Gabriell's bedroom makeover

Gabriell is hard at work updating her living room from drab to fab, but she just couldn't resist daydreaming about her bedroom too. It's a little dark and dreary but has great furniture and lots of windows. Here's a look at it now. Gabriellbedroombefore

She likes the furniture, her reading nook (that needs a new chair) but hates how dark the room feels. She wants a warm relaxing retreat but doesn't want something too bright or dramatic. "I have to sleep in there," she said. She has about $500 to $700 to spend. To complement and refresh her current furnishings, here's what I suggest:


First off, I think Gabriell should keep the wall color. It's really unique and does evoke that warmth she is hoping for. It just needs a little lightening up, which we'll do with white accents and reflective objects.

1. To add a little spice to her space, I think this wonderful fabric will make amazing new drapes to set off your sliding glass doors. Just stitch them up and replace the lifeless green ones, and leave the existing sheers. I also recommend an additional 3 yards to reupholster the bench and make a few throw cushions.

2. Two of these inexpensive lamps from IKEA will light up your bedside when placed on the existing end tables on either side of the bed. A little symmetry goes a long way. The existing lamp will look great in your recently redesigned living room. The new lamps have a textured shade that will add to the natural feeling of the room, and the height is more appropriate for the tall bed. To help keep the bed from feeling so massive, buy about 9 yards of soft sheer fabric to drape over the built-in canopy. You'll want it to have a little drape over the head of the bed, but still reach past the mattress on the sides. The bed won't feel as dark and masculine.

3. This sweet little chair will look great in the nook placed between the two windows. Add a rectangular cushion made of the floral fabric.

4. Speaking of the nook, I think Gabriell should keep the bamboo blinds she has for privacy, but soften them up by hanging a simple white sheer curtain on each window and tying it off to the side to frame the chair.

5. This floor mirror in white will help bounce a lot of light around the room and lighten up any dark shadows. Try putting it next to the sliding doors (where the nightstand and wall mirror are now).

The existing wall mirror will look great with a new coat of white paint. Hang it over the dresser where it will then be in a great position to reflect the natural light and the floral curtain, which will continue that patten on the opposite side of the room. Move the large round candle sconce above the tv, which will help pull the attention upwards and away from the electronics. I also think she should gather up some of the pretty white figurines and pottery she has around the room and cluster a few of them together on top of the dresser. They'll be showcased, and as a group will look purposeful and add another shot of white.

6. Gabriell requested a new ceiling fan to replace the rickety one, and I think this one is pretty sleek. And at only $99, you can't do much better on the price!

7. NOT PICTURED: To lighten up the corner between her bed and dresser, I think it would be fun to create a custom art piece. Pick up a 3x4 foot canvas at the local craft store (about $25). Paint it a pretty creamy white (think "flax"). Use a pencil to lightly write out a favorite poem, quote, or song lyric in your prettiest handwriting (or recruit a friend with nice cursive). Paint over the pencil with a pure white (so you're left with white over cream). It'll be a subtle tone-on-tone painting with a truly personal meaning for just a fraction of the cost of buying "real" art. Added bonus: it will bring a lot of light to that now-dark corner. See this post where I created something similar for my living room using stencils.

Cost breakdown:

Floral Fabric: $182 for 7 yards Lamps: $20 for two Chair: $140 White Curtains: $24 for two, plus $30 for hardware Floor Mirror: $100 Ceiling Fan: $100 Canopy Fabric: $63 (estimating $7 a yard) Art Supplies: about $35 TOTAL COST: $694