Friday, May 8, 2015

10 ways to refresh and update your bedroom - on a budget!

I've been married for almost 10 years now, and not once have I put any thought into our bedroom. I tend to focus on the areas that everyone else sees, and I leave the bedroom alone. It's usually messy with a pile of clothes in the corner, food on the nightstand, toys on the floor. Actually, in all honesty there's a granola bar sitting on the nightstand RIGHT NOW as I type this post about a bedroom refresh. Some things will never change!

Anyway, my friend Shannon told me something a couple of years ago that really stuck with me. She views her bedroom as a sanctuary - an escape. She keeps it tidy and it's a kid-free zone for her and her husband. I love it! At the time I didn't see how it would be possible, but after we moved into our new rental, I set out to refresh the room and make it ours.

Tanner and I don't have a huge budget these days since we're saving for the next baby's birth expenses, facing a heaping pile of dental work, you name it. I have a feeling that most of you are in the same boat. I was excited to redo our bedroom and make it stylish and comfortable for as minimal a cost as I could muster. Here are a few tips on how to transform your bedroom on a budget! I know you guys have more tips too...please leave them in the comments!

All photos were taken by Jennifer Little - if you're local to Colorado and looking for a photographer, you can just end your search now. She is absolutely phenomenal!!

1. Pick A Color Scheme

I tend to be all over the place when it comes to bringing stuff into my house if I love it, but when I'm sticking to a budget, obviously I can't do that! I need a roadmap, and for me - it's a color scheme. My friend Kelli from Sunday Supply Co. does these INCREDIBLE paintings, and as soon as I had one, I knew I wanted to style my room around it. I looked for neutrals, greys, and a little pop of blush to round it all out. This made it so much easier to hunt for pieces to bring in! 

2. Use throw pillows for texture and depth

I'm a bit of a nut for throw pillows. Something about having a gazillion to jump into at the end of the day makes me SO HAPPY! Here's the thing though: they're expensive!! Here's how I get around paying top dollar for them: I buy ugly throw pillows from the thrift store for around $2.99 and either recover them or just buy pillow covers for them! SO much cheaper when you're not buying the insert as well! Case in point: see that gorgeous chunky jersey yarn cover that's front and center in the photo above? It's from H&M's new home line and it's only $25. I've also been able to find great pillows at garage sales as well! My ticking pillows came from an estate sale for $2 each!

3. Scour thrift stores and garage sales for unconventional pieces

This is my favorite part: the thrill of the hunt. I've found so many interesting pieces by being the first to show up to a sale, or being at the thrift store right as they're rolling out a new cart. Some of my favorite decor pieces are the antlers I found at a thrift store and a yard sale, and of course those amazing glass shutters that Tanner repurposed into bathroom doors!! They add such a pop to the bedroom, and for so cheap!! I know you won't always find amazing glass doors like these, but sometimes the biggest statement comes from the most unlikely source!! 

4. Use what you already have

Shop your home and look for pieces that you might not be utilizing! The armoire in my bedroom was being used as miscellaneous storage and not serving much purpose before I brought it in, gave it a fresh coat of paint to match my color scheme, and put overflow clothing and blankets in it! You can always move things around from room to room for zero dollars. High five. I also used a mantel that was in our last rental for another character piece, and an entryway table as my office table!  

5. Spend the bulk of your budget on comfortable items like bedding

Chances are, you'll be spending most of your time in bed while you're in the bedroom. I think it pays to invest the bulk of your budget into comfortable and quality sheets and linens. (Full disclosure: H&M provided us with product, but we want you to know that we wouldn't be passing along the info to you if it was something we didn't believe in 100%. We'd be singing their praises from the rooftops even if we paid for it, and the cost is worked in to my overall budget for the bedroom) When we decided to partner with H&M, it was because of this AMAZING linen duvet set!! For $99, you get a duvet cover and 2 pillowcases. I'd been looking online for a linen duvet and was coming up with options that were at least $200 for JUST the cover. Not even close to working for my budget. I was a little skeptical about the quality, but when it arrived I could tell it would be perfect. It's held up SO well. I've been using it for close to a month and it's the most comfortable one I've ever had. It's held up to snot, chocolate, and even a pen mark! I also ordered this awesome oatmeal colored chunky knit throw from H&M as well. It's $80, so a little more spendy, but it's so versatile and so soft. I know I'll use it in different rooms other than the bedroom as seasons change, and all the other throws I have are thrifted! 

6. Use nature as an inspiration!

We used as much salvaged wood as we could for shelving and storage. The shelf above my bed is made from barnwood, rope, and antique hardware. The barnwood came from a local building supply company for $5 and it even has moss growing on the bottom! I LOVE the character! Our bedside tables are just log rounds from someone selling firewood off of Craigslist! We sanded them down and rubbed just a little whitewash stain over them to make them look a bit more like driftwood. They turned out to be one of my favorite touches to the room! Super smooth, and great surface area for a nightstand! You can almost always find free logs on Craigslist in the free section! 

