Introduction: Total Bedroom Makeover

About: I'm an art teacher by day and an extreme art and DIY enthusiast by night! I love creating custom work for myself, friends, family, and anyone else interested in finding that perfect piece for their own unique…

I remember what it was like growing up in a bedroom less than 100 square feet. Back then, there was no such thing as Pinterest or Instructables. You couldn't swipe through millions of pictures as you planned out the perfect room. Sure, you could daydream about it all day long, but that's all it was - a dream.

As the holidays approached I decided that I was not going to let that same thing happen to my step daughter! Not only that, but moving into an unfamiliar house with no sign of familiarity is hard for anyone, let alone a 10 year old! So for Christmas this year I gave her bedroom a total makeover.

This Instructable will take you through the entire process of the remodel. I've included all of the steps I took to designing and creating the bedroom, including some helpful tips should you be in the market for a new bedroom for yourself or someone you care about. Even though the steps are specific to this bedroom, they can easily be tweaked for fit anybody's bedroom needs.

I hope you enjoy!

Step 1: Make a Plan

Before you can even think about getting started remodeling an entire bedroom, you've got to have a pretty solid plan of action. First thing's first, before you choose the color scheme, the wall paint, the furniture, or the layout, there's a couple other things to consider. That's not to say those things aren't important. They absolutely are and you'll be taking care of those just as soon as you can answer these questions: Who is the room for? What do you want the room to say about the person who spends their time there? What kinds of things does that person enjoy? Those questions are important because it will help shape those other decisions. For example, the bedroom in this Instructable is for my 10-year old step daughter. I wanted this room to fit the little girl she is now, but also have the potential to reflect the young lady she will grow to become. My step daughter currently takes dance, loves to sing, and more than anything else, she loves just about everything art related.

With those questions answered I could start thinking about colors and furniture. I asked my step daughter what colors she would want if she was designing a new room. She came up with pink, teal, and yellow, with a grayish stain color for any wood elements. Because I want the style and decor of this room to work for her 10-year old self and her 16-year old self, I decided to go with rose/rose gold, and a pale sea foam, with a neutral gray wall. I figured I could add some bright pops of teal, pink, and yellow with some decorative accessories later. Knowing that my step daughter loves drawing, I wanted to make sure she had a large workspace too. With that in mind, now I could start thinking about the layout.

Step 2: Sketch It Out

Before I just started bringing in a bunch of new furniture, I had to make sure everything I wanted to do was actually going to fit in her tiny bedroom. I sketched out a few plans for the furniture, took tons of measurements, and then transferred all of that to a scaled drawing on some graph paper. Being able to see a real representation of these different elements working in the space, it was time to get to work.

Step 3: Everything Must Go!

Before you get going you need to clear out the room. Seriously, move EVERYTHING out of there. You don't want to be tripping over things later or having to move everything to one side of the room just to move it to the other side an hour later. Plus, it'll be nice to start with a blank canvas. It's easier to see what things are working and what things are not if you're don't have to deal with a bunch of distractions.

Step 4: New Window Treatment


Treat yourself to some new window treatments! You’d be surprised what a new set of blinds and some floor to ceiling curtains can do for a room. For this bedroom, I chose to go a different route and installed plantation shutters. The white shutters really brightened up the room and without the need for curtains, there was a more open feel in the room. With each step of this makeover I'll be adding more and more to this 10 x 10 ft. room, so it was important for to create the illusion of space whenever possible.

Step 5: Fresh Paint

With the bedroom cleared out, it's time to paint the walls. It's a simple step, but I'm often amazed by what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room.

Even though the paint will be dry to the touch shortly after you've finished the room, give it a good 24 hours before you start hanging anything on them.

Some helpful hints when picking out your painting supplies:

Spend the extra money and buy the good stuff. It's worth it! Take it from someone who painted an entire 4-bedroom house trying to save a couple bucks. It took me twice as long and the quality still wasn't as good as when I did spend the extra cash to get the better quality stuff when painting my second home. Better brushes, better rollers, better paint equals a better paint job!

Step 6: Add Shelving

Now that the room is painted, it’s time to hang up some much needed shelving while the room is still empty. The right shelves can add a beautiful and mature feel to a bedroom while providing storage and organization. Well-thought-out shelving can be the saving grace of a small space.

I wanted to add as many shelves as possible without taking over the entire room. I considered the functionality of each shelf and went with a very symmetric layout, incorporating shelving at different heights on two walls opposite each other. This gave us a lot of shelving without making the room feel cluttered.

I have future plans to add a series of floating shelves that will be arranged in a unique and eye catching way. They will provide even more opportunities for an organized bedroom while doubling as an interesting focal point.

