Low-Cost Bedroom Update Ideas for Easy Refreshes to Your Retreat

Bed with plaid throw blanket and pillows
Photo: Kim Cornelison

If your bedroom's lack of style puts you to sleep, revamp the look with these easy ideas. Our roundup of simple, affordable bedroom updates will give your space plenty of personality in addition to comfort and function.

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Bring Color to the Bedroom

Bed with green geometric bedspread and zebra pillow
David A Land

f you keep your bedroom's walls and furniture neutral, it's easy to add bursts of color whenever and wherever you wish. Pick one or two colors you love, and then repeat the hues in vibrant artwork, bold bedding, and colorful accents. Here, a green duvet, red throw blanket, and colorful pillows energize the otherwise neutral space.

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Incorporate Textures

Bed with knit throw blanket and striped pillows
Kim Cornelison

An easy bedroom update idea is to alter the texture with a change of linens; simply use a furry throw in winter and a cotton throw in summer. Textures suit any taste. Here are a few to consider for your bedroom style:

  • Traditional: Hand-tufted rugs, woven wools, tooled silver, cut crystal, gilded frames, silk, china, and polished wood.
  • Country: Braided rugs, worn wood, rusted metals, chenille spreads, ironstone pottery, blown glass, and ticking.
  • Romantic: Velvet, furry throws, crystal prisms, embroidered fabrics, lace, painted furniture, and hand-hooked rugs.
  • Modern: Laminated-plywood furniture, plastic, smooth leather, stainless steel, terrazzo flooring, and teak.
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Switch Out Accent Pillows

Bedroom with paisley bedspread and star light
The Wilde Project

Accent pillows let you quickly alter the personality of a room and shift the balance of color. They're especially impactful in a bedroom because the bed is a natural focal point. Pillows can update a room instantly by adding volume, pattern, texture, color, and personality. Here, a subtle cream backdrop is brought into focus with a collection of lively pillows.

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Try On Bold New Bed Linens

modern farmhouse bedroom blue and white comforter
Laura Moss Photography Corp

Nothing looks and feels fresher than new bedding. If you love the idea of new bedding but are short on storage space for bulky comforters and quilts, consider a duvet, switching out the duvet cover every season for a quick bedroom update idea. Here, shiplap walls work well with navy blue bedding and drapes and warm red accents.

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Add Pattern

Bed with plaid throw blanket and pillows
Kim Cornelison

Pattern, like color, exerts an emotional pull that can jumpstart a decorating style. Whether you gravitate toward crisp stripes, bold florals, or classic toile, patterns can be used to liven up a space. Add a dash of pattern to a neutral room by draping an interesting quilt or duvet across the foot of the bed.

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Paint (or Paper) the Ceiling

Bedroom with floral ceiling
David Tsay

Here's a quick and easy way to create a cozy feel in your bedroom: Paint the ceiling the same color as your walls. The room feels smaller and more intimate without a visual break between the ceiling and walls. Or make a graphic statement with patterned wallpaper on the ceiling.

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Built-In Beauty

Bed with fur throw blanket
Brie Williams

Elevate your bedroom's style with molding. It's easier than you may think to install a molding frame along a wall and paint it all a uniform color. Another tip for creating a sophisticated bedroom style is installing window treatments 6-8 inches above the window's height and letting the draperies hang to the floor. This is a quick way to add drama to a ho-hum room.

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Mix and Match

Bedroom with geometric gray walls and gray bedspread
David A Land

A playful mix of geometric shapes adds interest to this primary bedroom. A sunburst mirror breaks through the rhythmic lines of a chevron pattern on the wall and mimics the circular pattern on the bedspread. Bright red triangles on the decorative pillows add an unexpected pop of color to the serene scheme.

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Embrace Your Hobby

Bedroom with colorful pillows and skateboards
Kim Cornelison

Refresh your room with images and artifacts that speak to your personality. Whether you love bird-watching or hiking in the mountains, include your passion project in your bedroom. In this teen bedroom, skateboards hang above the headboard as a tribute to a favorite hobby.

