A $500, $1000 and $2000 Bedroom Makeover! Plus, A FRESH take on “Budgets”

March 6, 2019

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Anytime I get a request to do a budget ______, (insert kitchen, bedroom, living room) I always ask, “Well, what’s the ‘budget’?” Because here’s the thing–“budget” now has almost become synonymous with “cheapest possible” and I’d love to correct that.

I don’t know anyone personally (although I am sure there are people, way above my class, that exist) that don’t have a dollar figure in mind at. all. when they are improving a space. The truth is, whether you have $1000 or $100,000 for a kitchen renovation, that’s your budget.

“Budget” is just a way to assign a dollar amount to a project and it’s actually so freeing! I think that’s the part people don’t understand–even when you’re on a tight budget. When you set aside $XX for a home improvement project, instead of just saying, “I want to improve this space,” It actually allows you the freedom and ability to tackle that project. “I want to improve this space and we have $50 to make it happen.” You GET to spend that $50. It’s been assigned for the task.

Here’s what I see happen often:

“We are going to makeover our bedroom, but don’t have a ton of money to do it.” They then proceed, with no plan, and no budget to spend a few hundred dollars getting rugs that are too small (that they don’t love) or ten tiny decor objects from Target and keep the same old fan that is really dating the room.

Instead, try this:

“We really want to update our bedroom, we have $500 to do it!” Set a goal and a dollar amount before you even start. Then think about what bothers you most about your bedroom currently, make a list of the trouble areas. Maybe it’s storage. Maybe it’s the dated carpet. Or the color of the walls. Maybe your bed is old. Or your ceiling fan is older. Order the list from what you dislike most to least. This is important because so often I see people trying to compromise and squeeze every inch of the room into the $500 budget–which often times ends up looking not much better and leaves the homeowner unsatisfied.

For $500 total, you probably can’t replace your whole floor, but you can purchase a great, large area rug to cover most of it with half of your money left over.

If you love a rug or a bed that’s $400 and you have $500 set aside to improve your space–that means you can get that thing! It also might mean that your whole room might not get a complete makeover for the money you have set aside right now, but wouldn’t you rather really love it? I would.

Start with the thing that is bothering you most and tackle that first! I remember when we were refreshing our bedroom last year, it was the paint color. I just needed something light and fresh. We took an afternoon and painted and while everything else still needed attention, I felt better in our bedroom already. I also love the idea of designing a whole room about something that excites or inspires me–for our bathroom, it was a vintage painting and the dark green tile. For our bedroom it was a rug!

(Here’s our bedroom almost a YEAR later when we finally felt like it was finished)

For the imaginary bedroom design below, I started with a $500 budget and this $279 rug. Don’t worry if it takes up more than half of your budget if you love it. You have the money set aside. It’s the right size (an 8×10–that’s what we have in our room with our king sized bed!) and it’s within your budget–You can buy it!

Here’s a very realistic $500 bedroom refresh I put together including the rug:


Queen Headboard: $93 Puchasing a headboard instead of a full blown bed is a great way to get the look for less.
Taupe Stripe Duvet set: If you have a queen, I’d recommend still getting the King size and it will feel so luxurious: $25
8×10 Area Rug: $279
• A gallon of paintwe always get our paint color matched at Lowe’s in their Valspar line because the quality is top notch. In a bedroom, you can go with a flat sheen which will be even less expensive. The greatest thing about paint is it’s so transformative and every color costs the same. Even this uber rich Sea Serpent tone: $33
• It’s no secret, I’m a sucker for art. While most people wouldn’t put this as a high priority on their list, these prints are just $20 each from Juniper Print Shop and you can print them any size you’d like!: (2 for) $40

TOTAL: $470 (room for some Target frames for those prints!)

Of course, there’s definitely missing pieces to this room–what about nightstands? Lighting? Curtains? In my opinion, if you are on a tighter budget, it’s better to do a room in phases rather than go for the cheapest thing in every category. The above pieces will have a big impact on your space and you’ll be well on your way. We’ve done most of our rooms in phases and very rarely do we improve a room COMPLETELY all at once and budget has a lot to do with that (also, I love to add something and let it simmer for a little :)

Let’s say you had a $1000 budget (or down the road were ready to add a little more!), Here’s what that could look like:

The same base pieces:

Queen Headboard: $93
Taupe Stripe Duvet set: $25
8×10 Area Rug: $279
• A gallon of paint :$33
Prints (2 for) $40

