We just finished a mini master bedroom makeover under $400. Instead of exchanging gifts for Christmas, we decided to give our master bedroom a facelift. For under $400, we got some new furniture and some new bedding to refresh our room.
I’ve written before about how to do small budget makeovers. The easiest way to save money is to start with the furniture and decor you already own. You don’t have to start from scratch to makeover a room. Keep the stuff you love, and only replace the pieces you don’t like.
To start our bedroom makeover, we made a list of things we didn’t like about the room. Then, we chose the top three things we wanted to change first. We wanted to:
- Replace our nightstands
- Get a new quilt for our bed
- Remove the two large dressers from the room
Here is a reminder of what our room looked like before—big dark nightstands, lots of pillows, and a large dresser with a lot of decor:
Before we made any changes, we discussed our requirements:
- We want new nightstands that better fit our modern decorating style. (Our old nightstands were nice, but very large and transitional style. They were also very dark).
- The new nightstands need to be smaller, but still the right height for our bed and large enough to hold our existing lamps.
- The new nightstands need to be a lighter color and have open space underneath. We don’t need storage in our nightstands.
- The dressers need to be removed from the room and donated as a set along with the old nightstands.
- We will not get any new furniture to replace the dressers.
- We need to move all our folded clothes to the closet. We will take this opportunity to declutter and donate excess clothes.
- We need a new king-size quilt for the bed to replace the existing down comforter and duvet cover.
- The quilt needs to be large enough to cover the bed and drape nicely on the sides.
- The quilt needs to be lightweight, but still warm.
- The new quilt needs to coordinate with our existing color scheme.
Completing a bedroom makeover under $400 is a challenge. Clarifying our requirements made the shopping process much easier and helped us stick to our budget. For example, I could filter my online searches to king-size quilts and coverlets, excluding comforters and duvet covers. Knowing we wanted lighter nightstands, I started my search looking for white nightstands.
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Our New Nightstands – Two for Under $300
Since furniture is the most expensive part of any room makeover, I started looking for the new nightstands first. I love the nightstands at West Elm but didn’t want to pay $299+ per nightstand. So, I broadened my search to other stores that I knew might have similar styles at a lower price. I checked World Market, Pier 1, Amazon, Wayfair, Target, and Overstock.
Finally, I found nightstands we loved. They are modern with a beautiful wood case and white drawer fronts with a three-dimensional geometric pattern. They were also the right height for our bed. A lot of nightstands at lower prices are very short, like 21” tall at most.
But the nightstands I fell in love with were more expensive than I wanted. So, I waited for a sale.
These are Nate Berkus nightstands from Target, which were normally $199 each and only available online. I’m on Target’s email list, and because I viewed the nightstands on their website, they started advertising them too me on Facebook. I paid attention to the ads and my inbox, waiting for a sale. Finally, my patience paid off, and I was able to get the nightstands for 30% off, plus my 5% RedCard Discount, which includes free shipping.
Sadly, I waited too long to tell you about these nightstands. They’re gone now. 😭 Such a shame, because we love them.
Our New King-Size Velvet Quilt
Next, it was time to find a quilt. The first quilt I ordered was a total disaster. Last year, we got a new colorful, patterned quilt for our guest room (you can see it in this post on matching accent colors). As soon as he saw it, my husband said, “We need something like that for our room.” I took that as a green light to get a colorful, patterned quilt for our bedroom.
I found a pattern I liked that had the perfect colors to match our room. It was already on sale, so I ordered it right away. When it arrived, I couldn’t wait to try it out on the bed.
But it was too narrow. Even though I ordered the king size, the quilt was not wide enough to even cover the top of our mattress. And, it was way too long. Unfortunately, the pattern was directional —a color scheme that lightened from the foot of the bed up—so it couldn’t be turned sideways. I tried it anyway, and while the pattern was off, the quilt fits perfectly the wrong way. I assume the quilt was manufactured incorrectly. When I went back to check the dimensions online, they were the reverse.
I also decided the pattern was too busy with the lampshades and artwork we wanted to keep in the room. As a reminder, a few years ago I did a mini bedroom makeover and moved the artwork from our foyer over the bed and introduced the floral pillows (this fabric), which are still my favorite. I did not want to introduce a new quilt that would cause a snowball of changes to everything else in the room. So I returned it and kept looking.
One day while I was at Target, I saw the prettiest velvet quilt. It was dark gray but almost purple. I walked past it at first, thinking it was too dark for our room, but I couldn’t help going back for a closer look. It was this Project62 Grid Stitch Velvet Quilt – only $89 for the king-size!
When I told my husband about it and showed him the picture I snapped in the store, he said we should try it. He reminded me that it might not be too dark, with the lighter nightstands and once we remove the big, dark dressers from the room. I am happy to report he was right.
This picture shows the true color of the quilt:
The quilt looks fantastic on our bed. I was a little hesitant about using a velvet quilt in a room with velvet curtain panels (can you have too much velvet), but it works. Plus, during a long Minnesota winter, I don’t think you can have too many warm, luscious fabrics around, like velvet and faux fur. Since the quilt has grid-stitching, it has a different texture than the smooth curtain panels, even though they’re both velvets.
