Try these budget updates for smart bedrooms

These stunning rooms prove that gorgeousness doesn't have to be expensive. Learn how to maximise your bedroom's potential on a minimal budget...

Freshen up with flowers

Image credit: Mark Scott

Opt for lashings of fresh foliage to make the most of a nature-inspired country decorating scheme, all for a relatively low cost. A variety of cut flowers are shown here, but for gentle colour, try traditional English cottage garden favourites such as lavender, sweet pea and rose. Display cut flowers in coloured glass vases, or pot up plants in pretty containers and position in front of a mirror to multiply the floral effect.

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Similar bedding, Laura Ashley

Dress with wallpaper

Image credit: James Merrell

Trick the eye by papering a cupboard or wardrobe door with a fun, mural or wallpaper design. This fabulously creative idea requires minimal effort and time – just choose a wallpaper in line with your budget. Look for a design that emphasises the scale and height of the ceiling while providing a striking focal point. For a seamless look, it may help to replace obtrusive doorknobs or handles.

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Bookshelf Wallpaper by Young & Battaglia, Rockett St George

Stack it up

Image credit: David Giles

Use a crate as a quirky box shelf to display personal objects and trinkets. Wooden crates don’t have to be expensive and even less than perfect ones are easy to make pretty and practical. You don’t even need to fix to a wall, just stack a couple up for the ultimate budget storage unit. If you like, give yours an instant update with a set of stencils, a tester pot of paint, a stencil brush and a steady hand.

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Similar wooden crates, Etsy

Go soft on storage

Image credit: Simon Bevan

Choose a corner and use it to create a budget wardrobe and dressing area. Take a cue from clothing boutiques and opt for a walk-in arrangement made from a hanging rail and curtains – a casual, purse-friendly alternative to a wooden wardrobe. Choose sheer curtains in a single-tone pattern and hang from a slender track. Bring in a floor-standing clothes rail to store all those pretty dresses and snazzy suits.

Step up

Image credit: David Giles

Maximise your storage potential with attractive ladder shelving. No need for nails or screws, simply position your freestanding ladder up against a bare wall. Although trendy, you can still buy storage ladders for a reasonable price – and they will tend to be less expensive than a floor-standing shelving unit or storage cupboard. What’s more, they can be moved from room to room, making them wonderfully versatile and adaptable.

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Similar shelf, Rustic wooden ladder shelf, Cox & Cox 

Create an adaptable display

Image credit: David Woolley

Look for frame-less ways to display photographs, postcards and pictures. The impressive ampersand on this mantelpiece makes the perfect perch for mementos and prints. Artfully stagger your images for a cool and contemporary look that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The images are easy to switch around without spending a small fortune on art, mounts and frames.

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Similar letter, Etsy

Reinvent unused objects

Image credit: Polly Eltes

Turn a wooden box into a nifty bedside table. Paint the inside the same colour as your walls for a co-ordinated look, or leave as nature intended for a rustic vibe. Introduce colour with accessories to lift the scheme. Keep an eye on your recycling for glass bottles in pretty shapes and designs, soak in hot water and remove any sticky labels, then give them a whole new life as mini flower or bud vases.

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Similar desk lamp, Minisun LED desk lamp, Wayfair

Re-cover a headboard

Image credit: Katie Lee

Revamp an old headboard with a fun, photo-motif fabric. Choose a modern design unusual enough to take pride of place in a minimal bedroom. Because you’re only covering a headboard, the outlay for fabric shouldn’t be big. Paint walls white to let the fabric print stand out and lift the look with a touch of lime using two citrus cushions and curtains. Dress the bed with plain linen to continue the white scheme.

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Similar cushions, Soft Velour Cushion in Honey and Grey, Next

Roll with pattern

Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

Try an alternative to expensive decorative wallpaper. Paint a wall lavender for a pretty backdrop. Take a decorative roller with a raised leaf or floral pattern, roll in a contrasting paint shade and apply the pattern up and down the wall. Don’t worry about being exact – any imperfections will add to the hand-rolled charm. Fit long-lasting tongue-and-groove for a practical shelf that oozes country style.

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Stencil, Tussock patterned paint roller, Etsy

Go vintage

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Turn your room into a pretty post-war pad. Create a romantic vintage look by mixing fabulous furniture finds. Echo an antique rose-upholstered chair with country floral bed linen and continue the period character with exquisite pieces, such as a quilt and vintage mannequin stand. Finish with a display of pretty frames above the bed.

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Similar soft furnishings, Cath Kidston

Limit pattern to bedding

Image credit: Colin Poole

Assign a decorative role to bed clothes rather than walls in an awkwardly shaped room and you’ll save money on tricky decorating. Let attractive sheets and stylish bed linen be the instruments of pattern, colour and texture. Keep the palette narrow and the prints controlled so it’s easy to mix and match across furniture without confusing the eye.

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Similar pillowcases, Love Pillowcase Set, Etsy

Embrace Scandi style

Image credit: Colin Poole

Get into the Nordic way of life with relaxed, uncomplicated style. Keep the walls mostly bare with an all-white scheme for a fresh and uplifting backdrop. You only need a few pieces of mismatched furniture to continue this simple scheme. Then add character with colourful fabrics, easy artwork, a fun garland that steals the show and warming velvet curtains.

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Cushion, Fox Cushion by Donna Wilson, Trouva

Fall in love with fabric

Image credit: David Brittain

Make the most of high ceilings with draped fabric. Go for a panel rather than a rouched curtain and save pounds. Turn a large bedroom into a cosy retreat with a DIY canopy that makes a delightful focal point. Bring in a decorative side table and yellow lamp for a modern twist on traditional country features such as grainy oak beams and a traditional timber bed frame. Layer the bed with pretty yellow linen and cushions in a tasteful mix of patterns that continue the same low-key charm.

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Similar bedside table, Yellow Chevron Bone Inlay bedside table, Graham and Green

Make it Mid West country

Image credit: Malcolm Menzies

Add depth to a plain room with faux texture. Hang a wood panel-effect wallpaper and team with rich green to create a characterful country scheme with masculine style. Further emphasise the rustic with a simple wooden stool at the foot of the bed and a wishbone chair set in a corner. Give the room a boyish vibe by mounting a graphic canvas above the bed.

Change key pieces

Image credit: Ollie Gordon

Get the monochrome look for less with just a few subtle changes. Start with an all-white backdrop and paper one wall with a budget wallpaper that really stands out. Keep bed linen simple, but add texture with a faux fur striped throw. Repurpose modern plastic stools as side tables and finish the look with metallic cushions for a little understated glamour.

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Wallpaper, Frames wallpaper, Wallpaper Direct

Will you be incorporating any of these smart bedroom ideas into your scheme?

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