5 ways to update your bedroom without a complete revamp

Cosy bed with white and grey bedding and pillows with a tray placed on the edge of the bed
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A bedroom should be a cosy space to retreat to at the end of the day, inducing relaxation and a good night’s sleep. But, sometimes, life gets in the way, and our bedrooms are the last rooms in our homes to get pampered.

Perhaps some items don’t have a designated space, and your bedroom feels cluttered, or the carpet is stained with makeup, which won’t come out. Your bedding may feel less than new, and the paint may look drab.

Even if you don't have the time or budget to give your bedroom a complete overhaul, it's still possible to give your bedroom a quick upgrade and transform your room into a welcoming sanctuary where you can relax. 

So, if you’ve fallen out of love with your bedroom, we’ve got 5 top ideas to help you refresh your bedroom from drab to fabulous.  But before you get started you could try decluttering your bedroom using the KonMari method.

1. Bring in light with shutters

White shutters in a modern and fresh bedroom

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Fill your space with light and swap heavy curtains for white shutters. They will instantly open up a space and leave you without the problem of trying to match your walls, bedding, and flooring to your curtains. 

The advantage of shutters is that they can provide privacy and be open or closed to let in as much light as required. I chose white shutters in my bedroom and have a split version, so I can leave the bottom half closed for privacy during the day while turning back the top deck. 

Adding white shutters lets you play with other colors in your bedroom scheme without worrying about a clash. And once they’re up, they are there to stay, and will work with any interior scheme when you come to change it again.

2. Warm up the floor with a rug

Bedroom setting with a large grey patterned rug

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If your carpet looks worse for wear, it may have a few worn patches or is stained with makeup; you could try giving it a spruce up to extend its life. There are multiple ways to clean a carpet with or without a carpet cleaner that can make it look new. 

However, if it is still far from fresh, there is another solution without replacing the carpet, because changing it can be tricky in a bedroom. If your wardrobes aren’t fitted, you’ll have to haul them out of the room to replace your old carpet. There’s also the problem of removing the bed and other heavy furniture and moving everything back.

One quick solution to refresh your bedroom flooring is to buy a large rug. This can give your bedroom an instant lift while hiding unsightly worn patches or stains that won’t budge. 

And even if you don’t have carpet and have a wooden, vinyl, or laminate floor, a rug can inject an added layer and provide comfort underfoot — especially welcome when you step out of bed first thing in the morning. WestElm has a beautiful array of rugs, with some that are washable.

Although they are mainly designed for children's rooms, there are plenty that won't look out of place in an adult bedroom. 

3. Adorn the walls

Green bedroom with wallpanelling on the back wall

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You can completely change the look and feel of your bedroom by going up the wall. Installing wall paneling is one way to create a new look without revamping your whole room. Stick to one wall and panel it halfway up to make it easy.

And if you’re planning to add wall paneling as a DIY job, the simplest type to install is shiplap, as the pieces slot together. This will add definition between the paneling and wall above and leave you space to get creative by mixing up the colours and patterns.

Paint the wall surface and paneling in different colours, or add wallpaper to the area above. There are many clever ways to use wallpaper in your home as long as you know how to wallpaper.  

4. Reflect light

Green painted bedroom with mirrors placed above the bed

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If your bedroom is on the dark side, adding mirrors is one way to bring in more light while adorning your walls. And even if your bedroom is on the sunny side, mirrors can be used to decorate a room in place of artwork.

Alternatively, go large with a full-length standing mirror, which will add a decadent vibe to your room, while also helping to reflect light and allowing you to check your appearance.

Whether your taste is contemporary or vintage, a mirror can add drama to any room. Try the Kate and Laurel Arendah, gold, baroque mirror for a traditional arched tabletop mirror ($92, Amazon).

For a contemporary full-length standing version, try the Xramfy W Classic arched black mirror with an aluminium frame, available in black or gold ($165, Home Depot).

5. Freshen up your bed

Pink, white, and green bedding in a white bedroom

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There’s nothing like replacing your bedding to feel like your whole bedroom has had a makeover. I always favor the simplicity of crisp white sheets as they allow you to play with color elsewhere.

If you’re worried about white bedding being stark, you can add splashes of color with cushions and throws that tone with other hues in your room. And to save boredom setting in, they can be swapped when you fancy a new look. 

The other option is to choose a reversible duvet cover — giving two looks in one. This Copper Grove Crocus French Blue 3-piece duvet cover set ($45, Bed Bath & Beyond) offers a floral pattern on one side and a plain design on the reverse, allowing you to change the vibe as you please.  

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Camilla Sharman
Staff Writer, Homes

Camilla Sharman has worked in publishing and marketing for over 30 years and has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  

As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader. In her spare time, when she’s not in her kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, you’ll find her keeping fit at the gym. In the pool, stretching at a yoga class, or on a spin bike, exercise is her escape time. She also loves the great outdoors and if she’s not pottering about in her garden, she’ll be jumping on her bike for a gentle cycle ride.