Lisa Jensen is one of the Boston area’s most sought after designers. For years, she was the creative force behind Elixir, a home décor store with locations across the North Shore. In more recent years, she has turned her focus to full scale interior design. Handling residential homes, commercial spaces and retail shops, Lisa Jensen believes in partnering with clients to help guide their own personal point of view. She is able to work magic on spaces, regardless of budget, and gives as much time and care to smaller projects as her large ones. Here are some tips from Lisa Jensen on how you can decorate your bedroom on a budget.
“Bedroom furniture doesn’t always need to be purchased at a furniture showroom,” says Jensen. “You can save a lot of money and help charity at the same time by buying a chest of drawers, a bedside table or a carved wood headboard at your local Salvation Army retail store. In addition to saving hundreds of dollars per item, you’re also helping the environment by recycling furniture.”
Jensen believes that buying something new, or new to you, isn’t the only option.
“Breathe new life into your family’s hand-me-down bedroom dresser by painting it in a new color and changing out the hardware. What direction to start in? Well, if you like the overall feel of a rustic, lived-in beach cottage, then try chalk paint which will provide a subtle, muted, well-worn effect. If your tastes lean toward a sleek urban flat, then go for paint with a high-gloss finish and polished nickel hardware. The hardware can be found for as little as $1 – $3 a piece right around the corner at your local hardware store.”
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Decorating is all about the small touches – not a total room redo.
“Make a big design statement in your bedroom with very little spending through simple repetition,” advises Lisa Jensen. “Choose your one preferred hue and repeat inexpensive punches of that throughout the space as you decorate. Find a turquoise vase at a local thrift shop and place that atop your dresser. Buy a low-cost turquoise throw and a few turquoise decorative pillows at your local discount home store and place all of those atop your bed. At the next local school art exhibit fundraiser, buy a very affordable piece of original artwork a student has created that has turquoise within it. For a few dollars, get a quart of turquoise paint and jazz up your wood-framed mirror and picture frames. The overall design impact of the repeated hue throughout your bedroom will far outweigh your actual expenditure.”
Don’t Forget the Bed
“The bed is always the focal point in any bedroom. Even if you can’t afford to buy a brand new headboard, never mind a custom upholstered one, it is still essential to define this area,” says Jensen. “Here are some budget-friendly headboard ideas. Take a couple of old doors and stand them vertically or mount them horizontally behind your bed. For no added expense, you can leave them au natural or for a few dollars buy a quart of paint and paint an image like a scroll or a flower directly onto the doors. Use wood planks, salvaged architectural panels, old shutters or a folding room divider screen in the same manner. Dig through your attic or visit a church thrift shop and for less than 10 dollars, you can pick up a tapestry, curtain panels or an interesting patterned fabric and hang it behind your bed. There are also inexpensive decorative wall appliques in a number of colors and motifs you can use. Or, simply take an old bookcase and place it behind your bed or install a few wide wall shelves. Even matchstick blinds from your local home store can be purchased inexpensively and will provide definition and texture.”
“Every room needs a little bit of nature to feel alive and your bedroom is no exception,” says Jensen. “The best part is that bringing the outside in is entirely free. As you collect your free decorations, be conscientious and respectful (i.e. don’t pick those red berry stems that deer depend on for survival in the winter). Do pick Maple tree sprigs that pop up everywhere and display a few of them in a tall clear glass vase with water on your bedroom desk. Fill a tray, bowl, basket, platter or a vessel you already own with any number of organic items you find outside – rocks, pinecones, sand, grasses, seashells, branches or feathers – and display these on your chest of drawers. Decorating your bedroom with nature is not only entirely budget-friendly, but it also will provide you with a peaceful solo-outdoor experience, or a fun adventure you can do with the entire family.”
Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.