The One Woman House Makeover – Bedrooms & Bathrooms on a tight budget

Welcome to Part 2 of this whole home makeover. After finishing the living room, the bedrooms were in need of some new style; mostly consisting of design and furniture. Find out how; The One Woman House Makeover – Bedrooms & Bathrooms on a tight budget.

How to save money on a Bedroom makeover:

Whenever you make major changes it can impact the budget in a huge way. In this first home style was still important but not having any construction or demolition kept the costs super low. The original hardwood flooring was given a refresh by scuff-sanding and adding a layer of Diamond finish Varathane. Trim and doors became new again with some added moldings and paint.

Often the difference in cost is buying/installing new trim or taking the time to update with paint. Since I did not have to pay for my own labour, I chose the least expensive; using paint. I also feel more environmentally aware to keep the original solid wood trim.

This MCM dresser was also a very inexpensive find at a thrift shop. The nightstand and dresser also got some Mid Century Modern makeover with graphics. These pieces often cost less than a fast food lunch… imagine!

How it used to be:

Traditional furniture (original owners real estate pictures) and many layers of curtains tended to make a space look quite fussy. Perhaps some of these styles will cycle back but not in my lifetime. Thankfully the floors were in great shape.

Wall Mural Painting Ideas:

I need to give some credit to my daughter here; as a graphic designer she also has an eye for designs that she likes. These days the Boho styes are quite versatile. It doesn’t take much, as you can see. Simple blocks of colour, brush strokes that are varied and not perfect contours. I love this style as its pretty simple to ‘wing it’ without even preplanning that much.

Find an inspiration image (but don’t dive too deep into Pinterest) and choose a few colours. Small sample pots can be mixed at the paint store. Again, it’s just paint, so it does not have to be too scary. If need be, measure the walls and then make a smaller scale sketch (like doodling) before you then multiply the sizes to be full size.

There’s some odd elements in this style of wall mural but it came together pretty quickly. I had to stop myself from adding more details as that tends to be my style of art. As far as cost, wallpaper is much more expensive!

Another rationale is that if/when she tires of it, it is quite an easy change. You really can’t get more bang from your buck than with creative use of paint. The pop of color immediately adds a focal point or 2. Texture comes from the area rug, blankets and fabric choices. Fun Botanical throw pillows echoing the theme worked out perfectly.

Make the Bedroom an Oasis:

Does this feel like a tropical holiday, even a little bit?! Large scale peel and stick panels were not that expensive (under $200). There’s so many POD (print on demand) sites that will custom size your order. It was not any more difficult to put up than the usual wallpaper. This Zofia Tropical Leaves Wallpaper pattern adds quite a lot of depth due to the massive scale on this accent wall.

The furniture was all less than $100, amazingly, some was free! The ceilings have remained white and fresh. Sure, all the wood furniture pieces can be up-cycle projects but do splurge for a comfy mattress.

This sanctuary gets all it’s affect from the fresh clean whites and massive palm fronds. It envelopes you, and you can almost feel the soft breeze…

Timeless White:

Perhaps it’s the fact that I tend to be subjected to a lot of colour in my daily life; I sometimes just want the peace of none, like wearing a crisp white shirt. Soft neutral grey walls will stand the test of time.

I would entertain the idea of making a DIY headboard but the bargain sturdy sleigh bed changed my mind. Having a footboard at the bottom of the bed feels more enveloping and also keeps all the covers and comforter on.

Some of the decor items came with the house; like the mirrors (that used to be gold ) also got a second life. Everything was getting a coat of white paint

That chair is upholstered with a lifetime of picture memories. It was a special gift made with love. See my full tutorial here. Yup, this wonderful antique chair was another curb-side garbage find. Accessories like oversized baskets, bedside lamps, blinds will finish the lush look without much expense. Since there were so many fancy mirrors found in the house I could not resist to use them as the artwork.

What to do with all that Brown Furniture:

Design is changing and there’s a surplus of ‘brown’ furniture everywhere; I know, I have a bunch… ‘But, take a look at the lines, the function and storage capacity. This was a freebie that had some good redesign potential.

