The following post contains a paid advertising feature for Habitat.
It may seem common nowadays – at least on social media and on TV – to revamp a room entirely from scratch within an unreasonably short period of time. From start to finish, the entire room is done in just a few days or a few weeks.
Whilst I have been entirely guilty of sharing those exact types of makeovers, I am here today to tell you that this is not really normal! ;) The truth is, your average person generally doesn’t have a large enough budget to revamp an entire room from scratch nor do they always have the time it takes to do any work involved as well as find the perfect pieces so that the entire room is done within a few days or weeks.
As a home interiors blogger and content creator, kitting out an entire room from scratch so that I can share a huge reveal is kind of part of my job. I work with brands that help me with this, of course (as I wouldn’t be able to do turn it around as fast otherwise), and there is a certain expectation from readers that when I say I’m starting a room renovation, there will be that ‘big reveal’ within a relatively short amount of time.
In the world we live in today, we want that instant gratification. We want a 15-second reel video on Instagram that shows someone clicking their fingers and a room going from a huge ugly mess to Instagram-perfection. We scroll quickly through the before photos on a blog post to get to the final look. We want to skip to the end of the home makeover show (or only watch the last 10 minutes) so we can see the family’s reaction to what would have normally taken months to complete. We want the room to instantly change before our eyes into something beautiful.
And ya know what? I get it. Not only do I enjoy seeing an instant transformation too but I end up perpetuating this idea that rooms can be completely done over really quickly because it’s kind of expected of me and others that do the same kind of job I do. The reality is, however, that without the help of brands providing products and that expectation that I will be providing an astonishing before and after as inspiration for my readers’ and followers’ own homes (because that does put a fire under my backside), I wouldn’t really be able to do it.
We all know that the best designs take time, right? We need that time to pour over each decision with care. We also need the time it often takes to save up to hire the tradesmen you’ll need or to find the time on the weekends to do the work yourself. It takes time to find the perfect pieces or the right colour paint or fabric (the sheer amount of tiny paint pots knocking about in my cellar will attest to that). It takes time to save up to buy the new flooring or the hours of browsing or shopping until that perfect piece that’s within our budget is found. For the average person, none of this happens instantly and it rarely all comes together within a few weeks.
In fact, it doesn’t always happen for me either.
When we first moved into our home 2 1/2 years ago (hasn’t time flown!), one of the first rooms we worked on was our bedroom. We invested first in the foundations of the room with new electrics throughout and then after making the walls sound again, a fresh coat of white paint along with a new bed and a wall mural that gave added instant impact. Just about everything else in the room, however, were items that we already owned.
I knew that in time, I would need to make some changes but it was important to invest in those things that would have the biggest impact first of all. So the first thing I would advise in terms of where to spend your money is the room foundations. You can slap new paint on but if the radiator leaks or the walls are crumbling, then it’s akin to rolling the proverbial in glitter. You really need to get the ‘bones’ of the room right first. It might mean moving plug sockets or planning things like where wall lights will go, replacing flooring and updating the drafty windows but once those foundations are done, then the dressing of the room (the fun part!) can begin.
But where to spend your money in terms of bedroom furniture? A new bed was pretty high up on our own list at the time and as the main focal point in your room, I would advise you to spend your money there next. Its where your eye goes first when you enter a bedroom after all and we added to this effect investing in a rather striking wall mural that you can’t help but see when you enter the space.
Also high up on the splurge list? A great mattress alongside comfy good-quality linens. Anything that you are using and touching every single day should be the best you can afford so try not to scrimp on these things either.
Speaking of things you touch and use every day, the next thing on the list – which is what I’ve finally been able to address – is your storage furniture. While we used our cheap and cheerful bedside tables we had in our old house for a long time, I knew it was time for an upgrade. These beautiful Max 3-drawer chests from Habitat are definitely more of an investment piece but they are ones I know I will enjoy for many years to come. Not only does the wood grain add the warmth that I felt the room had been missing, but their size is also much better suited to the proportions of the room. It’s a change I’ve been waiting a long time to make but now that it’s done, I’m over the moon with how much it’s changed the whole feel of the space.
Getting the right pieces in the right sizes is another area where it pays to be considered in your choices. While our previous bedside tables looked nice enough, in reality, they were far too small for the space. These larger pieces encourage your eye to move across the full width of the space, truly maximising that feature wall and making the room look so much bigger. So take your time to find the right investment pieces for your space. Your wardrobes, chests of drawers and bedside tables should not only add style but they need to be practical for your storage requirements too – something the previous ones we had were sorely lacking.
One last change that I made in the room is the cowhide rug. The previous rug was black with white spots but this one, a soft cream colour, really lightened up the room, bouncing light around and making it feel bigger. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I do love a cowhide rug (I currently own 4 of them!) and this particular one I have had for around 8 years (and the one that used to be in here is around 5 years old). Again, they are a bit of an investment piece but I know they can take a battering (I have 3 pets who have thoroughly put them to the test), clean up well and will last for years which is why I can so easily move them around from room to room and house to house over many years and they still look good. Investing in good quality floor coverings are another area that may be worth splurging for.
Now that we’ve discussed the items you really want to invest in (even if it takes some time – remember, there is no rush!), how about those that are a bit easier to swap out and change or those that don’t necessarily mean saving up and waiting months (or in my case, years) for? One area that doesn’t need to cost the earth is your lighting. I initially had some small dark pink glass pendants here but with the change in the chests, I decided I wanted to pick up and run with the warmer, earthy look.
I chose two of the CAHN pendants from Habitat to give me that relaxed boho vibe I love and it was an easy swap to make. As these are simply pendant shades, changing them didn’t require an electrician but they did give me instant impact. They coordinate beautifully by picking up on the warm natural tone of the wood chests but add additional texture with the woven rope style. They also tied in nicely with a woven floor lamp I already owned and echo the round shape of the Marteau ceiling light from Habitat that I’ve had for years.
Habitat has a huge lighting range that works with a wide range of budgets – from ceiling lighting to wall lights, floor lamps and table lights. Be sure whatever you choose once again works with the proportions of your room and furniture too. I chose slightly larger pendants this time around to work alongside the larger chests of drawers below them. The previous pendants were much smaller and would have looked a little lost whilst the new ones create a better balance.
What else is easy to swap and doesn’t require a huge investment? Items like the cushions and throws on your bed can be swapped out with the season, choosing chunkier knits or faux fur for the winter and soft linen, cotton and lightweight fabrics for the warmer months. Habitat excels here too, providing lots of pieces to mix and match to give your room an instant lift.
I also was able to use artwork and accessories I already had to style the space, using bits and pieces from around the house to give the room a fresh new look. These smaller accessories like trays, candles, plants and small pieces of artwork don’t have to be expensive and can easily be swapped around whenever you fancy a change.
So to summarise here’s where I find it’s best to splurge and where to save when updating your bedroom:
Where to Splurge
- A decent bed & mattress
- Good quality bedding
- Storage furniture you use daily
- Good quality rugs
Where to Save
- Decorative cushions & throws
- Art and decor
I hope you like the updates I’ve shared in my bedroom today! As you can see, it really does take time to find those perfect investment pieces when decorating a room so it’s worth saving in some areas to allow yourself to splurge a little more where it really counts. Let me know what you think of the changes and share how have you splurged or saved in your own bedroom? What’s the longest period of time it’s taken you to fully update a room?
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Habitat but as always, all words, images and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I love and think you’ll like too! Thank you for supporting the brands that support Swoon Worthy.