How I Redecorated My Daughter’s Room for Under $40 — in Less Than a Day

My home is one of my hobbies. I am a nester at heart and always have been. As a little girl, I remember trying to decorate my room with what was available; I’d use old sheets as new curtains, display pretty bottles, shells, or jewelry boxes my mom would let me have. And now, I have a 12-year-old daughter, Anna, who is the exact same way.

I’m not sure if it’s in her genes or because she has watched me transform our house with paint and fabric so many times, that she’s gotten inspired and thinks that’s just what you do. She’s always the first one to jump up and help me rearrange the furniture until I can’t stand up straight and need a heating pad.

She is always changing things in her bedroom, and I let her have at it: Her room, her rules. We’ve given this space a makeover quite a few times. It’s become one of our favorite rituals. We both pour over Pinterest boards first and send each other our favorites. Sometimes we get a little carried away, and then I come back to reality since I have three kids and we do this about once every few years in their bedrooms. It not only has to be easy and quick, but it has to be done on a budget.

To make this easier, I’ve gotten all my kids white bedding. It can be bleached, it can always be found on sale, and goes with everything. If we change the wall color, I know the bedding will always coordinate with the rest of the room. Besides, it’s much less expensive to buy a few new throw pillows or fabric to cover old pillows than it is to buy all new bedding.

This weekend, we redecorated Anna’s room. She’s been itching to do it for a while, since it’s been the same way for a few years. We all need a change, and it’s fun for them to have a space that feels like it’s their own.

Here’s what it looked like before:

bedroom before
Image Source: Katie Smith

The walls were white, but she was craving color (and I was in the mood for a project), so it seemed like the perfect time to dive in. But the icing on the cake was that I gave her space a whole new look for under $40 and less than a day of work.

After perusing the West Elm catalogue, she fell in love with the Sherwin Williams color, Sandbank. Thankfully, bedrooms don’t require special paint (like for a high humidity bathroom, or the main living area, where the walls need a lot of scrubbing). So when it comes to painting the kids’ rooms, I can go as cheap as possible — which works best, since I know they are going to want to change it after a time. We ended up going to Home Depot where you can match any color for $21 a gallon using Glidden paint.

Next, we headed over to the spray paint section and picked out a new color for her chandelier. I try not to interfere here, but holy cow … there are so many delicious options to choose from. I love using spray paint on lamps, tables, and other small accessories. It makes such a huge impact for a couple of dollars and it’s fast, too. I am loving all the metal paints right now and hinted towards something gold or copper, but my daughter knows what she wants — and she wanted a teal chandelier.

bedroom from left
Image Source: Katie Smith

It was so satisfying to get it painted and hung up. I love the contrast against the wall color.

Because the paint was so inexpensive and we already had all the supplies at home, we headed to Target to get an accessory. She choose a soft, furry pillow cover to go over the body pillow she already had for $10.

After everything was painted, we rearranged her furniture. I highly recommend furniture sliders because you can move really heavy things much easier. And now, she has a new look she loves.

bedroom after
Image Source: Katie Smith

I love doing mini-makeovers like this. It satisfies my nesting urge every time. And since it wasn’t too labor intensive, I will be ready to tackle another room soon. My son wants to paint his room florescent green with a magnetic wall (did you know you can paint this on?) for his magnet collection and cars. So, if you see a woman walking down the street with green paint in her hair, it will probably be me.

I’ve talked to a lot of moms who would love to tackle a room, but don’t, because of time, energy, and kids who are all over the place. I say, send the kids away for the day and ask a friend to help you — or tackle it on your own. It is so fulfilling to accomplish!

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