We Got Rid of Our Dressers
The final step was getting rid of the dressers. After we moved all of our folded clothes into the closet, we hired movers to take the dressers and nightstands to Goodwill. We probably could have sold the entire set, but we decided our goal wasn’t to make money, it was to transform our room. We didn’t want the added headache of listing them for sale and meeting with potential buyers. Instead, we opted to spend money (not part of our makeover budget) to hire movers so that we could donate the dressers. We maximized our investment in the movers by having them also take some other furniture we wanted to donate, like the dressers in our kids’ rooms, the dresser in my office, and a sofa. It took the pros less than an hour to pack everything up and get it out of here.
Now that the dressers are gone, our room is so spacious. When my kids saw it for the first time without the dressers, I heard one of them say to the other, “I didn’t know their bedroom was light blue.” I never realized how the dressers lining the walls changed the perception of the whole room. It feels lighter and brighter now.
Remember the dressers before—too much stuff in our bedroom:
Here are the same two walls in our room now without dressers:
Our bedroom is so much more peaceful now!
Without the dressers, we no longer have clutter. We don’t have large horizontal surfaces in our bedroom to clog up with junk. We moved our phone charging area to a shelf in our closet, which is great for sleeping better. We’ve always been good about keeping our nightstands clean. So, now our bedroom always looks clean.
We love our bedroom again! Most people focus on decorating their public spaces (living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms) and neglect their bedroom. I think it’s important to have a private room to retreat to that you love just as much as the rest of your house. I hope this bedroom makeover under $400 has inspired you to update your bedroom. You deserve it.
Cassandra Ruffin says
I love your articles ! So inspirational. That focal wall #stunning!
Lauren H says
Love the mini-makeover, Jackie! I’ve always been a fan of removing dressers (and other excess furniture) from bedrooms and maximizing closet storage. Isn’t it interesting what we bring into our homes and how we use spaces just because that’s how it’s “supposed to be done”? I vote for more “white space”! ;)
Lauren, Thank you. It is so true that sometimes we forget to question the status quo.
I love this idea. My dressers are old and I was thinking about painting them. I don’t even use them for clothes, I just put junk in them when I “pick up”. I think I need to de-clutter and get rid of them completely. Thanks for sharing!
Laurie, You should. It sounds like you don’t need them, and if anything they cause you to keep more clutter or junk.
Your new nightstands and quilt are lovely and I think work beautifully with your velvet curtains, art work, and lamps-very pretty! I’m inspired to use your tips to watch Target sales on Facebook pop-up ads generated from a past store search and to continue to purge excess from our MB and MB closets.
Thank you Amy. It definitely pays to be patient with sales. Big companies do a lot of “retargeting” advertising and sales now, if you don’t buy right away. Sometimes they will follow up if you put something in your cart but don’t check out.
Barbi K. says
So fun, my husband and I are also originally from Minnesota. I have so much work to do in our MB after looking at your very inspiring photos. We all need to think outside the box once in awhile. More isn’t always better. Thanks for the inspiration!
Hey Barbi. It’s always fun to hear from a reader with a connection to Minnesota.
Wow, its amazing how just a few changes completely changed the entire look of the room. I love how clean and open it looks without the extra furniture. What made you decide to switch from a duvet to a quilt? I also noticed you went more minimal with the number of pillows on the bed. I love the look with all the decorative pillows, and have been considering adding more to my bed, but considering if the added maintenance is really worth it.
Tonia, We had started to get really frustrated with our duvet cover. It felt heavy and bulky. I sleep in all positions, so I toss and turn a lot. We also have 12 year old dog that likes to sleep on the bed. It just started to feel like the big puffy duvet was hogging the bed. We love the new quilt. It feels lighter in weight and bulk, but it’s actually warmer. Even in the subzero winter here in Minnesota, we are only using a top sheet and the quilt. It’s perfectly warm and cozy without all the extra bulk.
Kris K. says
Love the changes and all the great advice. I am pushing for no dressers in our new master bedroom–it really frees up the whole room! Also, thanks for writing about how it sometimes takes a few purchases and returns to get it right. Sometimes we buy and then just deal with it instead of returning it.
Thank you, Kris. I used to try to force things to work or shove them in a closet but now I’m ruthless about making returns ASAP.
Oh Jackie, finally had time to checkout your new bedroom and it looks fantastic! So much lighter and energetic (in a good way). Maybe a good idea for your empty wall (based on feng shui, which says the wall you look at is your future) is to hang some pictures/art/decor of things you want in the future. F.e. a map of a country you want to visit, a picture of your family, something that symbolizes good health and wealth.
Susanne, I love your advice. I know just what I can put there now.
Hi Jackie, what color would you say you curtains are? It’s my favorite shade of blue – reminds me of Grecian and tropical seas. Thanks.
The curtain panels were from Ikea and they called the color dark turquoise. I would call it teal or Mediterranean blue. It’s more blue than green.