Budget Room: 3 Renter-Friendly Bedrooms for Your “Adult” Apartment
Hi EHD world, Ryann here again with another installment of our budget series, The Starter Apartment. If you don’t recall, when we last chatted about living and dining room combinations, we discussed some of the ups and downs of adult apartment-ing. I admitted to the internet that I’ve been living for over six months without a dining table in my apartment and expressed my overall adult design questions (of which there are many). Once again, Jess and I teamed up (she pulled the Get the Looks together, and I encouraged in the form of my excitement over styling inspiration) to give you three budget room options, this time for the bedroom.
Now taking into consideration some of the tips we learned from the last post, let’s dive in.
Little known fact about me: I have a special love for bedrooms. I remember when I was in my early teens and full of angst, I would burrow myself in my room for hours on end listening to music, journaling and crying over unrequited love (true story). Coincidentally, at a very young age, I felt strongly my bedroom was my space, and always wanted it to be a real representation of me. There is something about being a teenager that calls for creating a space that feels like you, so I couldn’t help but wonder (à la Carrie Bradshaw), does this get lost as we further ourselves into adulthood??! As someone who is newer to design, learning what works with what is one thing, but creating a space I love has become another, much harder thing.
You see, what I loved most about my teenage bedroom was that everywhere I looked, I was reminded of the things I was interested in and in turn was constantly inspired. I don’t know what this says about me, but I’ve always needed tangible items in front of me to be able to touch and stare at (creating inspiration boards on my laptop drives me crazy just as reading an ebook is pure misery). I am a very visual person but I need things in front of me IRL.
All that said and being in the thick of styling my bedroom, I am on a quest to incorporate my personality the way I did when I was in my teens. I want to style my bedroom in such a way that when I looked around, I can see myself (I think we all want that, no? in all our homes…you don’t want your rooms to look like just anyone could live there, right?). I absolutely do not want my adult bedroom to be boring and devoid of all things me.
So, what does this mean and why do you care? Well, maybe you don’t care and that is A-okay. But if you are still reading, and if you too are styling your bedroom, I implore you to try and incorporate things you already have and love. These three looks we put together are a good foundation. There’s A LOT to work with here for either a starter apartment or just any home that’s has a budget focus. If you want these bad boys top to bottom, that would make one heck of a styled bedroom, but any chance you get to inject YOUR into a room, take it. Display your favorite books, frame a poem or a photo you took on vacation, throw a special family heirloom on a shelf, put your favorite record up on the wall, shower your place in plants. Let your personality shine. That is my advice to you. Free of charge.
Alright. Enough about me. Let’s get into the good stuff:
1. Cool Eclectic: $2,534
1. Brass Table Lamp | 2. Nightstand with Drawer | 3. Decorative Bowl | 4. Framed Art | 5. Bed | 6. Flushmount | 7. Curtains | 8. Pink Bud Vase | 9. Side Table | 10. Rug | 11. Bookshelf | 12. Ombre Bud Vase | 13. Tray | 14. Ring Dish | 15. Duvet + Pillow Cases | 16. Sheets | 17. Plant | 18. Planter | 19. Dresser | 20. Wood Table Lamp | 21. Mirror | 22. Faux Sherling Pillow | 23. Gray Velvet Pillow | 24. Burgundy Lumbar Pillow | 25. Throw Blanket
If we are judging these strictly by my desire for an exciting, non-boring adult bedroom, this is the clear front runner. Would I have ever contemplated getting a dijon mustard-y colored duvet? No. Do I want one now? ABSOLUTELY. Paired with that rug that I need immediately, I am sold. This room is really making a strong case for mixing colors that I would never have thought to put together. Case in point, I am now putting that burgundy pillow in my cart along with the duvet.
Speaking of things I am learning every day here at EHD, Jess schooled me the other day by telling me that she has replaced light fixtures in every apartment she’s ever rented. WHAT? I was so shocked and thoroughly impressed. Now I can’t help but imagine replacing my hideous circa 1990s chandeliers and ceiling fans with gorgeous lighting, like that flushmount. The only caveat is to make sure you know what you are doing and maybe consult a professional before attempting to mess with electrical units. This is serious adult business. Oh, and be sure to hang on to the original light fixtures (maybe store them under your bed if there’s room?) so you don’t have to leave behind your precious pieces when you turn back in your keys.
Here, Jess addresses a long-debated topic in, I’m sure, many households: do nightstands have to match? Well, depending on what you’re going for, yes…and no. If you’re into a really traditional, refined look, maybe go with a matching set, but in something a little more carefree and eclectic, two different style bedside tables will really drive that point home.
Okay, onto simplified modern, which was maybe my favorite style vibe from the living and dining room post…let’s see how it comes together in a bedroom:
2. Simplified Modern: $1,710
1. Ring Dish | 2. Blue Spot Vase | 3. Marble Tray | 4. Mid-Century Block Print | 5. Mid-Century Block Print | 6. Curtains | 7. Sconce | 8. Nightstand | 9. Bed | 10. Rug | 11. Floor Lamp | 12. Vase | 13. Marble Box | 14. Dresser | 15. Birch Wood Hanger | 16. Poster Hanger | 17. Nude Sketch | 18. Laundry Basket | 19. Plant | 20. Planter | 21. Duvet | 22. Stripe Sheet Set | 23. Lumbar Pillow | 24. Waffle Coverlet | 25. Blue Blanket
We did not include plants in our last budget post (whoops) but in my opinion, an apartment is not complete without them. My favorite place to buy plants is Lowes because they have a massive selection and reasonable prices (great for a serial plant killer like me :/) and The Sill is a close second. I’ve ordered two plants from them so far and can’t say enough about how useful their plant care tips are for someone like me. Plants are my favorite eye candy and I will never give up on trying to be the best plant mom I can be.
Now that we are really getting to know each other, do you ever feel like when you lived without something for so long, you get to a point where you’ve built it up too much and now you are like: who really needs it? No? Well, either way, that is how I feel about bed frames. I honestly have not even considered buying one because so many other things seem so much more important (art, a dresser, a floor lamp, books). But I can’t lie…this bed is special and I guess now I realize why adult humans have them. You win, America. The fact that it’s a platform bed maybe eases my transition and feels SUPER cool kid adult. I dig it.
I was nervous about how to mix the woods from the bed to the nightstand to the dresser, etc. but the EHD design savvy told me it’s all about tones. The bed and the lamp are both deep, warmer walnut-y tones, while the dresser, art hanger and hook rail (which would be great for jewelry) are softer, blonder. The black nightstands are the great equalizer (or so I’m told).
While I was writing this, I had to ask Arlyn and Jess why there were so many bedding items here…I was like, wait…there are two bedspreads?? Arlyn, who takes her bedding VERY seriously evidently and has reached ultimate bedroom adulthood, informed me that the white one (#24) was a COVERLET, and #21 was a duvet cover. Oh, and #25 is a blanket. SO MANY LAYERS. Here’s the order she says you should put these: sheets, coverlet, duvet/comforter, blanket at the foot of the bed. Sounds like a lot, but, her confidence makes me think she knows what she’s doing here.
And like we have throughout all these rooms, the art above the bed and also in the wood hanger (#17) are printable from Etsy, so you can pick the size that works best for you. Oh, and those sconces are super renter friendly because they are plug-in. You do need to screw them into the walls, but that’s an easy patch job with some spackle upon move out.
3. Neutral Oasis: $1,812
1. Sconce | 2. Shelf | 3. Beach Print | 4. Nude Sketch | 5. Oblong Pendant | 6. Curtains | 7. Vase | 8. Marble Box | 9. Nightstand | 10. Bed | 11. Rug | 12. Vase | 13. Round Tray | 14. Tray | 15. Sheet Set | 16. Duvet | 17. Plant | 18. Planter | 19. Dresser 20. Table Lamp | 21. Sham Set | 22. Lumbar Pillow | 23. Throw Blanket
This bedroom gives me all the warm fuzzies. I am inherently drawn to this style and the neutral color palette gives lots of opportunity for personal flair. I want to sprinkle in eclectic vintage vases and objects, tons of books, and maybe even some cool flea market finds (if I can ever drag myself to the flea market early enough).
Last but not least, perhaps the savior and star of starter apartment styling is printable art, like I mentioned earlier. Let’s face it, budget art styling can be rough. Walls that are completely barren are sad, and cheap art is well, cheap. What I love about printable art (there are SO many on Etsy, it is mind-blowing), is that it looks good and you don’t have to sacrifice your taste. You might not have printed art for the rest of your life, but they are a good place holder until you find the piece that really speaks to you, the one that is absolutely worth the splurge. We did a piece a while back with some information on where to get these printed (if you want anything larger than your home printer can handle), so check that out if you’re curious.
I tip my hat to jess for thinking of that round rug. Honestly, I don’t think I would have ever thought to do that, but it works so well and is a nice surprise. Also, those IKEA nightstands look totally cool and Scandi and a style I think can work as a home evolves.
This bed doesn’t have a headboard, which, for someone without a bed frame currently, isn’t as shocking and less fussy. What do you think about it? Oh, and it’s already been established I love some foliage. Fiddle leaf figs can be a little tricky to care for, but we linked to Home Depot who evidently will let you turn in plants that you tried really hard to keep alive (but didn’t) for another one, so that takes the pressure off. (Though Arlyn has successfully kept one alive and says they just need lots of indirect sun and only need to be watered when the top inch of dirt is dry…she does once a week in the summer and every two weeks in the winter…and says good luck).
And thus concludes another budget room! So, what do you guys think? Do you struggle with bringing your personality into your interior styling or are you all naturals like Emily? Tell me everything.