By Mitchell Parker, Houzz
Compared with kitchen and bathroom renovations, overhauling a master bedroom might seem like a walk in the park. But when was the last time you had to make dozens of decisions while taking a casual stroll?
While selecting paint colors, materials and furnishings is a relatively daunting task (do you even know the difference between a quilt, a duvet and a comforter?), it’s an important one. With our increasingly hectic lives, the bedroom is where we connect with our spouses and partners and seek sanctuary, calm and romance at the end of a long day. All that in a space where we’re bound to spend one-third of our lives — who wouldn’t want to pay attention to the details?
If you’re experiencing a bit of panic over the details of a bedroom renovation or decorating project, it might help to know what other homeowners are doing.
A new Houzz survey gathered data from more than 1,500 homeowners who completed a bedroom renovation or decorating project within the past 12 months, are currently working on a project or plan to start one in the next three months. Many of them are probably like you: They could no longer stand their old bedroom, and decided it was time for a change. The majority of people (67 percent) said the last time they renovated their bedroom was more than 10 years ago, and nearly 40 percent said it had also been a decade since they last decorated.
Their experiences can offer insight into how much you should budget, what colors to choose and what accessories are popular right now. The following is a breakdown of findings from the survey, along with links to stories that will help you navigate through the complex world of renovating or redecorating your bedroom. With any luck, perhaps your journey can feel a little closer to a walk in the park.
Are You Renovating, Decorating or Both?
The first step is to determine the scope of your project. This will dictate your budget and schedule, and whether or not you need to hire a professional. If you want to move walls or replace flooring, lighting, windows or doors, among other changes, you’re looking at a renovation project. According to the survey, 57 percent of renovations are substantial and include things like moving walls and replacing floors, doors and windows.
While you might fancy yourself a skillful DIYer, know that 71 percent of homeowners are hiring professional help on renovation projects. So you might want to make adjustments to your budget to accommodate some outside guidance.
Estimating the Budget
To give you an idea of what your bedroom project might cost, the graph here shows a breakdown of budgets for renovating and decorating. About 1 in 5 people who are decorating are budgeting $5,000 or more. Meanwhile, a quarter of homeowners are budgeting or spending more than $10,000 on renovations.
What Do You Want Your Bedroom to Look and Feel Like?
Before you start buying items and painting walls, you’ll want to have a clear vision of what you want your bedroom to look and feel like. Begin by taking a critical look at your space, then write a wish list, collect photos and brainstorm with anyone you share the space with.
What are your goals? Do you have a small room but wish you had more space? Do you want a more serene, relaxing space? Having a game plan in place will help when it comes time to select materials, finishes and furnishings.
Style. Don’t think that you have to keep the same style. In fact, according to the survey, the majority of people (54 percent) change their style during a decorating project, and of those, the majority move away from traditional style or no particular style (64 percent).
Consider taking this opportunity to do something new and fresh. Not sure where to begin? Know that among survey respondents who changed the style of their master bedroom, 45 percent chose transitional, contemporary or modern style.
Atmosphere. What your bedroom feels like is different than its style. Most people (77 percent, according to the survey) want a calming environment in the bedroom. Which makes sense. Many of us spend much of our days in overdrive — commuting, working, chauffeuring the kids around, cooking, cleaning — so we want to retreat to a sanctuary at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, the desire for cozy and romantic spaces also tops the list (41 percent and 32 percent, respectively). So if you were struggling with the notion of possibly including a workspace or exercise equipment in your bedroom, you might want to reconsider and focus on developing a quiet, relaxing environment.
Paint color. Painting your walls is one of the best and quickest ways to give your bedroom a whole new look and feel. That’s why the overwhelming majority of homeowners, around 95 percent, are upgrading their wall finish with paint, according to the survey. Only 7 percent are choosing wallpaper.
The survey also found that homeowners gravitate toward soft colors, like white, cream, gray and blu, in master bedrooms. If those colors aren’t right for you but you’re not sure where to start, try looking at the colors in your wardrobe, favorite object or art piece, or outside your window, for inspiration.
If you want to get really specific, a British survey found that people with blue walls get the most sleep. And those with caramel-colored walls have the most sex. Your move.
Wall decor. Once you’ve got your walls painted, you’ll probably want to add more character. Seventy-six percent of people surveyed are updating decorative accessories while decorating their master bedrooms. These include things like mirrors (55 percent), wall accents (48 percent) and family photos (38 percent).
Bed. Obviously, in a bedroom renovation and decorating project, the bed becomes the center of attention. About a third of people (37 percent) are updating their beds, according to the survey. Of those updating, 1 in 5 people is choosing a platform bed. And the size is split evenly between king and queen. Almost everyone (90 percent) is including a headboard.
Lighting. As with any space, lighting plays an important role in delivering the desired atmosphere. After all, it’s hard to have a romantic environment with a fluorescent light flickering overhead. Despite the fact that some people say ceiling fans are unfashionable, homeowners still love them and want to include them. According to the survey, 70 percent of renovators and 49 percent of decorators are updating lighting in master bedrooms, and half of both groups (52 and 48 percent, respectively) will add or have added a ceiling fan with a light fixture.
Windows. About 70 percent of people are updating their window treatments, with curtains and drapery as the top choices overall. In all regions, curtains are the top choice of window treatments. That said, interior shutters are most popular in the West, while shades are most popular in the Northeast.
Again, consider what you want to achieve. If you’re a morning person who enjoys the first dapple of morning light — and your bedroom window doesn’t face any neighbors — perhaps you want something a little sheer or barely there. If you prefer your bedroom more like a cave throughout the day, look at window treatments that block as much light as possible. Get started: From Lamps to Window Treatments – Discover Thousands of Home Decor Products
Floors. Carpet and hardwood are the obvious top choices here. According to the survey, 77 percent of renovators and 43 percent of those decorating are updating flooring. Among flooring updates, hardwood is the top choice for renovators (38 percent), and carpeting is the top choice for decorators (49 percent).
While your first inclination might be to make your bedroom floor the same as what’s found in the rest of your home, consider what your goals are and how different materials might affect those. For example, if having a quiet, calming space is important, you might find that hardwood floors don’t dampen sound enough, and that carpet might be a better fit.