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10 ways to renovate a bedroom on a budget

From government grants for buying furniture to money-saving hacks that could save thousands of pounds, here's how to makeover a bedroom on the cheap.

Guest Author
Words by: Matilda Battersby


Ready for a bedroom refresh but need to do it as cheaply as possible?

There is government support available to help with buying new furniture for those who qualify.

Meanwhile, experts are on hand to share the best ways to create a brand new look without breaking the bank.

Let's get renovating.

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Government grants for furniture replacement

First things first, many of us are feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

If you’re on benefits, you may be eligible to apply for a grant to help you re-furnish your bedroom.

The government can help with purchasing the most necessary furniture, such as a bed, if it’s not possible to cover the cost of this yourself.

“Apply for a voucher through the Government Household Support fund,” says Ollie Gray, business development director of UK funds administrator Charis

“The government Household Support funds are not just for energy bills. There is financial support available for those who need it in other areas. 

“This help includes replacing old, outdated and worn out furniture that can be dangerous, especially to little kids.”

The process is quick and simple. Approach your local council or your Citizens Advice Bureau, who will fill in an eligibility form online with you through the Charis Shop platform. 

If you meet the criteria, you will receive a voucher within a few minutes, usually in the form of a text message or email. 

This voucher can be redeemed with participating retailers, such as Ikea or Argos. 

Alternatively, you can request a wardrobe, bed, chests of drawers or sofas and they will be delivered to you directly.  

A mother and her son painting a wall blue at their home

Now, it's over to the renovation experts for their top 10 ways to achieve a brand new bedroom on a shoestring budget.

1. A fresh coat of paint

Nothing is more transformative for any room than a fresh coat of paint. 

And in terms of cost per sqm, it’s the cheapest possible way to give your bedroom a brand new, clean feel.

Doing it yourself will save hundreds of pounds.

And if you’re after some top tips, professional decorator Myak Homberger shares his advice on getting the perfect look and finish in How to paint your home like a pro.

2. Upcycle ‘brown’ furniture

Find good quality pieces of furniture that aren’t the right shade for your room. Then, spend time transforming them into items you’ll keep forever.

“Brown wooden furniture is often really well made but not as popular these days, so you can snap up some great bargains,” says Amy Walden, holistic interiors expert & founder of Thrive By Design.

“Source vintage or second-hand finds. Try charity shops that specialise in furniture, or house clearance and antique sales. If you're feeling brave, go to auction houses.

“Use paint to give them a refresh and change the colour to suit your scheme.”

3. Invest in new bed linen

“One simple and cost-effective way to create a whole new look and feel for your bedroom is some beautiful new bed linen,” says Beth Lewin, Design Studio Manager at Portfolio Home.

“The bed is the focal point of any bedroom. So simply refreshing and restyling with a new duvet cover and pillowcases helps to make a statement look.

“It can transform the interior décor without having to splash a lot of cash.”

A new duvet cover will set you back anywhere from £30 to £300, depending on the fabric and quality - and it’s always worth waiting for the sales.

Bag some throw pillows and sumptuous bedspreads to up the wow-factor.

4. Hack built-in wardrobes 

Built-in wardrobes are the dream storage solution for many of us. But they represent a big financial investment, as craftsmanship like this can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

“A great hack is to buy IKEA’s PAX wardrobe system and FORSAND doors, then to build them on a frame for some elevation,” says Tom Revill, co-founder of Plank Hardware.

“By adding skirting to the bottom, framing to the sides and an architrave to the top, the end result is one of a built-in, boutique hotel standard wardrobe.

“You can then add super-sized handles in brass or matte black.” 

5. Replace wardrobe doors

Alternatively, if you’ve got an existing freestanding or fitted wardrobe, then giving it a facelift can perk up your boudoir no end.

“Give a new look to tired wardrobes by replacing the doors or painting them using chalk paint,” says Beth Lewin, Design Studio Manager at Portfolio Home.

Chalk paint comes in a variety of attractive colours from white to warm rustic shades, duck eggs and petrol blues. We’re not talking the standard blackboard stuff here.

“It's easy to use and there is no need to sand anything first,” says Beth.

6. Create a custom headboard

It’s not just the bedlinen that can be refreshed for maximum impact.

Why not look into creating a custom headboard for your existing bed? If you’re DIY-ing it, you can get a luxury feel for just the cost of the materials and tool hire.

“Headboards are created by cutting a piece of MDF to a desired shape,” says Tom Revill, co-founder of Plank Hardware.

“Think curved arches, scalloped edges or classic right-angles, then cover the surface in wadding.

“Lastly, place fabric across the front, wrap around the edges and secure to the back using a staple gun.”

7. Invest in a large rug

Is your bedroom floor less than inspiring? A plush rug can make it feel more luxurious without having to fork out for fitted carpets or other fancy permanent flooring.

“Hide a worn carpet or any blemishes in your flooring with a large rug,” says Adrian Yearwood, director at Love Discount Vouchers.

“They’re also an effective way to make the room feel larger while keeping it cosy.

Better still, you can move the rug around whenever you fancy a change.

8. Combine furniture usage

Pushed for space? If you work at home in your bedroom, you can do it in style if your dressing table doubles as your desk.

“Incorporating the two into one saves space and money,” says Nicola Rodriguez, also known as Essex House Dolly.

The furnishing world has already picked up on this need and dressing table desks can be picked up for under £100, like this one from Vonhaus.

9. Customise your own mirror

Beautiful big mirrors make a bedroom, but they don’t come cheap.

Dan Matthews, a designer who is charting his home renovation on Instagram at @a.modest.semi, made his own bobbin mirror for a fraction of the market price.

“I saw my dream bobbin mirror on sale for £495, which is way out of budget,” says Dan.

“Instead, I bought a huge ugly mirror for £10 from Facebook marketplace, replaced the frame, glued wooden beads on then varnished it. 

“The whole thing came to £55.”

See the result of this hack in action here.

10. Print your own designs

If you love strong patterns and colour - without the hefty price tags that come with - then why not make your own curtains, cushions and duvet cover designs?

“You can get plain cotton curtains, cushions and duvet covers fairly cheaply and dye them using Dylon fabric dye,” says Beth Lewin, Design Studio Manager at Portfolio Home.

“Use fabric paints to create your own stencils, potato block prints to add colour - or just go wild and create a freehand mural effect.”

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