So you have no desire to embark on major renovations or deprive yourself of the comfort of your home for long periods while work is being carried out? You can still refit, change the decor and transform a room with just a few simple, well-thought-out steps.
A clear intent
Above all, as you approach this project, keep in mind your objectives for the room. Here are questions you might want to ask yourself:
- What purpose do I want this room to serve?
- How do I want it to make me feel?
- What style do I want to give this room?
- Who do I share the room with, and what is their point of view on the project?
The answers to these questions will guide you as you complete the project.
In this article, we’ll look at the bedroom—a place where we spend a large part of our lives. But you can use the same principles to reassess the decor in any room! They can be adapted to suit any space in your home.
These tips don’t require major DIY talent, but just a few basics. Trust your instincts and all will be fine!
10 tips for refreshing your bedroom decor without renovating
1. Make the room sparkle
When was the last time you scrubbed the walls? You guessed it: your bedroom project starts with a spring clean. Start by dusting furniture and ornaments with a soft cloth.
Run a feather duster over baseboards, door frames, the tops of clothes hangers and wardrobe rails. If the room has carpeting, rent a specialized steam cleaner or hire a professional to clean it for you. Wash the walls with hot water with a little soap and dry them well. You’ll be surprised how much this simple cleaning operation will revive your bedroom!
Choose your favourite sorting strategy (I like the KonMari method) and make room. Give away anything that is unnecessary, brings you no joy, or simply takes up space for no benefit. Don’t forget to look under the bed, in every drawer, and inside storage boxes!
Clothes you no longer wear, magazines you will never read, gifts that you keep as a reflex… All these objects create toxic clutter in your environment. Taking things out of the bedroom will help create a calm room that exudes peacefulness.
3. Repaint your bedroom, or create a highlight
Giving a room a lick of paint is the first reflex of renovators on a tight budget. Paint delivers a lot of bang for the buck: it can completely change the feel of a room in a few hours.
To give your bedroom a modern or minimalist touch, go for pure white. Architects and designers love Sico’s “Drum Skin” white, which I incidentally used to repaint my living room this spring. If you prefer a more subdued atmosphere, choose warm tones of yellow, brown or orange. You can also simply create a highlight by painting one of the walls a bright, high-impact colour.
4. Rethink furniture use
Do you use all the items of furniture in your bedroom? If so, how? Do they meet your needs? Any furniture that does not pass this test should be sold or given away.
Have fun rearranging the furniture, making a new floor plan for the room. Turn an occasional chair into a bedside table, add a bench at the foot of the bed, or put up a mirror taken from another room in the house to create a new point of view.
5. Take a hard look at hardware
Changing light switches, wall plates that cover electrical outlets, or doorknobs can instantly transform the look of a bedroom. Walk into a hardware store and seek inspiration! I would however recommend that you standardize any such changes throughout the house, or at least on the same floor.
You can also give new life to a piece of furniture just by changing drawer handles. If you like a vintage look, you can often find unique ironwork items in your neighbourhood second-hand furniture or junk shop.
And no stress is involved: the only DIY skill you need to make these changes is the ability to handle a screwdriver!
6. Give your bed a new outfit
Just like buying a new shirt or hat, replacing your bedroom’s linen will bring it back into fashion. Change the sheets, add a coloured bed throw, and slip the duvet into a new cover. These little touches will give you an immediate urge to take a nap.
Watch for annual white sales and expand your collection of sheets at bargain prices. That way you can give your bedroom a fresh note every time you change the sheets.
7. Create a gallery wall
A gallery wall is a set of frames hung on a wall to create a strong focus in a room. Made up of pictures or framed objects that share a common style, theme or colour, a gallery wall is a rewarding weekend project.
Have your favourite travel photos printed and framed and create a gallery on one wall of your bedroom. You could also use your most treasured family portraits or old photographs, or frame a collection of souvenirs, old postcards, dried flowers or plants.
8. Look to the light
Your bedroom should have at least three sources of lighting. A soft light that is strong enough for you to read your bedtime book, a ceiling fixture that sheds sufficient light on what you do in the room, and as a third source a lamp that creates a more decorative point of luminous interest.
Adding a dimmer switch is a small project that will do much to improve the ambience in the room, allowing you to control the intensity of lighting sources. You can also fit lamps with smart bulbs that you can control from your phone.
9. Change the curtains
Sell your old curtains (nothing goes to waste!) and exchange them for something new. Go for a lighter fabric that will allow daylight to come in. Line them with a thick fabric to cut out light during the night and improve the quality of your sleep.
Also consider whether the trim you currently have in your bedroom suits your style. It may be time to ditch that chintz floral valance you fitted in 1998…
10. Purify the ambient air
As a final touch to your project, I suggest you consider the quality of the air you breathe in the bedroom. Use a hygrometer to measure the relative humidity of air in the room.
In summer, it is important to keep humidity under control with an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to improve your comfort and stop mould from developing. In winter, air that is too dry can cause skin and breathing problems. Just put a humidifier in the room and run it every day.
For restorative sleep and a pleasant awakening, I also recommend an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom. The scents released have a number of beneficial properties for your body and your mood. I am very fond of lavender and eucalyptus blends at night and citrus and oregano blends in the morning.
Content creator for her blog Tellement Swell and her YouTube channel, Eve Martel has a boundless passion for interior décor and organization. The daughter of an architect, she grew up surrounded by her father’s Danish design magazines and blueprints. Just like that friend who always has the best tips, she shares ideas for turning your home into a stunning, peaceful haven.