Ideas to brighten the bedroom with pre-loved furniture and other accents

You know that saying “a change is as good as a holiday”? Best forget it ever existed because the only holiday most of the world will be taking any time soon is that generous payment holiday offered by our banks.

Right. With your daily dose of grim reality out of the way, let’s get talking about the real reason you came here.

You want a bit of a change. It might be the Spring spirit or the fact that you’ve been spending more time within the confines of the bedroom walls (we told you not to set up your work from home office in the bedroom).

Whatever the reason, if you want to revive your bedroom (we can’t help you with that) there are better ways to do it than scatter cushions. Not that we have anything against those, we love them. Seriously, we especially love scatter pillows if they’re being used for an upcycle project.

But the humble scatter pillow is not going to give you the thrill you’re seeking to vava vroom the bedroom. You’ve been there, done that.

Brightening the bedroom doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – just avoid doing any DIY projects. Okay, seriously. Redecorating your bedroom doesn’t have to be expensive. 

Switch storage

How much stuff have you, err, stuffed into makeshift storage spots with the best of intentions? No judgement here. Bedside tables, dressers, wardrobes, under the bed, the floor, on top of the bed, these places are all free game when you need to put stuff away in a hurry. 

bedroom basic furniture ideas

You’ve been promising yourself you’ll get around to organizing stuff properly, but you haven’t. in fact, clutter can increase stress.  Turns out Spring cleaning has an actual psychological benefit. We’re not saying inflict Marie Kondo levels of trauma on yourself, but channel your inner Eminem, cause tonight, you’re cleaning out your closet.

You don’t have to tackle two big jobs in one evening. You can save sorting out all the clothes you forgot about for later.

Start small. Bedside table filled to the brim with the tags from the clothes you forgot about? Get rid of it.

Depending on the space you’re working with, it’s also a good time to reconsider the things in which you are storing your things. Clear containers are a game changer (especially if you label them properly) for keeping the stuff you’ve sorted out easily identifiable.

Once you know what you’ve got, you can start reconsidering some of your storage solutions. Whether that means adding a pre-loved dresser for your most-loved clothes or finding a smaller end table to mitigate the risk and temptation of just using it as a thing for things.

Add a statement chair

Yeah, we know. Mixed signals. Look, don’t buy furniture online just because we said so or just because it’s convenient. If you have a tiny bedroom, don’t clutter it up even more.

But, if you have space and you’re looking to add something that pops (that is not a scatter pillow) a statement chair or ottoman is a great addition to any bedroom.

If you already have a chair, but it’s gone from making a statement to being in a state, have a crack at re-upholstering if you’re feeling brave. Pick bold colours if your bedding is a bit bland and avoid prints if you’ve got patterns. And put down those extra scatter pillows.

Give the wardrobe a makeover

Whether you use a quaint pre-loved chest of drawers for your bedroom furniture, a full set of tall cupboards or even a basic clothes rail, there’s space here just begging to be brightened.

Do not make it look like the Skittles man vomited all over it, of course, but play around with different palettes to see what works best. Cool, calm and pastel colours are subtle, but noticeable.

You don’t really need an excuse to spend an afternoon swatching paint, right? Perhaps you fix up your wardrobe so well that you’re willing to make some extra cash by selling your pre-loved furniture online and treating yourself to something a little different. 

Get rid of the scatter cushions

Shock horror. We know. We’ve not had a bad break up with our lovelies, but if your space is tight and the fabric has faded, it’s time to rethink. If you’re not up for recovering your throw pillows and you’ve not gotten any takers on small humans looking for materials to build a blanket fort, consider an upcycle project with said pillows.

bedroom scatter pillows

We’re not dissing these completely, but if you’ve got an obstacle course to clear every night before getting into bed, clear out. Comfy as they are, they are a magnet for dusty and other dodgy airborne things. If you’ve got co-dependence issues, at least run them through the wash, hey? 

Clean up

Is this too obvious? Call us Captain Obvious, then. We’re not after a quickie here. Light fittings, switches, plugs, skirting boards, window frames an a whole assortment of other fixtures love letting dirt live rent free.

Depending on when the last time was you got down and, err, dirty, you might need to set aside a whole day for this. Here’s the good news: a thorough scrub up effort is a pretty good workout. You might be surprised at how bright your bedroom actually can be once you’ve cleaned the windows and wiped the light fittings.

If you’ve got small humans, engage them in the same regime in their rooms to work off any excess energy.

Make it a bedroom only vibe

Even if you are saddled with a small space, a bedroom should largely be for bedroom things. Unless you live in a palace, where you can have a library, a bar and a living room in your bedroom.

But since you’re reading this you probably don’t live in a palace.

With work from home becoming the new normal all around the world, it’s easy to get into a habit of sneaking your laptop into bed and making your bed an office for a day. We’re not saying do not ever do this, but don’t do it often.

If you must do this, then construct a portable “office” to set up when it’s time for work. A simple serving tray that can be tucked away at the end of your working day  is perfect. It also helps keep office things together.


Put away the razor scissors, we don’t mean start playing arts and crafts with your curtains or your bedsheets.

Adding strong elements to the bedroom is great if you prefer a minimalist approach. Wood offers the most flexibility for adding texture to your bedroom. Lighter wood can break up a darker colour scheme. Rustic lamps paired with some greenery (see our next tip) will make you feel like you’re on holiday even if there is no realistic prospect of going on one soon.

Using a headboard is another easy way to add colour and texture. Even if you’re just giving the current one a fresh lick of paint, a bright headboard will make one heck of a statement.

Remember the statement chair we mentioned? Be brave and use aluminium or wood - depending on whether your style is industrial chic or wonderful and woody.

Go easy on the shaggy carpets and throws, though. As comforting as fluffy floors are, rugs with loose bits on top are a haven for dust mites and other critters.

Bring the outside in

If you’re not lucky enough to have a garden or balcony, you can still get some luscious greenery into the bedroom. Plants not only liven up your space (somewhat literally) but they’re great for purifying the air.

plants bedroom ideas

Back in 1989, a study done by NASA found that plants can reduce indoor pollutants. And when it comes to adding some colour, they’re a step ahead of those scatter cushions. If you’re looking to boost the calming effects of having greenery inside even more, consider potted lavender. In the right conditions, lavender can lively happily indoors. It does nee bright, direct light for a few hours a day, though, so it’s best suited to living spaces with south-facing windows.

bedroom accents armchair upcycle furniture

As a scent, lavender is believed to have a calming effect and it may even help improve sleep, although more research needs to be done on the latter.

Brighten up, buttercup

No, we’re not going to preach to you about staying positive and how being happy is a mindset. Brighten up – literally. With light. Even in a dingy studio apartment, there are ways to brighten up the dark spots.

If you’re stuck for space, put mirrors close to light sources to allow all that good chi to reflect around the darker areas. In particular bedroom situation, bigger is better.

But if exaggerating the risk of having seven years of bad luck isn’t your vibe, you can also brighten up with candles or fairy lights for a bit of ambience. Lighter furniture and accents will also help brighten the room.

If you want to go peak adult, you can also change up your furniture. Smaller, low to the ground pieces avoid the risk of long shadows appearing to places they haven’t been invited to. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make a big difference. Shopping for second-hand furniture online is hassle-free.

 And finally, read this in your mother’s sternest voice: clean your windows.

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