ShoppingGirls, we understand that you have about a billion great ideas for gifts for your Mom on Mother’s Day. We fully support your shopping endeavors, but would like to point out that we suspect what your Mom really wants for Mother’s Day (or any day), is more time spent with you!
So, we’d like to suggest an awesome gift that includes pretty stuff, but more importantly, shared time with your Mom.
Helping Mom redecorate her bedroom!
Nearly every ShoppingGirl out there probably has at least one room in her home that she’d love to redecorate. If your Mom’s bedroom is perfect, go ahead and focus on another room. Sit down with Mom and go over the possibilities. Keep in mind that your Mom will probably try to focus on what’s easiest and least expensive for you (moms are just that way). But try to discern what your Mom would really, truly love, and then combine your financial resources with your top-notch ShoppingGirl bargain hunting and crafting skills to get fabulous results on any budget!
Let’s focus as an example project on redecorating Mom’s bedroom. Why? Because bedrooms often get overlooked as the restful private sanctuaries they can and should be. Moms have to take the preferences of the rest of the family into consideration when it comes to making a home. This often doesn’t leave money, time, or room to decorate exactly as they’d choose. If your Mom is a renter, she probably feels inhibited by rental restrictions, and maybe doesn’t realize the many options that exist to help overcome those limitations. Even Moms who have done some bedroom decorating probably haven’t been able to really finish off the project as they dreamed they could.
By gifting your Mom with both your time and the materials needed to update her bedroom, you are giving her a great deal more than even the nicest piece of jewelry or a fine restaurant dinner could offer. Both of you will be blessed with happy (and likely some humorous) memories of the experience. Your shared time and investment will result in a long-term benefit for your Mom that will provide her with a reviving, health-promoting space that harmonizes with and honors who she really is. For all of the rewards offered by such a project-gift, redecorating Mom’s bedroom can also be surprisingly affordable, stimulating your creative impulses, and providing you both with something fun to do.
Since redecorating can be a major expense, we are going with the premise that your goal is to maximize the results while putting your money where it is of the most value in such a project, and that you probably don’t have thousands upon thousands of dollars to undertake an epic blow-out redecoration project. If you do, then go for it!
Even if Mom is a neat-freak, you’ll want to take everything out of the bedroom that you can, including window treatments. Anything you can’t logically move out should be pushed to the center of the room and covered with a plastic tarp. Wash the ceiling, walls, floors, and windows. You want to ensure that the wall surfaces etc. are clean and free of dust. While you’re waiting for them to dry, have the window treatments, bed linens, rugs and the like cleaned, if your Mom intends to keep them. Depending on your decorating plan, you might decide to dye, stain, paint, stencil, embellish or otherwise re-design the textiles to suit Mom’s new decor scheme. Removing everything from the room is done not just to clear the space for painting. It forces you to reconsider Mom’s floor plan and discover new possibilities that may provide better flow and use.
Next, if you haven’t already done so, work with Mom on two themes: Color, and Style.
Many people, possibly including your Mom, feel inhibited when it comes to this step. They default to boring, commonly used color palettes and styles out of doubt more than personal preference. Help your Mom to be sure she can define exactly what she’d really, truly like for her bedroom decor. Throw caution to the wind. Now is the time for Mom to consider what colors she finds restful and/or passionate, avoiding assumptions of logic and practicality. For the amount of work you are putting into this project, it’s worth going for an authentic result.
While some people adore an all-white theme, many people just default to this option. If your Mom truly wants an all-white theme, then you’ll still need to consider a palette of different tones and shades of whites, so it’s not really all that easier than going with color. One of the best tools for color theme inspiration is a free online website, Design Seeds. A designer favorite for its broad range of palettes inspired by real-world examples, each palette includes the inspiration photo inspiring the palette, a virtual color-card similar to those you find at your local paint store, and a listing of the precise color codes for each color in the palette. The color codes are handy for creating custom paint or other items, since these are standardized codes used in many industries that work with color. What is so great about Design Seeds is that you can just browse through until you find a photo you particularly like, and the color palette is right there ready for you to use in a practical way. The diversity of the palettes is outstanding, as many are submitted by different freelance designers, so you won’t be seeing the same old obvious color assortments. This method makes it easy for people who might feel unsure about selecting colors to find those that they really like. Picking a photograph featuring scenes of real colors that speak to you emotionally is much easier than trying to select color blocks off teensy sample cards.
