I love modern glam style, but it usually comes with a hefty price tag. If you’re looking for ways to update your decor on a budget, read my story for ideas on turning any space into a glamorous retreat!
How colour can transform a space from drab to fab!
When I moved into my new place the second floor was a disaster. Out of 4 bedrooms, only one was painted white (albeit old and in need of a refresh), and the rest in wild colours like fluorescent green, dark olive green (for the smallest AND darkest room! yikes!), and bright yellow. I ended up doing a major overhaul with the upstairs. I repainted all of the rooms and updated the doors and trim with a fresh coat of white paint.
Boy’s Bedroom: dark and gloomy turned bright and fun
For this bedroom I chose Behr “Pale Cornflower”, which is a really pale blue with a hint of grey & violet, and swapped out those mustard curtains for a modern grey. I decked out the rest of the room with kid friendly features, like LEGO posters and a DIY airplanes mobile.
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The opposite wall features a desk with multiple drawers for storage and a shelf for books and toys.
The master bedroom was originally painted in a sunny yellow, which is a nice colour for an office or playroom, but I found it way too vigorous for a bedroom. To make it a relaxing space I painted the walls a pale sky blue and paired with grey curtains.
Scroll down to see my painting tips
Style in the Details
My decor goal was to create a modern glamorous bedroom, while staying on budget. I achieved this with a few accessories, like mirrors, which bounce light and make the room appear larger. I also swapped out the boring ceiling spot lights for a beautiful Lucite acrylic chandelier from Wayfair. My choice of drapery hardware echoes those acrylic details.
I prefer light coloured spaces, but like adding contrast, so I gave my espresso wood dressers a face lift with new sparkly knobs. Swapping for glamorous crystal hardware is an easy and budget friendly decor solution.
Saving Tip: You can find crystal knobs at your local Home Depot, but I purchased mine on eBay at a fraction of the retail cost. When buying on eBay, make sure the description states: glass. Otherwise you might end up with plastic, which isn’t as shiny or as attractive. Doesn’t hurt to double check with the seller.
This room is still a work in progress, as I am missing bedside tables (two wooden chairs currently working the temp job), and the king size bed is a project in queue (stay tuned to learn more!).
click on pictures to see full size
The paint colour in this room is Behr’s “Permafrost”. It is an ultra light sky blue. Absolutely beautiful and works almost as a neutral, as it pairs perfectly with other colours like turquoise, pink, grey, violet, or brown. In the next photo you can see a sneak peek into the master bath, where the same wall colour continues.
This master bath was hideously painted in an ultra dark maroon, almost brown colour, in bizarre patterns with unfinished parts. It was in desperate need of a make-over.
This room was completely transformed with nothing but a lick of paint! Great example of how to get glamorous decor on a budget!
Bathroom: washed out builder paint gets an uplift with a fresh coat
The other bathroom on the second floor wasn’t as dreary, but the paint job was original to the builder, who used watered down paint in an off-white colour, resulting in walls that are dull and stain easily. My simple solution was to repaint in that same light blue, which immediately made the room feel fresh.
I did a deep cleaning of the wood cabinets, as they were filthy (even visible in the “before” photos!), and updated the hardware for those pretty crystal knobs. I also swapped out the dark shower curtain for a white one, instantly adding extra light to the room.
Fantastic results with cheap and easy solutions: change of wall colour (about $15 for 1/3 gallon of paint) + new cabinet knobs ($6) and shower curtain ($10) for a whopping $30 cost! 😉
The only real issue here was the bathtub silicone, which was beyond fixing. I ended up removing the old silicone and reapplying new. The results are well worth the extra effort!
The rest of the house was painted in a nice light peach colour, so I was able to work with that. I still freshened up the doors and trim though. Strangely, the laundry and powder room were left in their original contractor painted state. Again that same washed out, dull paint job. On top of that, the vanity was a cheap one made from particle board and falling apart, AND the faucet was leaking. So I did a complete overhaul of the powder room!
The wall colour I used is Behr “Pale Cornflower”. I bought the grey solid wood Hemnes series vanity from IKEA. along with a sleek new faucet. The drawers came with black hardware that I changed for brushed gold knobs bought at Home Depot. The gold bamboo mirror frame is a custom budget friendly DIY that I made to match this glamorous bathroom’s decor. Stay tuned to see how I made it!
- Latex wall paint (I prefer one that has primer mixed into it) in your choice of colour and sheen. I used Behr Ultra in Eggshell for all my rooms. For a rundown on paint sheen, check out this guide.
- Trim paint (if you’re doing that) in 2 sheens higher than your walls. I use semi-gloss in pure white.
- Painting tray
- Low pile paint roller
- Roller cage and extension pole
- 2.5″ flat brush for details and ceiling contour
- Painter’s tape (I like the ScotchBlue Delicate from Home Depot)
- Tarp or plastic sheets to protect the floor and furniture
- Remove any decorative elements from the room. The emptier the room is, the easier it is to work. Move any remaining furniture into the room center and cover with plastic sheets to protect from paint splatters. (Trust me, you WILL have splatters!)
- If you’re painting trim and doors, do those first. To avoid painting the floor, tape off just under the base boards.
- Use protective sheets under your feet and the general area where you’re painting. There’s no need to cover the entire floor – you can move your sheets as you’re moving across the wall.
- Be sure to mix your paint well! Usually when you buy paint, the hardware store includes wood sticks for stirring. Use them!
- Once your trim is completely dry (next day to be safe!), tape off around the edges, where you need to make a clean line with wall paint.
- I found it easier to outline the ceiling before painting the walls. Use the brush for that with some paint in a small plastic container. A clean yogurt jar works perfectly, or even just a plastic cup.
- When doing large flat surfaces, like walls, pour your paint into the painting tray and let the roller take on a generous amount of paint, but not so that it’s dripping. Roll in vertical direction from ceiling to floor, feathering out the edges, especially where you’re overlapping paint.
- Most rooms need 2 coats of paint, but if you’re covering a really dark wall with a really light colour, it might take 3 coats.
- While working with the same paint colour, you don’t need to wash your brush and rollers. If you need to take a break from painting, or if you’re using the roller and the brush is just sitting there lonely, wrap it tightly in a plastic bag. This will prevent the paint from drying and you can go back to using it later – even the next day!
- Once you need to change colours, you should wash your brushes and rollers very thoroughly, and let them dry before use.