10 Tips For Updating Your Bedroom Without Redecorating

Hunker down and get cosy, without blowing the budget

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To answer the frequently asked question of ‘Where is your big-ass print from?’ amongst other things, I thought today I’d share with you how we spruced up our bedroom without having to don our painting overalls and spend a four-day period complaining that our arms hurt. If you’re interested in an audit of EVERY SINGLE ITEM then may I point you in the direction of this video where I show you exactly that (the description box is mega, you have been warned), but if you fancy ideas for changing things up in your bedroom and making things feel more homely/cosy/warm/inviting/*insert your choice of calming adjective here*, then these ten tips might be just what you need to hear…

CHANGE YOUR DUVET. It’s such a simple thing, but for most of us our beds will take up the majority of our bedrooms and so whatever patterns or colours feature on your bedspread is going to impact the room around it. I keep two sets of bedding; one is the plain white La Redoute Washed Linen Sheets*, and then the same set, but in the Blush Pink (shown above), for when I want to add some colour and warmth to the room. Have a think about what you’d like the main colour focus to be, or if you’d like to keep things more neutral and it can really change up the vibe of the whole room.

FIND STORAGE SOLUTIONS. One of the biggest changes we made in our bedroom over the years was to invest in proper storage. We got inbuilt wardrobes that go all the way up the ceiling (well worth the expense if you can stretch that far), ordered a bed with pull-out drawers underneath it and have a big chest of drawers that houses all our knick-knacks and bedding (it was Swoon way back in the day incase you were wondering). But getting a good amount of storage is imperative to making the room feel clean and tidy and free from clutter. We previously had stuff jutting out in all different directions from the under the bed and let me tell you, it’s not the one.

ADD COLOUR WITH ART. I was so, so tempted to paint our bedroom pink, but after trying to convince Mark that it was a good idea for a solid year I realised that I was never going to win that battle. And although it pains me to say it – I think he was right. We kept the white walls and instead have added colour with art, which spares you having to pick up a paintbrush. I’m always asked about the big Rothko print, we which we bought framed from King & McGraw (SO WORTH THE FRAMING OPTION, or else it would have taken us two years to get round to it), but I also love picking pieces from Workshop Living, Partnership Editions, La Gent and The Ode To.

GET GREEN. Adding in plants was the one single step that made the room feel finished. The space had previously not had much in the way of foliage, but when we did the room makeover a few years back adding in a (now gigantic) rubber plant and few smaller houseplants it was the cherry on the top. So many plant online retailers are London-based, but Hortology deliver all over the U.K and the plants that we bought from there were in brilliant condition and couldn’t be better behaved. Literally our fiddle leaf fig in our front room is much a big boy these days, he’s almost taller than me.

ADD TEXTURE. I’d previously subscribed to the idea that everything had to match, but really that’s not the case with interiors; sometimes it’s more about finding complimentary fabrics or sticking to a colour family or tone. Like are you going to embrace a more rustic look and use natural woods, knitted fabrics, and rattans, or do you fancy a more luxe vibe with heavy detailing, rich dark woods and velvets. Think how you can add these touches in with throws, pillows, vases and pieces of furniture.

PERFECT YOUR SELFIE CORNER. This tip is obviously *VERY IMPORTANT* if you are an online content creator like yours truly, but even if you don’t snap photos of your outfits everyday for the Internet, it is nice to have an area where you can test out clothing and feel fab – I always feel a bit discombobulated if I can’t see my outfit head-to-toe. Just me? No worries, I’ll see myself out. Look for an area with lots of natural light where you won’t be backlit and a mirror that’s big enough and you can position so you get the full view. Our mirror is an IKEA number, but I love the mirror selection at West Elm and Soho Home.

THINK ABOUT YOUR WINDOWS. This is an area that completely slipped our minds when we first moved in. Heck, we even left the previous tenant’s dark, wonky broken blinds up for about two years. In the end we got custom white wooden blinds made for each room from Wooden Blinds Direct (not pricey online – just make sure you get the measurements right!), and it tied the whole place – not just the bedroom – together. And you don’t have to stop at blinds, you might want to add a light linen curtain too. Though not particularly function, they can help to soften things up and add colour and texture if you fancy it.

OPT FOR SOFT LIGHTING. I HATE OVERHEAD LIGHTING and will quickly go around turning on every table and floor lamp on before people enter the room, before I ever, ever click on the main light. But even more so in the bedroom, keep things light and soft and avoid harsh spotlights or blinding overhead lights. Instead find a lampshade that’s basically a soft-box and use your bedside table lamps or floor lamps as your main sources of light. You want things to feel calm and dreamy, right? So swap out your lighting situation if you’re not feeling it. If I ever need brighter light to do my makeup in I fish out my SimpleHuman Mirror* which is absolutely terrifying and I do/do not recommend.

GET A RUG. Bedrooms are basically the perfect spot for a rug. Something warm and soft to step out on straight from bed? YES PLEASE. A way to break up the room might be to put an absolute gigantic rug under your bed and create a wrap-around rug situation – I mean, that thing is staying in place. If you have a big space and feel like you need to make things cosier then a large rug at the end of your bed might seem like a good idea. Again they are another accessory to pull out of the bag when it comes to adding texture and colour to your space.

DON’T FORGET THE DETAILS. At the end of the day it’s the little things that really bring a space together. The nice vase you bought on your long-ago travels, the books you want to read on your nightstand, the framed print that your friend bought you, the pillows that you’ve had since your first flat – all those little pieces make it your bedroom, so don’t skimp on them. Hey, I hate clutter but I love personal touches so as long as things aren’t too much of a faff to dust around, so add ’em in and make it feel like home.


Photos by Mark Newton