Now that you and Mom have selected a color palette, you need to decide on a style theme. Again, defaulting to the average may not be the way to go. Mom’s bedroom can be anything she wants it to be. A relaxing space for sleeping, a cosy reading nook, or a sensual den for love? One doesn’t necessarily cancel out the others. You’ll benefit from selecting a basic theme, whether iconic (say, Art Deco, Beach Cottage, or Goth), or unique (say, Sci-Fi Hippie, Post-Modern Princess, or Victorian Jungle?) Another way to theme is to think in terms of textures, shapes, and detailing. Does Mom love curves or angular lines; carved or sleek furniture; florals or metals? Spend some time with your Mom to tighten the parameters you’ll use as you proceed with the project.
One of the best, and least expensive, ways to create a dramatic improvement and change in a room is simply by repainting the walls, ceiling, doors and trim. Here is the opportunity for you to be bold and go for major impact and vibe. Even a palette of pale neutral shades can be potent; it all depends on the overall effect you’re going for. For example, an all-white theme gains richness and interest by using a range of different white tones and finishes, rather than just the same white shade on everything. You can paint one wall a bold color, which is often a great look in the bedroom, as the “headboard” wall for Mom’s bed.
Bedrooms are also great places to paint a deep color on the ceiling. Painting a bedroom including the ceiling in a dark color can create a surprisingly open feeling (contrary to popular belief), or can be used to create the effect of being inside a jeweled treasure box, or under a starry night sky.
What’s important is to select a color scheme that your mom finds restful. For some people, this might even include typically potent colors such as red, orange or yellow.
Most people like to highlight architectural features in a room, such as molding, window frames, doors, and the like.
Depending on the type of flooring you have and if you plan to change it, you can choose to paint the floor as well. Just be sure to get a suitable paint for flooring. Since most bedrooms don’t have a lot of foot traffic, you shouldn’t have a problem with this.
Since interior paints sometimes contain toxic ingredients that can “off-gas” for as long as a decade (!), it’s wise to select a brand that is either low-VOC or, preferably, completely non-VOC (non-toxic that won’t pollute your home’s interior air). Fortunately, due to public demand and technological advances, these safer interior paints are much easier to find. One of the best options comes from the well-known brand Benjamin Moore. Their Natura line has all the colors you could possibly want (including custom colors of your choice), in a zero-VOC, odorless, fast-drying, easy to use acrylic formula, and it’s also easy to clean up your brushes and tools after you’re done painting. The line comes in three finishes, Flat, Eggshell, and Semi-Gloss, so you easily do your bedroom ceiling, walls, and trim and still sleep in your bedroom the same night without gagging on fumes. Benjamin Moore features a number of other excellent paint options that are low-VOC, such as the Aura line; paints specifically for ceilings and floors; and of course, exterior paint options. The company’s website also has great tools for selecting your paint type and colors, including a virtual room painting tool. Choose a photograph of a room similar to yours. Select your main wall color. The scene will “paint” the photo walls with your chosen color, and accent the rest of the scene with a recommended palette of coordinating colors, which you can adjust for different looks. They also feature paint color collections such as the “Affinity” Collection. It features a whopping 144 different color choice that all harmonize with each other! This makes painting your entire home with a cohesive look super-simple. Their comprehensive “Off White” Collection contains over 50 shades of whites, enabling you to achieve subtle rich layering effects and highlights.
For Mom’s bedroom floor, a rug may be the perfect solution to a less-than-stellar carpet or wood surface. Keep in mind that you can easily paint a faux rug or pattern on a wood or laminate floor, if purchasing a real rug is cost prohibitive.
There are affordable rug resources out there, one of the best being Overstock.com. A long-time web resource for home furnishings among many other things, Overstock has a great reputation, excellent customer service and return policies, and frequently runs excellent sales and clearance events. They are a great resource for all kinds of home furnishings that are of good quality at affordable prices. For large, room-sized rugs, Overstock is a great place to shop, as you can often find a good option there for under $150.00.
These options can be used in so many ways, that the sky is the limit (even literally; get a great skyscape mural to cover Mom’s bedroom ceiling, for an incredible view while lying in bed).