With an addition of: 
Wall-mounted Lamp$83 Lighting! I like both of these options. The wall-mounted lamp is more traditional, with still modern lines
Table Lamp$69 And the table lamp is a completely modern option to bring into a more traditional room setting. Pick whichever suits you more!
Nightstands$89 each  Hi, these are so good! (two were worked into the budget)
Curtains$88 each  These panels are gray with a blue-ish hue so they will recede a little into the walls while still softening the room. I love them! (two panels were worked into the budget)

TOTAL: $976

Now it’s really starting to feel fresh and complete. For the last installment, I spent $1000 more to complete the room. Maybe you don’t have that lump all at once? Make a list with prices next to it (like we did below) and purchase it as your budget allows. All in all, this complete room refresh, complete with a new chandelier, large 34″ mirror, designer throw pillows and greenery comes to UNDER $2000! Here’s how it shakes out:

All the original pieces

Queen Headboard: $93
Taupe Stripe Duvet set: (If you have a queen, still get the King size and it will feel so luxurious): $25
8×10 Area Rug: $279
• A gallon of paint $33
• These prints  $40
Wall Sconce$83
Table Lamp$69
Nightstands x 2: $89 each! (total reflects 2)
Curtains x 2: $88 each (total reflects 2)

What we added this time:
Pillows: $475 This might seem like a lot for 4 pillows, and there are definitely cheaper options! However, these are all designer fabrics that look great! I also love that this Etsy shop curates groupings together (like the one above!), discounts the bundle and you can be confident knowing they look great together.
• Vase: $19 but looks so much more expensive
Faux Stem x 2: $38 (total reflects 2)
Mirror: $169 This 34″ mirror will make a statement and fill your wall AND bounce light around.
Light Fixture: $268

TOTAL: $1,983

I hope this was helpful! My biggest tip when designing a room on any budget is to not necessarily look at individual prices, but instead focus on the budget AS A WHOLE. Maybe splurge on pillows and save on the headboard. Or splurge on curtains and save on an area rug! The mix is what is going to help your space look chic instead of cheap.

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What do you think?

  1. Kristina says:

    Very helpful post! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Debbie says:

    Love, love, love the budget progression. It is super helpful. I would love to see more rooms done like this one. It really lets me see how to add pieces and the value they bring. I love all the affordable pieces you picked because this makes my budget seem so reasonable.

  3. Shelby says:

    Where’s the link to the ceiling fan?!

  4. lindsey says:

    very helpful and great advice! Thankyou!

  5. MJ says:

    What brand and color is your wood like floor?

  6. Danielle says:

    My question is how do you pull these photos out of the background when making a mood board? I would like to make one for myself.

  7. Alison says:

    Really helpful post! I love the bed frame. Where is it from?

  8. alysia byers says:

    Love the bed.. the headboard link and the bed in the pic is not the same.. where did you get your bed frame?

  9. Anna says:

    I love the grey bedframe in your main picture. Do you happen to remember/know where it’s from? We’re looking for one to soften up the space, but be low enough to be in front of a tall window… that one seems perfect! :)

  10. Randi says:

    I keep coming back to this thread and have used it to get our master finished. Thank you!

  11. Emily says:

    I have been stalled out on where to start with my master bedroom for 8 (!!) years now. This post finally got my wheels turning and I have ordered everything for phase one. Just wanted to say thanks and let anyone stalking the comments know that the duvet cover from Amazon is incredible quality for the price, never would have thought to look at Amazon Basics but loving it!

  12. Carol says:

    Hi Julia! Love your work, I can identify so much with your aesthetic! Question – I live in a nice sized NYC studio. Would love to give my space a little refresh, as I feel I haven’t entirely moved in (have not hung any artwork/frames yet). It’s all white walls. Thoughts on painting an “accent wall” with this color – sea serpent. It’s a nice sized wall which will act as the backdrop for my bed, nightstands and couch, however it’ll be niche in the sense that it extends about 3′ out on either side. The rest of my apartment will still be white. Is this a faux pas design-wise? Thoughts? Thanks so much.

  13. Nichole says:

    Ah! Yes! This is why I blog-stalk. Really realistic and obtainable. Thanks!

  14. Christina says:

    This post is super helpful and is realistic.

    When decorating a home, it tends to be easiest to think of tackling one room at a time, but in doing so, sometimes the room designs get disjointed. I would love to learn how to design a cohesive look between rooms while giving each room its own purpose and personality.

    Please share your tips, a series of these posts that builds on this one would be amazing!

  15. Anna says:

    This is awesome!! I am just over here obsessing over what to do with our bedroom and not knowing where to begin.

    I am thinking about using the “olive / charcoa” rug from the same collection. If I leave the rest of it the same, do you think it would work? Or maybe I’d need a more of a green paint (like in your study)….

