Before and After: 2 Upholstery Projects Create Distinct Zones in This Tiny Bedroom

published Jul 18, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Floor lamp in corner of bedroom with artwork on wall before renovation.

There’s perhaps nothing that makes a bedroom feel more sophisticated than a luxe headboard, and these days, lots of DIYers are making their own upholstered headboards that look super expensive for a fraction of the cost. This toile headboard, this IKEA hacked one, this boucle one, and this channel-tufted one are here to prove it!

This bedroom redo by Lily Sawyer (@layered.home) features another example of a luxe headboard makeover — but that’s just one of the two cool contained within. Both the headboard and the other upholstery project, a smart bench hack, are perfect for the small space. “The bedroom is so tiny I call it half a bedroom,” Lily says. But, determined to maximize the space, she created two distinct zones: a sleep space and a “boudoir bench,” both defined by their upholstered backings. 

Credit: Lily Sawyer

“I wanted it to be a small and mighty room — tiny but big in personality,” Lily says. “I decided to paint all the walls in a sweet pink shade whilst keeping the coving and trims white for contrast… but the room still lacked pattern, so I decided to create removable fluted headboards for the bed headboard and as a little boudoir seating area.”

After her pink paint job (it’s Rustoleum’s Pink Champagne, a shade only available in the UK) Lily measured each wall space where she wanted to add channel-tufted backing. Then, she determined how big she wanted each channel to be and ordered rectangular pieces of MDF cut to size. Lily spray glued 2-inch foam onto each rectangle — craft glue would also work, Lily says — then wrapped the foam in one layer of batting and her exterior fabric, a floral velvet selection you can find from Decorator’s Best

Then, here comes “the magic,” as Lily puts it. Each flute, or channel, is completely removable from the wall or the headboard, thanks to Velcro. Lily attached battings to the wall first, then Velcro, and on the headboard, she attached the Velcro directly. Then she lined up each Velcro strip “so they are in the correct position when placed together,” Lily says. 

Lily used the technique to create her bed’s headboard as well as a small upholstered seating area, where she surrounded three sides of a bench with the padded channels.

Lily’s biggest pieces of advice for someone wanting to replicate these tufted looks are to double-measure your wall dimensions, do your math carefully before beginning, “err on the side of generosity” when ordering fabric, and “don’t underestimate the power of Velcro.” 

“Make sure you choose the heavy-duty Velcro as it really works,” Lily adds. Lily says she wouldn’t change anything about the headboard or bench in the space, but next on her list of projects to tackle in the tiny bedroom is the floor. 

Still, she’s proud of how much difference pink paint, Velcro, tufting materials, and MDF, and velvet fabric made. “This room feels so special and super cozy without feeling small or claustrophobic,” she says. “It’s a lovely… little haven of pastel walls and bold prints.” What could be better?!