Here’s how you can upgrade your bedroom for $20


As Australia’s number one savings blogger, Penina Petersen is the queen of nifty hacks to keep the cost down. The mum shares her simple strategies for a bedroom makeover that cost just $20.

We spend a lot of time sleeping, so it only makes sense we should invest good time in making a bedroom as beautiful, comfortable and happy as possible.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll love these tips on how to makeover a bedroom for as little as $20, using a little creativity and some savvy op-shop buys.

I used practical strategies to create a warm, inviting and colourful bedroom for less than the price of a week’s worth of lattes.

Step 1: Take a before shot and list what you don’t like

This is very motivating and I really enjoy seeing the transformation. It makes me feel like I’ve done a great job and it makes me give myself a little pat on the back for my efforts. Hubby and I have been super busy lately and this is what our plain ole’ sad bed looked like before.

The old room. Photo: Supplied

Once you’ve taken your photo, write a list of what’s bothering you about the room – mine included the doona, the colours, the wooden side tables, the plain wall, lack of lamps for reading, and generally a lack of love.

Step 2: Find the ‘gold’ in your room – what you’d love to keep

This is what I love about our room: It’s light-filled, the rainbow bookshelf, the king bed with lovely grey sheets and blanket underneath, the pillows are new and fluffy and the light shade is super-trendy (we got it from Ikea).

Step 3: Start with and then always use a palette

My big secret to creating the perfect budget bedroom, or any space around the home, is to work to a palette.

I Googled ‘Yellow Grey Palette’ and then I liked this one with the teal added. Keep the palette simple. I always go for three colours and add a fourth colour if I feel like it.

This is the palette Penina used. Photo: Supplied

Step 4: Find an inspirational ‘hotel’ (not bedroom) picture to match your chosen palette

Your room may look nothing like this. What you want to do is find elements for your room (especially sourced from around the home first) in the palette colours.

I Googled ‘Yellow Grey Teal Hotel Room’ to find these ideas. Think of your bedroom like a hotel and what you would like to see in it if you were to walk into it and it was one.

Penina used these hotel images as inspiration. Photo: Supplied

Step 5: Have a plan (strategy)

This was mine:

  • Reduce: Use less or fewer resources (less really is more)
  • Reuse: Use something again more than once (keep it and use it differently)
  • Repurpose: Turn waste into a more precious resource (home decor)
  • Shop cheap: Only from op-shops, Kmart (the go-to store for us mums- choose cheap $1-$3 candles etc) or $2 shops to find the little touches
  • Be creative: Be as creative as you can using, yes, your personality. You’ll be amazed at the creations that come to you as you get styling. Plus – creativity is cheap and FREE!

Aussie mum Penina is the queen of hacks. Photo: Supplied

Step 6: Get to work and stick to your plan

I removed all items lying around the room and an ugly brown side table. Also removed excess books, pillows and other items on top of my bookshelf I had thrown up there.

Tip: Keep the inspirational picture in front of you at all times. Once you are back to a blank canvas, decide which items in the room will be staying. And whether there are other things in and around your home that you can repurpose and use. I had pillows and cushions, candles and plants at home.

If you need other items – shop cheap. I made a short trip to my favourite op-shop. I always pick up amazing items, designer clothes and home decor in ritzy areas. My haul:

  • Yellow lamps (Op-shop/Tip-store) – $4 Each = $8
  • New side tables (Op-shop/Tip-store) – $4 Each = $8
  • Blue fluffy cushion: (Garage sale) – $2
  • Floral canvas (Garage sale) – $2

New lamp. Photo: Supplied

New side table. Photo: Supplied

The end result

The makeover itself only took 15 minutes – just in time for school pick-up. And this is all I did:

  • Straighten all the books
  • Wipe down the new side tables
  • Plug in the yellow lamps
  • Leave the teal water bottle there to match my palette
  • Add little touches plants and candles
  • Pick a book off the shelf with my palette in it and add one of my gold notebooks
  • Vacuum and dust
  • Remove the doona and make the bed
  • Fluff up the pillows
  • Add an extra crisp white pillow and bottom sheet
  • Iron the bottom sheet
  • Staple gun the teal shower curtain over the floral canvas

End result. Photo: Supplied

The bookshelf. Photo: Supplied

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