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Thrifty Bedroom Remodeling Idea

Updated on September 3, 2015
Reversible Comforter
Reversible Comforter | Source


 Original and boring
Original and boring | Source
Before Window Covering
Before Window Covering | Source

My Big Idea

I have no experience with design and decorating, none-the-less we are a pretty handy family. We did an addition on our house some years ago. We certainly are not new to D.I.Y. projects.

After being diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer the thought of spending hours in my boring bedroom was depressing The first trip down the cancer road found me spending days staring at the popcorn on my ceiling; this thought drove me to action.

I called my friend, Kari, an interior designer. Her services were not in the budget. Still I knew she would have ideas. Good designers abound with ideas.

There was a driving urge to get this done.

Control what you can while you are going through cancer. The more control you have over the everyday things the more hope you have going through cancer treatments. Kari completely agreed: something needed be done and set about making this remodel possible.

Mental Health Tip

  • Be flexible when remodeling. It doesn't matter whether you are doing it yourself or you have contractors. The mess will drive you crazy. There is always mess involved in change. Remodeling youe home or life gets messy. Persisting through change is totally worthwhile.

The Party Idea

Always ready for a party Kari, decided we should have a remodeling party. This would make the best use of our resources.

What on earth is a remodeling party?

Kari was making it up as she went. As a professional designer she wanted to give me a wonderful new bedroom. She didn't was to charge me her professional fees. My budget was $1,000. This would have just done the bedroom, but the bathroom attached to the bedroom needed a face lift too. The remodeling party was crazy.

How could I possibly ask anyone to take time to work on my bed and bathroom remodel?

Thoughts of spending hours in my boring bedroom convinced me to put pride aside. I gave Kari email addresses and phone numbers of several of my talented friends. She sent out invitations and made phone calls.

You can't just have a big party and expect everything to get done. We developed a plan.

Tri Color Paint Scheme Top: Divine white. bottom: Kilim Beige  right side: Latte by Sherwin Williams
Tri Color Paint Scheme Top: Divine white. bottom: Kilim Beige right side: Latte by Sherwin Williams | Source

The Original Plan

The original plan was to buy new bedding with super soft sheets. After the bedding was pick out the paint colors were based on the bedding. So far so good. Right? When we got that done we realized that the paint scheme would need done in stages. Not a big deal; paint away.

Before we got started one of the bathroom cabinet doors fell off the hinge; we noticed the light fixture was rusting from shower steam. The bedroom remodel became the bed and bathroom remodel. We added more to the plan. The mirror was in decent shape. With a small wear patch in one corner, Kari decided to frame the mirror.

Painting Tip #1

  • Use high grade washable flat paint on the walls. A flat finish is a bit more elegant than semi-gloss. High quality paint tends to cover better with fewer coats. In the long run you can actually save money using good paint. Cheaper paints may require more just for basic coverage. I am partial to Sherwin Williams. Their paint is excellent and there is seldom any wait for service.

What We Did

  • Replaced bed covering and pillows (These items determined the color scheme)
  • Replaced the cabinet doors in the bathroom
  • Framed the bathroom mirror
  • Replaced the light fixture in the bathroom
  • Replaced the lamps in the bedroom
  • Replaced the base board throughout both rooms
  • Painted the entire bedroom and bathroom
  • Added window covering.
  • Purchased head and foot board
  • Rearranged some of the wall hangings, and had a piece of my son's art framed to match the other works.

Scheduling The Work

Once paint colors and bedding were in place we came up with an elaborate scheduling plan.

There was a time for:

  • Empty the room,
  • Wash the walls and ceiling
  • Removing the face plates, baseboards and doors,
  • Prep for painting
  • Install the cabinet doors
  • Paint the ceiling,
  • Painting the first coat,
  • Painting the second coat,
  • Install light fixtures
  • Reinstall mirror
  • Paint base board
  • Install base board.

The estimated time to complete the work was two weeks.



Painting Tip # 2

  • When using more than one color wait until one wall is dry before you start an adjacent wall using a different color. Fixing goofs and taping lines are much easier when the adjacent wall is dry. Keep a damp cloth handy to wipe goofs before they dry.

The decision to keep the blinds came from living on a corner next door to an elementary school
The decision to keep the blinds came from living on a corner next door to an elementary school | Source

Implementing The Plan

Expect delays in even the best planned projects. When you have a party expect the guests to come and leave at different times. Our party actually lasted for most of my chemotherapy. This was O.K. because it provided me with visitors when I was too tired to go out.

