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Small projects to revive your bedroom

From the Resene decorating blog

Here are some project ideas that can revive your bedrooms without blowing the budget.

A painted ornate screen rag

An ornate screen rag painted in diluted Resene White Pointer adds lots of visual interest to this neutral, monochrome bedroom.

The wall is also painted in Resene White Pointer. The floor is stained with Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, bedside table and rope-handled bowl in Resene Double White Pointer, vase in Resene Quarter White Pointer and lamp base in Resene Colorwood Whitewash. Throw from Freedom, duvet cover from Wallace Cotton, sheets, valance and pillowcases from Briscoes, screen from Trade Aid. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

Bedrooms can be the most fun spaces in your home to redecorate. They’re a chance to really indulge with your design and decorating skills and tastes in a way that doesn’t need to please anyone but those that sleep there, and that will create a space you love to spend time in.

They’re also rooms where one or two small touches of flair can have a big impact on how your space looks and feels.

Here are some project ideas that can revive your bedrooms without blowing the budget, and can be completed quickly, without the need for a lengthy renovation.

Look up

Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins suggests looking toward the ceiling for simple ways to add some fresh pizzazz to your bedroom.

“If you want to introduce colour, but don’t want it on the walls, why not add it to the ceiling,” she says. “It’s something fun and different that will add life to an otherwise boring space.”

Amy suggests opting for colours that invoke the sky such as the soft blues of Resene Emerge, Resene Ashanti or Resene French Pass.

You could take that sky theme in an even more whimsical direction by adding cloud-like wisps in Resene Half Sea Fog.

Bolder, brighter ceiling colours are also having a bit of a moment in the spotlight and can be a fun, effective way to make rooms with higher ceilings feel cosy or more contained. Try the warm, deep teal of Resene Tangaroa, or try something unexpected like a deep red Resene Aroha against sandy beige walls in Resene Tua Tua and trim in fresh cream Resene Meringue.

If you want to level up your feature ceiling even further, why not try a wallpaper? Keep it a neutral colour but add subtle starbursts with Resene Wallpaper Collection 38818-3 or try a painterly style like the Japanese-influenced Resene Wallpaper Collection 296487.

Wallpapering your ceiling might seem difficult, but the steps are essentially the same as hanging wallpaper on the walls. That said, if you make it a two-person job, it will be much easier to manage.

First, decide which direction to hang your Resene wallpaper if it has a strong pattern or texture. That means thinking about where you’re most likely to get the best view of the design from. In a living area that might be from the main entry point, but in the bedroom, you probably want to consider the angle you’ll be viewing the design from while lying in bed.

Top tip:  If you have a large window as a source of light in your room, you might want to orient the wallpaper so the light runs along the wallpaper length. This will help hide the joins.

You might also want to check you have chosen a “paste the paper” wallpaper rather than one that requires you to paste the wall. This will just make application to the ceiling much easier.

When it comes to application, have one person in charge of placing the paper and the second person in charge of holding the remaining length so the paper isn’t dragging off the ceiling while you’re trying to hang it. Smooth out any bubbles and clean off any excess glue as you go.

A deep blue slatted headboard

A simple slatted headboard is given added impact in deep blue Resene Tangaroa.

The rear wall is painted in Resene White Pointer and the floor is finished in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy. The left wall, bedside table and vases are in Resene Tangaroa. Lamp from Interior Warehouse, rug, bedding and throw from Bed Bath & Beyond. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

A unique art piece - headboard

Subtle backlighting showcases a beautiful, unique art piece that doubles as a headboard.

Walls are painted in Resene Comfortably Numb, painted detail, bedside tables and drawers in Resene Alabaster, floor is finished in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash and vases in Resene Black Sand, Resene Four Winds and Resene Westminster. David head from Interior Warehouse, bedlinen from Bed, Bath N’ Table. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.

Look behind

Headboards are an extremely easy style addition to make to your bedroom, whether it’s adding colour or a pattern to an existing headboard, or simply opting for a faux effect by painting out a section of wall behind your bed, Amy suggests.

And don’t be afraid to think outside the box, literally. There’s no rule that says a headboard must be a neat oblong shape. Instead try for a freehand curved, or ‘cloud’ shape or try for a series of large overlapping circles.

Top tip:  To draw large circles on your wall. Pin a section of string to the wall where you want the centre of your circle to be. Tie a pencil to the end of the strength at length you want your circle radius to be. Then use the set-up like a compass to trace a circle on the wall.

For visual interest with practicality, add wall shelves on your painted headboard in a matching colour.

If you’re confident in your artistic ability, why not experiment with a mural behind the bed. Try a theme like a leafy botanic design, a sunset display or a collection of flowers, and match other notes around the room to your chosen colours and theme. If you’re not confident in your drawing skills, opt instead of a wallpaper in an eye-catching pattern like floral Resene Wallpaper Collection 38509-4, the ornate classical pattern of Resene Wallpaper Collection 570861 or a mural with Resene Wallpaper Collection E307400.

Instead of making your wallpaper the size and shape of a standard headboard, think about dropping it from floor to ceiling behind the bed, over a width just slightly narrower or just wider than your bed for added drama and impact. Paint the surrounding walls in a contrasting shade.

For adding texture, and to emulate the look of a luxury, padded bed head, try an anaglypta wallpaper design that you can paint over in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen tinted to a deep jewel tone like Resene Atlas. Add metallic touches in Resene Goldmine for extra luxe.

A green and pink bedroom

Beautifully contrasting colours lend a painted headboard in a simple half-circle shape added impact. Walls painted in Resene Forest Green, floor finished in Resene Colorwood Breathe Easy, headboard, table, vases and artwork in Resene Coral Tree and second table and artwork in Resene Meringue. Bedlinen, floral cushion and green cushion from Adairs, throw from H&M Home, striped cushion from Mocka. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.


Giving your current furniture a fresh facelift or upcycling second-hand items is another good way to give a bedroom a new look, Amy says.

“If you have old bedside tables that are looking a little tired, give them new life with a sand and repaint using Resene Lustacryl in a rich colour,” she says. Working with a colour palette that includes colours of your bedlinen and headboard will give you a chic cohesive look.

“Likewise, if you have timber bedside tables, give a sand, then stain using Resene Colorwood interior wood colourwashes. I’d use one of the Colorwood ‘We Speak Beach’ colour range for an uplifting coastal feeling. Just remember to finish by sealing with Resene Aquaclear to protect the surface,” Amy says.

“To upcycle an open shelf, try adding some Resene wallpaper to the backboard. It’s a good way to add some personality without it going on all the walls,” Amy suggests, making it a good option for adding some design flair to bedrooms in rented homes.

Reviving bedrooms with fresh colours and design ideas doesn’t need to mean undertaking huge projects. Experimenting with smaller scale design ideas is a great way to find out what you love in your interior designs, and they’re usually pretty simple to alter if you change your mind.

Resene Meringue

Resene Breathe Easy

Resene Tua Tua

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Four Winds

Resene Comfortably Numb

Resene Westminster

Resene Black Sand

Resene Aroha

August 29, 2023

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