Don't discount Rachel because she looks like she could be in highschool!  She is well accomplised with a nice portfolio of work and a design degree form GA.

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:

The walls are a neutral khaki as well as the rug. And let’s not forget: a queen size bed.

Dark teal curtains…I was determined to make them work!

And a landscape painting by Laura Roebuck-

And a landscape painting by Laura Roebuck- 

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.

The Bedskirt….. a wopping $27.00!

The Bedskirt….. a whopping $27.00!

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!

Stuff it under the mattress as far as you can reach!

Stuff it under the mattress as far as you can reach!

Here’s how you do it:  I have my bed on bed stands because I like the drama of the long, ruffled bedskirt. Plus it gives you a lot more room to store things underneath your bed. (You can use cinder blocks) I used about 18 yards of burlap for a queen bed. I like mine to have extra folds and not look too skimpy. Add up 3 sides of the bed and then multiply that number by 2 (since you’re adding lots of folds!)=That’s how many yards of fabric you will need.  I ran it long ways because I want to stuff at least half of the 36” wide fabric under your mattress. The more under your mattress the better! (You can also stitch the fabric onto an existing bedskirt or the boxspring for added support.)

Here’s how you do it: I have my bed on bed stands because I like the drama of the long, ruffled bedskirt. Plus it gives you a lot more room to store things underneath your bed. (You can use cinder blocks) I used about 18 yards of burlap for a queen bed. I like mine to have extra folds and not look too skimpy. Add up 3 sides of the bed and then multiply that number by 2 (since you’re adding lots of folds!)=That’s how many yards of fabric you will need. I ran it long ways because I want to stuff at least half of the 36” wide fabric under your mattress. The more under your mattress the better! (You can also stitch the fabric onto an existing bedskirt or the boxspring for added support.)

Then come back later and tidy up the folds… (and watch out for your cat who will think you’re playing a really fun game with new, barnyard fabric!)

Then come back later and tidy up the folds… (and watch out for your cat who will think you’re playing a really fun game with new, barnyard fabric!)

Voila!  A $28 bedskirt (plus some scuffed up elbows!)

Voila! A $28 bedskirt (plus some scuffed up elbows!)

I am going to use my existing fitted sheet (nothing special) and for something fun I found this William Sonoma Home top sheet (originally $150) at TJMaxx for $29.00!

I am going to use my existing fitted sheet (nothing special) and for something fun I found this William Sonoma Home top sheet (originally $150) at TJMaxx for $29.00!

For this bed I scored once again at TJ!  A quilted white coverlet (with matching shams) on clearance for $50.00.

For this bed I scored once again at TJ! A quilted white coverlet (with matching shams) on clearance for $50.00.

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!)

I picked out a burlap/linen material that was the same color but a little bit softer than the bedskirt for the front of these pillows. The cheap burlap is on the back… There is no need so spend a lot on pillows that you throw on the ground every night and cover up with better pillows during the day. $12.00 for 2 yards of softer fabric, $3 for 2 yards of burlap. You can either have these made or make them yourself!... $15.00 total

I picked out a burlap/linen material that was the same color but a little bit softer than the bedskirt for the front of these pillows. The cheap burlap is on the back… There is no need so spend a lot on pillows that you throw on the ground every night and cover up with better pillows during the day. $12.00 for 2 yards of softer fabric, $3 for 2 yards of burlap. You can either have these made or make them yourself!… $15.00 total

*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…

               Matching Standard Shams that came with the coverlet set… $0

Matching Standard Shams that came with the coverlet set… $0

 1 white with woven trim… $27.00

1 white with woven trim… $27.00

1 teal, silk pillow to tie in the teal from the draperies, new sheets and painting. It also ties in the quilted texture from the coverlet but yet adds a whole new texture to the bed!...$39.00

1 teal, silk pillow to tie in the teal from the draperies, new sheets and painting. It also ties in the quilted texture from the coverlet but yet adds a whole new texture to the bed!…$39.00

And a final pop of lime green!... on sale for $18.00

And a final pop of lime green!… on sale for $18.00

The finished look.

The finished look.

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.

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