Home Projects

Before and After: A Rental Bedroom Gets a $1,000 Paint-Free Redo with Coastal Modern Style

published Nov 24, 2022
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Before: an unmade bed with pink sheets
Credit: Madison Bess

Your bedroom is, above all, your sanctuary — the place in your home where you get to truly relax and be yourself. But when you’re a renter, it can be difficult to put your personal touch on the space. For starters, you usually can’t do anything too permanent, and it can feel a little silly to dump a ton of money into a relatively temporary space.

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But just because your home isn’t your forever home doesn’t mean you can’t create a space you love. This rental-friendly bedroom makeover by Madison Bess, the blogger behind The Blushing Bungalow, is a great example. What was once a drab gray bedroom devoid of personality is now a beautiful boho-chic space — bright and airy, but still minimalistic.

Credit: Madison Bess

The bedroom, which belongs to Madison’s brother and sister-in-law, was a dark and dull space with not much style before Madison got her hands on it. “I love my brother and sister in-law so much, so when I found out they were moving to a new place with a clean slate, I wanted to make it as special for them as I could,” she says. “I also felt like that room had so much potential, and I really wanted to bring that to life.”

Their main request for Madison: to make the room bright and happy.

Credit: Madison Bess

Of course, Madison would also need to work within the confines of a rental for this makeover. She pulled off the redo by choosing pieces that are affordable, versatile, and easy to remove upon move-out. For instance, Madison kept the bed but fitted it with a statement-making rattan headboard; then, rather than wiring in new lighting, Madison chose plug-in sconces to create some additional lighting for bedtime reading. The wall-mount lights keep the freshly thrifted nightstands clear of clutter.

Credit: Madison Bess

The dresser was another vintage find, scored by Madison’s sister-in-law. But other pieces of the room were bought new, such as the corner reading chair and the seagrass hamper, both of which fit with the coastal-modern vibe of the space. Madison already owned the pink rug, so was able to use that to help cheer up the otherwise gloomy gray wall-to-wall carpet. Shopping secondhand and using budget finds helped keep the total cost for redoing the space to about $1,000.

Credit: Madison Bess

“To my surprise, it only took a weekend to buy everything and style the whole room,” says Madison, who typically suggests the slow and steady route for budget-friendly makeovers. If you’re not in a time crunch, she says, the long game will help you save money and find stuff you really love. “Wait for things to go on sale, take it slow and only buy the things you absolutely love,” she says. “It doesn’t have to break the bank or happen over night. The best rooms happen slowly and over time!”

Credit: Madison Bess

The end result is a room that’s filled with so many happy colors, but is understated enough to be a true sleep sanctuary. “I am so proud of the feeling that room now creates,” says Madison. “The room has such a fun, light-hearted vibe now. Walking into it will immediately uplift your mood.” And when it comes time to move, everything is easy enough to pack up and set up in a new space.