets and comforter, no art, and decorative pillows… It seems to me that most people will decorate and furnish the common areas and their kids’ bedrooms, and by the time they’re done with those spaces, they have run out of steam and creativity for their master bedroom.”
DIYer Jessi Way, of @thegoodwrench, says her bedroom was “plain, boring and had been put on the back burner,” but during the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, she decided to give it a refresh.
“After working in so many other rooms in the house, I decided it was time for my husband and I to have a nice place to retreat to at the end of each day,” Jessi says. She spent eight weeks and about $5,000 adding color, pattern, and texture to the once so-so white space.
Jessi started by adding picture frame moulding to the walls of the room, planning out her boxes so that she avoided any outlets.
“I’ve been DIYing for about two years now and felt so confident tackling this project because I had already gained so much experience,” she says.
Once the moulding was cut and nailed to the walls (with wood filler and caulk added for a smooth finish), Jessi painted the space a light pink (Glidden’s Forever Fairytale). “I’m proud of myself for thinking outside of the box when it comes to paint colors,” Jessi says. “Not many people would entertain pink walls in the master bedroom.” She adds that the pink on the walls “light up each morning and glow at sunset.”
Jessi wanted the light pink to play well with her peel-and-stick blue floral wallpaper, which she installed around the arch in front of her bedroom’s entrance and on the headboard wall.
She also installed two sconces from Amazon, hung some new artwork, used some of her existing furniture, and reupholstered the bench at the foot of her bed with gingham fabric. She built a frame for her TV (a $15 DIY), added window treatments, and even made a faux tree herself using a basket, cement mix, and faux eucalyptus stems from Hobby Lobby, a $95 DIY that looks very similar to her $500 inspiration.
“Shockingly, everything went as planned,” Jessi says. If she could change anything, she would add an an ivory shag rug to go underneath the bed and an updated ceiling fan. “Once I save up, I’ll definitely be adding these,” she says.
As for her advice for future DIYers, Jessi says that a little bit hard work will result in better relaxation in the long run. “You deserve a beautiful room to wake up in and to close the day in,” she says. “Your bedroom should be a retreat… if you take care of it, then it will take care of you.”
This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.
Inspired? Submit your own project here.