The furniture was moved, but never completely moved out of the room. The dressers were too heavy and there was no place to put the bed. We worked around the furniture without too much difficulty.

The night the work began we had a wall washing party. Three friends and I washed walls. TSP comes in several different formulas. We had the one that needed to dry for four hours.

The next night three other friends started painting. Kari announced a mystery painter extraordinaire would join us later. That was my friend with whom I had taught preschool. Oh what a delight to see her. We had a blast despite the weather being uncooperative. The paint didn't dry as quickly as we had expected. We had to add more days for painting.

Friends took measurements and started building new cabinet doors. Other friends came to replace the base boards in the bedroom and bathroom. You can have painting parties, but like cooking too many carpenters installing baseboard in a small room is a crowd. This same friend built a frame around the bathroom mirror.

On another evening a friend came over to paint trim. As the work progressed I got weaker it was good we hadn't removed all the furniture; I lay on the bed as Liz painted trim. Both our husbands were out of town. It was sweltering hot. Our conversation as she painted trim that Sunday afternoon was so rich.

While feeling crummy, my life was enriched by lots of conversations like this. Everyone has a story. Even when I didn't have much strength I could still listen and encourage.


  • As I said earlier creativity makes the most out of your budget. Most of the furniture I had was reused. Still there were some items we purchased. For head and foot boards we scoured stores online. Finding nothing my husband and I could agree on we hit consignment stores and garage sales. The headboard was located at a garage sale. When you are looking at garage sales and consignment stores make sure you have measurements with you so you can act without regrets. Other stores we visited were Cost Plus, Pier One Imports, Macy's and Ross.

More Than Expected

This remodel was more than I expected. We went over the budget. Expect to go over budget,so add 10% to what you think it will cost. It was the changes to the plan that were most costly.

I never expected or imagined that people were so gracious and caring. My friends gave their time and talents. The work took much longer than we had planned. But the people coming and going were welcome company. My plan was to cope with cancer. What I discovered was many good people wanted to help. They just need to know what needs to be done. I am thankful for the good people in my life.

When the remodeling party was done, it was time for a real party so everyone could see the finished results. I can never repay my friends for all they have done for me.


The thought of chemotherapy drove me to this remodeling project. The fact was, chemotherapy it didn't keep me in bed for day on end like the first round did.

These days I love to sit in my pretty room and think of my wonderful friends.


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Hady Chahine, Thank you for visiting.

    • Hady Chahine profile image

      Hady Chahine 3 years ago from Manhattan Beach

      Agreed, true friendships are inspirational, supportive, and most of all add a level of happiness that is hard to imagine a life without. Great painting tips, too!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Olde Cashmere, One of the good things about idling hubs is you go back and look at them and see you have missed some visits from friends. Thanks for visiting.

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Love how it turned out and the enjoyed the positivity that came through with your friends. Beautiful and helpful hub with a nice uplifting tone. Great work tirelesstraveler, voted up, useful, beautiful, and interesting :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Your idea is fantastic and you have great friends who pitched in. You must be very special to all your friends. Great hub. Enjoyed reading and voted up.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Greetings Lisas-thoughts101. My friends on HubPages are just as wonderful. I am still amazed every morning how wonderful the room looks.

    • Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

      Lisas-thoughts101 5 years ago from Northeast Texas


      I am very touched by the beautiful friends you have. That says alot about the kind of friend you must be to them. How great it was that you all were able to organize and get the job done in such a short space of time and it come out so well with so many hands stirring the pot. I voted up and beautiful.


    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Brett, Friends do indeed make everything better. Love the picture of your dogs on your profile. Dogs make good friends.

    • Brett Winn profile image

      Brett Winn 5 years ago from US

      Friends cushion life's hard landings. Great hub and pretty room! Voted up!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      What a beautiful story, you are so fortunate to have such wonderful friends. A little bit of paint, a beautiful bed board and a new bedspread can make a huge difference in a bedroom. I hope your warm and inviting new bedroom help you cope better with your illness.

      Take care of yourself!


    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      tebo-Thanks for stopping. There are lots of pillows with the set and I have been enjoying them enormously as they prop my broken ankle.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 6 years ago from New Zealand

      What a neat way to do up your bedroom with the help of friends. I too like the bedspread, a very nice reversible.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Thank you vocalcoach. We are enjoying the change.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh, how I enjoyed reading this hub. I have wanted to do something with my bedroom for a long time now. And what a difference your lovely colors of paint and nice bedspread made in your room. Thanks for sharing! Voted UP.


    • profile image

      Anne 6 years ago

      Love the new bedding! The result looks really nice.