How to update your bedroom

Nikki ParkinsonLife 37 Comments

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It’s no surprise that I like to update my wardrobe but unless you follow me on Instagram you may not be aware that I also like to update things around the home.

The first thing I did more than 12 months ago when we moved into our Brisbane home was to create a chaos-free lounge/dining zone that was unpacked and decorated in the style I’d had in my head before we moved.

I’d been “collecting” things – decor pieces and furniture – especially for this space once we knew we had the house available to us to rent.

Creating this one zone to sit in while the rest of the house was in that crazy state of half unpacked boxes was essential to my sanity.

It’s more than having spaces where everything has a place. It’s about having spaces that feel good to spend time in … that’s the thing that inspires me to decorate those spaces.

Over those first couple of weeks, we all worked ridiculously quickly to get the rest of the house into a chaos-free state but there was one room that I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to.

The bedroom.

The ultimate place of rest.

I kept saying that it was on the project list but a little thing happened in the middle of last year … I released my first book and suddenly found that any spare time I may have had on the weekends was not taken up DIYing or decor shopping.

No, it was spent catching up on sleep in the very room I wished I’d devoted some love to back when we moved in.

So, when leading paint company Valspar and colour expert Sarah Stephenson offered to give ideas and inspiration on how to update my bedroom through the use of colour, I was all ears.

We talked through the current situation – a matchy-matchy 2003 furniture catalogue look (albeit with nice bed linen!) that suited our tastes back in the day but didn’t reflect our current home and style preferences.

Here’s a visual.

How to update your bedroom | Before

We talked about how it wasn’t necessary to completely ditch what we already owned but use some colour to freshen and re-purpose.

Strong tonal and colour contrast bring vitality and fun to a space. Mixing pieces of furniture eclectically confirms that sense of boldness and freshness. This room should  make you smile every time you walk in.  Sarah Stephenson

Here’s the mood board that Sarah put together for me based on things I was keen to shop for as well as existing bed linen colours.

How to update your bedroom | Mood board | Valspar paints

This was a great starting point for me – and just the motivation I needed to make this bedroom makeover happen.

I’m no interiors blogger but I have picked up a few tips along the way when it comes to updating the look of any room, so I thought I’d share them here in case it inspires you to tackle a project on the to-do list.

8 ways to update your bedroom

1. It’s essential to start with an end look in mind. A bit like you would when planning an outfit. Bedroom decor should reflect who you (and your partner) are and be a relaxing place to spend time in. One person’s idea of relaxing will differ from another’s – and that’s ok – it’s about your bedroom style.

2. Colour is crucial. Even if your colour scheme is predominantly white, colour is key to creating the mood of the room. Two existing pieces in our bedroom helped anchor the colours we worked with for this makeover – a timber and multi-coloured drawer side table from Retrojan and a black and white chevron quilt from Oh Mabel. Just like in my wardrobe, I love using black in my home. It’s striking and classic in style and provides the perfect backdrop for a splash of colour of your choice. That splash is yellow – and depending on the bed linen change – may also include mint or chambray blue. The Valspar Colour Selector is a great online tool to use. Log in and visualise what your colour choices will look like in different rooms of the house.

Valspar Bedroom Makeover

3. Re-purpose existing furniture pieces with paint. This is an inexpensive and fun way to update decor in your home. Yes, I said fun. I’m now totally hooked on painting things after spending time re-purposing a varnished timber bedside table and tall boy for our bedroom. Using the Valspar colours and preparation Sarah recommended (see mood board above Bohemian Glam C26.24; Black is Black C15.01; Halcyon C11.14), I turned these 2003 pieces into striking elements for our new bedroom. When I say “I”, I mean I roped Mr SY into sanding back the two furniture pieces and I also roped in my step-mum visiting from the UK (a painting pro from way back) into getting the coats on. Bonding over DIY … that’s so a thing, yes?

Valspar Bedroom Makeover

Valspar Bedroom Makeover

Valspar Bedroom Makeover

The actual painting bit was quite addictive. All of the Valspar colours I used went on so easily. Even with a primer one coat of colour, it looked well covered. Most normal surfaces don’t require a primer if using Valspar Paint and Primer in One but this previously varnished surface did. By coat number two, it was almost fully covered – including the Black is Black. We decided to do the third coat for good measure. And I’m very happy with the result. And my step-mum was impressed with how the paint went on so easily. She’s got way more experience in this kind of thing that I have. If we hadn’t been happy with the colour, Valspar would have replaced the paint for free – thanks to the Valspar Colour Guarantee – find out how it works here. This guarantee takes a lot of the fear out of doing any paint job.

Valspar repurpose furniture makeover

4. Look for new furniture pieces that help mix things up a bit – removing the matchy-matchy feel. I decided early on that I no longer wanted both tall boys in the bedroom, so I painted one and we went shopping for another drawer option for the room. The Freedom Furniture dresser fits the look of the room but will also offer a variation in height along the wall where the matching tallboy drawers once sat. We ditched the old matching bedside lamps for a floor lamp and table lamp. I love these retro-industrial style globes and I’m obsessed with anything copper right now. The copper obsession led me to the side table from the Interiors Addict Shop.

