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Bedroom Transformations

Bedrooms, of all the rooms in the house, are the most personal -- and the most easy to change. That said, change no longer comes with a big price tag. Why? Because the bedroom, like any room that is personal, should have a "collected" look. You will achieve a look that you love, that is yours alone, by mixing high and low, old and new, and being resourceful as you shop.

Fabulous Fabrics
Work a thrifty transformation you can change with the season by making fabric and pillows the primary elements. This lively scheme is refreshing, perfect for a studio or corner of a room that doubles as a sleep space.

Vintage Finds
Second-hand or vintage items are inexpensive to resource, easy to spruce up, and lend a lot of personality to a small space, such as a guest room. Make the space happy and fun, and invite guests to feel at home.

BEDDING: This chenille bedspread is inviting on the newly painted iron bed. Sheets in spring hues pull it all together. And extra pillows can be propped for bedtime reading.

COLOR:This room is all about welcome, so communicate that with a generous dose of cheerful colors, such as soft greens and yellows.

FURNITURE: Treat guests like family members and provide a sound frame and a good mattress. A place for clothes, a reading lamp, and a table for personal items are also thoughtful touches.

DRAPERIES: A gingham sheet sews up nicely into country-style draperies that filter light and provide privacy. They're thrifty to make and easy to match to any type of bedding, too.

WELCOMING TOUCHES: Take a cue from a favorite hotel and provide amenities such as scented toiletries, towels, bottled water, and even delicious snacks.

FURNITURE PLACEMENT: Fit a small room with a large bed by angling it in the corner. This de-emphasizes the room's size. White paint on the frame softens the look.

Paint can yield the largest change for the least money. The transformation of this boxy master bedroom was realized with a mix of pastels on the floor and walls. The furniture is mostly painted, too, including flea-market finds that benefited from a couple of coats.

FURNITURE: Painted finishes, both new and weathered, unify the happy hodgepodge here. The silver-colored metal bed keeps the overall effect serene, not sweet.

WALLS & FLOOR: The walls are a tone-on-tone combination: soft gray above the wainscoting; white below. The ceiling is a pale blue. The crown molding is white, as is the floor, eliminating the need for anything underfoot except area rugs on either side of the bed.

BEDDING: An exuberant layering of patterns on the sheets and pillows underscores the romance and tranquility of this master bedroom, while creating the perfect complement to the solid regularity of the metal bed frame. Successful decorating always begins with comfort. Choose sheets that are a pleasure to look at and to touch. Here, inviting textures--softly bleached cotton, silk, and raised crewel--establish the relaxing mood.

FUN FINDS: Two stools, renewed with coats of high-gloss marine paint, stand in for bedside tables. A bench at the bed's foot offers a place to stow books and a throw.

TRICKS WITH PAINT AND HARDWARE: Heather found this dresser abandoned curbside. She painted it pink and added crystal knobs. Like a great outfit, sometimes furniture needs just an accessory or two to be transformed.

BUDGET-FRIENDLY BUILT-INS: If closet space is short, consider a pair of built-in armoires. Painted to match the walls, they seem to recede into the room while providing needed storage. Each is fitted with its own sconce, for bedtime reading.

GOING FOR A VINTAGE LOOK: Heather Cameron purchased inexpensive sheet remainders, and then gently bleached them until she achieved the desired soft hues. When overall expenditure is low, you can feel free to experiment a bit.

Special Touches for the Guest Room
You'll have as much fun choosing and assembling these welcoming tokens as your guest will enjoying them. Start with a set of fluffy towels and a fresh bar of fragrant soap. Body wash or bath salts, and lotion, too. Bottled water, fresh or fizzy, will be appreciated, as will packets of herbal tea and small snacks, such as dried fruit or, for fun, fortune cookies.

The dresser is a receptacle for all those odd personal items. Keep it orderly and stylish with a mirrored tray corral jewelry taken off at day's end. Personal luxury is a daily necessity, too, so include a bottle of perfume a candle, and, oh, yes, a dependable alarm clock.

Where to Find Furnishings and Fun Accessories for a Colorful Room

Create your own at-home retreat or getaway by layering on colorful furnishings and fun accessories. Need some resources? Try these:
  1. For bedding and decorative fabric in lush weaves and saturated colors, try Ikea(ikea.com) or Designer's Guild (designersguild.com ).
  2. Find a daybed at Charles P. Rogers (charlesprogers.com).
  3. Pier 1 (pier1.com) is the go-to place for India-inspired and other exotic accessories.
  4. Try Shades of Light (shadesoflight.com) for a soft-underfoot flokati rug.
Where to Find Vintage Styles for a Country-Eclectic Look

To achieve a country-eclectic look, mix eras and styles with abandon:
  1. For painted furniture try Country Roots (countryroots.com) or British Traditions, Inc. (britishtraditions.com).
  2. If you want eclectic lighting, pay a visit to Anthropologie (anthropologie.com).
  3. Vintage Suitcases and other interesting accessories are available from Great Stuff by Paul (greatstuffbypaul.com).
  4. Find lanterns at Pottery Barn (potterybarn.com).
  5. Check out Garnet Hill (garnethill.com) for colorful, country-hued bedding.

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