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11 Genius Small Bedroom Decorating Ideas On A Budget

With summer fading fast, we wanted to finish one last project at our cottage before we close it up for the season. A few months ago, we moved Chloe's bedroom up to the loft and created the ultimate teen bedroom. That left us this small bedroom to transform back into a space for our guests and for working while we're at the cottage.

We wanted to bring new life into this small space and create a really fun guest room. Since this is a seasonal cottage and the room is used infrequently, I didn't want to spend a small fortune on this makeover. So I challenged my inner interior designer to find budget bedroom decor ideas that were inexpensive yet still stylish. 

Read on and tell me if I accomplished that goal!

small bedroom decorating ideas on a budget

Small Bedroom Decor Ideas On A Budget

Small bedrooms come with very unique challenges. There's limited floor space to place bedroom furniture. Wall surfaces can be cluttered with windows and doors, leaving little space for wall art. The bedroom may lack natural light, storage space, or architectural details, making the room feel boxy and without character.

But those same factors also present an opportunity to express your personal style and creativity. Now's your chance to carry out that great idea you were afraid to try in your master bedroom, experiment with paint colors, or be creative with old furniture. Here's 10 small bedroom decorating ideas that are cheap, easy, and deliver high style on a tiny budget.

Budget-Friendly Bedroom Decor

1. Give It A Theme

Transforming a small bedroom into a charming and character-filled space can be a creative and rewarding endeavor. A great way to infuse personality into your small haven is by selecting a well-thought-out design theme. Start by brainstorming ideas that resonate with your personal style and preferences, or by your home's location. 

Our cottage sits on a wooded lot in the country. The area is surrounded by lakes, beaches, rolling farmlands, vineyards, and a provincial park - ample design inspiration surrounds us! Yet I've always been drawn to sailing and coastal living but wanted a nod to the country locale too. The warm palette, nautical accessories, and sailing photographs bring those two loves together in this room.

small bedroom peg rail storage

Whether you're drawn to the rustic allure of a cozy cabin or the elegance of vintage glamour, a theme can serve as the foundation for your bedroom's design. Begin by selecting decor elements, colors, and furniture pieces that align with your theme. 

You don't need to spend a lot of money - a few key well-selected pieces are enough to give a sense of place. For example, if you opt for a beach-inspired theme, consider soft blue walls and white bedding, seashell decor accents on your bedside table, and natural textures like rattan baskets or wicker lampshades. By adhering to a theme, you'll create a cohesive and visually appealing space that reflects your unique taste.

vintage black and white sailing photos

2. Set The Mood With Your Color Scheme

When it comes to budget bedroom decor ideas, one of the most effective ways to add instant impact and personality is by embracing a bold color scheme. Choosing vibrant and daring colors can infuse your bedroom with energy and personality without breaking the bank. 

To start, select a dominant color that is out of your norm. Consider putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls in bold colors of greens, browns, deep blues, or yellows. 

small bedroom with tan walls white furniture and striped bedding

To prevent the room from feeling overwhelming, balance out the wall colors with neutral tones like white, gray, or beige and incorporate them in your bedding, furniture, or window treatments. 

While the rest of our cottage is mostly whites and off-whites, I decided this room should have a color palette that was warmer and cozier. 

cottage bedroom blue gingham

The former light blue walls and gingham wallpaper accent wall were playful and summery but I craved a more grown up and restful room. The tan walls (Toasted Marshmallow by Martha Stewart colour matched) give this small room a whole new look and decidedly nap-inducing feeling. All it took was one tin of paint to make a huge impact.

vintage black and white photos in modern frames above dresser

3. Incorporate Flea Market Finds

Decorating a bedroom on a budget can be a thrilling adventure, especially when you're open to the treasure troves of flea markets and thrift stores. These hidden gems, like this worn and weathered oar and sailing photos, can hold the key to unlocking your bedroom's unique character. 

Start by making a list of what you need, whether it's furniture, decor, or accessories, and head to your local flea market or thrift store with an open mind. Look for pieces with good bones and keep an eye out for small decorative items like vintage mirrors, picture frames, or baskets that can add charm in countless ways. The beauty of decorating with thrifted finds is not only the cost savings but also the great opportunity to craft a bedroom that's truly one-of-a-kind. 

vintage black and white photos in modern frames above dresser
swing arm lamp wicker shade above nightstand

4. Think Vertically 

In a small bedroom, you want to make use of every inch. A bedside table lamp can take up valuable space on your nightstand so why not take advantage of your vertical space and mount them on a wall instead. 

swing arm lamp wicker shade above nightstand

Wall-mounted lamps or sconces, especially the swing arm variety, are a perfect way to balance functionality and style while using less space. Here I've opted for a plug-in wall sconce. I've not only saved on having to get an electrician in, but the wall light can illuminate the traditional nightstand and the bed (great for nighttime reading!) with ease.

