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Bedroom renovation guide

Bedroom renovations are one area where a lot can be achieved on a tight budget if you’re not making major structural changes. To get started, think about the overall theme you want for your room – keeping in mind it is supposed to be a calm space. Once you’ve decided on the theme consider colours, storage, flooring, and heating and cooling to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Design elements>
Colours & fixtures>
Common mistakes>
Easy fixes>


The cost of renovating a bedroom will vary depending on what type of bedroom. For example, a kid’s room or guest room is unlikely to dig as deeply into your hip pocket as a master bedroom makeover. The size and complexity, as well as if you are investing in wardrobes and a new bed, will impact the price tag. Luckily, at minimum even a few hundred dollars spent on some paint will give the room a new feel.

Some people like to spend big when it comes to the bedroom of their dreams splashing up to $40,000. However, the average cost of renovating a standard 12sqm bedroom is about $20,000. This should include new carpet, storage, changing fixtures adding a new door and windows. The budget may even include a walk-in closet if the layout is suitable. If you want to add an ensuite expect to spend more.

Bedroom design elements

A bedroom is a very personal space, so it’s important to find the balance between trendy design and what you love.


Start by drawing the layout, thinking about where the bed will be positioned and how that impacts the rest of the room. The trick here is to keep it simple, ideally allowing access to both sides of the bed. To move around easily you will need walking areas at least one-metre wide and not obstructed by furniture. However, in small rooms this is likely not possible, and the best placement may mean pushing the bed into a corner.

Natural light

Natural light is important in the bedroom. Multiple studies have shown access to natural light is good for mental health, but it can also help in fight against bed bugs and dust mites, so maximising natural light is essential. This may call for the installation of skylights or widening current windows, which may require council approval.

If you have additional space here are some other popular elements you might want to look at:

An ensuiteWalk-in wardrobe or dressing room areaZoned areas – like a reading nook or studyIncreased ceiling heightBuilt-in bedheadsCarpets or rugs

Choosing colours and fixtures

What might seem like finishing touches to a bedroom are really anything but. Colours and fixtures have a huge effect and need to be locked in before you choose other key elements.


The colour palette you choose will directly impact the mood of your room. It’s common to opt for soothing and tranquil colours, which experts say is best achieved using paint with neutral and blue tones. However, if you want to get creative bold colours and wallpaper may be more to your style, but keep in mind this may not sit well with buyers when it comes time to sell.

Another way of enhancing a space is by adding cornices and skirting boards. Often overlooked in modern designs these are simple additions that can soften the edges of a room, especially if you have opted for white walls. Research has strongly shown the connection between colour and psychology, so much so that it has been commonplace for companies to paint their stores in certain colours to promote certain buying states.

Here are some tips drawn from colour research to consider.

Blues – light blues are associated with calm and relaxation. Interestingly it is also the hue mostly preferred by men. However, don’t go overboard with deep or stronger blues as they’re often associated with depression.

Greens – this is a restful colour associated with nature and health. However, it may not be as visually appealing as some other colours when it comes to wall colour. Brown undertones can also evoke the illusion of dirtiness.

Yellow – warm and bright, yellow can make people feel happy but going bright can also leave people feeling sick and overwhelmed.

White – associated with cleanliness white can also help create the illusion of space in smaller rooms. But beware of going too white as this sends a strong message of don’t touch or can seem sterile.

Red – Eye-catching and makes people alert, so while dazzling and stimulating, it may not be the best choice for a bold feature wall in the bedroom where you want to get some sleep.

Purple – think lavender, this can create an environment of calm and caring, but it’s a fine line between polite pastel and something gaudier.


Whether you choose to go bold or minimal, keep lighting on theme with the look and style of the space but also make sure there will be enough light for reading at night.

Here is a checklist to consider when it comes to lighting:

Don’t just choose ceiling lights: A mix of lighting options will create ambiance.

Consider smart lights: Dimmers and lights with multiple switches can make things easier.

Situational lighting: Consider adding wall lights above the bed for nighttime reading.

Use lamps: Light up zones like bedside tables or reading nooks.

Wardrobes: Consider cabinetry lights and LED strips to help light up wardrobes and walk-in robes.

Pick the right bulbs: Roughly 2000 to 4000 lumens for a bedroom is ideal.

Don’t overlook ceiling height and the size of your lights. Pendant lights on low ceilings can make a room feel smaller.

Bedroom storage

You can never have too much storage and this is the same principle when it comes to the bedroom. Think about shoes, clothes, bedding and all of your personal items that need a home. If left on display these can make a room feel busy, so storage is the key to keeping a room relaxed. Remember to choose the right sized furniture for the room as bulky items take up space and can make the space feel crowded.

Storage ideas for larger bedrooms

Bedside tables – Consider choosing bedside tables that are tall and also include a set of draws to help add extra storage for smaller items and underwear.

A storage trunk – These can be ideal as they are moveable and a great storage solution for rugs and bedding while also doubling as a seating option.

Built-in robes – These usually add a lot more space than a wardrobe and allow you to utilise the height of the room.

Walk-in wardrobes – If you have got the space this can be a storage dream not only for clothes but other items, be sure to include a range of hanging areas, draw sizes, a shoe storage area, and shelves to store larger items.

Space savers for smaller space

Bedside tables – Choose bedside tables that match the size of the room. Too big may make the room appear cluttered and too small will be ineffective for storage.

Under-bed storage – There are plenty of storage solutions these days that are compact, plastic or material containers, designed to slide under the bed. Another alternative is purchasing a bed with built-in draws or that has a levered mattress that can be raised allowing storage underneath.

Smaller built-ins – Built-in wardrobes are a clever way to create storage without the room looking cluttered. They also allow you to use the vertical height of the room, maximising storage space. Some experts also recommend installing mirrored sliding doors to make the room appear bigger.

Dual purpose pieces – Ottomans or built-in bench seats with storage underneath are another great storage alternative if they can fit into the space nicely.

A headboard with built-in shelves – This can provide useful storage for small things and books.

Common mistakes

Bedrooms are very personal spaces, so it’s important to not adopt a one-size fits all approach. Take the time to look at different options and consider how these match your style, and the rest of the house.

Try to avoid these common mistakes.

Rushing in without considering window position and ceiling heightBeing overly frugalUsing too many coloursInstalling too many bright lightsOverfilling the space with furnitureNot including carpet or a rugCreating a boring room with matching furnitureBuying a bed that is too bigNot having adequate curtains or blinds to block out light at nightStyling the room differently to the main rooms
Decorating mistakes you’re making in the bedroom

Easy fixes

Like always, bigger isn’t necessarily better and a bedroom is an area where a few simple changes can make a world of difference. This is especially important for people renovating for profit, who can save some serious money in the budget – especially if they replicate these simple changes across all the bedrooms.

Below are some easy fixes:

New paintInstalling skirting boardsDecorating with rugs, bedding, cushions, throws, occasional chairs, art, décor and photosUpdating window dressingsUsing non-matching furniture to add characterChange light bulbs to use warmer tones
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