If you've been wondering 'how can I make my bedroom look expensive?' You are not alone. Before you invest in designer décor, think critically, because spending a small fortune on furniture does not always guarantee a bold, beautiful and bodacious look.
Bedroom transformations don’t always have to be grand or expensive affairs. Instead, they can be slowly curated through minimal updates that don’t break the bank but leave your space feeling luxurious. All your bedroom needs are a few thoughtful details to give it that five-star status that you have always desired.
Here, some of our favorite interior designers offer their bedroom ideas on a budget, advice and expertise on making a bedroom look expensive.
How can I make my bedroom look expensive?
From clever tricks to make a bedroom look stylish with mirrors and paint to wonderful ways with layering and art, our designers' beautiful but economical decorating ideas will help you decorate a bedroom a budget to create a luxury look for less.
1. Welcome layering into your bedroom
The bedroom of the 2020s is all about beautiful layering – whether that’s tonal variations of color on different surfaces, a mix of patterns that playfully explore a particular palette or a dynamic blend of textures. Two or three variations of each is enough to develop a richly pleasing space that is the last thing you see at night and the first thing the next day.
Interior designer Katharine Paravicini is adept at adding small points of visual interest to her schemes: ‘Interest and lots of subtle detailing are brought to the room with the use of trims on the curtains and also on upholstery. And we bring in other textures such as reeded bedside tables, brass wall lights, ceramic lamps or a rattan ceiling light.
In this serene scheme, expertly crafted by Neptune, layers and layers of sumptuous linens and cushions give this space a five-star feel with minimal effort and expense.
Picking out the best pillows for your bed is vitally important – our edit for buys that won't just look smart but will ensure you sleep better, too.
2. Introduce art
For many years, the easiest way to access art was to buy prints or limited editions. Thanks to social media – and, in particular Instagram, which connects artists and clients without a gallery middleman – the market has exploded with opportunities. Works can start from as little as $100.
Starting with an artwork is almost like cheating a little bit because it provides you with an instant focus point and gives you an immediate palette. And it’s not always about finding the next Rothko or Hockney, it’s about discovering a piece of art that you love and will cherish for years to come.
You can always use art to dictate your bedroom color ideas. A favorite bedroom art idea is a classic starting point for a bedroom scheme. Make this your color cue – experiment with the colors used, select two or three, then take it from there.
It is simply outstanding what just one piece of artwork can do to lift a bedroom. Here, the finished result is a true feast for the senses.
3. Supersize your headboard
Headboard ideas can totally transform a bedroom – but there's much more to them than simply placing a padded board behind your bed's head.
Grand, super-sized headboard ideas have been a thing for a while now but the style is evolving. Colorful matt patterns have replaced glossy monotonal textures and shapes have become more complex. The rectangle has been superseded by curves and free-form asymmetrical pieces that are almost pieces of art in their own right.
Alternatively, if fancy a weekend DIY project, then why not craft your own design? Here, interior designer and Sascal Studio founder Sarah Stemp put her stamp on this headboard by applying gentle brushstrokes.
‘We saved a lot of money by making the headboard fabric ourselves,’ she explains. ‘We sourced canvas fabric from eBay and then used sample pots of green paint to create the pattern.'
4. Clash patterns
Pattern is an easy – and fun – way to add an instant look of luxury in the bedroom. 'I like mixing and matching patterns – I call it happy clashing,' says interior designer Sophie Ashby.
'There are no rules, but much like an art collection, where you might have a sculpture, a photograph, a painting and a sketch, I like having a floral with a stripe and maybe an abstract and something vintage,' she adds. 'Usually pattern works best in touches, not as the main event. I tend to go for plain fabrics on big expanses of furniture like bed frames, just because it can be too busy otherwise.'
And don't be afraid to mix and match styles – this will only add to their playful aesthetic. 'Try and team opposites,' she says. 'If you’re going to have a large-scale floral, then don’t use another large-scale floral. Instead, try a tiny-scale floral or, even better, a little geometric.'
5. Wow with wallpaper
Bedroom wallpaper is such an easy route to an instant effect – every room has more wall than anything else. A stunning paper or mural can change a room from blah to beautiful, and it need not cost the Earth.