Also consider optimizing space by using multi-purpose furniture and clever storage solutions. Wall-mounted shelves and floating nightstands can free up the floor area. Baskets can be used to corral small items and moved out of the way when needed. Finally, peg rails or wall hooks can dress up bare walls and provide a landing spot for clothes and accessories.

small bedroom peg rail storage

5. Playful Textiles

Textiles are one the cheapest and easiest ways to dress up a small space. These soft and versatile materials have the ability to elevate your bedroom's aesthetic without breaking the bank. Start by selecting a color palette or theme that resonates with your style. Then, consider mixing and matching patterns and textures to add depth and interest to your space. 

small bedroom with tan walls white furniture and striped bedding

For a cozy and inviting touch, layer your bed with a variety of decorative pillow covers and a throw blanket, which can also add an extra pop of color or texture to your bedroom. Additionally, rugs can make a significant impact in a bedroom. Look for budget-friendly area rugs or even consider layering smaller rugs for an eclectic look. 

6. Bring In The Plants

I'm of the belief that every room can use a plant. Either artificial or live plants, lush floral arrangements or dramatic stems, plants bring an element of nature to your bedroom space. You can find a plant to suit your room at minimal cost. Place one bedside to create an attractive vignette or sit one on a shelf or stack of books for interest. 

faux flowers stacked on books

Plants not only purify the air but also add a calming and refreshing element to your decor. If you're feeling crafty, you can even create your own planters from recycled or thrifted materials, adding a personalized touch to your bedroom's greenery. 

7. Legs, Legs, Legs (On Furniture)

Keep your small bedroom feeling light and spacious by using airy, clean-lined furniture. Opt for pieces with attractive legs, like a vintage table turned nightstand, or a shaker-style desk, to provide function without crowding your room with dark and heavy furniture. 

swing arm lamp wicker shade above nightstand

8. Go Bold With Contrasting Accents

Much like painting the walls, painting your trim, doors, or furniture a contrasting colour is an easy way to create a memorable room. 

This bedroom door and all the room entry doors in our cottage have been painted a deep grey-green colour (Weathervane by PARA Paints). One stylish touch like this can transform a boring bedroom into a captivating and budget-friendly haven bursting with bold and beautiful colours. 

small bedroom peg rail storage

9. Lighting Sets The Mood

In the bedroom, don't underestimate the power of lighting. The right lighting fixtures can enhance the ambiance and reinforce your design theme. Whether it's a rustic chandelier for a farmhouse theme or sleek, modern sconces for an urban loft aesthetic, lighting can contribute significantly to the overall atmosphere. 

I've used a simple schoolhouse light for general lighting in this room. There's also an inexpensive black & brass table lamp for working at the desk, and the swing arm light with wicker shade by the bedside. Having multiple sources of warm lighting creates a dynamic room that can easily shift moods and lighting conditions.

small bedroom desk with table lamp

10. Gallery Wall 

One of the most affordable ways to dress up your small room is by creating a gallery wall. Using framed photos or prints, thrifted artwork, or interesting objects, you can pull together an eye-catching display. Your gallery wall will speak volumes about your personal style and adds charm to your sanctuary.

vintage black and white photos in modern frames above dresser

I was excited to have found a pile of old sailing photographs at an antique shop. Printed in the 60's to 70's, with ragged edges and some with hand-written details, these black and white photos capture the thrill and adventure of sailing. Newer art wouldn't have the same appeal or a story to tell. Framed in modern matching frames and displayed over the dresser, the wall decor creates a dramatic focal point in the room.

11. DIY

Lastly, consider DIY projects to personalize your space. You can paint old furniture pieces in complementary colors or create unique wall art using inexpensive canvases and acrylic paints. For this room, I sewed a pair of block print pillows using fabrics and pillow inserts which I already had. The fabric (designed by me) features a darling daisy print and a gingham border, adding lightness to the darker colour scheme.

small bedroom with tan walls white furniture and striped bedding

With attention to detail and thought out purchases, you can transform even the smallest of bedrooms into a space that's both stylish and affordable. I hope my top tips have shown you that a little creativity is all you need to create your own small and beautiful bedroom.

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