Budget bedroom ideas that are smart and oh-so simple

Reinvent the room with these budget bedroom ideas that offer style on a shoestring

pale green bedroom with wallpaper and chest of drawers
(Image credit: Future PLC / Simon Whitmore)

Easy ways of cutting costs at home are a hot topic right now, with money-saving tips and tricks and speedy style updates on everyone’s radar. When it comes to budget bedroom ideas, there are plenty of ways to achieve style on a shoestring if you’re creative with your bedroom ideas

Paint is the easiest option when it comes to budget bedroom ideas. There are endless ways of transforming a tired bedroom with a fresh lick of paint, whether it’s a new wall colour, sprucing up shabby furniture or trying a decorative paint effect or neat upcycling idea. 

Savvy bedroom storage ideas are another option that are easily achieved with clever hacks and quick fixes that can improve bedroom decor no end.

Budget bedroom ideas

Style doesn't need to come with a price tag, a little inspiration, some savvy buys or reusing what you already have in the house can be all you need to give your bedroom an overhaul. We've rounded up some of our best budget bedroom ideas to get the creative juices flowing. 

1. Revamp dreary bedroom furniture

pale green bedroom with wallpaper and chest of drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

Standard white furniture is a great budget option for any bedroom, but can sometimes look a little TOO plain. Give a basic white chest of drawers an upgrade using wallpaper to transform the drawer fronts. Opt for a small-scale pattern that’s easily lined up or an assortment of designs to create a more colourful patchwork effect. 

Cut wallpaper to fit flush to the edges of each drawer front and stick using wallpaper paste or grab-adhesive. Go over the top with clear varnish to seal the wallpaper from scratches. Then finish off with new drawer pulls to complete the look.

2. Display pictures on ledges

two tone orange bedroom with picture display

(Image credit: Future PLC / Simon Whitmore)

Create an easy-change picture gallery to go above the bed as fun bedroom wall decor. Using narrow picture ledges means that any artwork you opt for can be switched or rearranged any time you fancy a new look - unlike pictures that are secured to the wall. 

Opt for four or five ledges, arranged at staggered heights so you can style them with an assortment of different-sized pictures and small decorative items. Try to include one or two larger pictures in your display to give the arrangement balance. For a fun look, consider ombre-effect painted walls in two toning colours, painting the picture ledges to match.

3. Paint a canopy above the bed

painted bed canopy in chocolate brown and cream

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

Make your bed the focal point of the bedroom with a painted canopy that wraps the area in colour for a cosy, cocooning effect. Go for warm, velvety shades of coffee, cream and chocolate to create a plush look that is perfect for colder months. Opt for a paler shade for your main wall colour, with a darker complimentary shade for the canopy to decorate above the bed.

Decide how far you want the canopy to extend onto the ceiling first. Try a shallow canopy like this one for ease or continue the painted area to extend over the whole length of the bed for extra impact. To achieve straight lines on wall and ceiling, mark the area to be painted with pencil, then use decorator’s tape to mask out the area for painting.

4 . Save space with a boxy bedside shelf

pink bedroom with bed and bedside box shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC / Simon Whitmore)

If bedroom space is tight, opt for wall-hung bedside storage rather than bulky bedside tables. Bedroom shelf ideas and wall-mounted storage is neat and compact (with no legs to get in the way) and helps create the illusion of extra space, by having the floor area underneath on show. 

Neat box-style shelving is inexpensive to buy or simple to put together yourself and will give shelf space inside for books and essentials, plus room for a few extras on top. As an additional space-saver, opt for wall-mounted lights instead of bedside lamps to free-up extra surface space.

5. Revamp a dressing table with a standout colour

neutral bedroom with green painted dressing table

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Give a shabby piece of furniture a new lease of life by repainting it a jazzy new colour, adding sparkly drawer pulls and a luxe new mirror. Opt for an old dressing table or wooden desk that you already own, or pick one up cheaply at a local charity shop, Freecycle, or on eBay.

Start off by cleaning your furniture first, removing handles and then lightly sanding to get rid of rough edges and any flaky paint. Depending on which paint you opt for, the surface of your furniture may need priming first to give it a longer lasting finish. Or consider using chalk paint, which will require minimal prep time for a super-speedy update. 