    • Julia says:

      I love that one so much and wanted to include it here but included it in a post a couple weeks ago so I thought I better change it up! I think it could work with pretty much any paint color.

  16. Sarah says:

    I love the nightstands; however, I did not see a dresser in the collection and was wondering if you knew Of a dresser that would look great with the nightstands and bedroom style of this post?

  17. Kara says:

    I love this post. Please do more of these!

  18. Angela Ostman says:

    I love this! so good to create content like this!

  19. Really helpful article

  20. Cathy says:

    Love these ideas! We have a cherry bedroom set we don’t want to paint or get rid of-maybe you could show an example with how to work with older style furniture?

  21. Jordana says:

    I love this design! ???????????? Wondering what type of dresser/chest of drawers would you suggest?

  22. Rachael says:

    Fantastic post! I would love to see more like these!

  23. Christine says:

    You can always get these items even cheaper if you watch for sales. That would give you more in your budget to add more items or upgrade some existing choices. Great post!!!

  24. Liz says:

    What would you do for a dresser in this space. I love those side tables as night stands but am stuck trying to figure out the dresser.

  25. Lynn says:

    REALLY liked this post! Reminded me of good design, good price stuff you’ve done in the past. Until the $475 pillows…guuuuurrrl, my husband would have a heart attack. Would love to see more like this for different rooms! Sans car-payment pillows, haha. :)

    • Julia says:

      You can always choose different pillows, but the message in this post is to not focus on the price of one item, but the overall budget!

  26. Ashley says:

    I love this design! Would you still recommend a 8 x 10 rug under a queen size bed in a small bedroom?

  27. Jamie says:

    Phenomenal post! I was hoping for something just like this. I have a whole house that needs updating and this helps me get started without being overwhelmed. I love how you broke it down because it helps me to see what I care to splurge on and what can be a cheaper option. Thank you so much for letting us peek into your process.

  28. Eileen malec says:

    Boy oh boy. What a wonderful post! So many people can benefit and adapt to their unique needs! Kudos to you for finding joy and inspiration! I adored this post and would love more along these lines.

    My heart has broken for you but it seems like you are finding your way and remembering the truest reason why you do this…. because “chris loves julia” and we have seen that that is the driving force behind the creativity and the joy. We are so happy that you have the strength and the love of a strong community backing you! We need you!

  29. Charis Downey says:

    One of my favorite posts you’ve put together to date! This is so, so good.

  30. Katie N says:

    I am interested in updating our curtain rods, and noticed that it’s not included in your budget. I’d love a link to what you would use. Do you mind sharing? Also, that would make the budget more complete :-)

  31. Heather says:

    I LOVE this post – it totally makes sense and is doable for anyone!

    My husband and I are in the midst of making our ‘goals list’ for our house which we do every year on the anniversary of our purchase, and I can’t wait to figure out how to use this advice to not just make ‘wish lists’ but actually attainable goals. Thank you!!!

  32. Jessica says:

    Fantastic post! I love this take on “rooms for less” and allowing the room to grow and change! More like this please!

  33. Lindsey says:

    LOVE this post! More like it, please!!! :)

  34. Irene says:

    Love it all! Question…should I replace my old ceiling fan with another one or with lights? What would you do?

    • Julia says:

      We have a ceiling fan in our bedroom because Chris loves one in the summer, but if you don’t use a ceiling fan, I would 100% switch over!

  35. Cheri says:

    Fantastic post!! What a freeing concept to not have to do it all at once. It’s like my all (it all must be perfect right now!!) or nothing (I have to wait until I can make it all perfect at once!!) personality is being given permission to take smaller decorating steps. ???? Thank you so very much!! ????

  36. Shara Lee says:

    This article was super helpful and insightful. Would really, really love for you to do more of these kind of posts where you educate and open our eyes, [explaining that it’s ok to spend half that budget on one item was eyeopening] along with budget break down items to purchase, and “phase” shopping :) These really are NEW concepts to me!! Thanks!!
    Would you apply the same principles to the exterior of the house?

  37. Jena says:

    I agree with everyone else – excellent content and a concept that everyone can apply right now. I feel like I can use this philosophy for every room in my house – set a budget and start w what you like least. I also would love more posts just like this for other rooms. Thanks!!

  38. Heather says:

    Just have to add my comment to the bunch that this post was super helpful and inspiring. Would love to see one of these done for a living room or kitchen/dining. Thanks for all your hard work!

  39. Stephanie says:

    This is everything!!!! Best budgeting article I have ever read!! I would be happy if you did more of these. That could fill up some of your content over the next 6 months!!

  40. Ashley says:

    I love this post. That rug is actually only 7’6″x 9’6″, do you think it would still work under a king-size bed?

