Challenge: She had to spruce up her guest room for less than $200.
Could she do it? Of course she can!
Wait. Let’s back up a minute. Quick background on Rachel and how I found her. My house is for sale. I know you all are teaming with jealously over how lucky I am to be selling my house in this market. My husband has landed a job in MD, so we may have to move to Annapolis. I love my house and I love it even more because I found Rachel Halvorson when I was getting my house ready to put on the market. She tweaked some things here and there and voila: I fell more in love with my house. She works with YOUR sense of style. Be it traditional, modern or completely funky, she makes is work in a comfortable, livable way.
I wanted to show off Rachel’s talent because I honestly think she is a superstar destined for great things in the design world. If Trading Spaces were still on (is it?), they should hire her. I’ll stop gushing. I gave her this challenge: remake a guest room for $200. She rose to the occasion and I think you can see why I just adore her keen sense of style. Her blog is www.nestegg.typepad.com; it’s a fun place to check out. Her email is there if you want to contact her. Believe me, you will be thrilled that you did.
The rest of this post is Rachel’s words…enjoy!
Dressing a Bed on a Budget
Almost everyone I know has a bedroom that gets put on the back-burner. It sits patiently at the bottom of the “Things I need to re-do” list. Or there are clients that put a lot of money into the paint, draperies, and headboard but when it comes to the actual bedding they settle for some bedding-in-a-bag, matching bedroom suit that required little thought and several hundred dollars out of their pocket.
My guest bedroom is one that sits on the bottom of the list waiting for a much needed facelift (or at least some Botox)! I was determined to stick with white/neutral bedding, not spend a lot of money, step outside the box bag by mixing different brands, and see what I could come up with. After digging through TJMaxx, HomeGoods, JoAnns (seriously) and other discount stores my guest bed finally got a makeover! And the price tag? Less than $200!
Let’s back up and start from the beginning. Existing colors I have to work with:
So, let’s play dress up! When dressing your bed in white you want to avoid making it look sterile so add lots of texture, layering and shades of white. It is impossible to make a mistake when using all shades of white together. I repeat. It is impossible.
I got this idea from one of my good friends who I lived with in college. It’s such a great way to save money and still get the stylish look you want.
The key ingredient? Burlap. It’s a cheap, scrappy material but it’s great for bedskirts because you’re not putting your feet or your face on it so why not?
I got a bolt of burlap at JoAnns and then asked the lady at checkout if she by chance had any coupons. “Well, of course!“ she replied, “50% off fabrics this week!”
Lesson learned:- never hurts to ask!
Next, The Layering Effect
Sheets: I’m sticking with white sheets. Always. They are easy to find, easily laundered, easily replaced, crisp and clean.
Coverlet: This can be a linen, quilt, matelasse, chenille, etc. just make sure it adds texture against the smooth white sheets.
Duvet: I usually fold this at the bottom of my bed but it’s summer here in Nashville and I really don’t need it! So I’m not going to spend money on a duvet cover until absolutely necessary. For now I’ll put it under the quilt for added cushion.
Pillows: I’m using my own plain sleeping pillows. Don’t judge me. $0
Then, believe it or not, I made the pillows in the following picture with my own two hands. They were really easy! I got a sewing machine with my birthday money, skimmed through the instructions, and two hours later I had Euro shams…that easy. (And I’m no Einstein, or Martha!)
*If my budget was $100 I would have stopped here. It looks nice as is, right? But I splurged on pillows! I decided I needed some color. Here is where I need to pull the colors from my room into the bedding. I have blues, lime greens, yellows, (now) burlap, white…Like I said earlier, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is dressing their bed up with their “bedding in a bag” where everything matches. It looks way too programmed. Don’t be afraid to put mismatched pillows together! Have fun with it. Your bed is supposed to look relaxed, remember?
I already had some decorative pillows that I did not like so I am reusing the inserts. My search for just-the-right pillow covers ended in Pottery Barn. Look what I found…
Lastly, accessorize. Move things around your house. White bedding looks great with gold and/or silver accents. I was so happy with my bed that I moved my favorite lamps in here, a few good bedside reads and called it a day for a grand total of $190.00! And I even had some money leftover for fresh flowers.