Step 7: Find the Bed of Your Dreams

I remember the different beds I had as a kid and how I never really like any of them. Even as an adult I have struggled to find the perfect design. So when my wife came across this day bed, I knew immediately that it was the one!

The daybed design is perfect for big sleepovers and when the family wants to snuggle up and watch a movie. It's like a big squishy couch with plenty of room for everyone. And did I mention it’s a trundle bed? Three cheers for more storage!

At first I struggled with the decision between a twin or full-sized bed. Like I’ve said, space is a major challenge when it comes to this room (and many kids’ rooms). After reexamining my graph paper sketch and thinking about my own experiences crammed on a twin bed at age 16, I quickly decided on the full.

Note: The second image shoes a piece of plywood with an old sheet stapled to it. This is to support the mattress and was about $80 cheaper than buying the piece that the furniture store offered.

Step 8: Dress Up an Old Dresser

When considering the best choice for a dresser I thought about the loud "THUD" I heard almost every morning as my step daughter fought with the drawers of her old dresser. I promised myself that I was not going to fill this new room with more crappy furniture. Well, I don't know if you've been furniture shopping lately, but finding real wood is a challenge in itself, but when you do find it, the cost is a little (okay, a lot) over budget.

Thankfully, we live in the age of, a time when DIY isn't just a hobby, but a way of life! So what did I do? I dug my old dresser out of the garage and turned it into the perfect piece for my step daughter's room. You can fine a detailed explanation in another Instructable I wrote at this link:

Step 9: Create the Perfect Workspace

After watching my step daughter struggle to get anything creative done at the desk that's been in her room these past two years, I knew that I was again going to have to turn to DIY to get her the workspace that she desperately needed and deserved. And so I wrote another Instructable detailing the process of turning a couple of old file cabinets into the perfect desk. You can see all of the steps here:

Step 10: Organizing, Pt. 1: Make Piles

At this point, all that's left to do is organize. For me, this is the best part! I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes organizing. But for most, this part of the renovation can seem daunting. You might feel like it's an impossible task, but it's really not that bad when you break it down.

I like to pick a random spot in the middle of all the clutter, grab some empty cardboard boxes or trash bags, plop down on the floor and start picking through the mess. With each item I ask myself decide if it goes in the "I wanna keep this" pile, the "I don't want this" pile, or the "I'm not ready to give this up but I don't wanna keep it in my room" pile.

Once you've sorted through everything it's a little easier to take it one pile at a time.

Step 11: Organizing, Pt. 2: the "I Wanna Keep This Stuff" Pile

In my opinion, this is the best pile. I like to load up with tons of desk organizers and colorful boxes and storage bins. Let yourself splurge a little on this part. Find things that go with the room. When you do it like this it starts to feel a lot more like decorating than cleaning or organizing.

Don't be afraid to get "too many" storage items. It's actually better to have only a few things in each box rather than cramming as much as you can in the smallest amount of space possible. Think about it, If you give a kid three big plastic bins to store all of their belongings, they're eventually going to have to dig through at least one of them to find what they're looking for. So what happens to all of the stuff that was on top of what they were looking for? It's all over the floor now. Realistically, do you see your child neatly putting everything away before they start playing with whatever it was they were looking for? Maybe in a perfect world, but I don't even know if I trust myself to do that!

Step 12: Don't Forget About the Closet

Renovating the closet, is almost as important as the whole room. Without a well-organized closet, this beautiful new room you just worked so hard on is going to be trashed within a week!

Before the makeover, my step daughter's closet had a a shelf at the top (that she couldn't reach) and a rod to hang clothes on. That's it. So I'm sure you can imagine what the floor of that closet looked like.

The new closet has a metal rack with 5 shelves on each side. Each shelf has a basket or bin that fits in with the aesthetic of the rest of the room. On the floor of the closet now sits a small cube organizer filled with even more bins with a laundry basket sitting on top.

Step 13: Decorate and Accessorize

Now that the bulk of the work is done, it’s time to add all of those little things that make a bedroom unique.
I was able to incorporate some of my step daughter's favorite things from her old room into the new design and freshened up a few other things with some spray paint.

Of course there some new such as some fun string lights, decorative book ends, and a few knickknacks here and there. It really didn't take a lot to bring the whole thing together.

And don’t think you have to go out and buy everything! I framed a puzzle the family did together, hung up some of her drawings, and I even started on a painting of our beloved Labradoodle.

Step 14: Relax and Enjoy

With the "Total Bedroom Makeover" complete, all that's left to do is enjoy the new space!

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