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Home Decorating : 9 Ideas to Breathe New Life into an Old Bedroom

9 Simple Ideas to Breathe New Life into an Old Bedroom

By Alan Riley

It's easy to turn an outdated bedroom into something new with just a few simple steps. By doing it yourself, you save money while creating a beautiful bedroom that you enjoy spending time in. With these nine easily done ideas for decorating, you'll soon have the bedroom of your dreams.

1. Get the Mess under Control
The first step involves deciding what should stay in the room and what needs to go. Each item should go in a pile — what stays, what goes into storage and what goes in the trash. Letting go of things is a great first step in changing not just the appearance of your room but also bringing in a new atmosphere.

2. Do a Bed Linen Makeover
Your bed is the focal point of your bedroom and needs to be treated as such. The essence of the room can be completely changed just by switching to zebra bedding or a flowered duvet cover. Don't forget to experiment with material, too. Silk and satin bring romance to the room, while cottons and twills are more casual and laid back.

3. Brighten up Dull Walls with Fresh Paint
New paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to freshen up any room. However, you'll want to make sure that you keep the proportions of the room in mind when you choose colors.

  • Small Rooms: Light colors can make a small area appear bigger, and are also a great choice for darker rooms that don't receive a lot of natural light.
  • Tall Rooms: If your ceilings are very high, you can use darker colors on the ceiling itself to make it appear closer. Dark flooring will accentuate this effect, but be careful not to overdo it; it can make the room appear too close and stifling.
  • Small and Wide Rooms: Painting a lighter color on one far wall and using a warmer color on the rest will help make a room appear narrower. If your room is too narrow, using light color on the longer walls and a darker shade of that color on the short walls will open it up.

4. Refresh That Old Headboard
A striking headboard can do wonders to update the appearance of a room. To renew an existing headboard, you can paint, stain or reupholster it to match the design of your bedding. If your headboard is just too outdated, go modern by creating a faux-headboard on the wall with paint, wallpaper or fabric.

5. Focus on Flooring
Many people forget the effect of flooring on their bedroom decorations. If it's in your budget, there are a plethora of options for new flooring, from laminates to tile to carpeting and there are plenty of companies out there offering decent prices. If you need a lower cost option for your floor, you can go with a large area rug or carpet remnant. A light colored rug laid over dark floors is a timeless look. Remember that dark colored flooring will make the room smaller and cozier.

6. Change out the Lighting
Putting the right lights in your bedroom can make a definite change in the atmosphere, and lighting is fairly simple to change. Remember that you'll need to have sufficient light in dressing areas and near make-up tables. Have softer lights on the bedside table to help set the mood when going to sleep. These softer lights will also be less jarring when waking up in the morning.

7. Shams and Throw Pillows Add Personality
Accent pieces give you lots of options for expanding on the design used in your bedding. You can pick your favorite one or two colors from the comforter design and use that in your accent pieces, helping the room coalesce into a coordinated unity. Optionally, you may choose to use accent pieces and shams that contrast with the bedding to make the bed a stronger centerpiece for the room. You can add different size shams to create a more visual appeal. Look for bedding sets that offer bed linens, comforters and the coordinating throws and shams to make decorating easier and more affordable.

8. Change Your Window Treatments
Window treatments can be used to bring drama to a room or can be kept neutral for a more contemporary look. Floor-to-ceiling drapes will make walls look longer and the ceiling higher. For windows that stand out in the design, use a fabric or blind color that contrasts with the wall color. Valances can be another way to add more visual interest to the room. Of course, don't forget that the windows will need drapes to provide privacy.

9. Make a Change with your Bedroom Hardware
Replacing all the hardware on your bedroom furniture is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update your room. By swapping out the knobs and draw pulls on your old furniture, you can quickly update them into custom pieces that are just your style. And you don't have to stop there — you can even add new doorknobs. There are so many different styles out there, you'll have no problem finding one that suits you perfectly. •

© 2010 Alan Riley. All rights reserved.

Alan Riley is experienced in bedroom makeovers and understands how much effort goes into creating the perfect space. Alan has used his experiences in updating his own bedrooms to create, a site that focuses on people's need to find the perfect bed set from among brands such as Kimlor and JoJo Bedding.