• Cheryl Libutti

6 Tips for a Great Bedroom Refresh!

As a professional organizer, I've seen my fair share of bedrooms: private spaces that most people don't share with guests. Most are pretty messy (including my own bedroom sometimes) and tend to be one of the last areas we look at critically because most people really only go in there at night to sleep. We recently purchased a new Sleep Number bed for our bedroom, which was a big purchase expense-wise, but worth every single penny. We love it.

We upgraded from a queen to a king, requiring us to change up our bedding and our headboard. This (combined with the fact that I love getting into my new bed earlier and earlier to watch tv or movies) has me spending more time in the room actually awake and aware of my surroundings. Add to this that I've recently been helping a client re-imagine her bedroom space and I've been thinking a lot about bedrooms.

Here are six tips of things to look at when looking at refreshing your bedroom:

  1. Clear the clutter. Really define what you do in this space and only have those items present. Obviously sleeping, dressing, getting ready in the morning are typical activities and the bed, clothing, accessories should be in there. Do you read? Journal? Exercise? Work? Those tasks will have their own needed supplies. But besides the necessary items, do things tend to be dumped in the bedroom so they are out of sight? Do you clear off the dining room table for guests and then pop the bags (I call them either Panic Bags or Stash-and-Dash Bags) into the bedroom to be dealt with later? Do you have packaging from online orders (bags and boxes) that need to be recycled? Items to be donated or thrown out, spare pieces of past projects? Dishes or empty food wrappers? Spend an hour identifying what gets done in the room and what needs to be in there, and start processing the rest to be moved out.

  2. Establish a vision for how you want it to look and feel. Spend some time looking at photos on sites like Pinterest or Houzz and find some pictures of bedrooms that appeal to you. Are they light and airy? Dark and cozy? Spare and minimalistic or filled with photos, mementos, and personal items? What is the art like on the walls? People often don't spend any time figuring out what they like so they get stuck when faced with making a decision about what to buy, sell, keep or use in their room. Really study those pictures you're drawn to and pay attention to the elements of the room: the flooring, the curtains, the bed linens, the artwork, the furniture, the lighting. If you see repeating elements, figure out if you can incorporate something similar into your own space. These are the core parts of establishing a room for yourself that you will love!

  3. It's all about the bedding. Hands down, changing your bedding is the quickest and cheapest way to immediately change the feeling of your room. I am a HUGE fan of all white bedding, as it looks fresh and modern and timeless and mimics the look of a hotel (and who doesn't want to feel like they're on vacay in their own bedroom?). It provides the perfect backdrop for the room without making a loud statement. Even if you don't go with white- which can be tough with pets or babies- changing it up to something new makes such a huge difference. Go look at your inspiration pictures to see what bedding is on those beds. Do some online shopping at Marshall's or Bed Bath and Beyond or Target or Macy's and see what's popular in stores and available. You may see something online and fall in love with it... and while you're at it, buy a new set of sheets, too, if you can.

  4. Don't forget the lighting. Have you ever looked at the lamps at Target? Great prices, great designs, endless choices. When did you buy your lamp on your nightstand? Go pick out something that will update your space, and don't err on the side of going too small- bigger scale items fill up the space and look higher-end. If you are working, reading, or doing another type of small-print activity, make sure you have appropriate task lighting as well. Overhead lighting, while very functional, makes funny shadows that do not usually show off a space well. And of course make sure that all your lights have working light bulbs. Lamps on nightstands, dressers, corner floor lamps next to chair- all of these together give the room interest and a fresh look.

  5. Pillows and furniture hardware and artwork are the jewelry for your bedroom. Updating bedroom furniture or flooring can be beyond what your budget will allow. So instead focus on small updates that are super cost-effective: instead of buying a new dresser, can you buy new hardware on Amazon or in Lowe's that will give it an update or some shine? Can you pick out a few colorful throw pillows for your bed or a side chair that bring out a color in your rug or bedding? Can you find a new painting or print to hang on a blank wall? These little touches make such a difference in "finishing" a bedroom, and I bet if you examine your inspiration photos carefully, you'll see these small pieces making a big impact. With so many options available online, like on Wayfair, or in stores like Marshall's or TJ Maxx, you can find the perfect accompaniment for your bedroom.

  6. Be A Grown Up: Get a Headboard. Teenagers and college kids sleep on only mattress frames with no headboards. Grown ups buy a head board and use it to anchor the bed visually in the room. You can get super simple ones that attach right to your wall or the bed frame, and make a world of difference in how nice your room looks. I am a fan of the bigger, the better when it comes to headboards because of scale and making a statement in the room (see lighting above). We recently sold our 25-year-old wooden spindle head and footboard set and bought a new tufted fabric king size headboard for less than $250 and it makes a huge difference in our room. Wayfair and Overstock are great resources to find a new, updated headboard.

Our bedrooms are private spaces, often suffering from benign neglect. Take a little time, clear out the unnecessary, and see what you like and can re-create. When you get into bed at night and look around at your refreshed and beautiful space, you'll feel so good. I also think a refreshed space is one that we are more invested in to keep neat and put together- you "fixed" it and want to keep it looking that way. And that, my friends, is pretty neat!

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