Once you’ve prepped and decided on your top coat and colour, use a brush or small roller and apply paint to your furniture. Give one or two coats, as necessary, and allow to dry completely before adding new handles. 

6. Try a faux ‘pearl’ effect paint finish

grey bedroom with black and white painted chest of drawers

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Upcycle bedroom furniture with paint to turn it into a glam showstopper piece that will be the focal point of the room. Perfect for a tatty chest of drawers, cabinet or even a wardrobe, this clever stencilled paint effect creates the look of inlaid pearl using white paint on a dark background. 

To save on prep, consider using chalk paint which is self-levelling and gives excellent coverage without the need for priming furniture first. Decide on your dark base colour to start with - black, grey or navy shades will create contrast that will make the ‘pearl’ effect stand out better. Then give your furniture one or two coats and once dry, use a stencil and white paint to create the overlaid effect. Seal with Pearlescent Glaze to add extra shimmer and shine.

7. Combine storage and display with a chic peg rail

blue painted panelled bedroom with peg rail

(Image credit: Future PLC / Tim Young)

Extra storage is always welcome in a bedroom, and especially so with small bedroom ideas. This clever peg rail storage looks super stylish running the entire width of the room or could be easily downsized to just a smaller section and will provide hanging space for essentials, as well as a display area for more decorative pieces. 

Position your peg rail just above ceiling level at picture-rail height so that items are easily reached but without getting in the way. Opt for a natural wood rail against dark-painted walls to provide visual interest, or consider painting the peg rail to match the wall colour so that it blends in for a simple, understated look.

8. Upgrade your headboard

blue bedroom with upholstered headboard

(Image credit: Future PLC / David Brittain)

If an upholstered headboard has seen better days, a smart DIY headboard idea instead of replacing it entirely, try a quick ‘no-sew’ revamp and re-upholster it with new fabric. An easy option for a standard headboard (that doesn't have any fiddly buttoned upholstery), you’ll need a length of fabric that measures the width and height of your headboard, plus an extra 20 cm or so all round. 

If the headboard could use plumping up, add a layer of wadding before you cover it with your chosen fabric. Start by positioning the fabric centrally on the headboard and then wrap the two top corners (like you would wrap a present), then simply stapling at the back to secure. Hold the fabric taut as you work, stapling the top edge first and then the sides. 

9. Opt for a slimline shelf beside the bed

pink painted bedroom with white bedside shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

IKEA hacks are always brilliant for a budget solution to a room makeover. Find an alternative use for a couple of Ikea Mosslanda picture ledges and make a super-clever bedside shelf. A brilliant small bedroom idea, it requires two of the smaller-sized ledges - and at £5 each, will cost just £10 to put together. 

Start by fixing the first ledge in position, right side up, on the wall next to the bed. Then turn your second ledge upside down and fix in place directly on top of the first shelf. It’ll create a slimline surface for resting bedside bits and bobs, with slot-in space underneath for books or magazines. You could even add a battery-operated LED strip inside that will light up after dark.

10. Make easy under-bed storage

under bed storage with blue and grey drawers

(Image credit: Future PLC / David Giles)

Find a new use for an old or broken chest of drawers by recycling the individual drawers to make colourful slide-under storage. For a speedy option, paint drawers all the same colour, or for a fun look, try a mix of bright contrast shades. 

Start by removing the original handles and giving drawers a quick wipe down and a light sanding before priming and painting. Once you’ve given the drawers a couple of coats in your new colour, either replace the original handles or add a new set in a contrast finish or colour. Finish off with a set of Ikea castors that can be screwed into place underneath, enabling drawers to be wheeled in and out.

11. Go for diagonals to brighten up a teen bedroom

teen bedroom with pink and white diagonal paint effect

(Image credit: Furniture and Choice)

Plain walls crying out for some colour? Have fun with a bold colour block look that will add instant impact for the cost of just a couple of pots of paint with this teenage girl bedroom idea. Instead of standard half-painted walls, take the decor up a level with a quirky diagonal effect, running from floor to ceiling. 