In the bedroom a feature wall is a great place to start, especially if you’re nervous about using a lot of wallpaper due to cost. Maximalist or minimalist, there is a wallpaper design to suit everyone’s taste. Wallpaper is a brilliant way to add interest to your home and help distinguish areas, giving them purpose and personality, while belonging to an overall scheme.
‘A mural is a powerful tool for the adventurous,’ says Andy Greenall, head of design at Little Greene. Many mural designs are now available as wallpapers, making the look quick, easy and affordable to achieve if you know how to wallpaper. ‘Three drops of paper that create a whole panel gives an instant uplift,’ says Andy. Try painting the surrounding walls in a complementary color taken from the mural.
Alternatively, removable wall stickers, decals and art painted directly onto a wall also make a statement. Once a flexible alternative to children's bedroom wallpaper, recent design advances make them ideal for grown-up schemes too.
6. Highlight ceilings
Using the bedroom ceiling, the 'fifth wall', as a decorative surface can bring immediate drama to a room, and it is a surprisingly simple way to make a bedroom look expensive.
'Ceiling ideas are a great way of adding another layer of interest and making a bedroom feel cozier. All too often they are an afterthought but we make sure to consider their potential,’ confides interior designer Nicola Harding.
Interior designer Elnaz Namaki recommends taking the time to give a bedroom’s ceiling proper consideration, as a completely separate surface rather than an afterthought.
‘Start with thinking about the color, texture, reflection and finish already in the space. It is also worth noting how you want the bedroom to feel, ultimately, and also take into consideration the amount of natural light, too.'
An interesting ceiling is also great for overcrowded bedroom's with limited floor space. Here, this ceiling wallpaper idea draws the eye upwards.
7. Give existing furniture a paint refresh
Paint is the perfect way to transform a space easily, adding personality and character, says Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene. ‘Bold, vivid tones work well in bedrooms made for children and teens. A pop of color is a great way to add impact and an element of surprise to a scheme. Bold colors are also great for spaces with lots of light and can be used in bigger proportions without being “too much”.’
Using colored furniture makes it easier to change up an otherwise neutral space. This works particularly well for bedrooms where children may grow out of, or get tired of, particular colors and pieces. Sydney-based interior designer Tamsin Johnson developed this consciously sophisticated scheme with a rich green bookcase taking center stage.
‘This bedroom belongs to a young girl and we wanted to create something calm and feminine but also something that she can grow into,’ explains Tamsin. ‘The green antique bookcase with soft yellow highlights anchors the room while the soft mauve linen bedding provides a tranquil element.'
8. Swap in statement lampshades
A colorful shade is an easy way to breathe life into a bedroom – and make it look expensive on a low budget. 'Look for designs that are artworks in themselves – and will lift the atmosphere – and create a focal point,' says Emily Pinsent, director, Montes & Clark.
Lauren Quelch-Woolls, lighting product developer at Soho Home suggests to: ‘Pay attention to the edges: neat taped edges or trim details instantly look more considered than a plain drum. Also, look at the frame. Too often it is coated or even plastic – brass has much more substance. At Soho Home we tend to opt for off-white and natural-toned shades, which allow the light to diffuse nicely. We love linen and silk mixes with a bit of texture.’
However, Anna Cross, home buying manager at Habitat has a go big and bold approach: ‘Maximalists should opt for a statement shade. Designs with a perforated mesh cast atmospheric light and make a great centerpiece even when unlit. For a relaxed aesthetic, try rattan for an ultra-modern yet natural look; these shades work in urban and rural interiors, bestowing a warm glow.’
9. Add impact with rugs
'People always ask what you should start with when decorating a room on a budget, and I always say a bedroom rug,' says interior designer Penny Morrison. 'Since rugs are the hardest thing to find matches for, if you start with the rug and work from that then you’ve got your match before you begin,' she says.
'Creating a simple bedroom scheme and then having a big colored or patterned rug can make a room – nothing pulls a room together quite like a rug does,' she continues. 'When placing a rug, you want it to be at least halfway underneath the key furniture in the room.'
'My favorite way to add impact with a rug – and this depends on the size of the room – is to go as large as possible, and to extend to about two feet out from the walls.'
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Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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