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16 Small Bedroom Decorating Ideas on a Budget: Tips & Guides

Decorating a bedroom is very exciting and there’s an almost infinite number of ways it can be done. A bedroom with a really nice look can be achieved without spending a lot, especially when armed with the tips I’ll share below. 

Use any or all of them to create a new or updated look for your bedroom, while keeping costs as low as possible. Here are my 16 tips to help get your room looking amazing whilst still on a tight budget.

#1: Get Picture Frames at Thrift Stores and Replace the Art

Hanging art is a great way to improve the look and feel of a room. But, it is typically reasonably pricey. A good hack is to get the frames at a thrift store. Often art that doesn’t look that great has an amazing frame. 

You can simply take the art out and replace it with something much better. You can pick them up for $1, $2, $0.50, or $6 for a big one. 

You can find brass ones, black ones, and wooden ones. They can also be refinished by painting them, using brass/metal cleaner. Or sanding down the wood, and applying a layer of finish. 

Now that you have a great frame, where to get some great looking art without the price tag? My next tip…

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#2: Use Free Art by Using Free Digital Downloads

Once you’ve got some inexpensive frames you can put up really amazing art for a very low cost by using free digital downloads. You can even get some amazing designs on websites like Etsy for under $10. Print these off on some nice quality paper, and then frame them.

Another really good option is to take out pictures from magazines you no longer use. You can cut them out and frame them to create a really nice piece of art. 

There are also very inexpensive sheets that have interesting designs on them that you can pick up from art supply stores. You can cut out a section and frame it to create a really nice piece of art for cheap.

#3: Get Furniture from the ‘As Is’ Section in Ikea and From Thrift Stores

Ikea has an ‘as is’ section. These are furniture that is a little bit damaged or slightly defective. You can do a little bit of repair work to turn it into something amazing. Or, sometimes the defect can be barely noticeable. 

Certain thrift stores can also have amazing furniture at a very cheap price. Some places also specialize in used furniture such as Habitat for Humanity. I found that the Salvation Army also tends to have used furniture at a great price. These can be great places to pick up a new bed, desk, bedside table, or desk chair.

#4: Upgrade Fixtures Such As Light Fittings and Knobs/Handles

One of the easiest and quickest ways to give your bedroom an upgrade is by swapping out your door knobs, or closet/drawer handles. Amazon is a great place to get some really low-cost fixtures that will give you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to a bedroom refresh.

Check out some of these great fixtures; If you go for something that is contrasting to what you had before, this will ave a big impact on how your room looks.

#5: Modify the Layout of your Small Bedroom

Changing where everything is located in a room changes the feel, and functionality. And it doesn’t cost you anything!

There are some common ways to layout a bedroom such as a hotel-style. This is where a bed is against one wall, with bedside tables on either side.

But there are also other effective ways you can rearrange things to give your bedroom an upgrade for free. Here’s a really good video that shows the main styles you can pick from when laying out a room:

#6: Paint Makes a Very Big Difference at a Very Low Cost

A new lick of paint can make a big difference to a room and can be low cost. There are a few hacks to get paint for very little cost:

  1. Rather than buying a whole can of paint, grab a few tester pots, and buy more as you need them. Often, you may only need to paint one wall so these can be a great option.
  2. Paint stores will also typically have a returns section. These are cans of paint that are perfectly fine, but people returned them because they weren’t the color, or finish they were looking for. You can grab one of these at a much cheaper price.
  3. A good way to make a room look very luxurious for cheap is to use neutral and light colors, such as white, grays, and browns. And these also tend to be the colors that are less expensive.

#7: Use a Few Lamps to Create a Luxurious Feel

Lamps do a lot for the feel of a room. Rather than using ceiling lights, primarily use a bedside lamp, and/or a desk lamp to light up your room. And turn the ceiling lights off. At night time, this creates a very cozy, luxurious feel to a room.

An excellent way to save even more money is to simply buy a lampshade from a thrift store rather than a whole new lamp. It will give your bedroom a whole new look without the expense.

#8: Use Larger Pillows and Tighter Pillow Covers

A neat hack to improve the look and feel of a room at no cost is to size pillows in a smart way. Ideally get pillow covers and cushion covers that are 2 inches smaller than the pillows.

