Ideally, the bedroom should be a cool, calm getaway at home where you recharge your soul. Realistically, however, Robert and I are often remodeling bedrooms for clients who’ve all but given up on this important part of their home.
It’s not like people start out with a hodgepodge design in mind, of course, but somehow, over time, many bedrooms end up looking their best with the lights off and the door closed. You can blame life’s stresses and your time constraints for the lackluster or chaotic space you sleep in, or you can put the self-criticism aside and come up with a plan now, virtually achieving a room makeover over the next weekend.
Use my five tips to jump-start a bedroom remodel, and before you know it, you’ll be resting easy in the space of your dreams.
1. Look Around the Room
Just because they can hide secrets behind closed doors, bedrooms shouldn’t become forgotten dumping grounds or the home’s universal storage facility — not restful whatsoever. Open the door. What do you see? Let me rephrase that: What wouldn’t you want guests to see if the door remained open?
Chances are, the closet is bulging with clothing you haven’t worn in a year or more, or uncomfortable shoes you don’t really even like. Maybe there’s a piece of unused exercise equipment shoved in a corner, collecting dust or holding housecoats, towels or bags. It might be a sea of items that didn’t work in other parts of the home, so you sprinkled them around the bedroom, where they make no sense together.
Don’t get me wrong. Our family appreciates a little visual chaos in our design, but only when it’s paired with a good balance of whimsy and color. You know, it’s these unexpected personal touches that bring life and soul to a home, so keep this in mind as you decide what goes and what stays.
2. Edit Your Belongings
Only you know what you really need to keep in the bedroom, but the cleaner the slate, the better. Later, you can build on it as much or as little as you like to get the look you want. But right now, if something you don’t want there can go elsewhere (like relocating exercise machines to a spare room or basement), plan for that.
Gather a few boxes and large bags to fill with items as you sort them into what you’ll sell, donate, toss or relocate. Once you really start to get into this purging part of the process, it should feel liberating or downright cathartic. Trust me — with seven kids sharing our big, beautiful life, Robert and I know a thing or two about the benefits of getting rid of stuff when it’s time to do so.
3. Settle On a Style and Palette
After you’ve wiped the slate as clean as possible, it’ll be easier to envision your dream space. If you’re happy with the design throughout the rest of the home, the simplest option is to continue the palette and general look through the bedroom. But don’t feel committed to doing so. After all, bedrooms should reflect the individuals who use them. If you want to go all out, creating a hotel-chic space, country-inspired escape or mystic dreamscape, the bedroom is where you should feel free to do it.
Shared spaces need a little extra thought. If you and your partner have different ideas on color, decide if they blend well. If so, find ways to mix them, with one on the walls and the other on the ceiling, perhaps, or go with a two-toned wall paint treatment. Pull in both hues with the relaxing artwork, bedding and patterned rug, featuring a blend of your schemes. Paint an old piece of furniture or two, maybe.
If your color choices clash, try to settle on a cool, restful blue or green, or go with a great neutral for the walls, like dark gray or even black, that you can both build from — a deep, dark backdrop can be delightfully relaxing and can make the right accessories and interesting pieces of furniture like our Wooster Queen Storage Bed With LED Light Headboard pop. Be prepared to give a little to get a lot. In the end, if you’re both satisfied with the room, it’s a success.
4. Measure Twice
When you’re going for a full-out remodel, ripping up flooring, replacing light fixtures and reworking closet space, your tape measure — or a good contractor — is your new best friend. But correct measurements are important even when you’re just replacing furniture pieces or adding an area rug. Typically, there are just one or two places to position the room’s largest item, the bed. It’s the focal point you see first, so it goes on the longest wall or the wall across from the door, greeting you as you enter.
A bedroom redo is a good time to replace the bed, if needed. Think hard and measure correctly, especially if it’s time for a bigger bed. Whether or not square footage is limited, you’ll likely appreciate a piece with storage underneath, like our Uptown Broadway Queen Upholstered Lift-Up Storage Bed. We can never have too much storage, right? What else do you want to see in your newly updated room? If there’s space for a tall chest, this can give you a whole new take on organization.
5. Involve the Kids
The most important thing to do before remodeling a child’s bedroom or a space shared by siblings is to get them involved. This way, they feel comfortable and inspired when hanging out there. Ask them what colors and themes they want to see, helping young children think about what makes them happiest.
Some kids lean toward nature scenes or animal themes, while others choose sports or hobby themes. Regardless, when they have a part in creating the room, it feels special to them. When our oldest boys, Breaker and Wolfgang, were teens sharing a room, their love of music and colors made the space a great creative area to hang out in. Breaker even painted a handed-down piano a vibrant shade of blue to really make it his own.
Kids don’t need an explosion of toys. A few favorite items, the right mix of furniture and an open area for playtime, inventiveness and imagination are key. Provide a niche for homework and crafts, with, say, apartment-scale chests as multipurpose bedside tables with desks or a chest with a drop-down drawer working double duty as somewhere to get ready for the day and study after school.
A mistake parents want to avoid is going with child-size or juvenile furniture that needs to be replaced in short order. Think longevity when choosing a bed frame, dresser and tables. It’s always better to opt for durable, functional, streamlined regular-size pieces they’ll grow into rather than outgrow. This is true for adult spaces too, so think in decades, opting for quality and clean designs rather than fleeting trends. It’s our belief that high design does not have to be synonymous with high prices, and our collections prove it.
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