*This post is awesomely sponsored by my peeps at Better Homes & Gardens brand carried by Walmart. Affiliate links contained below for your shopping ease.
It always amazes me how long it takes to truly ‘move in’ to a house. We have lived here well over a year and a half now, and you would think that meant we had settled in, but that just hasn’t been the case.
My youngest daughter’s bedroom was in rough shape and pretty much stayed this kiwi green monstrosity without much charm this entire time.
Obviously we moved her things in, which pretty much amounted to her bed, a couple of plastic toy bins, and her clothes. Let’s just say it left much to be desired, and somehow her room always looked like a tornado hit.
My goal for her room wasn’t to turn it into a finely designed space that looked like it came out of a magazine, but rather a simple yet finished design that she could keep organized, tidy, and she could love. The tricky part is always how to do all of this on a small budget…
Principles of Budget Decorating
When you are starting with a bare room there are three basic principles to keep in mind to help you keep your room budget friendly, but still achieve all the storage you require and have a space that feels finished (even when it isn’t):
- Transformative touches: these will be all your paint and upcycle related projects. Paint can make a huge impact on existing furniture you can’t afford to buy new, making something pop by stenciling designs, or even a simple wall color change.
- Necessary Basics: choose your bed, bedding, and any other necessary furniture items wisely for both function and style in a room. You already have to buy them, why not make them a design feature in the space?
- Decorative Touches: these are the extras that bring the room together from a style perspective but aren’t always necessary from a function perspective. These should be mostly DIY items, and a few inexpensive pieces since these are the last possible consideration after most of your budget has been allocated toward the more important items. Preferably choose decorative touches that also have function in the space…
I’m going to walk you through how I employed some of these principles in the design of my youngest daughter’s bedroom.
My Transformative Touches
It’s amazing what a clean palette can do for any room. Paint is only $20 on the cheap end (especially if you look for paint in the mis-tint section of the store), and $50 on the expensive end. I could immediately feel the difference and peace of the space after just one coat of paint (BEHR’s Frost 57). If you have the patience and a good set of stencils, I highly recommend adding a feature wall painted to look like it has been wallpapered.
This week I only painted the walls, but in the past I have upcycled and given new life to existing furniture pieces with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Like that little side table you see there in her room, it used to be an outdated maple table, but a few ounces of paint and two new pulls made it fit right into this space.
My Necessary Basics
Beds and bedding is something you already need, why not get it right from the start and choose something that contributes to the design of the space. Put that budget to work doing double duty…
I bought this Better Homes & Gardens Lillian trundle and daybed a couple years ago because it was a practical and pretty solution for my daughter’s room. It doesn’t take up too much space in her small room, but still gives her that extra bed when she has a friend over for the night.
When it comes to kids bedding anything bleachable saves the day, so I tend to stick with plain white for those everyday use covers. They can be practical, budget friendly, and still cute! I went with the Better Homes & Gardens solid ruffle stripe quilt, and their kids textured ruching body pillow. The great thing about that pillow is that no matter how much my kiddo smooshes her pillow it’s suppose to look crushed. With kids, don’t fight the inevitable, just embrace it and make it part of the design. Hahaha!
I added one pop of color with a nice snugly Better Homes & Gardens knit pom pom throw blanket for my daughter to curl up with while reading a good book before bedtime. It is so soft and comfortable that it just beckons to you.
A space needs light; why not make it something that makes a statement in the space? While there were so many beautiful Better Homes & Gardens table lamps to choose from, we both loved the luminescent amber lamp that seemed to reflect the light in the space. I couldn’t afford a light fixture this time around (that will come in the future), so making sure floor and table lamps really illumine the room was also an important consideration.
Alternately, sometimes you just need to keep light out. A nice set of BH&G embroidered knot curtains and cute geometric gold faceted curtain rods provides privacy, frames the window, and keeps unwanted early morning light out.
Last but certainly not least is the ever important need for storage. Storage can certainly be decorative, just be strategic to have open storage for pretty items, and closed storage for those toys/items that tend to be less attractive and more messy. I went with a pair of baskets, and a BH&G storage ottoman for those things I want out of sight.
I also gave my daughter my tried and true (previously used in our old house) Better Homes & Gardens cube storage organizers to be both open and closed storage for my daughter. Cute bins offered her a way to organize her smaller treasures, while open storage became a way for her to store her favorite stuffed animals and items on display.
My Decorative Touches
Cute (and sturdy) throw pillows are a great way to inexpensively add some flair to a space. Plus these particular Better Homes & Gardens pillows are almost as good as buying your kiddo a new toy… My nephew absolutely loved the robot pillow I bought him last year, and my youngest daughter treasured these new little pillows as if they were dolls or stuffed animal babies. Between her BH&G elephant pillow, and adorable cloud pillow she has all the friends she needs to sleep at night, and she’s pretty in love with her sparkle pillow too.
Another inexpensive (but amazing) way to add practical style to a room is by bringing in some indoor plants. Cleanse the air your child breathes, teach them responsibility (who know taking care of plants would be the perfect prerequisite to taking care of animals!), and add a decorative touch all at the same time!
I think of the area rug as a decorative element, because for me it is not absolutely necessary. However, for those with young kids who want to protect their rug (and make sure they get their apartment deposit back one day), you may move this item into the necessary basics category. I used the Better Homes & Gardens mori handloom accent rug to ground the space, and also to hide the pre-existing stains on the carpet in her room until I can replace it one day. *ew*
The finishing touch on any space is the artwork. The difference between a few pieces of art and a bare wall can make or break the design of a room, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy to make a difference. Here I framed two pieces of gift wrapping paper, and the chandelier art is a piece of canvas spray painted with a chandelier stencil I got from Stencil Revolution.
Hopefully these tips will help you bring your space together on a budget. By the way, nothing makes me happier than hearing ‘small budget space’…it means you were being wise with your money and focusing on the things that are the most important in life. A beautiful and thoughtfully put together room doesn’t need to break the bank. 😉 Oh, and it’s okay to take your time making a space what you want it to be…you don’t need to go out and buy everything all at once.
I’d like to say a special thank you to my friends at Better Homes & Gardens for partnering with me every month on a new challenge! You can find the BH&G brand line carried exclusively by Walmart. Follow BH&G on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
**I am honored (and excited!) to be part of the Better Homes & Gardens Live Better influencer network, and am compensated for sharing a few of my favorite things, projects, opinions, and my own original ideas with you.