bedroom mini-makeover.

(bedroom after: i just can't shake my love of feminine decor.)

Like many other expats, we rent a furnished apartment. This comes with a whole batch of pros and cons...like the pro of not having to purchase sofas, chairs and beds only to leave them behind a year later.

Unfortunately, it also comes with the con of making it work with less than desirable furnishings...and suppressing the urge to paint absolutely every ugly piece of furniture in your apartment. Remember this?

Of course I photographed the ugliness of our bedroom before we started making changes...but my laptop crashed recently and I can't access the photos. So just reference this post about our guest room, because our room was similar. Same curtains, same paint color, close to the same type of furniture in our bedroom. Also the acid-striped comforter WAS the furnished comforter from our bedroom. Delightful.

Anyone who's known me for more than 35 seconds can see how this style of furnishing would kill my soul. So, I threw together a "make it work" box which contained five yards of cheap IKEA fabric, four sewing pins, two unwanted shirts with fun fabric, one needle and a single spool of cream thread. Oh, and a gigantic bag full of Heat 'n Bond.

It wasn't much...but regardless, I attacked our fugly bedroom.

First things first, Gabe and I decided to keep it minimal. Would I love to dash out and purchase all new things? YES. But we have no clue how long we'll be in Kuwait, or where we're headed next.  So, we agreed to invest in light things we could take with us...linens, pillows, curtains, small pieces of decor that could be shipped at a reasonable rate.

Our first investment was quality bedding from Pottery Barn. Our bed here is approximately the same size as our bed in the US, so it really is an investment piece that will stay with us when we leave. We kept everything white in hopes that it will work no matter where we wind up.

Then I took one afternoon and made a headboard slipcover using IKEA fabric. It was quite easy to figure out, and can be sewn sans machine. Here's a set of instructions if you want more thorough info from the fancy folks at HGTV.

I also made a few pillows using Heat n Bond + discarded sparkly shirts + stuffing from old pillows...and bought discount euro shams we both really love. They're perfect for sitting up and reading...or let's be real...eating a late night snack in bed.

Then I tackled the dark nightstand. Some people love dark furnishings and can really make them shine in their home. I'm just not one of those girls. I'm a white or colored furniture girl. So, a $4 scarf-turned-runner covers the top and sides of it.

I removed the dark hinged door from the nightstand, which made for an open shelf to fill with stacks of magazines and a sequined pillow made from an offcast shirt. Finally, I swapped out the nickel drawer pull for a cream, vintage style pull which was less than $3.

Nope, it's not perfect. But I definitely hate it less. ;)

Word to the wise: If you change out the hardware on a piece that's not yours, do yourself a favor and put all the screws, knobs and brackets into a labeled Ziploc. Keep the bag right inside the table or cabinet drawer, so it can be easily reassembled on moving day. The last thing you want to do is lose some of your security deposit because you lost a few screws or knobs!

Yes, it's minimal + girly...and my masculine husband has to sleep here. With limited access to homegoods stores, I just did what I know best: girly + romantic. But Gabe says he doesn't mind since it's not our forever-bedroom and didn't cost much at all. I also think he's somewhat ammenible because there is a 32" TV across from him in this somewhat feminine bed. ;)

Overall, not my dream bedroom, but considering cost and lack of access to my usual budget-friendly haunts like Target, TJMaxx and thrift stores...I'm pretty satisfied with myself.

Okay. Really satisfied with myself. And kitty clearly loves it, too. ;)


  1. It looks fantastic!

    I have always brought bedding with us in our air shipment - there's something about having my own pillows, duvet & covers that make it feel more like 'home' to me.

  2. You go lovely lady. So impressed with the changes you made. Simple, easy and completely achievable. You definitely inspire me to get up off my behind and see the potential in the fugly.

    x Elena Randomly Happy

  3. I think it's adorable and looks like a dreamy place to sleep. Also, Gabe is a such a dear- glad he understands that sometimes girls just need some pretty to feel happy.

  4. I think it's adorable! Definitely a huge improvement without having to paint, throw terrible pieces of furniture away, or break the bank! I love that you removed the door from the nightstand, to create open shelving for a few fun, girly items. :) I honestly keep looking at that first picture and shuddering.


  5. Bethany,
    I think you did a beautiful job with a very small amount of materials! The room looks lovely - definitely an improvement from all the dark furniture you were provided with, and it looks very simple to take apart when you leave.

    <3 Kiersten

  6. It's beautiful! I really like how you see the best in things - it's inspiring :) xo

  7. ah bethany! this looks so good! i would be happy if our bedroom would be even just a little bit of this cheery now, and i have access to any store i want! you've done a great job of working with what you've got. i especially love the b and g letters - very romantical. :)

  8. Looks so good, Bethany! Way to stay on your budget, too!

  9. I love the mini makeover, especially the initials by the bed. So cute.

  10. That looks so great Bethany! I just love the head board

  11. You did an amazing job of using what you have and transforming this temporary space into a home! Even living in an apartment in the US it's sometimes difficult to keep in mind that sending a ton of money on furniture and decor that won't necessarily translate to a "real" house isn't the best idea.

  12. I love this, it's so pretty! I love the fabric you used for the headboard.


    Kristina does the Internets

  13. It is beautiful...the before would have killed my soul as well. :)

  14. That bedroom invokes a feelings of a 'contemporary Victorian' B&B...very restful and romantic. Nicely done! PS Just found this blog. Beautiful aesthetic, engaging writing...well done you!


Every time you comment, a unicorn gets his wings. Also, my phone beeps and your words bring me joy. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...