Typically pillow and cushion covers are a bit loose or fit exactly. This makes pillows look a bit saggy, and isn’t as visually appealing as a pillow cover that is tighter.

Using pillow/cushion covers that are slightly smaller will make your cushions and pillows look plump and luxurious.

#9: Elevate your Bed to Get More Room Underneath

With a small bedroom, it’s typically difficult to have enough space to fit everything in. So, using an elevated bed is a great way to save space. You can get spacers to lift it a little bit (or a lot). And if you’re getting a new bed frame, get one that has room underneath. 

Once you place the bedspread or sheets over the top, it will never get seen. While this tip won’t specifically cut your costs, it makes a big difference to the comfort and usability of your room. And it also means you don’t have to spend more on storage furniture.

#10: Use Lighter Colored Furniture to Create a More Spacious Feel

There are a range of places to get very cheap furniture, such as the Ikea ‘As-is’ section I mentioned earlier. Furniture here has minor defects but is at a discounted price. Often, the defects can be so minor that it’s easy enough to do a bit of DIY and turn it into something brand new.

Another good option is to shop at thrift stores. You can get really nice-looking furniture for very cheap. In many regions, there are also websites where people are giving away furniture for free. Do a Google search for free furniture in your city. 

You can often pick up desks, desk chairs, and beds for free. And with a bit of a touch-up, they can look amazing. IF you are touching up your newly found furniture, go for lighter colors if you can. In a small bedroom this can make a massive difference to how spacious your room looks and feels.

#11: Use Mirrors to Give the Appearance of More Space

Mirrors give the illusion of more space

Mirrors come in a range of different price points. And it’s possible to find inexpensive or second-hand mirrors. Mirrors do a lot to create space and light in a room. This is especially good for small-sized rooms. Put at least one mirror on each wall within reason. 

You can also use multiple mirrors on the same wall. Typically, these are best purchased from Ikea or a thrift store.

#12: Add as Many Plants as you Can to the Space

Plants really make a big difference to the feel of a room. You can get cactus that require next to no watering. Or, you can get plants that drape over the pot. 

Many species of plants require a lot of light to survive so keep this in mind. Depending on how many windows you have in the room match the type of plants you use to the amount of light the room gets.

Plants are a pretty inexpensive way to spruce up your room and give it a more ‘homely’ feel.

#13: Break up Areas of the Room with Rugs

A small bedroom can typically only fit a bed and desk. Using rugs to designate areas is a great way to break up a small room, and make it feel larger.

Get a rug that is a bit bigger than your desk area, and place it underneath. And/or place a rug that is slightly larger than your bed underneath your bed. It visually separates the areas and makes the room look much better for very cheap.

And yes, you’ve guessed; thrift stores are brilliant for this type of purchase!

#14: Use Special Standing Racks to Free up Space

There are special kinds of racks that only take up a small amount of space. These can be put in corners to hold things like extra blankets, items of clothing, and things you use often. Using one can be a great way to free up space in a small bedroom. They also look really nice and blend in with a room.

Here’s an example of one available at Amazon.

#15: Use a Bunch of Different Textures to Add Depth to your Room

Using different textures does a lot to improve the visual appeal of a room. And is as simple as choosing fabrics that are different. For example, use a rug that has a rustic earthy type of fabric. And use a non-patterned bedspread. Or, vice versa. 

For bedside tables, use a type of fabric that is different again. The idea is to create a bunch of different textures. It makes the space more interesting. Particularly, in contrast to the different types of plants, you have in a room.

#16: Take Clippings from Outside and Put them in a Vase

A free way to really make a room look good is to take clippings from trees outside and place them in a vase in your room. You can take whole branches and trim off the leaves, or arrange branches with leaves. Trees that are going to blossom can look amazing. 

Arrange them in a clear glass vase to create a minimalist and really charming accent to your room. The good thing is you don’t need to spend money on buying plants if you’re going down this route!

And you can often pick up glass or glass-like vase at a thrift store, or very cheap on Amazon, or at Ikea. I love this one on Amazon as it’s neutral and such great value.