Learn how to transform the worst room in your home with simple and practical decorating tips to create a space that’s functional and beautiful for you. Plus, get a free decorating e-book at the end of the post.
Do you cringe when you walk past a certain space in your home? A room filled with papers, homeless knick-knacks, and half-completed projects? If a room or closet makes you sigh with frustration or avoid using it altogether, there’s hope – even if you’re unsure how to decorate.
In six weeks and for around $350 our guest room transformed from a miserable, disorganized space to a colorful, bohemian room that makes me smile every time I walk past.
This is more than a budget-friendly room reveal.
Today we’ll discuss the most important decorating tips to turn an eyesore into an attractive and functional room for your family.
You can apply these simple decorating ideas to any room in your home, but our guest room makeover (with a craft space makeover you’ll see next week) will serve as the example.
5 Decorating Tips to Transform Your Worst Space
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures.
1. Remove your blinders.
Eventually, we lose perspective. After we use or even walk past our unloved spaces every day, we become blind to their disarray and what we wanted them to look like in the first place.
Take a picture to really see what is in the room from a new perspective. Then, ask yourself “Why am I unhappy with this space?”
We see clutter and a lack of focus in this photo, which is enough to make anyone unhappy, right?
When we see rooms for what they are and understand why they achieved their current state, we can design a space to function well in the long-term.
2. What’s the room’s purpose?
Whether the room is a mom cave, man cave, home office, guest room, or playroom, every space needs a purpose. Now is the time to consider the goals for the space to make sure that the design meets all of the room’s needs.
- Who uses the room?
- What happens in the room?
Our guest room also functions as a craft room and home office, so we need the space to:
- Offer our guests a comfortable place to sleep.
- Provide our guests with enough storage for their luggage.
- Keep craft and office supplies organized.
- Have a large work area for sewing and craft projects.
Once I answered the “whys” about our guest room and set goals, I majorly decluttered the space.
Two weeks before I purchased wall paint, the paper shredder buzzed busily and trash bags filled with kids’ broken craft projects and dried-up pens. Items that didn’t serve the room’s purpose were recycled, sold, tossed, or relocated to a more sensible spot.
3. Don’t leave design to your imagination.
Imagination plays a huge role in creativity, so why shouldn’t your room design be left to your imagination?
Because even professional designers visually mock-up their ideas.
When we have to determine whether the leopard print pillow we love will look great with suzani valances, our eyes are more trustworthy than our brain.
My favorite way to visualize design ideas is by creating a mood board in Microsoft PowerPoint by copying and pasting images of products onto a blank slide to see how they look together.
4. Step away from the shopping cart.
Are you itching to go to HomeGoods right now? Before you hit the gas pedal and hightail it to your favorite store, take stock of what decor you already have in your home to make your room more pretty and useful.
Our guest room makeover cost $350 because I shopped our home first, determined what we needed to buy, and only then went to the store:
- The bed is left over from my old apartment
- The “nightstands” were end tables in our old living room
- My mom made the valances for our old entryway, and they fit in the guest room by a stroke of good fortune
- The framed artwork hung in our former master bedroom
- The bench sat unused in our living room
Go on a treasure hunt in your own house! If you’re on a budget, this is the most important decorating tip. You may find exactly what you’re looking for without spending a dime.
5. You have permission to mix styles.
When an elderly neighbor passed away this summer, her family held an estate sale. From furniture to basic dishware to an eclectic collection of jewelry, it seemed like all of the elements from this woman’s life had a price tag.
Although I didn’t plan to buy anything, when I saw a pretty dresser in the master bedroom I knew it was perfect for our guest room. The dimensions were spot on (there’s usually a measuring tape in my purse) and I fell in love with the intricate carvings.
But there was a problem. Nothing in my house is as elegant as this beautiful hardwood dresser, but instead of passing up a lovely piece, I bought it for a song and made it work.
Turns out, the dresser’s curved legs work wonderfully with the circular shapes in the suzani-print valances and a modern round mirror.
Go With Confidence!
For every person in the world, there’s a different kind of home to make them happy – and many are content to have four walls and a roof over their head. You may think you don’t know how to decorate, but with these decorating tips in your decorating arsenal, feel confident in your decisions! You can create a functional and beautiful space that will make you smile every time you walk past.
Is your craft space or home office in disarray?
Take a look at the other side of our guest room, which functions as a craft space and home office. You’ll learn tips for packing lots of function into a small space.
Check out these other ideas:
- 4 Practical Tricks That Will Transform Your Dreary Bathroom
- How to Easily Update Shelves in Minutes (Without Paint!)
- How to Paint Furniture Easily (Even If You Hate Painting)
- How to Set Up an Inspiring Craft Area in Any Room in Your Home
See more room makeovers in the One Room Challenge:
I’ve also linked up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s monthly before & after party.