  41. Jen says:

    I love love LOVE your approach on this! I hate buying cheap stuff that I really don’t like that much and likely won’t stay with me for long – so unsatisfying in the end and not good for the planet either! I love that you’re shifting our mindset about what a budget makeover can look like instead!!

  42. Erin says:

    Hey Chris and Julia! I wanted to let you know that I LOVED this post. As much as I love seeing how you are making changes to your home, my husband tends to grumble when I start to show him the cost of furniture and accessories. He would much rather spend our home budget on more permanent features of the house (new drywall, adding can lights, refinishing floors, etc.). These aspects are DEFINITELY important, but then we end up with this beautiful shell of a room that doesn’t feel like home.
    I am super excited to show him this post! I am hopeful that I can use this as a tool to complete some of the rooms in our home that have so much potential, but just need to be tied all together.

  43. Britt says:

    This is, hands-down, the best article I have ever read on budgeting to decorate a room. I’ve sent a link to it to all of the people that I know that struggle with decorating decisions due to the fact that they think they have to re-do everything with the budget they have. They either never decorate anything and hate their space or they do everything, rapid-fire, with the budget (typically low) they have and end up not liking it because every thing is too small and based off of finances and not what really makes them happy. Bravo!

  44. Kelly says:

    Great post. It reminds me of the ole’ “triangle of project management” : Good, cheap, or fast – you can only pick two. Many of these “budget posts” tend to focus on “cheap and fast” meaning they are never really that good. I would much rather choose fewer quality things on a smaller budget and have to wait a little longer for the finished product to emerge. You’re so much happier in the long run.

  45. Ginny says:

    Oh my goodness, I loved this post and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see more like it with different rooms!! What a fantastic idea!!

  46. Amber says:

    This is SO helpful! You are amazingly talented, thank you for sharing your gift with us!

  47. Ashley says:

    This was great to see a room done this way. I couldn’t see that before; I just wanted to wait and do everything. Thanks for the breakdown-I’m gonna do this

  48. Mandy Beachy says:

    Such a good post! Gracious you’re good. ❤Definitely revisiting this post in the future!! Thank you!

  49. Katie says:

    Thank you for this post! So refreshing to read and soak in that a project doesn’t have to be complete for it to still be great. Small changes can make a big difference! I’ve been feeling like we need to save up big to redo our bedroom but this is great inspiration to start with the priorities and go from there! If it’s “finished” with all that we want down the line, great…but we can at least enjoy it now! Thank you!

  50. KOKO says:

    Love this post as well! I have always done things in stages like this, as I like to start cheering my place up as I can afford it, instead of waiting for a time that may never come if I am a perfectionist about it. I wanted to point out another great positive about redecorating in stages is that you may end up changing your mind about other pieces you planned for, so it’s great to see things come alive slowly, and you can change it up as you go. Instead of realizing several pieces don’t work after purchasing a lot at once.

    Side note, I’m genuinely impressed with that lamp from Walmart, and several other items of theirs you’ve linked to recently. I’ve been looking at a similar, more expensive lamp, but I might like this one more.

  51. Bre says:

    This was very helpful! I know you recommended for a queen bed to order a kind to ensure length on sides – do you have any recommendation on where to purchase king size comforters that are long enough? Seems to be several don’t cover the mattress sides.

  52. Daniela says:

    This post was so informative. Thanks so much for the tips. I can say that I’m usually in that mentality that the room needs to be done in one weekend but because the budget does not allow I end up cheaping out. Never thought I could do it in stages.

  53. Karen says:

    Loved this! I can work with this idea and use it to calm the voice in my head telling me it’s ALL or NOTHING! I’d be curious if you have suggestions on where to start when it feels like your whole house needs work… we bought a house in August and have installed new flooring and painted some rooms, but there is so much to do it’s overwhelming.

  54. Adrienne says:

    Loved this post!
    Doing it in stages is exactly what we are doing and our master is almost done!! All of our larger pieces are here (except the headboard) and we just need diy some stuff and add some pretty decorative pieces.
    This will be the first time we actually make our master bedroom a priorty in one of our rental homes and a lot of that is thanks to you guys!!

  55. Kaylee says:

    Favorite post yet! I am buying a lot of what you recommended! I’ve been wanting to change up our bedroom for a long time and I’ve been drawn the color green but didn’t know where to start. Thank you!!

  56. Demree says:

    I always love these types of posts! Very informative. Also, thanks for reminding me of how obsessed I am with those target nightstands LOL

  57. Brittany says:

    I know too many folks close to me who always choose the cheapest things and end up hating it in the end bc it doesn’t solve the problem, as you explained! Each time they do it and it’s not right, I want to shake them! But now I have a post to send them!

