My bedroom is currently a mess.

At the wedding on Saturday we used our TV room upstairs to shoot a lot of the pictures and video, so we had to clear everything out and it all got stuck on my bedroom floor. I really need to clean up. But I’m so tired!

I hate it when my bedroom is a mess. It sucks the life right out of me. I like feeling peace in my bedroom.

But as I watched Katie and David open up all their presents, and seeing the lovely things they were given, I kept thinking, “why don’t I have stuff like that?” I bought them some things I don’t even have for myself! When you’re just setting up house you think about what you want your bedroom to look like. But when you’ve lived in the same place for years, things can get pretty tired and blah.

So today I asked Rebecca to write about how to update your bedroom–because she’s been busy doing that after moving into a new apartment recently, and she’s quite adept at doing so with a small budget. Here’s Becca:

PIN update bedroom - Top 10 Ways to Update Your Bedroom

1. Make your room a place of rest

First and foremost, you can spend thousands of dollars renovating and redecorating your bedroom but the main thing that will help you update the feel and atmosphere of your room is truly separating it out as a place of rest.

We can get into a lot of bad habits with our bedrooms. We eat in bed while watching Netflix, the bedroom becomes more like a laundry hub than anything else, and when we do relax in bed it’s usually playing games on a phone or goofing off on a laptop.

Our brains learn shortcuts based on past behaviours. So if your bedroom becomes a place of checking off to-dos and “checking out” by being in front of a screen whenever you’re in bed, it will be much harder to shut it off and even to fall asleep. Your brain will be prepped for the opposite of what you want to do! But it works the other way, too–if you get in a habit of using the bedroom only for things that make you feel relaxed, you’ll start to find that even just sitting in your bedroom starts to make you feel more relaxed.

Try to make it a priority to shift the non-relaxing things like laundry and other chores out of the bedroom. Eat at the dinner table, go on electronics in the den or office, and save the bedroom for relaxing times.

2. Change up the colour

A simple paint job can make a huge difference, and is very budget-friendly. You could take it a step further and put a wall paper on one call as an accent, or paint one wall a darker colour than the rest! The possibilities are endless, and all are pretty cheap, as a bonus.

3. Limit the clutter

When I think “decorating,” I immediately jump to “buy decorations.” But what I’ve learned is that adding more decorations often accomplishes the opposite of what it is supposed to.

Taking away the knick-knacks and other items that don’t have any practical purpose can immediately make a room feel fresher and lighter. When choosing decorations, my husband and I now ask:

  • Is it useful? A tray of perfumes, for example, can make a beautiful piece and has practical purpose, unlike knick-knacks or pretty jars with nothing in them.
  • Can it be contained? Would this look pretty in a glass box? What about in a bird cage? Can we arrange this on a tray? This can help keep the top of your dresser and night stands clear with a specific area designated for the decorations you keep.
  • Does it add to the room as a whole? Even if it looks pretty, if it doesn’t fit how the room feels or add to the feel I want the room to have, we tuck it away somewhere else or give it away.

4. Choose a colour palette for decor

Decorating and re-designing a room is overwhelming. An way to make this easier is to choose a simple colour palette. Choose one or two colours and then one or two neutrals. Then, when going through the decision-making process, things become much clearer very easily.

5. Play with textures

Could you add a rug? If you do, could it be more of a shag or a faux-fur rug instead of a typical wool rug? What about a woven mat? If you’re crafty, you could knit or crochet some pillow covers for throw pillows using all sorts of different fibres to create some dimension in your space.

Psychologically speaking, people like things that are complex, but not too complex. That’s why we don’t like repetitive songs as much as songs that build and fall and have key changes.

When it comes to decoration, it’s similar. If you add some complexity by changing up the textures in your room, your brain sees it as much more interesting and much more pleasant. Check out the picture below: you have metal, velvet on the bed, a quilted pouf, and a shag rug. It’s all a similar colour, but mixing up the textures makes it interesting.

ThinkstockPhotos 824890864 - Top 10 Ways to Update Your Bedroom

6. Choose softer lighting options

Lighting sets the mood for a room–there’s a reason candles are considered romantic! Soft, warm lighting immediately primes us for relaxation and romance. So let’s add some to the bedroom! Try a small lamp for each side of the bed and ditch the fluorescent lights.

7. Rethink your vertical space

Could you be hanging plants from the ceiling instead of putting them on top of a dresser? What about curtains–are they maximizing the vertical space you have? Adding in a few simple things like curtains, hanging baskets, or even pictures and art on the walls to bring the eye all the way to the ceiling can instantly transform a room. Check out the floor-to-ceiling curtains and the hanging light fixtures in this bedroom:

ThinkstockPhotos 828515408 - Top 10 Ways to Update Your Bedroom

8. Invest in good bedding

When it comes to your bedroom, you want two things: you want it to look nice, and you want it to instantly make you feel relaxed, cozy, and comfortable. That’s why one of the big investments my mom always advised us to make was in our duvets and pillows. And as someone who works for the blog, we’re always thrilled when bedding companies ask to sponsor a post because we get samples that are awesome! We’ve really enjoyed Slumber Cloud.

What Slumber Cloud does is create bedding that is super comfortable, but that also regulates temperature. They actually have the patent to use NASA fabric technology that is used for astronauts, but I’ll let Slumber Cloud explain it:

Outlast® technology is made up of thousands of microscopic “beads” called Thermocules™. Each one of these Thermocules™ is designed to absorb, store, or release heat based on your ideal sleeping temperature. As your skin temperature increases, the technology will absorb that excess heat to reduce overheating. The technology will then store the excess heat away from your body until your skin temperature begins to drop. When this occurs, the stored heat is released back to you to keep you at the perfect temperature.

In other words–if your husband’s body temperature seems to be way higher than yours, you’ll still both be able to sleep comfortably and at the perfect temperature right in the same bed. That’s perfect if you’re going through menopause, but it’s also wonderful for couples like my husband and me where I need to be cosy and he’s always overheated.

Check out their Dream Bed Bundles here! Or just take a look at their duvets so that you can sleep in comfort, too.

9. Get into a habit of keeping it clean

Here’s a little bit of truth many of us don’t want to accept: a clean bedroom will always look better than a dirty, messy one, even if the messy one cost thousands of dollars.

If cleaning is a problem for you, figure out what are some of the things getting in the way of keeping your bedroom clean. Is there not enough time in the morning? Has it become a dumping ground for the contents of everyone’s backpacks and laundry hampers? Are the kids playing in your bedroom and leaving toys everywhere?

Keeping a room clean doesn’t mean it always needs to be picture-perfect. But having a designated place for dirty clothes, a schedule for when it will be vacuumed and dusted, and making your bed in the morning is a good start.

10. Enjoy your room!

There’s a lot of pressure to have a “Pinterest-perfect” house. But a home is less about how it looks than how you use it. It’s why we all love grandma’s house, even if it’s a bit out-dated–it’s the place where you spend time with family.

Connor and I have found that having separate rooms of the house for separate tasks helps us be more in the moment. When we’re in the dining room, it’s time to eat. When we’re in the living room, it’s time to goof off or watch TV together. And the bedroom is for relaxing, reading and sleeping. Keeping certain tasks out of your room can make a huge difference.

Make your room your romantic sanctuary. Read books in bed together, light some candles, and keep it separate from the rest of the craziness in life. We all need a place to escape–why not create one in your very own house?

What are some of your best tips for updating or decorating? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

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