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Vintage Refresh

Bed with colorful quilt and embroidered pillows
Jason Donnelly

Blend new and old with this bedroom update idea, using a clever combo of vintage decor and modern fixtures. Handmade quilts and applique designs give a charming nod to nostalgia. Layer with a mix of decorative pillows, then add a sleek lamp or side table to bring the look back to the future.

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Take a Seat

Bedroom with couch and pillows
Kim Cornelison

No space in the primary bedroom for a separate sitting area? No problem! Arrange a bench or small loveseat at the end of the bed. More than just a place to perch when pulling on your shoes, a seat at the end of the bed gives you more flexibility with your design. Mix and match decorative pillows and throws from the bed to the seating.

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Dreamy Scene

Bed with floral bedspread and netting
John Merkl

Create a sweet spot where a kid will truly love to retreat. Tucking a twin bed—with storage below—into a corner is a space saver and replicates the cozy feel of a daybed. Stack pillows in the corner to create a welcoming spot to read or listen to music. A sheer canopy hung from the ceiling creates a whimsical look that will make their room feel extra special.

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Update the Headboard

bedroom with decorative headboard

A dramatic headboard can have an immediate impact. You'll find headboards available at all price points, but consider customizing your existing headboard or using an unexpected salvaged piece for a low-cost option. Here, new fabric covers an existing headboard to create a cozy retreat.

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Add Pattern to a Select Spot


Try paneling a single wall or one section of a wall with a favorite wallpaper or stencil. It's a sure-fire way to call attention to a seating area or to add pattern without the expense of papering an entire room or taking the time to stencil. Complement an accent wall with subdued tones on the other walls.

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Bring In the Right Amount of Light

Small Bedroom Arranging Tips

General overhead lighting is less important in bedrooms. Instead, focus on bedside lamps and other sources of accent lighting as an easy-to-do bedroom update idea for an inviting, comforting retreat. Of course, the type of light is important—something as simple as replacing an old light bulb with a warm-spectrum fluorescent might provide the freshness your bedroom needs.

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Update Window Treatments


To set a mood, use draperies and classic swags for a formal look, curtains and shades for an informal look, and simple blinds for contemporary appeal. Consider room-darkening or insulated lining, depending on what your needs are. Here, striped curtains play off the traditional pattern of the upholstered headboard and board-and-batten wall treatment.

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Add Architectural Detail


Used in combination or alone, trim, molding, and wainscoting offer nearly endless design options. Depending on the style of the room, the effect may be casual or formal, rustic or defined, traditional or contemporary. But in every case, millwork surface treatments can add charm and texture to a room. For example, here, in what started as a cookie-cutter bedroom, classic flat-panel wainscoting adds structural appeal to a long expanse of wall. Combined with the light wall color, the effect is subtle yet satisfying.

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Try a New Direction

Angled bed

To give your bedroom a decorative lift without spending a dime, angle the bed from a corner. If your present headboard looks too bulky for this arrangement, replace it with a salvaged iron gate or a shorter upholstered panel. A petite side table fits nicely next to the bed, providing a place to hold bedtime reading materials without taking up too much space.

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Mix and Match Furnishings


A perfectly matched bedroom—the dresser goes with the bed, a corresponding nightstand, and bedding from the same collection—can become stale if the look is too uniform. Wake up a tired bedroom with an eclectic blend of fabrics and furnishings. Here, small delicate patterns on the pillows contrast nicely with the sleek modern lines of the bed.

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Hang Personalized Artwork

Personalized artwork

Your bedroom is an ideal spot for displaying collections of personal photographs. Dressing a wall with objects you love is one way to surround yourself with memories. Test out various configurations for your artwork by cutting shapes from kraft paper and taping them on the wall. For a quick-and-easy hanging solution, modify a piece of ordinary molding to make a picture rail. Decorative golden picture hooks fitted with chain and rope display a mix of frames and add architectural interest. Use a circular link at the top of each chain to hang it over the hook.

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Update Closet Doors

Mirrored closet doors

In many bedrooms, closet doors take up a significant amount of wall space. Why not replace the bulky, utilitarian sliding doors with something you'll enjoy waking up to every day? Here, sliding closet doors were replaced with chic French doors. Mirrored panels hide closet clutter and give the room more visual space.

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