Inexpensive Decorating Tips to Make Your Room Pop

June 21, 2011 at 12:45 am

I get asked by my friends all the time what they can do to spruce up a room in their house. While there isn’t a right or wrong answer for everyone, there are a few suggestions that can go across the board that generally have a positive effect on whatever room they’re done to. The most common room I’m asked to redesign or give room decorating ideas for is the bedroom. Since it’s where you spend at least a third of your life, it’s a good idea to make it look spruced up and cozy enough to live in.

Easy Room Decorating Ideas

  1. A fresh coat of paint can make a room look ten times nicer
  2. Add some plants so the room has some more life
  3. Bookshelves can give you a place to get rid of clutter and put it all in one, organized place

Bedroom Decor Ideas Inexpensive Decorating Tips to Make Your Room Pop

My friend Lisa called me over a couple weeks ago to show me her newest apartment bedroom and what she’d done with it. Without going into detail, it looked like a disaster. It wasn’t that she’d peed on the carpet or left unfolded laundry all over the floor, it was that she hadn’t done anything but put a bed and furniture into the space in hopes that it would make it look better. While it may work for some people, often times it takes a little more effort than that to make a space livable and enjoyable.

The Game Plan

Now, I’ve been decorating and redecorating all of my homes and apartments since I was a college student and there are some things I know don’t work. With Lisa’s room, I knew she didn’t have much money to spend (just around $500 was her limit), and I knew there was a lot of work to do. Luckily, the materials we were going to use to liven up her room were inexpensive and most of the work was going to be actually putting them into action rather than buying everything from the store.

Paint: First of all, every room that’s looking a little drab (especially apartments) can be made to look much nicer with just a simple coat of paint. I recommend going to your local hardware store or a Lowe’s and seeing what paints they have on clearance. Sometimes customers will come in and order tubs of custom paint colors and never show up to pick them up. These buckets of paint can go for next to nothing and for about $50 you can have 2 tubs of paint to paint your room. Since Lisa is a girl, obviously, I recommended she go with brighter and more pastel colors rather than bold colors to try and make a statement.

Greenery: Live plants are another great room decor idea if you don’t want to spend too much money and still want to add some color and life to a room. Plants are inexpensive and easy to maintain, assuming you purchase the right ones, and if you time it just right you can manage to get deals on plants that are going out of season or that stores no longer have room for. Don’t overdo it with greenery, but a small plant on your dresser or side table as well as a standup plant in the corner of the room can work wonders.

Shelves: Lastly, shelves and bookcases can be an easy way to add decoration in a room that seemingly doesn’t have anything to display. By taking a “modern” approach, you can get IKEA style bookshelves that give space for displaying your possessions and ornaments for the room to see as well as taking up space in an otherwise empty college student’s looking room. This tip is by far my favorite as you can take pretty much any junk you have lying around the house and put it into a modern bookcase to make it look as though it was put there intentionally and purposefully for the sake of beautifying the room.

Small Bedroom Decor Inexpensive Decorating Tips to Make Your Room Pop

In Action

After we picked up the paint from Lowe’s and looked around Home Depot for a little while for discount plants, it was time to make some online purchases with what was left with Lisa’s $500 budget. We managed to get the plants and paint for about $150, leaving plenty to purchase a bookcase or display unit online as well s maybe some art or a side table to go along with her bed. Assuming you already own a bed and side table, you can buy things like new linens and curtains to accent the newly painted walls. Matching canDisplay Bookcase Contemporary Style in Cappuccino Finish 168x300 Inexpensive Decorating Tips to Make Your Room Pop make a room look less cluttered.

Display Bookcase – Cappuccino: The paint we picked out was a light pastel blue, so to make things pop a little more in Lisa’s room, we bought a cappuccino colored bookshelf that would help her room have some contrast. She was able to not only hold her books on, but also put some of her friend’s gifts on display for when they came over to her house. And since Lisa is still young, the contemporary style it offered made it fit in with the rest of the furniture in her house.

  • Open shelving
  • Contemporary style with cappuccino finish
  • One year warranty
  • Durable

Hand Painted Metal Gear Wall Art Clock: This was an interesting piece we picked up as we weren’t sure how to round off the room without spending a lot of money. We stumbled across this piece by a recommendation from a friend and Lisa loved it immediately. She wasn’t quite sure where she was going to hang it, but we eventually settled on putting it right above her bed where we had set up some small accent shelves and bamboo plants. I’ll admit, it was tricky to hang it with all of the metal spokes sticking out, but once we got it up, the clock really pulled the room together.

  • Hand painted
  • No assembly is required
  • 40.5” W, 3” D, 33.25” H
  • Requires 1 AA battery

Finished Project

With a fresh coat of paint on her room walls and some new furniture, Lisa was thrilled with the way her room turned out. I’m not sure if I’m on board just yet, but she wants me to come back over and help her finish off the rest of her apartment next. It may cost a bit more than $500 for an entire apartment, but with the home decor ideas I’ve outlined here, hopefully we can make it happen. If you have any suggestions for what we could have done differently or would like to hear more about the project, feel free to post in the comments section below.

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