Thursday, October 24

$50 Master Bedroom Refresh (Our Fall Challenge Reveal!)

It's reveal day! Did you join the Budget Refresh Challenge?

Today I'm sharing how we totally refreshed our master bedroom and made it so much cozier for under $50! If you love a good before + after, hold on to your hats. This is your time.

Let's start with the before (you can read more about it here). This picture was take almost two years ago:

Up until this point we had only made a few functional updates:

The room was still pretty bare. Then we hung some Ikea curtains and it started feeling a little less like a room, and more like our room.

Then last year I built the easiest upholstered headboard ever while I was nesting. And it leaned against the wall beside our bed for a year (you can read all about it and get the free plans here). *facepalm* We finally got it on the wall a few months ago, and that was our first official step toward a grown-up bedroom. Seriously, it made such a difference and got me aching to get our space cozy and more complete. Enter the fall budget refresh challenge.

So that's where we started this month.

And this is three weeks + $50 later:

I can't even with this room right now. This is the first time in my adult life that I've had a bedroom that feels so much like me. It feels cozy and complete and amazing and I might never leave.

So where did our $50 go? Let's talk about the updates!

Spoiler - I didn't even use the whole $50. And I totally intend to use the extra to buy a beautiful houseplant.

Declutter = $0
My first step was to declutter and organize what we already had in here. Never underestimate the difference that can make all on it's own. Emphasis on the declutter part. It's easier to organize when you're not organizing a bunch of stuff you don't really need!

These are the same little DIY crate nightstands I built a few years ago (I still totally love this his + hers pair!) but tidying them up instantly made them so much cuter! On Nathan's side I also added a fake plant (I swiped it from our coffee table). On my side I just swapped the basket for a slightly bigger one from our laundry room and turned my book stack around to show the pages instead of the bindings. 

Build a Shelf = $0
I've had my eye on the headboard that the.simple.farmhouse made with a bookshelf above the bed, and I've been dying to work one into our bedroom. Books make a space so cozy, and it actually fills a book-storage need perfectly. Nathan loves to collect old books and I've struggled with where to keep them so this will be a great place to display his collection! I'm super excited to fill this shelf with our most beautiful books!

Bonus: a headboard shelf is a perfect spot for some sweet Christmas decorating. I bought an extra garland on clearance after Christmas last year because I knew we'd have a shelf for it by Christmas 2020. #itsnevertooearly

This is where the work-with-what-you-have part of the challenge works beautifully - I was able to make this sweet little shelf totally for free using scrap wood from my pile in the garage. I just dug around and designed this shelf with what I had on hand, and it turned out beautifully! I'll share a separate DIY post with all the steps soon so you can build your own!

Framed Prints = $30
Guys, this was actually my only purchase for this challenge. I still have $20 to spare (which I now refer to as my Houseplant Fund). I wanted something beautiful in the space above the shelf and I thought about text art or family photos... but I also love vintage nature prints. And I happened to have three beautiful prints already.

Confession: they were supposed to go in the boys room. I bought them as souvenirs on a trip thinking they'd be perfect in there. But nothing else seemed right in here and I pulled them out and they were perfect with the green walls and here we are. So the prints I already had = free. And the matboard to go with them was leftover from a big pack I bought a while back = free (I love to cut my own photo mats because it saves a small fortune!). So I only needed to buy frames! Guys, it's always worth waiting for a frame sale. The day I bought these, Michael's had their Belmont frames buy-1-get-2-free plus a 20% off total purchase coupon. It's the best frame deal I've ever stumbled across and I paid less than $30 for three 16 x 20 frames!! I went with super light wood for these guys since there's already so many dark tones going on in here. Totally love them. Totally meant to mount them on the wall. Totally just didn't get that done yet.

Make the Bed - $0
Remember how decluttering and organizing can make such a difference? Well, making your bed pretty much has the same effect. And, like decluttering, it's also totally free!

Confession #1 - I've never made my bed.Even though I know it instantly makes the whole room look better. Because I'm going to sleep in it again tonight so what's the point? But I've also never had such a beautiful bedroom. So I might finally become a bed-maker and keep this space looking fly.

Confession #2 - I stole all these throw pillows off my couch to make a better picture. They're going back to the couch. Maybe I'll get bedroom throw pillows some day. Maybe I won't. But I know this for sure - no matter where I put these pillows I totally love them! (And they're super affordable! You can read all about them here.)

Plants = $0 (so far)
I love love love houseplants. I use them all over our house because they are the best way to make a home feel fresh and lively. But I didn't have a single plant in this sad, neglected room!

So I brought in one of my fake plants for the nightstand and one of my favorite plant babies for the shelf. It's a spider plant I grew from a tiny little sprout my sister gave me off of her own spider plant! I need to do a post about propagating house plants - there are so many ways to get free plant babies if you know where to look!

But like I said, I'm planning to spend that last $20 on a bigger, more dramatic plant that I'll put by our window. And that will round out my $50 budget.

I got a hot tip that Aldi has Fiddle Leaf Figs and Snake Plants for $13 this week!! Snake Plants are great for lower-light spaces, but I think a Fiddle Leaf would do well here because we have a south-facing window that gets great light. Hopefully I can snag one before they're gone!

I don't know if I've ever showed you guys this side of the room. It's hard to photograph because the sun comes in so bright and I just don't have the photography skills to pull it off. But we have great windows (I love that light when I'm not trying to take photos) and they're flanked by a pair of dressers my grandpa made for Nathan and I. Mine has little humming birds carved in the sides. I love them.

My future plant will live right here.
Contentment = $0 
Want to know the single best way to improve your home, right now, for free? Find contentment with what you have and where you are. It doesn't have to be perfect. It probably never will be. But it can still be good. So, so good.
  • I planned on a shelf as long as the headboard. But I didn't have any boards that long. So it's a bit shorter. Not a big deal and it saved me $15.
  • That alarm clock on the dresser is from a yard sale 8 years ago and it's ugly as anything, but you better believe we can read that baby from across the room in the dead of night. I'm keeping it forever.
  • The top of the headboard is a little puckered because of the seam in the fabric. It annoys me in photos, but the rest of the time it doesn't and it still feels amazing to lean back on while I read.
  • I don't have throw pillows. It's fine. 
  • We'll definitely end up with a pile of diapers stacked on and/or around the nightstands. That's our season of life right now. 
I have dry, crunchy leaves on a piece of twine hanging from my mirror. It's a necklace m1 made for me a couple years ago when the leaves were beautiful fall colors. I love it so much I could cry.

And that's it for our 2019 fall refresh.

"It's about time, mom."

I'll just leave you with my favorite side-by-side before + after. Look at that coziness.

And here's an update with it decked out for Christmas:

I'd love to hear how you're refreshing your own home on a budget!

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