If you can’t find a color, texture, design, or theme in wallpaper, you probably just need to cast your net wider. Pretty much anything you can imagine is available. One of the best types of wallpapers are those with textures, something you cannot easily replicate with paint (well, you can, but it’s a nightmare to try to remove if you ever want to repaint). Wallpaper can take over Mom’s entire bedroom, or be featured on just one wall, or as an accent inside of a shelving unit, the headboard, or inside of a closet. One dazzling option is glitter wallpaper, available in many colors, and with varying intensities of shine and sparkle.
Murals, painted freehand, stenciled, or in a wallpaper format, can add a “view” if one is missing, or recreate one of mom’s favorite places in the real world or from one of her favorite films or novels. Mural wallpaper is available that replicates textures, color effects like ombre (which can be a hassle to paint yourself), and substances such as tiles, wood, bricks, marble, and metals. Murals Your Way is a great, affordable online resource. Besides seemingly endless designs and images in a variety of sizes, they will custom-make a mural to your size requirements from any photo you provide.
Mirrored walls are glamorous, expand the visual space, and can enhance the amount of light in Mom’s bedroom. However, any mirrors which are within the “danger zone” (about from the waist down) are at risk of being cracked from furnishings, vacuums, or stuff you are holding in your hands when you inadvertently whack the surface. If you aren’t likely to suffer from such accidents, can afford it, and like the look, certainly incorporate mirrored surfaces into Mom’s bedroom on the walls and furnishings. Keep in mind that large mirrored areas can result in the unnerving feeling of being watched. If Mom wants some mirrored surfaces without full-blown mirrored closet doors or walls, an excellent choice in a bedroom is a full-length tri-fold mirror (like the ones you often find in store dressing rooms). are very useful. For some reason these are often ridiculously expensive, but Walmart.com sells an over-the-door model in several finishes ranging in price from around $100-$150. You could just choose to hang this on a wall. Creating a tri-fold mirror would be a simple DIY project, as you only need to assemble three full-length framed mirrors with a couple sets of hinges that are large and sturdy enough to support the mirrors. If Mom likes the look of mirrored surfaces but doesn’t necessary want or need a perfect reflective surface, there are options which are comparatively inexpensive, such as mirrored Contact Paper.
Once you have the walls, floor and ceiling re-done, it’s time to consider the window coverings. In a bedroom, this is of particular importance. Your Mom needs to be able to control the light and her privacy while still having the option to enjoy the view. There are many ways to accomplish this, but one of the coolest choices for a bedroom is a room-darkening reverse-mounted shade or blinds. This is positioned to pull the shade or blinds up from the bottom of the window, instead of down from the top. This design is great in a bedroom because it enables you to position the shade to provide privacy while still leaving the upper window area open for breezes and views of the trees and sky. Since your shade or blinds will be doing the “serious” work, this leaves you free to go completely decorative in your choice of additional window treatments, if you want to. Roman shades are simple to make yourself, using whatever fabric, painting, or embellishment you like. http://www.dummies.com/crafts/sewing/how-to-make-roman-shades/
Depending on your theme, you may prefer shutters, rich, heavy draperies, delicate lacy tiers, rolling rice paper or bamboo shades, or what have you. Adding your craft touches means you can scoop up a bargain and dress it up. https://theturquoisehome.com/how-to-stencil-curtains/
Now that the “background” to mom’s bedroom is done, it’s time to look at the furniture. Here is where you should consider your greatest expense: Whether Mom should get a new mattress. While bargains can be found, “bargain” is a relative term depending on your overall finances. However, like many people, your Mom may truly need a new mattress, having continued to use her old one long after it has collapsed into an unsuitably uncomfortable excuse for a sleeping surface. Mattresses are expensive, and picking out a good mattress is a waking nightmare. We here at ShoppingGirl are not going to recommend any particular brand, since preferences vary so much. Again, a good, affordable resource for mattresses online is Overstock.com and, surprisingly enough, Walmart.com has well rated affordable mattresses that can be shipped to Mom’s doorstep in an easy to maneuver box. If your Mom is the adventurous type, she might even like a futon or hammock. While hammocks are an excellent choice, commonly used by many people around the world, you must of course be sure you can set it up securely and safely. If Mom shares her mattress with a significant other, of course that needs to be taken into consideration as well. But during your redecorating project is a good time to consider whether Mom’s current mattress is the right size and type. For example, it’s no longer difficult to find bed linens to fit a California King mattress, so a larger option might be good. Conversely, if Mom lives in a cold climate and always feels chilly, a larger mattress may be more difficult to keep warm at night. It’s worth giving it some thought, since we spend such much time in bed, and sleep quality is of utmost importance to Mom’s health.