  58. Debbie C says:

    Such a wonderful, helpful way of looking at “budget”! Love that there can be phases as the budget grows over time, instead of cramming in lots of cheap things just to get it all done.

  59. Heather says:

    Love this! I keep seeing these LOLOI rugs recommended but I am wondering if they are actually rugs or just a printed design on a mat? I don’t think I could handle a printed design. Does anyone have one of these that can share more about them?

  60. Jessica says:

    Loved this post! I would love to see more of these room on various budgets posts. Also-more sources for affordable pillows. I have been searching everywhere and it’s so hard to make a cohesive set. It’s the hardest to find and one day I’ll fork out for them but not at this stage when my kids are still using them on the couch or the occasional fort.

  61. Aubrey says:

    Just wanted to add to the resounding chorus that this content is amazing!!! Thank you for an insightful post on how to take a design through the phases.

  62. Alicia says:

    MORE OF THIS!!! Thank you so much for this. It is so needed!!

  63. Jordin says:

    Love this post!! And working in phases when the budget allows! Our guest bathroom was awful, needs a new vanity, tile, paint, new mirrors and lighting. But we are on a tight budget right now, so we thought we couldn’t do anything to it until later. Then we decided to work in phases and it was so freeing to realize I could make it better with a quick weekend paint job and mirrors I found on sale. I like it SO much more, we didn’t spend much at all, and I don’t feel stressed that I need to do it all right now. (Bonus it’s no longer mint green with ornate black mirrors ????)

  64. Brittney says:

    Best post ever! What a gift. Keep them coming please.

  65. Rebecca says:

    Can you elaborate on color matching paint from other brands? That stood out the most.

  66. Whitney says:

    Thanks so much for this post! We’re in the process of finishing our basement and I have two rooms to fill from scratch so I love the idea of decorating it in stages. Please do more posts like this with links to “build a bedroom” as designed by Julia!

  67. Sonia says:

    Love this post!!! I appreciate how you talk about a “budget.” Thank you!

  68. abby says:

    LOVE this so much!! So helpful to think about the creativity that setting a budget can spark, and the phases you would lay out for the room. Would echo others in wanting more of these (especially for rooms that are typically larger projects to tackle — how would you phase into a bathroom or kitchen??)

  69. Lauren says:

    MORE LIKE THIS! Instructional posts are so helpful. This one is amazing the progression gives hope when you’re at the $500 mark and helps set the goal of what could be. Love it. I needed it as I am currently overwhelmed to the point of doing nothing with all that I want or need to do in our remodeling and redecorating.

  70. Grace says:

    What an amazing post! Love it. I’ve been looking for a <$50 duvet and love what you shared! And the rug! You are a master.

  71. Kim says:

    Loved this post!!! It would be awesome to see a lost like this for different rooms around the house or even focusing on different styles/vibes!

  72. Julie says:

    This is great! I’d love to see this approach applied to even more rooms. It really helped to give me perspective on tackling projects in stages with high-quality must-haves first, instead of going for the cheapest items in a room.

  73. Danielle says:

    This post is MAGIC!! I LOVE this-something like this, with different types of rooms in your house, would be amazing! Seriously, thank you!

  74. Katie says:

    Thank you so much for doing this! I was just thinking how it’s easy for me to see individual items that I like but I really struggle with planning a cohesive room. It’s nice to see the impact different budgets can make, but it’s also nice to see a few mood boards for inspiration and context.

  75. Rachel R Sposa says:

    This is one of my favorite posts from you, and it’s so timely! We bought a house and the scope of doing a whole house is so daunting; thank you for helping break it down incrementally!

  76. Emma says:

    Love this post! Super helpful to think about. I get anxious about spending so much money on some design elements, even when the money is there (why!!?). This is especially true for replacements or things I just want to change out for the design, not the function.

    I’ve wanted a new living room rug for YEARS, but the type I really want is way more than I ever thought would be “ok” to spend on a rug. Even though we have the funds I talk myself out of it. Would love if you’d dive in to when to pull the trigger. I’m not swooning for a specific rug, but more that if I see one I like and it takes me to a pricey (but high quality!) site like Rejuvenation I immediately stop and say, oh well, that’s too much to spend on a rug. Yet, I don’t like the quality or designs at my “mentally approved” budget level.

    • Elaine says:

      Butting in here and would recommend eBay for a vintage. If you filter to auction pieces, you can get a delightfully huge rug at a really good price point. Are they brand new? Nope. But there are a lot of beautiful vintage rugs that are super well made and available. I don’t know wahat your mental “too much” for a rug number is but I got my 10’ x 13’ for $310 including $55 in shipping.