Valspar Bedroom Makeover-0004

Valspar Bedroom Makeover-0004

5. Hunt down one-of-a-kind pieces at markets or second-hand/antique retailers. Much as I’m a marketers’ dream and could just buy one of everything when it’s been well merchandised for me in a store, I also know that the key to creating your own look – for an outfit or a room in your home – is to find things from all sorts of places and bring them together in a way that is as far removed as possible from a furniture catalogue

Valspar Bedroom Makeover-0004

Valspar Bedroom Makeover-0006

6. Swap out existing furniture and decor pieces with others from other rooms in your home. I do this a lot. Everyone asks where I store my cushions but truth be known, I mostly rotate them around the house. Only a few are stored in the linen cupboard. The same goes with small decor pieces and prints on the wall. These pieces are to your room like accessories are in an outfit. They are the icing on the cake and can really pull a room together. So why not mix them up for variety?

Valspar Bedroom Makeover-0004

7. Don’t scrimp on good bed linen. Think about the cost per wear! We spend that many hours in bed, it makes so much sense to buy the best that your budget can afford. I’ve become a bit addictive to good quality (and organic) cotton sheets as well linen sheets and quilt covers. They are the most visible decor “accessory” in a room so it’s important to think about how they can work into your colour plans. I generally have two sets of sheets/quilt covers and swap them out each week, changing the cushions as well. While they are two different looks they are still anchored to the rest of the room with black and white.

Valspar Bedroom Makeover-0004

8. Have fun with it. Just like your wardrobe isn’t serious business; decorating doesn’t have to be either. Make it a space that you truly like to spend time in. Nothing beats that feeling.

Could your bedroom do with an update? What colours do you like in a bedroom? Got a DIY paint project on the go?

Valspar’s paint range is available from Masters Home Improvement and Home Hardware stores nationally. Prices start at $69 (4l).For more information and to discover your colours, visit

Coordinated by The Remarkables Group

Comments 37

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  2. Looks great Nikki. I’m building up to re-working our bedroom. I hadn’t heard of that paint before. Can I ask where your standing bedside lamp is from? It is exactly what I have been looking for! ta, k

  3. got soo excited to see stokehouse had to squeal a bit! … we sat there!
    hellooo! doesn’t take much! lol love m:)X

  4. This post was excellent thanks for all the great tips and information. To paint the tall boys did you need to take them out of the room? How long was the process? I could easily do this but would need to take my tall boy down the stairs if it needed to be painted outside….that would be a nightmare!
    As usual your styling is spot on, enjoy!

  5. Love what you’ve done here Nikki – great job. I love how a lick of paint can transform rooms and furniture and it’s nice to do a bit of DIY every now and then too! x

  6. Love your home Nikki, old Queenslanders are just the best. I bought some nice bamboo/cotton sheets for Adairs, maybe two years ago. They just get softer and softer with each wash and are lovely against the skin. Love seeing your bedroom linen, always fresh and pretty. On another note, I GOT MY SHRUG TODAY!!!! I only ordered it two days ago! Love it, and can’t wait to wear it, thankyou! Happy Mother’s Day, hope you get spoilt rotten! Kathryn x

  7. We have a handed down pine buffet piece, which needed some pizzazz, so i painted it in Chalk Paint – this paint needs no prep, sanding-NOTHING!! Final product looks fab! Love your bedroom look, just gorgeous!

  8. When we moved from our old home to the new one, nearly 18 months ago we managed to buy a new bed, bedside tables and lamps that are more in keeping with the style of the new place. But the old wooden tallboys remain because they’re the right size storage for us.
    We have talked about painting them, but the thought of emptying them and having all that stuff just hanging around without proper storage for a couple of weeks fills me with dread. But I know it’s ridiculous to buy new without at least trying to update the old ones.
    Maybe it’s a winter weekend job in the garage anyway.

  9. so suiting a queenslander style nikki!
    I love eclectic pieces! a lick of paint works it’s magic!
    individuality is what I love! like owning your own style!
    enjoy your day! love m:)X

  10. Yes I totally agree we updated our ensuite last year and that is in greys both dark and light so of course we had to update our bedroom as well,which meant new carpet,blinds bed and of course all new linen we have black white and grey with pops of yellow or orange.I love our new bedroom it’s calming and uncluttered.
    We are in the process of doing up the family room because my husband bought a new 85 inch smart TV but that’s ok I get to buy a new lounge and cushions and I bought a new modern Bali looking lowline TV unit,I can’t wait for our lounge to come it is still 6-8 weeks away.
    I love your bedroom Nikki,have a lovely weekend Xx

  11. Oh Nikki love it especially your tall boy! I love using paint to change the look of furniture. Probably way too much. I am currently painting my old childhood bedroom furniture for my nieces which has turned out fabulously, if I do say so myself. When that is finished I am starting on our bedroom. I have been trying to come up with a plan for a while and whilst I have some things sorted, there are still decisions to be made and I need to sort them out before I start and finalise the direction. Mood board here we come … I just need to channel some of Sarah’s skills!!

  12. Snap! We are finally starting in our room! We have such a small space and my mister doesn’t want to ditch our furniture so I’m repurposing the side tables. Nothing happens quickly though, I just got my painted door back on the laundry…it was removed January 2014! Your room looks fab Nikki we have very similar home decors!

  13. Looks great! I meant to do the same to our room before the baby came but it hasn’t happened. I need to paint our bed and bedside tables that are a cheap orangey pine…post baby watch out!

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