Julie wrote this question the other day, and it was one of those that deserved its own post:
Hey! …I have this friend (see: SIL) who updates her bedding all year round. I’ve always found this a little frivolous, if I’m being really honest. But if I’m really really honest, I think it’s because it seems expensive to me and I don’t see any way around it. I don’t have to change everything out, but I wouldn’t mind an update every now and then. Our budget is tight. Do you have any ideas or tips on how to do that, and affordably!? Thank you!
And so a post was born. Because that’s a great question, Julie!
Every now and then, I will change out our bedding. But not in a huge update every three months kind of way. I tend to view it as a subtle-layer-rotation-of-updates-over-time-process, that probably happens at best, once or twice a year.
And the only way to do that with our budget, is in a practical way. Gone are the days where we stick with the bedding our parents gave us when we graduated, or a wedding guest purchased for us from our registry because it was super expensive. (I feel like a total ingrate saying that, and it took me a while to move on. But I don’t have the same bedding I had eleven years ago. Sage green in silk covered in dog hair and first born baby vom is not my friend.) Over time, I wanted something fresh. And practical. (Aintnobodygottimefordrycleaning) Whether its a simple throw or a layer of easy pillows, it’s good to mix it up every now and then. It’s an evolving process.
This year, for us personally, instead of bright yellow on our bed for all of winter, I was ready for a bit of a change. If you’ve been stopping by our site for a while, you probably noticed our home is usually decked out in bright touches of color. We do love color. This time, we went for a neutral, textured approach. Jamin was glad for the gender-neutral appeal, and I love the affect that it had. (Yesterday when he got home from work, I may or may not have retreated to this room to write a little and let him deal with the kiddo carnage – it’s pretty relaxing.) Here are a few ways we’ve spiffed it up and kept it thrifty.
1. Work with what you have.
I know. You hear it all the time. We’re kind of obnoxious about this one. But what on earth does that mean?
Start looking at things in different ways beyond the original intent that you purchased them for. Sometimes, I wish I could empty all of the contents of my home into the yard. Then slowly bring things back in, and use them in fresh ways. I think once objects are brought into our home, we seldom consider them for fresh uses because it can be hard to see them differently. While we’re all for purging and simplifying and scaling back, there’s a benefit to having more than one useful item, like a quilt, for instance.
So this year, we traded out the yellow for it’s home in the closet, and simply flipped a blue one that we’ve had on our bed previously. (We scored it over three years ago at a Home goods for about fifty dollars.) Tada! A fresh, white quilt. Layered on top of a plain white duvet that we always use on our bed. Then, I literally walked around our home until I found something else that would pair nicely with it. A white throw from Emerson’s bed that she won’t really miss? Done. Pillows from the living room? Yep. Shopping the house is free and fun. Don’t get caught up and flustered over finding a replacement item for the one you just moved… it keeps spaces fresh to think about them over time. You’ll find just the right thing under your cabinet. Promise.
2. Think beyond the bed-in-a bag.
Gone are the days when the only acceptable thing to put on your bed is that bed in a bag with jacked up prices you grabbed off the display at your local box store. And honestly, it’s kind of a bummer when everything matches. You don’t have to follow a set of rules, and you’re allowed to do whatever you want with it. Once I figured that out, I was a better person for it. So was our bank account.
For instance: I didn’thave any fresh pillows, but I am known to be a bit of a fabric hoarder. So I simply went into my stash (I have purged quite a bit but fabric is so versatile- I think I’m allowed this one and stopjudingme) and while I didn’t have enough for a full on eruo pillow set times 3, I did have enough remnants to alternate for fresh striped pillows. Bingo.
I simply measured, and cut strips. Then I cut a solid piece of fabric for the back, and made sure the strips were alternated and measured up.
I pinned, stitched and ironed. A completely new look, and they make a nice layering of textures for the winter.
Apparently, some hoarding does pay. Shhh I never said that. I tend to forget the conversion factor of inches to feet to yards. (It took a few over-orders to nail that one. Ordering fabric is like measuring pasta… and my parenthood brain is officially mush. Digression.)
Though I think that learning to sew is one of the most invaluable tools you can have for your home and a super affordable custom look, you don’t have to know how to sew to do awesome things in your home and give your bed an update. What do you have sitting on your sofa? What does your child have stashed in the top of their closet? You never know when a spare semi-forgotten pillow can find a brand new home with a fresh look all by relocating it.
It’s all about brainstorming in new and fun ways to make it work. It doesn’t have to be pricey to be fresh, fabulous and supafly.<—Can we bring that back? No? How about rad? I’m still not over rad.
3. Simple additions can make a big impact.
I purchased one thing for this room and it’s the fur at the end of the bed. It’s not a blanket. And no, we didn’t kill a cheetah zebra fox. (I have no idea what kind of fur that would be) It’s just half a yard of faux fur. I ran the edges through my sewing machine so it wouldn’t shed, because brace yourselves, it will look like you murdered a lion in your room when you pull it out of the box, and tada! I have a new throw. Don’t sew? Hem tape is the next best thing. Who said you have to sew it to count? Bonus: when you’re ready for a new look, it hasn’t been used, and can be a a great pillow/bag/backdrop. More bang. More buck. Or something like that… for your family and home.
Total cost for thinking outside the box and using what I had while purging even more of that fabric stash, and getting an entirely new look for our winter bedroom? Probably less than 25 dollars. We’re just pretty darn proud of flipping that quilt. Yes, it was a time investment with sewing, but I whipped them out in a few hours… and no I’m not a professional seamstress. You would laugh if you could see my edges. It really comes down to what you want to do with your resources and time. We realize this isn’t for everyone. Just a fun take on freshening up your space.
Also, think simple duvet covers that can be changed with the season. They are great and come in so many varieties.
I hope that helps Julie! A lot of this is just thinking of things in new ways (and breaking the rules that your grandmother’s sister’s great aunt’s dog’s cousin would probably never approve of) to save a little money, and have a one of a kind look for your space.
What are some of your favorite tips for updating your bedroom? I would love to hear some of your cheater’s tricks or recommendations and sources that you use. Let us know if you have any questions – Have an inspired day, friends!
:: This post was brought to you in partnership with Bouclair. All opinions are 100% ours. Please read our full disclosure pertaining to partnerships here ::
Use pillow covers from Ikea – 5$-10$for a whole new pillow look!
ashley @ the handmade home says
That IS a great tip! ;}
I love this post! It makes me want to actually go make my bed and put the pretty pillows on it (which I haven’t really been doing lately!). I love the idea of a more winter theme home and a summer theme home. The addition of those wintery fabrics like fur, velvet, etc can add such warmth, and then in summer the linens and wispy fabrics… love.
ashley @ the handmade home says
It’s definitely fun to switch them out! And the more affordable, the better:}
ANN W says
LOVE this post! Love Julie’s question – because it was one that I felt the exact same about! Would love to do it but who can afford to do it – let alone store the extra items on the “off season”. Just this year I decided to try it – our bed is normally very cheery and I just wanted something wintery! I would say investing in a duvet (from Ikea – it was cheap yet nice) and then you can switch out the duvet covers was the brain child I had – not original by any means – but works great! Then I got neutral pillows and have one “focal” pillow that switches with the season – and the quilt at the end of the bed changes out – I am a tad addicted to quilts – so have several on hand:) I even did the same thing in my sons room now – a duvet with a winter cover and a summer cover and then pillows that I switch out the covers on – so I only have to store material – not a whole pillow or quilt. It is actually really fun – I would say GO FOR IT JULIE – and enjoy every second of the “indulgence” 😉
I just updated our bedding to something a little cozier as well, and shopped our house! Layering in the winter makes a really nice change…albeit more challenging to get out of bed in the mornings when you’re all nice and cozy. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder. Happy Wednesday.
You absolutely, 100% nailed this post! I lost track of how many times I guffawed out loud! My dog is looking at me funny…
I’m really inspired. I KNOW I can find some stuff to redo our bedroom. The real problem is that I should probably paint it but I’m way too lazy for that!! But I’ll see what I can do without painting it first. 🙂
I love this post. I have always changed out the look of my bedrooms with the seasons. And I do it the way you do – who has room to store all the different bedding for each season?! I get bored with the same look day in and day out. I have been shopping for men’s flannel shirts at Goodwill to use as fabric for my winter pillows. The variety is endless and less expensive than buying yards of fabric.
Carla Stanley says
I have used vintage tablecloths for bedding (and have been known to use bedding for tablecloths). I like white/off white in bedding. Crochet tablecloths lazily thrown over the foot of the bed give the texture I love. Also when I feel the need for new bedding, sometimes just purchasing new pillowcases works for me.
I love your ideas and the faux fur. I have a white duvet too, and my favorite thing about it is a new cover is fast and cheap to sew. It’s easy to switch up bedding that way–in theory. Though right now I just have one cover, lol. But I’m dreaming of what I will do when the weather warms up to brighten the look of our room.
