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Master Bedroom Makeover on a Budget

Call it laziness, call it procrastination, call it…being a busy mom. Our master bedroom that I set out to redo last fall is finally finished! I’ve been sharing projects from the remodel along the way, and today I am finally ready to show you the whole thing, along with how-to’s, tips, and tricks for saving money on your own decorating projects.

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Here’s a quick tour around the room, and then I’ll get into some of the details.

Oh, and here’s a quick “before” shot, just for reference.

Dark and TraditionalIt wasn’t terrible, but it was starting to feel a little dark and heavy for me, and I was ready for a refreshing change. I felt like there was just too much furniture stuffed in there, so I sold all of it on Craigslist, except the bench at the end of the bed, due to sentimental reasons.  All I bought to refurnish the room was a media center that we use as a dresser (from HomeGoods), and a small vintage dresser that I found (also on Craigslist) and fell in love with its marble top. I gave the walls a fresh coat of paint using Valspar “Gravity,” at 75% to give a light and relaxing vibe to the space. Then I got down to business.

Here’s the breakdown of what went into this project.

The first five tips

    1. Fresh flowers in a pitcher, collected on a fun orange tray. This seems like an afterthought, but I listed it first because there’s nothing like fresh flowers in your room to make it feel like a retreat!
    2. An up-cycled chandelier that was brown and boring when I found it for $6 at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Follow the link for the full details on how to make your own.
    3. Can’t afford a “statement piece” of art? Make your own. I did, and this post shows you how.
    4. This was the bench that was at the end of the bed in the “before” picture. I painted and recovered it with fabric I had on hand, for a total cost of $4 (a can of spray paint).
    5. Rather than taking up more room with a headboard and footboard, I used curtains from HomeGoods with twinkle lights behind them for reading lights (and ambiance!). I plugged the lights into a wireless remote switch so I can easily turn them on and off while lying in bed. Update: I’ve had so many questions about how to do this, that I’ve written a full tutorial on how to install the lights and curtains.The next 5 tips

Luxurious Velvet Cutains
  1. I used my white covers from before, and updated the pillows with some inexpensive removable covers from Hobby Lobby. I did however splurge on the orange one with birds, from HomeGoods. I found the throw blanket at Goodwill, still in its original packaging. Did you know that Target sends their castoffs to Goodwill?
  2. I repainted these bookshelves that had been in another room and now we use them as nightstands. They hold a lot more than your average bedside table!
  3. Rather than a traditional mirror over the dresser, I found these lovely trays at Hobby Lobby and attached mirrors to them, then hung them asymmetrically, for interest. (See below for details.)
  4. This dresser was a great score from Craigslist. I simply changed out the hardware, and positioned it to show off its beautiful gray marble top.
  5. The lamp is another thrifty project. I found the base at Goodwill and the shade on sale at World Market, but I had to do a little finagling to get them to play nice together. In case you need to know how to fit a shade to the wrong kind of base, I show you one way in my Lampshade Hack post.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to turn a tray into a nautical style mirror:

First, always be on the lookout for starting pieces. My motto? “Never leave Hobby Lobby without walking through their clearance aisle.”Mirror Back

Use some thick twine or jute string to tie a chunky knot on each of the handles. Make sure to leave plenty of string slack to hang on the wall. The right knots? I have no idea. I just tied this one over and over again until it looked like I wanted it to. (Hey, I promised directions. I made no promises about the reliability of said directions.)Mirror Knot

I used 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips to attach the mirrors to the trays. You could probably use a glue gun (What CAN’T you use hot glue on?), but I wanted the option to re-purpose these later on, so I wanted the mirrors to be easily removable.Mirror Project

Voila! Mirror Tray. Now use iron coat hooks (also from Hobby Lobby) to hang them somewhat randomly on the wall.

Mirror Finished

Now you have a useful and beautiful collection of nautical mirrors, for super cheap!

Dresser with Mirrors

One last thing…did you notice my collection of vintage pink depression glass, and the picture of my two cutie pies? You gotta have things around you that make you happy.

Dresser Top

My hubby accuses me of covering all the flat surfaces with decorations to keep him from setting down any of his stuff. I think he’s on to me. But this is so much prettier than a sweaty stinky pile of used running clothes! A girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

I hope some of these ideas have inspired you, if you’re thinking about decorating on a budget. No matter what your decorating style is, I know you can find a way to have (or make) the things you love for less money than you’d think.


Tuesday 21st of December 2021

Love your ideas! Your Bedroom looks fresh but dreamy!


Wednesday 15th of February 2023

@Meredith, How can I do This project I have cement walls, how am I going to bag nails in the walls


Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Thank you so much!

Jeanette Bybee

Sunday 7th of October 2018

Love the new "headboard" and the nautical mirrors and oh yes the bookshelf/nightstands. Would like more info on how would you use the bookshelf with an alarm clock. My husband has to use a C-Pap machine, how could this be used with the bookshelf/nightstands? And how can you use the sheer/curtains above your bed , you kind of can pull them down when sleeping with your pilliws.


Wednesday 17th of October 2018

Thanks Jeannette! I simply put my alarm clock on one of the shelves. I've been meaning to drill a hole into the back of the bookshelf for the cord, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. To set it up for a C-pap, use a drill bit that's a little bigger than the width of the plug. Then drill a hole through the back of the shelf, run the cord through, and plug it in behind the shelf. The hole will be covered by the machine so it won't look weird. As for the curtains, there is a little bit of space between the bed and the curtains, so nothing pulls or rubs against them. Hope that answers your questions!

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Nancy Christensen

Monday 13th of February 2017

Gonna do the fairy lights behind the curtain (LOVE it!!!) but I am curious about the trays. Did you get lucky and just happen to find mirrors that were the right size, or did you have to have them cut to size? Or just how does that work? I love all your delightful ideas! Thanks!


Sunday 19th of February 2017

Thanks Nancy! That's a great question. I was able to find the mirrors in several sizes at Hobby Lobby and I just picked the ones that fit the trays best. No cutting needed! It's amazing what you can find at Hobby Lobby!

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Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook