It can be really difficult to ever make an apartment feel finished, especially because it’s usually a temporary space. Apartments can also be difficult because you’re limited in what you can do to change the space. Since we’ll probably be living here for awhile, I’m on a mission to make our place feel like home. To accomplish this, I have a few things planned. First up is this budget bedroom refresh! Today’s post is going to be all about the planning, since the project will likely take some time. Let’s get started!

Our Bedroom Now

Budget Bedroom Refresh Before Photos Bed Bedroom Refresh Before Photos Bed Bedroom Refresh Before Photo Dressers

Here’s what our room looked like at the very beginning of this project. (We’ve done a bit since then, but it’s not quite done yet.) Nothing is wrong with the room, but it doesn’t quite look or feel like I want it to. We have lots of “horizontal space” in our room, which means that the headboard and dressers often have a lot of stuff on them and start to look cluttered. I’m going to focus on clearing that so the space looks a bit cleaner. The room also seems a bit plain; there aren’t really any accessories or decorations in the room. That’s one thing I’m hoping to change that will hopefully make a big difference!

We already have all the large pieces of furniture for our room, so we won’t need to add any more furniture. Since our headboard has storage in the sides, we don’t need nightstands, which is good in some ways but bad in others. Nice, styled nightstands always look great, and having stuff on top of our headboard can look cluttered; however, we really don’t have space for nightstands, so I’m glad we don’t need them. We’re also really lucky that our bedroom in this apartment has double walk in closets; that plus our bed and dressers means that we really don’t need to add any storage to the space.

I have a few goals for this bedroom refresh, which will govern what we do with the space:

  • Make the room feel calm, personal, intentional, and finished.
  • Keep it apartment-friendly; no painting and minimize drilling holes in walls, etc.
  • Stay under $100.

Bedroom Refresh Plans

Budget Bedroom Refresh Moodboard Plans

You can see in the moodboard above a few of the things that I’ve been thinking about adding to the room. This quilt was the first thing I bought for the room, and I think it’ll be perfect for us. Because we’re both hot sleepers, a light quilt will be perfect for us for summer. For inspiration, I turned to Pinterest – see my bedroom inspiration board here! I used my Pinterest board to distill some elements that I really appreciate, like lots of plants, clean neutrals, and a bright, calm feel.

I’m really excited to add some art to the walls, because I think art is one of the best ways to make a space feel personal. I’m thinking of painting a few canvases, DIYing a wall hanging, and getting a big engineering print of a photo from our wedding. (For more on engineering prints, check out this post). I’m also considering building a picture ledge (like this one) to go along one of our walls; it would require a little bit of extra work and some filling in of holes when we move, but I think it would be totally worth it! I love how easy it is to change out the art, and it seems way easier to plan than a gallery wall.

Here are some of my specific plans for the room:

  • Clear off the dressers and headboards.
  • Refresh bedding with a quilt and new throw pillows.
  • Add some inexpensive wall art.
  • Add low-maintenance plants that grow well in indirect light.
  • Move full-length mirror out of the closet.


Here’s what I’ve planned for a rough budget. I gave myself a budget of $100 for the space, which allows us to buy a few new things but will encourage me to DIY and use décor that we already have.

  • New quilt: $40
  • New throw pillows: $30
  • Picture ledge supplies and art: $15
  • Plants: $15

I’ll use any leftover money from the budget to purchase supplies to make a wall hanging or some additional accessories.

So far, we’ve made a bit of progress on the room, and I think it’s coming along really well! I can’t wait to add some more personal touches and see how it all turns out. Check back in a few weeks to see the finished room!