Shirley Smith says
I like change but also cannot afford to do it often. I have a summer set and winter set. I have base bedding and change out shams and curtains and make bed sacks for my comforters. I also do a lot with paint tarps ! I like the homespun look, cottage, etc. Paint tarps come in four different sizes and are very cheap ! I also make my winter curtains with them. I made curtains, shams and comforter sack for less than $50 !!
Hi! I buy just two colourful pillowcases at a time when I find them on sale. For under $15 I get a new “layer” of colour & pattern in our bedding. I mix & match my all-white bedding with printed bedding for a cheery, eclectic look that doesn’t break the bank. Finally, I also shop our home & swap throws& vintage blankets from room to room.
Great post– hopefully you can inspire a few more people to give the wretched bed-in-a-bag a miss!
I my spare guest room, I was tired of my whitish comforter on the bed. I went to Marshall’s looking for anything RED. I found a sheet set perfect color ($10 clearance). Now I’m a really good shopper, so I knew their was some reason that this great sheet set was only $10 and it had to be a flaw in the fabric. Sure enough big flaw. I took the best part of the fabric and covered the white comforter on the top only. So now I have my high quality comforter covered with a beautiful red that makes the entire room pop. It took me about 3 hours. I gently washed and dried the fabric before I started cutting just in case of shrinkage. That much quality fabric would have cost me a fortune to buy at the fabric store. I knew that if the flaw was in the wrong place that I could have returned the sheet set and gotten my $10 back. Discounted sheet sets are a great buy for if you are looking for quality fabric to bring spice and pop to any living area. 🙂
Tennille Mykula says
Ok, so here’s a few tips I’ve actually used myself: keep your eyes out at thrift stores for white duvet covers and or white sheets. You can even use a duvet that has a small print if you’re okay with that just keep the color of the print in mind. Get yourself a couple of boxes of RIT dye in your preferred color. Follow the manufacturers instructions and whatever you do, DO NOT FORGET to run the empty, hot load after you’re done. Trust me, acid wash pink everything is not a good look. When you’re done you have an instant and bold pop of color on your bed. If your duvet or sheet has a pattern just remember your color theory. If your design is yellow, and you dye your duvet blue, the design will more than likely come out green. Also, you want to make sure your fabric is 100% cotton as the dye won’t take if it isn’t. If you don’t want an all over color consider an ombre effect or just dip dying one end of the cover. Secondly, look for XL shirts, skirts or anything else that has a fun, cotton fabric that you like. Sometimes you can get a man’s shirt for a couple dollars, much less than you’d pay for the same yardage at a fabric store. Buy a couple of pieces that have coordinating colors and prints and whip yourself up a couple of standard pillow cases. There are some super easy video tutorials on Youtube. Lastly, if dye scares you but you’re pretty good with a ruler and a sewing machine you can have a custom duvet in just an afternoon. Pick up two flat white sheets, thirft store, discount store, or Walmart sells them for pretty cheap. Lay one out flat on the floor. I’d recommend ironing it first. With a fabric marker/pencil draw a rectangle, greek key shape, series of squares, whatever works for you. Now, take a roll or two of grosgrain ribbon and pin it along your design line. Sew it to the top or use fabric glue. Sew both sheets together, make ties, snaps or sew in a zipper and you have a duvet you can be proud of. Tada!! New bedding, bank account in tact. I hope this helps!
Erin @ House Envy says
great ideas and I think that the bed in a bag concept is almost paralyzing. Mix and match makes a bed feel so much cozier!
Calia Yang says
I’m just now starting to “spruce” up my house. It’s been a long awaited 10 years. When we first bought our home we were in our early 20’s and didn’t give a hoot about making the home a home, it was just a place to sleep and play video games. Now 10 years and three kids later, I’ve become so ashamed at how UGLY I let my house be and lived in it that way. I painted most of my house over the summer and now my goal this year is to slowly furnish and add some of our personality to our home (at a minimal cost).
I love what you did with your bedroom and it’s inspiring me to get my bedroom organized and dolled up! I’m sure i’ll get to it by the end of the year, but this is definitely inspirational with some great tips! Thank you for sharing!
I love this post! If you don’t have euro pillow inserts, buy the shams anyway and stuff them with the off season comforters. Usually Euro pillows are decorative or for leaning on to read in bed. Storage, beauty and comfort all in one!
ashley @ the handmade home says
great idea, Melissa!