7 Before & After Bedroom Makeovers You Can Do in a Weekend
See how simple, done-in-a-weekend projects can make an average bedroom look like a million bucks!
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Before: Dimly Lit Bedroom
If you’re bored by a plain boxy room, take heart. You don’t have to rip apart walls and ceilings to make the space more inviting, better lit and more dramatic. The simple soffit lighting project we show in the after photo will do all that. A soffit is a dropped section of ceiling that’s usually positioned along the walls. It creates a multi-height ceiling, which in itself adds a visual feature. But even better, it offers a perfect home for lighting—general lighting for the room as a whole and recessed lights for practical uses like illuminating closets and reading, as well as for highlighting artwork and display shelves.
After: Unique Recessed Lighting
Add drama and beauty to a bedroom with this easy-to-build soffit system and well-placed lighting. This is the ultimate improvement for ordinary ceilings. Start to finish, you can complete this project in an easy weekend.
For more, here are some of the best tips for designing the best lighting for your bedroom.
Before: Not Enough Vertical Storage Space
Is your closet too small and overstuffed? Do your cluttered shelves, packed and sagging clothes rods, and jumbled shoes all cry out for more space? Of course, the coolest solution would be to expand the existing closet, but that’s usually impossible. Instead, you can organize your existing closet to make every cubic inch count and get more dresser space to boot.
After: Closet Storage Maximized
Here’s what we’ve added to maximize a standard 8-ft. long by 30-in. deep closet storage space: cabinet module to keep folded clothes, two tiered shoe shelves to tame shoe scatter, double stacked clothes rods for shorter clothes and single rod on the other side of the closet for slacks and dresses.
Is your closet still overflowing? Never fear—follow our 15 top tips for reclaiming closet space and you’ll have all the space you need.
Before: Plain Wall
Here’s a simple method for creating an elegant paneled wall without the expense of solid lumber or the skill of a master carpenter. We fashioned this paneled wall by nailing strips of inexpensive MDF (medium-density fiberboard) directly over the drywall. The square-edged strips are easy to join, and the smooth MDF surface makes a perfect surface for a flawless paint job. For very little money you can completely transform the appearance of your bedroom.
After: Classic Paneled Wall
Creating a new look for one wall or a whole room is as easy as nailing boards over the drywall. Lay out an attractive grid pattern and go to work. You’ll be done in a weekend. With a little perseverance, you can nail up the strips on Saturday, leaving Sunday to sand and paint. You’ll need a basic set of hand tools, a circular saw, a power miter saw, a sander and a finish nailer to complete the job. If you don’t have a finish nailer, consider renting one for a day. There’s a lot of nailing to do and it will speed up the job considerably.
Before: Sunny Basic Room
Elegant, traditional wainscoting looks like an intimidating project, but with this simple, easy-to-assemble design even a moderately skilled DIYer can transform an ordinary room into a showplace. In this article, we’ll show you how to plan your layout and cut, fit and finish the wood for any room in your house. We’ll also show you how to make clean, tight joints using a plate joiner.
After: Elegant Wainscoted Wall
At first glance, this panel design may look too complex for your average do-it-yourselfer, but it’s not. The panels are made from three horizontal 1×6 bands that run around the room, with narrower vertical boards spaced every 30 in. or so. The panels are the wall itself. Once you nail on filler pieces and trim, the project takes on a traditional wainscot panel look.
Before: Dull, Uninteresting Room
Maybe you’ve decided that red bedroom walls just aren’t you. Maybe you think your 2-year-old could have sponge-painted better than the previous owners. Whatever the case, if you’re ready for a new look in your bedroom, bath, dining room—or just about any other room in the house—we’ll show you how to redo it in a weekend with two simple projects. The first is a new decorative wall technique called Venetian plaster. Once a difficult project tackled only by pros, Venetian plaster is now easy to apply in a simple multi-step process. The second project is an easy-to-install urethane molding that you can cut with a handsaw (no power miter box necessary) and then glue and nail to the walls.
After: Stunning Venetian Wall Plaster and Rail Molding
Venetian plaster wall texture and urethane moldings are two great ways to create a new look for an ordinary-looking room in just a weekend. We’ll show you a step-by-step method for applying the plaster and installing the moldings. It’s the perfect way to makeover a room without spending a lot of money.
Before: Unfinished Floors
Installing a new hardwood floor used to be a lot of commotion. You had to schedule an installation and have the installer haul in a pallet of raw hardwood flooring and bang it in with a huge mallet and floor nailer. The next day the work area had to be sealed from the rest of the house as the big sanding machines rolled in and created bags of sawdust. For the next three days, the staining and finishing process stank up the whole house, and it took at least a week for the finish to harden before you could bring in the furniture. However, pre-finished flooring has changed all that. Now you can install a new wood floor that’s completely finished from A to Z in a single weekend.
After: Flawless Pre-Finished Wood Floor
You’ll be amazed at the beauty, practicality and speed of installation of a staple down pre-finished wood floor. You can literally start installing one day and be using the room the next day. And don’t confuse this flooring with wood look-alike plastic laminate flooring. The type we show here (Robbins, Huntington Plank style, red oak with walnut stain, www.armstrong.com) has a wear layer that can be re-sanded a couple of times, years down the road when the tough factory finish is finally compromised. Most experts agree that this is a 50-year or more floor.
Before: Un-Fun Basic Kids Bedroom
Modular carpet, also known as carpet squares, is a DIY-friendly alternative to traditional wall-to-wall carpet. Even inexperienced homeowners can carpet square a room in a day. In this article, we’ll show you how to install the carpet and cut it to fit around obstacles such as doorjambs. Installation is nearly goof proof— you can easily pull up misaligned squares and reposition them. And you won’t need any specialty tools. A tape measure and chalk line to snap your baselines, and a carpenter’s square and utility knife to cut the squares will get the job done.
After: Colorful Carpet Squares Kids Room
If you think installing carpet is time consuming and complicated, think again. Modular carpet, aka carpet squares, is one of the easiest floor coverings to install. You simply lay the squares on the floor; adhesive strips and the carpet’s heavy backing hold them in place. You can finish most rooms in a day, if not an afternoon. And you can use it anywhere. You can add whimsy to a kids’ playroom or create an elegant look in a formal dining room.
Kids are arguably the most imaginative creatures on the planet, so why not take a page out of their book with these 15 amazing toy room ideas that put the FUN in functional!