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Simple Strategies for a Room Makeover

Are you struggling with how or where to start decorating a room? All it takes is one piece and a mood board to inspire a room makeover!

Luckily, I like to keep things really simple when decorating or re-decorating. To help you in your room makeovers, I thought I’d share some easy strategies to use as you start a new design project.

Where to Begin Decorating a Room

Inspirational pieces can really be ANYTHING! Sometimes it is something you own, want to save from the attic, or find while out shopping and buy it because you love it.  Room makeovers can start from lots of things:

  • Artwork
  • Rug
  • Ceramic Pieces
  • Lamps
  • Bedding
  • Fabric
  • Pillows
  • Tile
  • Cabinet Hardware

Rooms can be designed building off that one object. To help you understand the process, I thought I’d share my guest bedroom makeover because it was inspired by just one piece!

It helped me develop the room’s color palette and from there it became much easier to decide how the room was going to be decorated!

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using a mood board to makeover a room

Build a Mood Board

Creating a mood board with of all of the items you are thinking about using can be EXTREMELY helpful! There are apps out there to help you, but I always just copy the photo and drop it right into a PowerPoint slide.

Doing this has helped me avoid major mistakes (plus it’s free), before I make any purchases!

Depending on what version of PowerPoint you have, in photo editing there is the simple option to remove the background – nice right 😉

To copy an image you find on a website:

  1. Click on the image and if it has a zoom function make it as large as possible
  2. Right click your mouse on the image
  3. Select “Copy Image”
  4. Go to document where you are building your mood board
  5. Right click on document and select “Paste”

Mood board for guest bedroom makeover

You can see how the color palette started to develop on this mood board as I put in the images of things I liked.

I took a picture of the bird artwork I owned and dropped it into the slide. It showed me the wall color in the room that I could then build the makeover around. Seriously, other than your inspiration piece DON’T invest in any significant pieces without dropping your images in a document together – however you achieve this. 

If it’s an item you own and not online, take a picture and send it to your computer to insert into the board. 

Before the Makeover

Really, truly when I look at these pictures I can’t believe I lived with the guest bedroom like this for so many years. It was dark and the colors were just plain boring. The bedroom was filled with items from old family rooms and bedrooms.

The paint on the walls even looked ugly to me. Why did I pick yellow eight years ago? The room just wasn’t pretty in any way shape or form. 

There was potential though. Sunlight streams in from the east much of the day, the carpet was neutral, and the drapes were white.  Yellow paint, well I could make it work some how because I didn’t want to tackle another paint job.

Guest Bedroom Before
Guest Bedroom Before

Post contains hand selected products, with some affiliate marketing links {full disclosure here} 

The Makeover Inspiration

A little bird tucked away in the attic. Yes, it was that simple finding one piece of artwork that I already owned. Trust me up until I found this little birdie the room makeover just dragged. Without any inspiration it felt too daunting to overcome the ugly! 

Bird artwork on yellow wall

The colors in this piece artwork were my inspiration! I could see how yellow could be the base wall color and be combined with:

  • greens
  • grays
  • white
  • browns
Shop Art Inspiration


Develop the Color Palette

Developing the color palette is extremely important. It helps with the home textile selections and additional accessories. Pick up paint swatches and carry them with you when you are out running errands. 

Then you can always do a quick check to see if an accessory works with the colors in the room. If you aren’t sure how to pick out a wall paint color, I’ve developed an easy tutorial CLICK HERE. 

Hazy Yellow Valspar PaintGarden Flower Paint Swatch Valspar

For the guest bedroom makeover I already had the wall color, drapes and carpet. Yellow, White and Sand were the base colors I HAD to work with and couldn’t change. Adding gray and shades of aqua from the bird artwork was just perfect!

Luckily, I had some leftover cabinet enamel in a beautiful shade of aqua from my master bathroom makeover. If you want to see the transformation from an espresso stain to Garden Flower CLICK HERE.

Repainting furniture to give a whole new look is one of my favorite and budget friendly things to do. This room had a great Bombay chest in it that I had for over 20 years and it was screaming for an update! So it got a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware. 

Guest Bedroom Makeover Reveal

Let’s walk through all of the beautiful details around the room, so you can see how I blended the colors that kept pointing back to the bird artwork.

