Simple ways to improve your bedroom's appearance

It's easy to overlook the bedroom when considering ways to spruce up your home. You spend quite a few hours there each day, of course, but you're probably not too concerned with the room's appearance while you're unconscious. When you're entertaining guests, your visitors are unlikely to even see the room unless you're directing them to pile their coats on the bed.

It's possible to give your bedroom a new look at relatively little cost, however. By buying a few more items or rearranging some furniture, you can achieve results immediately.

One of the first steps to take is to clean out the room as much as possible. Throw away or donate any old or unused furniture, clothing, and other materials. Mary Cockrill, writing for SFGate, says decorative items should be reduced to the items that will have the greatest effect on the room's look. Benjamin Roussey, writing for the home improvement site RedBeacon, says cleaning will also make a smaller bedroom look larger.

Seasonal clothes can be packed away and stored out of sight. Arrange your closet so it can be better used as a storage space. If necessary, you can use double hangers, cubicles, additional shelves, and other storage mechanisms to give you more room.

Some of the clutter is likely to settle on the nightstand. Christine Tusher, writing for the home design site Houzz, says the nightstand should have drawers so that the items stored on the top surface can be kept at a minimum. For smaller spaces, bedside shelves can be substituted to keep the room from looking too crowded.

The nightstand can be further enhanced by choosing a nice arrangement of materials to go on top of it. Tusher says these should be kept at a minimum, putting items such as flowers or an ornate clock on display. It might also be time to look for a new table lamp. Search for one that has a pleasing design, a height that is proper for your nightstand, and an adequate light level to do some reading before you turn in.

Mirrors are an easy way to enhance the room. Roussey says a mirror is another way to visually expand the size of the bedroom, particularly if you place a larger one opposite the window. A set of smaller mirrors can also create an interesting visual element. Tusher says you should be careful in placing the mirrors to make sure they reflect a part of the room you find particularly pleasing.

Roussey says the room should have a focal point, drawing your gaze to a particularly interesting piece such as a beautiful piece of furniture or artwork. Cockrill says the bed will probably be the focal point in most bedrooms, however, so you can look to improve its appearance as well. She recommends a unique headboard, new bedding, and a decorative bed skirt as some options to dress up this central feature. Make sure the sheets aren't left in a haphazard condition after you wake up and you'll come home to a neat bedspread.

Throw pillows are an easy way to decorate the bed, but don't go so far that you have to excavate a pile of plush just to go to sleep each night. Tusher suggests trying out a combination of a few different styles so you'll have an interesting visual mix.

Creativity can also come in handy when placing a rug. Tusher says a rug will be most functional around a bed, where it will provide a nice soft surface when you climb out of bed. You can experiment with the orientation of the rug to see which layout appeals to you, or you can create a mixture of smaller area rugs.

A new coat of paint can always do wonders. Cockrill says you can go for a certain mood when choosing a color, such as blue for a peaceful atmosphere and green for a natural one. Roussey suggests using a light or pastel color to improve the room's depth.

If you have space, a small chair that matches your color scheme can be another useful and visually pleasing element. For small bedrooms, however, it's better to keep furniture to a minimum. Roussey says you can also look for multifunctional pieces, such as ottomans that will also open up for storage space.

For larger renovations, Roussey suggests that installing more windows will allow more sunlight into the bedroom and brighten up its appearance. This project will be much more expensive, however, and you'll have to make sure you won't be compromising any load-bearing walls by creating additional windows.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can accomplish a new look with a number of smaller steps as well. Cockrill says these can include replacing drawer handles, getting new window treatments, or bringing in a new painting.

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