7. Don't buy expensive art 

Have you ever been to Creative Market's website? They have amazing fonts, designs, templates, prints, for EXTREMELY cheap! I knew I wanted a gallery wall for the "office," an empty spot on the wall where I can actually organize my receipts instead of keeping them in the junk drawer in our kitchen...

I bought the graffiti font for $18 and made a print of a quote my mom used to tell us growing up. "It ain't done 'til it's done," she'd say. We usually heard it when we complained about chores or helping around the house, and it made me cringe! Now it's a reminder that I have to see things through, stay motivated, and do everything to the best of my abilities. I mean, if that includes not leaving food on my nightstand then I'm failing miserably...but if it includes rocking our markets, I'm golden!! 

The other framed artwork was actually done by my husband! We had five miscarriages before finally getting our son, Beckett (and another on the way!), and he drew a picture of two cribs back when we were just barely hanging on to the notion of trying again. They're a reminder that while we can dream and plan and scheme, ultimately things will happen in God's timing and only He knows the details. Am I happy that we lost babies? Of course not! It totally sucked, but I do believe with all my heart that there is a reason, and it's bigger than ME and my understanding. I rest in that. 

The blind contour drawing of his arm and hand is just COOL. He drew that without looking and it's better than I could do if I was staring right at it. 

Anyway, all of the frames were thrifted for less than $5 each! 

8. Don't use a bed frame!

My bed is a box spring and mattress sitting on four plastic risers I bought for $7. Bedskirts hide plastic risers JUST fine. 

9. Buy plants instead of expensive decor!

I bought some Tillandsia and succulents for my bedroom instead of more small decor items because they were cheap! They are beautiful, and they add great texture to the room! I'm not sure what the long sweeping succulent is (maybe you do?), but the air plants are called tillandsia, and that's an olive tree in the corner! I decorated my mantel using flowers (bought by the stem) arranged in old bottles. You can find old bottles at antique stores and garage sales for very cheap!   

10. Use something other than curtains for your curtains

Curtains are ridiculously expensive. If you MUST buy some, I'd say haunt the thrift stores. Goodwill tends to carry Target brand items and I've seen some there for fairly cheap. My solution is to use a lace tablecloth! It softens the room and gives your window some coverage! 

I hope some of these are helpful for you. Overall, I spent less than $300 completely revamping my room (And that's including the price of the H&M products). I love being in here now! Going to bed and waking up is a total joy, and it's made me want to keep it CLEAN! Now, what other tips would you add in? Do you like the way I updated the room? I hope it inspires you to at least look at what you have and see if there are any changes you'd like to make so it's more of a sanctuary and escape! I'd love to hear your thoughts. There's a pinnable image below for easy reference! Here's to a magical weekend!! XO - Jana

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  1. love the doors, the bed, the desk, I'll take it! so nice.

    1. Yay!! Thank you! I do love those it in here now, that's for sure! :) Thanks for reading! XO

  2. Wonderful post Jana and a delightful room of memories, hopes, and you!

    The only thing I would add is that knitters/crochet ears/sewers could make their own pillows and throws, that are even less expensive if u use bits from other projects.

    1. Oh that is such a good point! I really wish I knew how to knit and crochet. I have a friend who does and I just love everything she makes! Thank you so much for the tip!!! XOXO

  3. Have to say ...this is now my favorite bedroom!!! Your style is so relaxed casual and inviting..nothing about says contrived..hats off to you!!!! Ten out ten in my books..all the best,Chrissy

    1. Eep! Thank you Chrissy! That means a lot. I couldn't live in it if it wasn't relaxed and comfy. Thank you for reading and for your sweet comment! XOXO

  4. I think your suggestions are spot on...just do it a little at a time and truly keep it a sanctuary.... Snuggle your kids on your bed and read to them there. But keep it special for you. Loved how cozy and simple your room looked.

    1. Yes!! Excellent points! Beckett and I snuggle in here usually once a day and read. Sometimes I wish he'd crawl back in bed with me and sleep a little longer ;) haha. A little at a time is a great way to go too. Thank you for your comments! XOXO

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  6. The bedroom is gorgeous!!! Thanks for all the good advice. Can you share where you got the beautiful chandelier? Thanks.

  7. Love every detail!! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration you girls share! Every time I visit your blog I always want to redo my whole house! :)

  8. This room is so beautiful!
    Can I ask where you got the rope for the barnwood shelf above the bed?

  9. What a relaxed and comfy room. I love the lighting by the bed. Care to share where you purchased the swing arm sconces?

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