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Quick fix: bedroom

Simple do-it-yourself ideas to transform your space without emptying your wallet

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We spend time and money sprucing up our kitchens and living rooms because those are the spaces everyone sees. All too often, the master bedroom is a hodgepodge of leftover furniture that’s decorated with baskets of clean, unfolded laundry.

Many homeowners leave decorating their bedroom until the very end. “That’s why so many master bedrooms are just a mishmash of items from previous homes,” says Damien Packwood, the owner of Damien Morris Designs in Charlottetown. “It’s where you spend at least eight or nine hours every day, and you want it to be a space you feel relaxed and comfortable.”

A focal wall

“If you want to make an impact, a focal wall behind the bed is the way to go,” says Packwood. Paint is the cheapest way to achieve the look, but he says fabric is a smart way to create a focal point while also disguising an oddly-placed window.

“We did floor-to-ceiling draperies on the whole wall, in exactly the same colour as the paint on the rest of the walls,” says Packwood. “This solved the issue of the awkward window, and just give the room a bit of softness.”

Robin Stairs of Decorating Den in St. John’s, N.L. says wallpapering a focal wall could start around $500, but it means you can skip the artwork over the bed because the wallpaper is the star. “In any room, you need something to draw your eye, so it knows where to focus,” says Stairs. “Wallpaper creates visual interest, adds luxury, and can really ground a space.”
COST: $30–$700
TIME: A few hours to paint a wall, a half-day to hang curtains, and one full day to hang wallpaper.

Diversify your furniture

Stairs says homeowners often make the mistake of buying a complete bedroom set, thinking it’ll make a room look finished. But matching sets can actually make your master bedroom feel overpowered by wood tones, like you’re in a furniture store.

“If that’s what you’ve done, you can swap out your side tables with mirrored glass or leather-upholstered or painted ones,” says Stairs. “They’ll bring some different textures into the space and make it feel more curated.”

Packwood agrees buying a full set of bedroom furniture feels a little too matchy-matchy, and that it’s sharper to mix and match pieces within the room.
Instead of swapping out his nightstands, he traded his black bed for a more interesting grey one that combined driftwood-style wood and an upholstered centre panel. Now it coordinates with the rest of his bedroom furniture without being an exact match.
COST: $300–$800
TIME: Several hours of shopping

Window treatments

Stairs says window treatments are an absolute must in a master bedroom.
“You definitely want something for privacy and to block the light while you’re sleeping, but window treatments are also about adding luxuriousness, coziness, and a beautiful enveloping texture,” says Stairs.
Even if you swear by your blinds or shades and don’t plan to ever close a set of curtains, she says to at least hang side panels for extra texture and softness.
Making your own curtains is one of the easiest sewing projects, and let’s you find a fabric that’s a perfect match.
COST: $40–$200
TIME: Two days to sew, two hours to buy

A white duvet

Instead of buying a bed-in-a-bag set that includes everything from the comforter to the shams, Packwood suggests buying pieces individually for a more layered look.
“Going from a comforter to a duvet can feel luxurious and choosing a white one means you’re not going to get sick of a colour or pattern,” says Packwood. “Then you can change up the look with different accent pillows.” Swapping out a duvet cover is more affordable, and space-saving than collecting comforters.
Stairs suggests investing in a high-quality duvet because you know you’ll love it for a long time.
COST: $80–$300
TIME: Order online in minutes, or spend an hour at a bedding store

Better lighting

One of Stairs’s pet peeves is when homeowners have itty-bitty lamps on their bedside tables, especially when they’re dwarfed
by a large headboard. She says bedside lamps should be at least 65–68 cms to balance the room. A matching pair is a must, one for each nightstand.
If you can’t give up your ceiling fan, consider upgrading to a better-looking one. Packwood says many big-box stores now carry attractive ceiling fans made from black iron or pale wood, running about $400.
COST: $80–$150 for lamps, $400 for a ceiling fan
TIME: Several hours of shopping, plus installation time

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