Look past handles and small details that can be removed or taken off, such as the ‘tassels’ here. It completely changed to give a new modern fresh look.

Yes, this is what all the furniture looked like before the refresh. Put your headphones in and paint away…

…and more painting. A solid heavy bed frame got a new home and colour. Painting is one of the best diy skills, unmeasurable results in creativity can be achieved with just ‘time’ being the biggest cost.

Updating the Doors & Trim:

Instead of wasting the wood trim that was original to the home, I decided to paint it. I know, it takes a long time but I feel better about it as it’s solid wood and not MDF. Paint and trim can elevate design to the next level.

Inexpensive trim cut with a mitre saw can be adhered to flat panel doors easily. These doors are wood, whereas many are so thin as if they are made of cardboard. Construction adhesive makes it a quick installation.

Using a foam roller does quicken the chore with touch-ups of a good brush. See some of my tips to get faster & harder paint coverage.

There’s some great satisfaction to be had from a soft sheen of a fresh white panelled door. Satin finish will provide a bit of sheen but semi gloss will give even better washability, depending on how many grimy fingers you have your the house.

The Bathroom’s New Look:

This is what it looked like when she got the house. The components & fixtures still functioned and it was not in the budget to do a full renovation, as much as we would love to. Especially since post-covid the prices of bathroom makeovers have sky-rocketed on renos! This was more of a budget-friendly cosmetic update. ‘But the ‘yellow’ had to go!

Below the faux peel & stick wood look was more vinyl flooring to scrape up. But, scraping it is better than jack-hammering out tile! Again it was more about labour than cost.

The new tile is also a adhesive stick-down tile; TrafficMaster Groutable Ceramica Vinyl Floor Tile but it has the profile of ceramic. A premixed grout is available to elevate the look.. You would be hard pressed to see that it’s not ceramic right away.

The bonus of this tile for the bathroom floor is that I could cut it with simple tools (metal ruler and xacto knife) and fashion a small strip for the transition. This costs a fraction of what ceramic would and Trafficmaster flooring has great reviews.

You’d be amazed at how changing colours of towels, curtain, paint and trim makes an effect. I also took the bold move to paint the border tiles around the room to white. I would not advise it for the shower but on the walls it can hold up well as there are now products engineered to paint tiles.

Bathroom #2 Powder room Update:

It already looks pretty basic. I give credit to my daughter for her bold ideas. Gee, I don’t know where she gets her strong will… ‘But that is one of the reasons I do this gratifying work for/with my kids. They learn how to budget and also to actually get their hands dirty.

How lovely and striking is that?! Yes, cheap cheap; use of a lot of paint and some peel & stick tiles. The splurge here was the custom quartz countertop though at $600. Even just updating new hardware handles and their positions makes a big difference.

Painting walls black takes some courage but since there were many contrasts here it worked well. It also gets a lot of light in this small room. Contemporary light fixtures and mirror also elevate the look for a budget-friendly makeover.

The Third Bedroom:

Since there was no need for extra bedrooms or guest rooms the third bedroom now lives as a dressing room equipped with Ikea cabinets. They are so customizable with shelves, bars and drawers that it makes a pleasure to organize in such a space. I would love to have that luxury of a dressing room…

Would you have taken on such a job? It was like a marathon for me, but so gratifying since it’s for such a special person. I loved making this makeover; the bedrooms & bathrooms on a tight budget.

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  1. Oh wow! This is so nice. You have helped motivate me. My house needs some of this kind of help, since I bought it 3 years ago with all light yellowish walls. Great job!

  2. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas. You’ve given me the courage to paint my pine bedroom furniture white. Over the years, the formerly pale wood has aged to a very unattractive orange. NOT my style. For a long time, I’ve just ignored it, But seeing what you did with the dark wood furniture is very inspiring.

    1. I know that sometimes it is frowned upon to paint wood but it could mean the difference between new life or landfill… ‘Paint’ has amazing abilities! Good luck and post on Instagram @madebybarb