Mom’s bed frame should set the mood for the room, but fortunately, this element is easy to DIY in multiple ways to create the right vibe even at low cost. If Mom needs a new bed frame, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something within your price range (or even free, although use caution when picking up freebie furniture curbside; it could be infested with bed-bugs). Lots of people leave furniture curb-side when they move and it’s perfectly fine. The risk is up to you! If Mom is short on storage space, bed risers can provide additional under-bed space, and there are so many bins, baskets, boxes, and the like possible for storage that she probably has something ideal on hand already. If not, one excellent and affordable option are the large, inexpensive duffel bags on sale at Walmart.com. Or go to your local Walmart, where you will likely find truly giant duffel bags for practically nothing. The long, narrow configuration makes these easy to stash and access underneath a bed with little wasted potential storage space, and they do a great job of keeping the contents clean.
Now that you’re working on storage issues, it’s a good time to clean up Mom’s closet. Don’t forget the power of simple tricks to maximize storage. You don’t need to spend a lot (or even anything) to scrounge up ways to maximize the storage space and functionality of Mom’s closet. For example, why spend $50 on a wimpy two-tier closet rod when an old branch and heavy-duty twine will do the same thing? Fancy it up with paint, ribbons, or other personal touches. You can do the same thing with hooks and even curtain rods. If you aren’t into the rustic look, just tidy up the cuts and use your creative genius to get the look you’re after. Since closets are meant for out-of-sight storage, it’s not logical to waste much of your budget on things you can make from stuff you already have just to store more stuff!
Bedroom lighting can often be improved. A harsh middle-of-the-ceiling light isn’t usually very useful, but simply replacing the bulb with an efficient LED option that replicates natural sunlight is a start. While you probably don’t want to get into electrical wiring work, you can find cute options to improve the lighting for Mom’s needs and for atmosphere very easily. Don’t forget candles (or fake candles) as an option.
If Mom has to keep her desk and computer in the bedroom, this area probably needs some attention as well. Treat it like you did the closet; get all the loose cables and stuff organized and out of the way. You can set off, define and conceal the area with something like a folding screen, hanging mosquito net, tapestry, faux or real plants, or the like. Clean up that computer work area with cable ties, organizer solutions, and pretty covers or throws for her gear when it’s not in use. Cute baskets and boxes are great solutions for desk-area clutter, and Mom probably has some scarves or shawls lying around that would make great throw covers for hardware and desktop. Don’t forget to double-check things like the desk and chair height, and other ergonomic considerations, to be sure they are correct for your Mom. As we get older, repetitive-motion injuries and other ergonomic problems can worsen, but this is yet another commonly ignored factor in a home office environment.
Good seating is desirable in a bedroom yet something else that is often disregarded. The ugliest, most broken-down chair in the house may have migrated to Mom’s bedroom, needing attention in terms of repair, reupholstering, or refinishing. Now’s the time to ensure that Mom has a truly good chair for her desk, for reading, or just for kicking back. Fine quality chairs are expensive, although you can find deals both new and used; again, Overstock.com often has surprisingly good deals on comfortable furniture, and local thrift stores might have a treasure needing a little personal touch to fit into Mom’s decor. Old rocking chairs are often easy to find on the cheap at thrift stores and yard sales. Due to the rocking feature, these chairs typically need to be rather sturdy and well-made, and older pieces are likely made from good quality wood that will last a long time. Many people are fond of rocking chairs. They are comfy and adapt well to bedroom environments.
Mom’s bedroom should be looking great about now. Additional furnishings as needed can be refinished, painted, or the like, and the final touches of decor knick-knacks brought in. Some should be useful: A nightstand lamp, clock, and storage box perhaps; others strictly decorative items that help set the mood and create a positive place for your Mom. While she has probably has collected many decorative items over the course of time, it can be good to add at least a few new things, and perhaps to update some of her old favorites with craft techniques, such as recovering a candlestick or old frame with gold leafing or a bright, bold, glossy paint color.
Be sure to document your project with your Mom. Keep a journal, take photos, take breaks, and discover lots more about each other than you might have known before. You might find that you both enjoyed the re-do so much that you’re already planning your next decorating project! We at ShoppingGirl hope that you all will be blessed with many wonderful project-gift moments with your loved ones.