DAY 17 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Make Your Bed

This here is one of those situations where my Airbnb bedrooms are top notch, but my home was not. As per usual. Kinda like my towel situation. But, I raised my standards last year and man has sleeping been better. And so has just walking into my bedroom! Today we make the bed of our dreams.

Click  here  for West Elm bed in photo.

Click here for West Elm bed in photo.

Another top client complaint is that they have worked on a lot of things in their home but have never put energy toward their bedroom. On Instagram we see beautiful pictures of people’s place of rest. But, for the rest of the world the bedroom is pretty much a square box with a sad looking bed, old discolored sheets, an ugly comforter and a depressing looking pillows. Sleeping pillows that is. Decorative pillows are likely a decade old or non-existent.

Let’s two-step (with mini steps in between) our way to a perfect bedroom retreat!

Strangers In My Bed

Let’s pretend some strangers are going to come stay at our house and sleep in our bed while we are gone. Isn’t that a little disturbing? It’s not if you call it Airbnb. Would you let someone sleep in your bed in it’s current status? I know I wouldn’t. So why am I sleeping in these “conditions”? Let’s follow these steps to make our beds stranger worthy. I’m sorry that sounds really weird. We’ll start from the base and work our way out.

Bed

Are you still sleeping on just a metal bed frame? It’s cool. You can keep doing that, but, did you know you can buy a bed with a headboard for pretty cheap? There are always our friendly neighborhood Craigslist and Offer Up deals to be had of course. You can even buy a bed at Goodwill. I have been binge shopping Wayfair for my Airbnb beds. I like that they are new and inexpensive. Keep in mind whether the bed you choose needs a box spring or not so you can avoid that expense if necessary.

Mattress

Are you sleeping on that same mattress you inherited from someone and it sucked back then? Try adulting and getting something that actually helps you sleep. My favorite two mattresses are Tuft & Needle or Wayfair mattresses. I have them both in my home and my Airbnbs. Throw a padded mattress cover on and it’s golden. Gone are the days when you had to buy something for over $1,000 to actually be comfortable.

Sheets

I’ve said it a thousand times but I don’t buy anything but these bamboo sheets anymore. When I find something I like, I stick with it. I think I’ve now bought about 20+ sets of these sheets for all of my Airbnbs and my own home. They are so soft and so inexpensive! I also buy extra pillow cases for back up.

Comforter

I personally can’t stand down comforters with duvet covers. Even when I lived in Cincinnati and I was cold AF they made sweaty AF. Now in the desert it’s definitely not happening. They are also way to big to wash in Airbnbs so now I stick to quilts. White ones of course so I can bleach them. I also prefer the white backdrop for my ever changing pillow situation. White looks clean, fresh, bright and inviting. And all pillows go with it FTW. This is my favorite quilt that is comfy and priced well. As of this post, it is also 10% off with code HOME. I love this quilt because one side has raw edge type of ruffles, but not really ruffle-y while the other side is just stitched. Switch depending on your mood.

Strangers Looking At My Bed

Ok let’s now pretend we are going to show strangers our bedroom via Instagram. This may be silly to think of making your bedroom camera ready, who really cares? For some reason we do. If you really don’t care what your bedroom looks like, then don’t move forward. But, if you are tired of it looking the way it is, and thinking about showing it to others helps you allow yourself the simple pleasure of a nice bedroom, then do it. For some reason if it is just for ourselves we feel too self indulgent to go all out.

Pillows

Go back to DAY 5 where we went pillow shopping and do the same thing with your bed. I’ve actually started to back off of the pillows all over the bed a bit. It’s just so much to take off at night and they end up just laying on the floor. One or two are nice, though. Decoratively speaking. We could all probably use a couple new bed pillows. I get these inexpensive ones from Target and they hold up pretty well for a while considering their price. Order online and ship or pick up in store so you don’t show up and there aren’t any there to buy. I find they are all sold out at times.

Accent

Go back to DAY 12 if you haven’t done it yet and add a painted accent wall behind your bed. This is one of my favorite places to put an accent wall because it helps anchor the room.

Feet

Ok not really your bed but it does have something to do with waking up in the morning. Doesn’t it just feel good to step off of your bed onto a rug? The answer is yes. If you didn’t do DAY 6 yet, get to it now.

Ok so with all of that your bed should be super fabulous. If I were to choose a place to start I’d go with a new mattress or sheets first then work to the “prettier” things after that. Below are all of the items mentioned in this post.

*Affiliate links included.

DAY 5 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Decorate Your Sofa

Day five we decorate our sofa! No I don’t mean we are going to color it or anything. I mean pillows of course!

Sometimes we can become comfortable with stuff we’ve had around for awhile. Comfort is good, ugly and gross are not. You may not have even noticed that your throw pillows are getting a little sad looking. Are they wonky shapes now? Are they dirty? Are they the pillows that CAME WITH THE SOFA?!? Gasp! No. This can’t be happening. Time to rectify! Believe it or not I have lots of ideas about just pillows, but first let me tell you my favorite:

Binge

One of the most fun things ever is to just go crazy binge shopping pillows. It will feel all sorts of wrong but also SO, SO RIGHT.