  77. Debra says:

    This might be one of my favorite posts of yours. Informative and very timely! Thank you so much!

  78. Andrea R. says:

    Love this post!!!! I have a question that maybe you can answer….would you use a patterned rug similar to what was used in this post with a platform king bed when a good portion of it would be covered by the bed? Or would you suggest a solid rug layered w a patterned rug on each side of the bed?

  79. Lauren says:

    Is the rug in your links the same one in your bedroom? It looks different. If different, could you provide link to rug in your bedroom?

  80. Kate says:

    This was a fabulous post! I would love to see more “budget” designs from you!

  81. Sarah says:

    I absolutely LOVE this post – I would love love love to see more like this! I especially like your line about buying a ton of little things – that is SO ME. This was great! I would love to see another post like this for a bathroom, playroom, etc! Make it a series!

  82. YFinSF says:

    Loved this post! Definitely makes things feel more doable and relieves some of the guilt I feel spending so much money all at once. Thank you! Also, I’m a long time reader and feel so sad about the loss of all the work you’ve put into the A-frame. If you’re looking for content to fill the gap, this was a great topic. Wondering too, if you’re considering amping up your remote design services? Hoping the fire is feeling at least a little less raw. Hugs.

  83. Mary says:

    Great post. Very informative plus some eye candy. Your eye for design is great. Just proves you don’t need a project for every post.

  84. Leigh says:

    Love it! Can you give the name of the nightstands? I’m in Canada and link just takes me to the home page at Target : ).

  85. Ashley says:

    I love this post so much! What a great way to think about how we decorate rooms, and I love how you broke it down in the 3 stages. Would love to see a series like this tackling all different types of rooms–nursery, kids bedrooms, living rooms, dining room, office, kitchen, guest room, family room!

  86. Jamie says:

    I’m so sorry about the fire at the cabin and all the associated stress and drama that I’m sure you are experiencing. But I have to tell you, you are definitely making lemonade out of lemons.
    This post was fabulous. It was realistic for all budgets, and showed us how to make progress over time, instead of everything being instant like HGTV. (I still love HGTV, but it’s not real).
    Also, thanks for teaching me to only buy what I really love. I think it makes all the difference in the way my house feels.

    • Ren says:

      I was thinking the same thing! Your last couple posts have been great. I love seeing your take on different rooms and the process of designing. It is a fresh voice among the endless sea of white walls/boho/figs. Definitely more of this!

  87. Brittany says:

    This is amazing. THANK YOU! (if you are still figuring out your content schedule… more of these please!) Would even take another bedroom roundup just like this but in a different style!

  88. Morgan says:

    I am also very anti buying “placeholder” furniture. people pick up a super cheap dining table “for now” and hate it and then buy a new one in 2 years and the old one was a waste of $ and resources. I personally went a year with zero furniture in our dining room until we were ready financially and design wise to fill the space and I am so glad we waited!

  89. Liz says:

    Best kind of post! So easy! Thank you!

  90. Tracie says:

    As someone who never sets out to re-do a room with a plan, :/ I found this so helpful – I love the idea of even starting with a small budget, one thing at a time. Thank you so much. This was really good!

  91. Jessica says:

    This is helpful! It seems so obvious when you write it out but honestly we haven’t been doing this and as a result have felt so limited as far as what we can do to update some of the rooms in our home. I found a bed for my son that we all love but it’s very expensive—but now thinking about it in terms of the whole budget (which we have yet to set…duh, I can’t believe we didn’t think of that) I realize that we may be able to work it into the room, especially if we go in phases. Thank you!

  92. Melody says:

    Love this post so much! I bought my house almost two years ago and unintentionally this is how I was approaching my bedroom, finding items that I love and waiting until they were on sale or I could afford them. It has worked sooo much better than the guest room I just threw together because my mom was visiting! Thanks for stream lining the process for us! Also, I have those nightstands and LOVE them!! Literally spent the better part of a year looking for something similar, I checked vintage, new, expensive and inexpensive…I was about to have something custom made, when Target launched those nightstands. I bought them the first day they were available and ran away before they could tell me they were more money. No regrets for waiting for the right pieces that I cannot live without!! <3

  93. Tiffany Hedin says:

    This was SO helpful and would love more of these.

  94. Lil says:

    Love this. More please! I love that you added on instead of making a complete change. Very freindly to my reality.

  95. Amanda says:

    This is probably the most useful and applicable to real life advice I’ve seen! It’s kind of nice to get “permission” to not do everything at once! When it’s not realistic to completely make over a space, sometimes I just don’t do anything – although recently I just replaced the curtains in my bedroom and I am so much happier with the entire room!

