Tuesday Tips: Mastering the Bedroom

Some people think kitchens and bathrooms are the most important places in the house. But when I'm house hunting, as I've been doing for the last month, the first room I look for is the master bedroom. What room can be more important than the one where the master sleeps? Unfortunately it's also a room that can be so unappealing if it feels old and weathered. I recently talked to Susan Hale of SpruceUps in Annandale, who gave me a few tips on how to update the master bedroom without spending a lot of money.

Tip #1: It's all about the bedding. Change the look of your bed and you can dramatically change the entire look of the room, Hale says. It doesn't take much either. Even a duvet cover pulled over your old comforter will make a difference. And quilts aren't for old ladies anymore. They can actually be a little more affordable and just as warm as a comforter.

Tip #2: Now is the time to take advantage of bedding sales. Hale recommends the Linens 'n Things liquidation sale, as well as Bed Bath & Beyond, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, The Great Indoors, as well as catalogs like Domestications and Linensource.

Tip #3: Those plain wooden round tables you can find at craft stores can be turned into matching bedside tables with nice fabric draped over them. But Hale says bedside tables don't even have to match. In fact, if the tables don't match, you don't even have to match the lamps. "It makes it more interesting when it's not a pair of bedside tables and not a pair of bedside lamps," Hale says. But if you are going with matching tables, the general rule is that the lamps will have to match too.

Tip #4: While you're changing the look of the bed and bedside tables, change the wall color. Painting a bedroom yourself is much easier than tackling a bathroom or kitchen.

Tip #5: The bedroom is where your personal artwork should go. Photos of family, your framed wedding invitation and any other personal mementos can be easily displayed on walls and dressers. Hale says the rule of thumb is that photos on dressers should be relatively small and photos on walls can go a little bigger.

Tip #6: Using the right frames can make a huge difference. If you're buying your own frames for photos and artwork you'll be hanging on the walls, make sure you get frames that don't have the easel on the back. They'll never hang right, says Hale.

Tip #7: That collection of gnomes or any other collection you have should generally stay out of the bedroom. But if you do want to display a few items from your collection, keep it to just a few. "Empty space is just as important as filled space," explains Hale. "It's better to have three or five things grouped together and then nothing."

So what have you done to update your master bedroom? Where are the best places to shop for bedding? Have you found any good deals lately? Be sure to check out Shop To It's tips on updating other areas of the house -- the home office, closets, a child's bedroom, the attic, the basement, the bathroom and the kitchen.

By Tania Anderson |  December 2, 2008; 12:00 AM ET Home Improvement , Tuesday Tips
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