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How to create a stylish spare bedroom

Do you have a spare bedroom that’s screaming for a makeover?

Spare rooms tend to collect random piles of stuff.  The room may be full of cast off items that are no longer wanted. Or items that have sentimental value, but no other place to store them.  It may also be missing some of the furniture that went off to college with a child, so it’s not even a fully functional bedroom anymore.

If you’re ready to turn your “hoarder hole” into a beautiful and organized space, check out these clever DIY storage and decorating tips.  Clear the clutter and create a stylish spare bedroom.

How to Turn a Cluttered Space into a Stylish Spare Bedroom

When my older brother moved out of our childhood home, his room stayed just as he left it for years.  Finally, during a lull in DIY projects at my own house, I convinced my mom to work with me to give the room a makeover.

This bedroom was full of clutter, and lacking in style.  Here’s how we cleaned up, simplified, and brought in a classic style, while keeping some unique personality.

Steal these ideas to inspire your own guest room makeover!

Clear Out the Clutter

Cluttered bedroom clean up

Old kid’s toys and outdated electronics cluttered this space.  This made it seem busy, and overwhelming.  It was not the relaxing retreat that most people want their bedrooms to be.

While I admit that I made that quilt for my brother, that was back in the 1990’s, when those colors were “cool.”  It was ready for an update, too. And the black curtains had served their purpose.

Declutter a bedroom

To start, everything was cleared off the shelves, desk, and other clutter piles.  Only a few select items were brought back in.

How to display items on shelves

Anything that had value, monetary or sentimental, was set aside to be brought back into the finished room.  Useful items were donated, and the rest was recycled.

The old shelf rack was replaced with more stylish brackets.  A quick coat of stain gave the shelf boards an instant style boost.

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The busy quilt was replaced with a plain down comforter, and a coverlet in soothing colors.  This became the anchor point for the style of the rest of the room.

Here’s a fun thrifty tip:  The new curtains were made by simply cutting a shower curtain in half, and adding a strip of accent fabric.  It was the perfect size for the window, and the grommets at the top allow it to slide easily on the rod.

I made some matching throw pillows for the window seat.  Check out how to make your own throw pillow covers here.

Bring in the Style

Spare bedroom conversion

This room hadn’t been painted in years.  There were also empty spaces where some furniture pieces had moved on to other uses.  Random pieces of artwork still hung awkwardly on the walls.

Time to start fresh.

Bedroom update

What a difference, right?

After a fresh coat of paint, we wanted to protect the wall behind the bed with a headboard.

This is a SUPER inexpensive DIY headboard.  It’s just a piece of hard foam, covered with a piece of faux leather, and attached to the wall with hook and loop tape.

I made the pillow shams out of a fabric remnant that fit with our new color pallet.  (I see a how-to post coming soon.)

And check out the new storage next to the bed.  Guess what that is?

Wooden storage trunks
Ugly wooden trunks become pretty functional storage with the addition of a bamboo shade cover.

They’re two old wooden military chests.  They now hold many of the old toys and sentimental items that used to clutter the shelves.

And topping them off, that’s a bamboo slat window shade!

We found this window shade in the bargain bin at the home store, and it makes the perfect disguise for a very functional, but less pretty storage method.

Keep Some Personality

Framed calendar prints

My brother was always into art, and held onto an M.C. Escher calendar for years.  We took a selection of pages from that calendar, picked up some inexpensive frames meant for records, and hung them on the wall behind the bed.

His drawings and carvings made in school still decorate the top shelf.  And a model sailboat that he made was mounted on the wall.

And that’s how, with a little elbow grease and some DIY creativity, this bedroom grew up into a beautiful and relaxing spare room.

Which ideas will you steal?

Update a spare bedroom
Kids bedroom update
Clutter control checklist


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