Turn Your Bedroom Into a Suite : The Ultimate DIY Guide
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Turn Your Bedroom Into A Suite
Ultimate DIY Guide to Upgrading Your Bedroom to a Suite
Turning your bedroom into a suite is possible on any budget and without having to add-on square footage. It’s all about making the kind of changes that will take your bedroom from blah to beautiful. When I tell people this, there’s immediate disbelief, and I understand why. We’ve all poured over pictures of dream homes with master bedroom suites larger than a family room in an average home, and dreamed of that type of retreat. I’ve had that oversize bedroom suite and it was wonderful–until I had to move into a home with a much smaller master. It was a struggle, until I realized that suites don’t necessarily have to be big to feel like a retreat. There are a few simple changes that will turn your bedroom into a suite. Best of all, these changes work whether you love modern farmhouse or Hollywood Regency style, or any style in between. AND, they can all be done in a weekend using all your amazing DIY skills! Ready to turn that bedroom into a suite? Let’s get started.
RETHINK YOUR BEDDING:
Bedrooms have bedspreads and pillows. Bedroom suites have layered the bedding to create an incredibly inviting bed. The bed is the centerpiece to any bedroom and it needs to be a well dressed focal point.
Step 1: The Duvet. It starts with the duvet. Choose a duvet that is fluffy and light–with the kind of fill that makes you want to jump on it like a pile of leaves in the fall. Duvet inserts come in all types of materials, down is most popular but there are alternatives to down for those that are allergic to the feathers or the price. Choose a duvet insert that works for your climate. We live in Arizona and use a lightweight down comforter that is still fluffy without being too warm for sleeping. If you aren’t familiar with duvet inserts click here to see the variety of inserts available. Once you have a great duvet insert, it’s time to choose a duvet cover. A duvet cover is a must to protect your insert, so even if you love the clean look of a white comforter or duvet, be sure to get a white cover.
DIY Insider Tips: January is a great time to buy because retailers trot out their white sales, giving you deals on a large variety of styles. Homegoods, Marshalls, Ross and other discounters are another great place to get duvets and covers, but the inventory can be limited.
Step 2: Pillows. Nothing makes a bed look more inviting than a stack of pillows just waiting to catch your weary head. Beds need a minimum of six pillows for any full, queen, or king size and a minimum of three pillows for each twin. Start with a pair of European square pillows (I use three for a king size bed), placed standing up against the headboard. The square shape makes this pillows taller than a standard pillow and will help give the pillows a layered look. I don’t spend very much on the European pillows because they’re an accessory rather than a key piece for sleeping.
Next place two standard pillows (for a full) or two queen or two king sized pillows either standing up against the European square pillows, or laying on the bed in front of the square pillows. These are the pillows that you will generally use to cushion your head while sleeping, so choose comfortable pillows that have a fill you like. Twin beds should have one Euro pillow and one standard only.
Finally, place a minimum of three throw pillows on top of the standard pillows or leaned up against them. Throw pillows should be a minimum of 16 inches square, although 20-22″ squares look better on bigger beds. Throw pillows are your opportunity to have fun and add some color and personality to your room. You can add more than three pillows, and you can switch it up by adding different sizes and shapes. Play with the look until you find something that you like. Twin beds should have only one throw pillow. If you like the look of a chopped pillow (throw pillows that look like they’ve been karate-chopped in the middle) then you will need down throw pillow inserts as opposed to cotton fill.
DIY Insider Tips: Throw pillows don’t need to be expensive, check out our super-cheap way to get all the throw pillows you could ever want. You might also want to see the unexpected place I go for throw pillow inserts.
Step 3: The Quilt. A quilt or a throw folded and displayed at the foot of the bed gives it a designer look. Choose a blanket that you can’t wait to throw over your legs when curling up on your bed for a nap. Faux fur, linen-washed waffle, a heirloom quilt, knit or flannel–the possibilities are endless. Just make sure that the throw coordinates with your room colors and your design style and doesn’t look like something you used in your dorm room.
DIY Insider Tips: Look for great deals on inexpensive throws around Christmas and again around Valentine’s Day, when retailers push them as gifts. If you’re a little handy with the sewing machine, a full size quilt can be split into two oversize throws by cutting it in half and hemming the cut end. If you want an heirloom quilt, but your grandmother wasn’t a quilter, check out resale and thrift stores. I’ve found beautiful quilts for under $7.
UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING:
A bedroom suite has great lighting. That single “boob” light in the middle of the ceiling just isn’t going to cut it. You want to layer the lighting in the same way that you layer the bedding. Bedroom suite lighting is adjustable, and is placed thoughtfully as task lighting. Bedroom lighting must make you look beautiful (for LOTS of reasons we won’t discuss here).
Start by Installing a Dimmer. This DIY project isn’t for everyone, but it isn’t a difficult upgrade if you’re willing to watch a few YouTube video tutorials before tackling it. The dimmer gives you ultimate control of the overhead lighting, allowing you to bathe the room in a lovely glow rather than casting a spotlight in the middle of the bed. If the thought of playing with electricity is shocking, then at least change your light bulbs. Opt for “soft white”, and avoid “daylight” bulbs.
