One Room Challenge

Before and After: A $525 Bedroom Redo Has a Must-See IKEA Headboard Hack, Plus Tons of Other DIYs

published Feb 16, 2023
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Messy bedroom before renovation.

The most talented DIYers find ways to squeeze several small projects into one space to create a totally transformed room. That’s certainly the case for DIYer Nicole Herrick’s (@nicoleherrickdiy) bedroom, which is packed to the brim with smart smaller transformations.

Nicole’s bedroom before the Fall 2022 One Room Challenge was “a forgotten wasteland of junk, squirreled away from the eyes of guests,” she says. “It was the last on my list as no one saw it but me. My IKEA bed was comfy but boring … and my $20 secondhand IKEA armchair was draped in a dreary gray throw to hide the yellowed armrests of its past owner (ewwww).”

Nicole says she came across the One Room Challenge on Instagram and thought it would be a good motivator to make some changes in a set amount of time (eight weeks). She was confident it wouldn’t take her that much time to pull it off: ““Pffft!” I thought. “I’ll only need a couple of weekends; it’s just a bedroom!,” Nicole describes. “Little did I know that I would need all eight weekends — plus an extra — to get through all of the ambitious DIYs I had set myself.”

Here was her to-do list: Transform a set of secondhand nightstands into something less brown, upgrade her IKEA headboard, make some lamps based on an inspiration photo she’d seen, find a solution for the old armchair, upgrade her bedding, upgrade the lighting in the room, and hang up some new curtains and artwork in the space.

Each of those projects features DIY details. The end tables, for example, have dowels attached for texture, new handles, and are painted a creamy white. Because Nicole knew she wanted bobbled lamps a lá Kelly Wearstler, she actually took bobbled plant pots, painted them, and added a lamp kit inside plus some cheap lampshades on top — giving herself a $740 lamp-inspired piece for a fraction of the cost.

The once-simple IKEA TARVA bedframe is now “a luxury-inspired goddess,” Nicole says, thanks to some plywood that she wrapped in batting and fabric. “The double-layered cushioning gives it such a sumptuous feel and no one would ever suspect its bones are IKEA,” she adds. It’s her favorite part of the revamped space.

The chair also got a fabric makeover: Nicole reupholstered that with boucle fabric. “With that done and dusted, I whipped up a surprisingly easy linen duvet cover with a blanket edge,” she says. “With the sewing machine still out, I whipped up three linen cushion covers, complete with hand thread pulled fringe, as well as a black accent lumbar cushion.”

And to bring things to the final stretch, Nicole says, she mounted a $30 pair of IKEA curtains and hung artwork, too. “With wall art being an often expensive purchase, I of course had to whip up my own using a $22 frame and a mix of wall paint, joint compound, and acrylics,” Nicole says. “Finally, I threw up a DIY pendant extension kit and a drum shade that I legit found on the side of the road.”

Nicole says the whole process took a bit longer than expected, but that her new, serene bedroom was worth it. And even though the space looks expensive, her project total was about $525.

“At first I felt a little like my room was a little on the “hotel” side, which I thought was a bad thing, but then I realized I get to be on holiday every day!” Nicole says. “The whole process was definitely harder than I expected, but these are all things I’ve never done before, so figuring them out as I went took time. Plus, with my painful desire to DIY the absolute heck out of anything, of course it’s going to take longer.”

Nicole’s winning philosophy for remaking a space? “If you want to save money and have the time, DIY EVERYTHING!” she says. “It doesn’t matter that you don’t know how to to it yet, that’s what YouTube is for. And that’s also why I share all of my DIY projects on YouTube.”

That fearlessness and ingenuity has given her a space that’s perfect for relaxing. “I absolutely adore relaxing in my cosy boucle armchair with a cup of tea and endless hours of YouTube,” she says. Here’s to more internet DIYs inspiration in the near future!

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to sleep in them, decorate them, make the most of small ones, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!

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.