  96. Cici Haus says:

    I started doing this because of your advice a few years ago and it was so freeing! Suddenly the $250/ea dining chairs I loved were fine because they fit within my budget (I ended up finding an incredible vintage set for $400 total though!). Thank you!

  97. Finula says:

    Best post ever! Honestly sounds so simple but such a great way to lay it out for so many of us that are overwhelmed when thinking through how to make changes. However, would still love for you to do it for me :-)

  98. AlisonG says:

    Very well written, great job Julia.

  99. Jasmine Agnor says:

    This is sooo helpful! You are talented. Thanks for taking your years of learning and distilling them down into a useful and easily applicable format that’s replicable. I have been so lost on my bedroom but now I know where to focus. I might even shop my house for some items.

  100. Gigi says:

    I love posts like these! I always come away with a ton of knowledge. Bravo. I am guilty of picking up a couple pieces at Target and still hating my room.

  101. Lori says:

    Ahhhh, these posts that really get into theory and process are so helpful to me! Thank you!

  102. Meg says:

    This is such a great post! I love that you showed readers what is obtainable in multiple price points and showed them your thought process. GENIUS!

  103. Alli says:

    Yes, yes, yes! Please do this for every room, multiple times :)

  104. Liz says:

    This. Is. Awesome. From the tips on how to break down a budget, to the mood boards, this may be my favorite post, ever. I never comment either, so…yeah…love it! Please do a million more!!

  105. Michelle says:

    This post is excellent! Please do this for every room! It seems so simple when you spell it out like this, but I have not been able to arrive at these ideas by myself. Designing or redoing a room from scratch feels exhausting to me sometimes! You guys make it seem so easy and worthwhile!!

  106. Jennifer Kimball says:

    Love this post so much!! We have taken this approach with our master bed room and after two year it is almost finished but even unfinished it is my favorite room in our house. I wish I had figured this out sooner because now I need to fix other rooms where I took the just buy a few new things approach. You are so talented!! Thank you for continually putting out useful content!❤️

  107. linda bui says:

    Wow! Thank you for walking us through your thought process. I’ve just am moving (hopefully) out of decision paralysis. after living in our home for 4+years I’m now back to trying to make the areas that don’t work for us work but within budget since we are still saving for a big renovation. This breakdown helps sooooo much.

  108. Jamie says:

    So good!!

  109. Michelle says:

    I absolutely love this and agree, more posts like this would be so helpful in the future!

  110. Lindsay says:

    Great post!!! This and the decorating essentials list have both been super helpful.

  111. I agree with the others! I hate the reason, obviously, but I kind of love the way that not having “content” to show has made you focus a little more on the theory behind things! This post was very helpful for me, because I’ve definitely made some of the mistakes you describe. Do you always have a firm budget in mind, though? If you’re allowing a room to come together over time, do you more just buy what you know you can afford if it’s something you LOVE, or do you keep a running tab in your mind of whether it’s within “budget”? Did you know your bedroom refresh would cost you $X, for example?

  112. Amber says:

    I agree with fellow commenters. I love this post! Your moodboards are always my favorite.

  113. Christina says:

    I love this! Listing what I dislike most about my bedroom really put in perspective where I should spend my money first. I’ve had an idea about paint color and night stands and bedding, but I really hate the placement of my window. It’s an old window that needs to be replaced anyway, so I’m getting that done before I really dive in to sprucing up my room.

  114. Cory says:

    I never comment, but I had to jump in to say this post is excellent. So so so helpful – I’m definitely guilty of buying a few small things and realizing later I didn’t actually accomplish anything I wanted. Would love to see more of these!

  115. Amanda says:

    I literally LOVE this post Julia! Thank you for putting it together – now I want more inspo rooms in this format!! You’re the best!

  116. Patricia says:

    Great post! More like real life for most people. Buy good stuff you love and live without the rest until you can afford it. I was lucky enough to learn fairly early on, “You can do ANYTHING you want. You just can’t do EVERYTHING”. You have to make choices and focus in on what’s really important to you.
    I met a schoolteacher many years ago who took fabulous overseas trips every summer. But, as she explained, she put all her money into saving for trips. No new clothes, no steak, no movies, books and magazines only from the library.

  117. Nicole Orrell says:

    I have to say, I am sorry about your cabin fire, but your replacement content lately is HOT!!!

    I am so impressed with this article, the 6 Basics, etc. that you have released oven the last week or so. I have been helping a friend to decorate her home (my first time!). She likes my style and wants me to “just do it all for her” but I want to teach her as well. I’ve been forwarding all these posts on to her because they are such a great resource!