Rather than re-doing the whole room, for a speedy update, concentrate on the wall behind the bed creating a focal point feature in double-quick time. Use decorator’s tape going from the corner of the wall to the floor to create a crisp diagonal dividing line between the two colours. For extra decorative effect, why not add mini polka dots in an accent colour or consider a bold circular pop of colour to add extra wow.

12. Wrap up your hottie

cosy bedroom with hot water bottle cover

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Hot water bottles are a bedroom necessity at the moment, but they also make a pretty bed dressing. 'To give my bed a lift I recently made a new cover for my hot water bottle, which I nestle in amongst the cushions when dressing the bed,' says Rebecca Knight, Ideal Home Deputy Website Editor. 'The materials cost under £5 to make, which is much cheaper and environmentally friendly than picking up a new pair of cushions.'

You can make an easy cover for a hot water bottle using a piece of thick felt. As an optional decoration, you could also sew a fabric pocket on the front which can be filled with calming dried chamomile or lavender that will help soothe the senses as you drift off to sleep.

Cut the felt to size, so it is the same height as the hot water bottle and wide enough to wrap around it, plus an overlap of about 4 cm. Stitch on two buttons using wool yarn at the opening of the cover, leaving a length of yarn that can then be wrapped around the buttons to secure it. 

13. Freshen up with flowers

bedroom with bed and cushion

(Image credit: Future PLC/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. 

'Make flowers go further by drying your own flowers,' suggest Rebecca Knight from Ideal Home. 'Wrap some string around a small bunch and hang them upside down from a hook or nail somewhere in the house. Alternatively, for brighter colour blooms, place your chosen flowers in a small amount of water in a vase with a little food colouring and leave them until all the water has disappeared and they have dried out naturally.'

14. Dress up with wallpaper

Bed with white cushions wardrobe and table lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

Trick the eye by papering a cupboard or wardrobe door with a fun, mural or wallpaper idea. 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.

15. Stack it up

Wooden crates with photo frame

(Image credit: Future PLC/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. 'This is one of my favourite budget bedroom ideas,' says Rebecca Knight at Ideal Home. 'I originally stacked two crates up to create a makeshift bookshelf when I first moved into my flat, but I loved the look so much I decided against changing them.'

16. Go soft on storage

Hanging rail and White curtains

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Bevan)

Choose a corner and use it to create a small walk-in wardrobe idea. 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.

17. Step up with storage

Grey walled bedroom with glass window and frame

(Image credit: Future PLC/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, Wayfair has some great options - 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.

18. Create an adaptable display

Wooden cabinet with mirror and show piece

(Image credit: Future PLC / 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.

19. Reinvent unused objects

Nifty bedside table with mini flower vase

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Turn a wooden box into a nifty bedside table idea. 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. We love this budget bedroom idea!

20. Have fun with photo fabric

Grey lamp next to white bed with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC /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.

21. Roll with pattern

Bedroom with lavender wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

22. Go for a vintage display

Photo frame in bedroom with wooden cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC/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.

23. Embrace Scandi style

Bedroom with white walls and wooden cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

25. Fall for a fabulous fabric

bedroom ceiling with white curtains and nightstand lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC /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.

26. Change key pieces

bedroom with white and printed wall

(Image credit: Future PLC /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.

What is the cheapest way to decorate a bedroom?

When it comes to decorating a bedroom on a budget, paint ideas are your best friend. Plain walls or a neutral colour scheme can be easily transformed with a bright new paint colour or dark and moody scheme, all for the cost of a can or two of paint.

Using up leftover paint or buying mini tester pots can be a price-savvy way of working paint into a room scheme, whether it’s a clever decorative effect on walls or sprucing up old furniture with a fresh lick of paint.

How do I make my bedroom look better on a budget?

Aside for re-decorating your bedroom with paint or wallpaper, there are quick and easy ways of reinventing the room that don’t involve a major redo. New bedding can work wonders when it comes to brightening up a dreary bedroom. 

The bed is often the focal point of the room, so using the bulk of your budget on the bed will pay off. A new duvet cover, layered up with throws, cushions and pillows in complementary colours can transform a plain bedroom.

Look to accessories and finishing touches too, such as swapping lamp shades and pendants or bringing in new pictures and prints or a gallery of artwork over the bed.

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home. 

With contributions from