I give you permission.

I learned this when I started staging. Ain’t nobody have time to sit and ponder, “Should I get this pillow? Or wait a minute this one? What about this one? Should I do blue? But, oohhh what about this green one…” GAH. Shoot me now. I had to get that shit done like yesterday, but then I’d get to the house and be like, “HATE IT.” and have to go back and start all over. So, I learned to just go ape shit and grab EVERYTHING. Now, I head to Home Goods or Target (or both) and load up on all the pillows I have even the faintest love towards (and even mild confusion on it’s fugliness) and bring them all home. No thinking, just grabbing. Sometimes I’ll have 2 carts full, I kid you not. Leave one at the front, grab another. Once you have all of the pillows at your house you can mix and match and spend all night putting the look together (with a glass of wine of course). EVERY time I do this the one or two pillows I thought were shoe-ins end up going back to the store. The ones I was like “Hmmm is this pillow awesome or fugly?” end up being the big winners. Keep the tags on and take back the ones that don’t make the cut.

I offered this suggestion to one of my clients, Renee, and she took it and ran. I celebrated a little inside when she sent me this photo, followed by many more of the different styled options on her sofa. Grab some wine and enjoy this part!

Full Target Cart

I promise you you won’t spend a million dollars on this binge. BUT, in case you want to keep the budget to a minimum, here are some other helpful hints.

Pillow Inserts

I recommend feather inserts as they fluff and remold the best where as polyester fill can get lumpy and lame. Once your pillows get the lumps, it’s game over. So, whenever possible, buy a pillow that has an insert that can be reused and save dollars down the line. The covers can simply be replaced or cleaned, thus extending its lifetime. You can then swap out covers for the season or when the mood strikes. For a fuller, firmer fill, use slightly bigger inserts to pillow cover size.

Here are some options on acquiring inserts.

  1. Reuse: You may have some already! Reuse these and simply buy new covers.

  2. Previously loved: Grab an ugly pillow at a thrift store that has a removable cover, but a good insert. You may not like the cover but you can just take it off and donate it back. You’ll have an insert for only a couple bucks instead of spending $10-20. I just throw these in the wash and then the dryer. Make sure the insert fabric is in good shape physically or you may end up with feathers everywhere.

  3. New: If buying thrifted pillows isn’t your jam, you need to get a life. JK JK. Ok so you want new ones. Obviously you can grab these wherever you can find pillow covers. I like to buy mine on Amazon. Here are some that will work.

Thrift

Another budget friendly option is to buy the whole pillow at a thrift store. You never know! I’ve found so many pillows this way it’s unbelievable. I typically come home with pillows costing me $1-$3. I’ve found pillows from Target, Pier 1, Pottery Barn and West Elm at Goodwill. Check the hanging racks for pillow covers, too. Buy and throw them in the wash. If they get ruined, well then you are only out a buck or two. I also find covers with the inserts still in them. Win-win. I love thrifted pillows because you never know what gem you’re going to find. I have a pile of covers now that I swap out often BECAUSE I CAN WAH AH AH AH.

Splurge

If you’re super excited to drop some money on pillows, go ahead and splurge on a great one. My pillow landscape usually includes one pricier splurge pillow I fell in love with alongside thrifted $2 pillows. One of my favorite places to splurge on pillows are DKRenewel, Etsy and Pottery Barn.

Sew Up

Grab some fabric and sew yourself some new covers or have someone who knows how to sew whip them up. Obviously you can find fabric at lot of places, but don’t forget searching through thrift stores or estate sales for some vintage-y fun specimens.

Switch Up

If you already have pillows you like and this is old hat to you, maybe just give them a little switcharoo. Move some into the living room from the bedroom. Change the covers out for the season with some from your stash. Swap with a friend. Maybe just wash the covers you have to feel fresher after the Holidays.

Bonus

Don’t forget a new throw blanket! Do you have that pile of old blankets that are some obnoxious sports team colors or just not going to work with the new look? Grab a nice throw blanket or 4 while you’re out shopping. Home Goods and Target have good ones, but I also sometimes find these thrifted for mere dollars.

Mix

Ok so if you didn’t gather, I do all of the above on the regular. Grab your loot and line them all up in your living or family room, taking care not to get them dirty so you can return them if necessary. Start putting them all together to see which ones work well with each other. Return all the duds. Study photos from your favorite designers, Instagram accounts or on Pinterest to see the different ways people style them.

This sofa has a Target pillow, a splurge pillow, a thrifted pillow and a Home Goods blanket.

After seeing so many client’s houses over the years, one thing is for sure. Furnishings and decor can absolutely elevate or trash a home. Sometimes a nicely renovated home can look awful by the decor choices used (or lack thereof). Sometimes a home that hasn’t been renovated in decades can look awesome just because the homeowner has decorated it so nicely and keeps it well maintained. We’re going to try our best to elevate one day at a time this month so keep plugging through each challenge. I promise they will all make sense.

Show us your pillow progress! Tag your posts or stories with #updatedontrenovatechallenge so we can see all the pillow madness.

Don’t miss a day!