The Bombay Chest Makeover

A rare mid-stream view of the makeover and what the Bombay chest looked like before I painted it. Also, you can see how I mapped out how to hang two pieces of artwork next to the mirror (that was already in the room).

An easy trick is to trace the frames on wrapping paper and tape up with painter’s tape.

Bombay Chest Before Being Painted
Bombay Chest Before

Now the Bombay Chest is alive again with a brand new color Valspar (at Lowe’s) 5004-3B Garden Flower and modern gold and white hardware. ANOTHER one of my favorite budget friendly ways to update cabinets and furniture.

The chest looks like a completely new piece of furniture and I was able to repurpose a mirror and small pieces of artwork to make a more substantial grouping on the wall. Plus the mirror helped tie all of the room colors together on the wall opposite the bed. 

Guests LOVE having a place outside of the bathroom to get ready: dry their hair, put on their makeup, and get dressed.  It helps having a mirror over a chest especially when you have two guest sharing the same bathroom. 

End of Bed and Dresser

Another good tip is to add a tray on top of the chest, so guests have a place to put their “stuff”. Things like jewelry, keys, makeup, and toiletries. Plus it helps protect the painted finish on top of the chest 🙂

Shop Trays

Roses on Dresser+Vase+Painting

Bench Seating

Another item that was important and one of the FIRST items on the mood board was a bench. The room is fairly small, so I had to search for something small AND comfortable.

Having a place to set things on other than the bed or a place to sit and put on your shoes was a nice addition to this guest bedroom. This bench is SO comfy with the two roll pillows. 

Shop Benches

Dark Teal Velvet Bench and Aqua Chest

The coastal artwork was a great and inexpensive find that defines this small space in the room. Previously this wall was a little bit of nothing.

Now a vignette draws you into the corner. Luckily, I was able to find aqua velvet pillows to pull in the same color of the chest and used those on the bed as well!

Shop Artwork

Teal Velvet Bench with Books

Upholstered Headboard

One of my favorite looks is upholstered headboards, so that was the first piece of furniture I search for and purchased.  The prices have become so affordable that after this makeover I added one to the master bedroom as well.

The dove gray velvet is a nice accent to the yellow wall making it appear more neutral. The bedding was a fun find (on sale) at World Market that had all of the same room colors that ties everything together. Sorry, it’s no longer available!

Bed+Mirrored Nightstand+Gray Bedding

To unite the headboard with something else in the room, the bedskirt is also in gray, along with the bedding at the foot of the bed.  Yellow and gray is always a nice combination, but what made this room truly look new and fresh are the punches of aqua and teal. 

End of the Bed with Dresser

Shop Upholstered Headboards

Mirrored Furniture

Mirrored furniture is amazing because it can brighten a dark corner and it doesn’t compete, but instead complements the room.

The wall on the right side is very narrow so I went with a smaller nightstand on one side, with a swing arm lamp for lighting, so the guest sleeping on that side has room to put a book or glass of water.

If the roses are in season, I’ll add them to the room too. Fresh flowers are always appreciated by my guests 🙂 Previously, all that was here was a tall floor lamp – not very useful!

Mirrored Nightstand and Swing Arm Lamp

mirrored nightstand with gold circle lamp in the sun

See how the sunlight BOUNCES off of the mirrored nightstand on a sunny day? I just love coming in here in the mornings to tidy up and make the bed, after guests leave. 

Shop Mirrored Furniture

Then the BEST find was a few little trinkets from Home Goods to pull in the teal and luckily a circle lamp with a rectangular shade.

The rectangular shade takes up less space visually in the room and I love the graphic look the circle provides as you look through the window. 

Shop Gold Lamps

Guest Bedroom Makeover Complete

Do you see how a simple base of yellow, sand, and white with a little birdie artwork led to a fun and fairly easy makeover? 

Guest Bedroom Makeover After

Here is the before…crazy right? It makes me appreciate what a big change it truly was!


Hopefully, I’ve helped you understand how to start a makeover and believe a mood board is one of the BEST options.

Is this my favorite room in the house? No, but it’s SO much better than before that it’s hard to believe. Will I likely paint these walls because the yellow drives me a little crazy? Yes, definitely. What is so nice is that I have a neutral base to work from and can easily update this room.

My next little project will be to update the curtain rods – they got skipped the first go around to save a few bucks! I think I may have a set in gold leftover from my dining room makeover. Shop your attic friends!

Until next time…


Porch Daydreamer

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