    It’s really fun to follow your amazing projects and be inspired, but this sort of stuff helps to really understand how to make it work for “US”! :) Please keep it up!

  118. Ashlyn says:

    Just wanted to chime in to add to the chorus of folks saying what an awesome post this is. I really appreciate you walking through each phase and discussing items you could use to build the look over time. I will never convince my husband to drop $2000 on our bedroom all at once (nor would I want to!), but an accumulation over time, budgeting smaller amounts at a time, makes it so much more realistic to move in the direction I like. Thank you!

  119. Jes says:

    This is such a great post. I always see comments that readers feel like bloggers are out of touch with the audience because of sponsorships and higher renovations budgets. I’m a believer that when blogging started to “become a thing” quite a few years ago the bloggers budgets were tighter and the sponsorship content was not as available, so you all worked with the budgets you had. As your businesses grew, so didn’t the amounts in your budgets. I think it is sometimes hard for readers to realize that natural evolution. However, this post bridges the gap. It gives a general framework in such a visual and obtainable way for readers of all budgets. I also like that it isn’t showing a higher budget renovation and then showing how to get it for less. I think that can rub readers wrong, too, since it feels like they are less successful or settling for something not as good – which to clarify I don’t think it true at all – but insecurities of all kinds run deep in our society. Thanks for keeping the content coming and connecting with your readers.

  120. Dina says:

    This is an excellent post! I would love to see you expand on this kind of strategy. Like maybe a questionnaire or spreadsheet to help people figure out what they need and how to determine their budget.

    Really – such a smart way to help readers tackle the notion of completing one room at a time in a step by step manner.

    I have to say, sometimes bloggers get flack for “not actually being designers”. But, you really manage to get it right and help compartmentalize each project.

    Keep it up!

  121. Hilary says:

    This is so great. Never stop preaching about a budget giving you decorating freedom. We are following a similar staged plan and this post definitely envisions me for the next step/ layer of our bedroom plan. In the meantime, I’m so glad the color on our walls doesn’t make me sad every morning and our mattress is supportive and our plantation blinds block the sun.

  122. Elle says:

    I’m interested by your comment to get a king duvet even if you have a queen bed. You don’t think that would make the bed look like it was drowning in the duvet cover or risk dragging on the floor?

    • Mona says:

      Julia is 1000% correct on buying a king duvet for a queen bed unless maybe you only use a single mattress with a very low profile bed frame. For many years I had a queen down comforter on a queen bed and could never figure out why it never looked all that plush and substantial in my room as you see in magazines and catalogs. Not to mention the comforter just barely covered the mattress. I read about this trick on Young House Love and tried it. Magic! It reminds me of the visual difference in hanging your curtains high and wide vs. just over your window frame. Great tip Julia!

  123. Sarah says:

    I loooove this! I seriously wouldn’t be mad if you put something together like this for every room in the house. I totally agree with your “do it in stages” budget philosophy. Our whole house has been in a halfway stage for about three years… but now a new rug (the Langdon Rejuvenation rug, like yours!) and new lighting is on the way… and I know it’s going to look pulled together. I’m SO excited and I’m so happy we waited/saved to get something that’s (hopefully) perfect and will last for a really long time.

  124. Candice says:

    I love the real world examples at each price point! What great advice to not “settle” just to make the budget work.
    If you want to keep the $2000 option closer to $1500 check out Woven Nook – they have a pillow set almost idential and it’s $40 for all 4 pillow covers! Quality may be different – but so is the price! And this gets you a serious room refresh for $1500ish, that’s so awesome!

  125. TP says:

    Thanks! Love makeover mood board posts. Keep ’em coming!

  126. Jen says:

    LOVE this type of post and would love to see more in the future. It really helps to see it chunked into phases and be realistic ! Thanks and have a great week!

  127. Linda says:

    I loved this post! Please do this for other rooms!

  128. Sarah says:

    This is basically exactly what I do- buy a few pieces at a time, spend a while with the change, then evaluate where I want to go from there. I get compliments all the time on my home and requests from friends to decorate their place, but everyone wants instant gratification and then balks at the total price without realizing how much more doable it is spread over months or years. Going to send them to this post from now on ????

  129. Geraldine says:

    I LOVE this post. just what I needed! :D

  130. Jan says:

    Love love loved this post! More like this, please!

  131. Sally says:

    Great post – I am planning a whole house renovation in Sydney, Australia. Real Estate and renovating is very expensive and I am working on a lot of plans similar to this where I will get 60 – 70% of spaces done and leave room to add pieces in the next year or two rather than spreading the decor budget too thinly and having things I do not love.

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