DIY Insider Tips: Check out the light bulb aisle at Home Depot where you can find a demo box that shows the different types of light you can get from different bulbs. It’s life-changing!
Get matching lamps. I’m all for the mismatched nightstands, but mismatched lamps confuse the eye and add visual clutter. All beds larger than twin need matching lamps on each side of the bed. The symmetry is pleasing to your eye, AND it gives you task lighting for reading at night. If you don’t have room for nightstands on both sides of the bed, then choose two floor lamps.
DIY Insider Tips: For one room, I used one floor lamp and one tabletop lamp that matched–placing the tabletop lamp on the single nightstand (that’s all we could fit in the room) and the floor lamp on the other side of the bed. I had to do a little modifying to make it shorter, but the end result was a coordinated pair of lamps. Another trick is to use different same-size lamps, with matching lampshades. This can give a coordinated look without the hefty price-tag.Get your Ultimate DIY Guide to Turn your Bedroom Into A Suite! Click To Tweet
Upgrade your Ceiling Fan. We have such a love-hate relationship with the ceiling fan. On hot nights (and there’s a lot of those around here), I can’t live without the fan over my bed but it’s something of an eyesore. My interior designer bones ache for a beautiful chandelier or a dramatic light fixture. If you can live without the fan, then make the switch to a beautiful large light fixture. It’s an investment that is completely worth it. If you can’t live without the fan, change out the light kit for a chandelier. Vintage Style Romance shows you how to change it out yourself.
DIY Insider Tips: Capiz Shell Chandeliers are popular, but can be pricey. A lot of DIYers are creating their own, ultra inexpensive versions out of wax paper that look surprisingly good. Check out Classy Clutter’s tutorial.
One mark of a bedroom suite is the seating. The bed should never be the only available seating. Ideally, a love seat or a pair of chairs should be placed at the foot of the bed or next to a window. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your bedroom, then there should be seating in front of the fireplace unless it blocks the traffic flow through the room. In an ideal world, every bedroom would have room for extra seating but that’s rarely the case. You may have to incorporate seating by adding a padded bench to the foot of the bed, a pair of stools or a single upholstered chair tucked into the corner of the room. The point of the seating is to make it look like a place to linger longer–even if you’re never going to lounge on the padded bench.
DIY Insider Tips: Add accessories near the seating that encourages you to take a seat. A small end table, a tiny ottoman, a floor lamp, or another comfy throw really help the seating look more inviting. The bedroom encourages fabrics naturally, so you can use seating from another area of the house and cover it with a blanket if it’s not a great match.
Curtains add the touch of elegance needed for a bedroom to become a suite. Even if you love clean, spa-like surroundings a pair of gauzy white curtains will only add to the relaxing feel of the room. If you want your bedroom to ooze glamour, choose curtains with some shimmer to the fabric. Thick, room blackening curtains are sophisticated and will send you to sleep faster than counting sheep. If you love your plantation shutters, even just bordering your window with curtains will really help your bedroom look more like a suite. Curtains are also a fairly inexpensive way to add color and texture to a bedroom without making it look cluttered.
DIY Insider Tips: Make sure that you hang the curtains 3-4″ below the ceiling, rather than at the top of the window casing to make the room look larger. If you have new, taller ceilings and all the curtains aren’t long enough, check out our article on lengthening your curtains with one seam–it’s the easiest way I know to make long curtains. Another trick to getting a coordinated, designer look is to buy an extra set of curtains and use the fabric for your throw pillows and for the throw blanket at the bottom of the bed. I buy most of my curtains online. My favorite sources include Ebay and Houzz.
ADD A RUG:
A rug is an absolute must if you have a tile or wood floor. It will add softness and comfort to the room, making it feel inviting. There are so many amazing rugs that my heart starts to race just thinking about them. Shag, traditional, oriental, stripes, abstract.
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TALL HEADBOARD OR ACCENT WALL:
With all of the great ways to turn your bedroom into a suite, nothing works faster than dramatically framing your bed. The accent wall just keeps gaining steam, and for good reason! The accent wall frames the centerpiece of your bedroom (your bed) and draws your eye up and over–making the room look large. We have installed stacked rock, faux brick, and tile accent walls in our own home and they really give your home a polished, designer-style.
DIY Insider Tips: Accent walls can get expensive, even if you install them yourself. A 12’x12′ wall in weathered shiplap can cost over $500 in material alone. If your wall is large, consider using the accent wall to create the illusion of a ceiling height headboard, by putting the accent material behind the bed to the ceiling. Don’t extend it across the entire wall. Add trim to the side to “frame” the accent wall. And, don’t discount the power of paint in creating an accent wall. A $17 gallon of paint in a contrasting color can really give your bedroom a dramatic update.
Making a few changes to your bedroom can upgrade your room into a photo-worthy suite. These changes will also make your bedroom more inviting, encouraging you to relax and unwind. Everyone wins when you turn your bedroom into a bedroom suite. Check out our Style Guides for more ideas!
Let us know what you think makes a bedroom into a suite. We’d love to hear your tips on decorating the bedroom on a budget too!
Featured Image by: BCBE Custom Homes.
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