Cheap and Romantic Bedroom Decorating Ideas

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When you're aiming for a lot of romance on a little budget, accent and accessorize for bedroom alchemy. A setting is all about the lighting, textures, colors and sensual experience, so cast a critical eye on the bland wall behind the bed, the leftover holiday lights, a lovely silk scarf you haven't worn in years, all the unused real estate going to waste on the ceiling. Then start transforming. In a few hours, or minutes, you can have the fictional Pemberley in your own home.

Fluffy Deluxe

  • Haunt white sales for new bedding and flea markets and country antique stores for old linens to upgrade your bed. Invest in a down duvet and a silk or flowered duvet cover. Add two European pillows and replace standard pillows with king or queen. Buy high-thread-count sheets for their softness and durability. Look for antique cutwork or embroidered pillow shams and top sheets -- you can repurpose imperfect embroidered sheets as a flat or gathered bedskirt with just a couple of hems. Stick to all-white bedding for pristine prettiness or mix pastels for the lacy look of an old-fashioned valentine. The sink-into-it bedding tops the list of modest moves you can make to inject a jolt of romance in your bedroom.

Small Outlay, Big Impact

  • Cover the wall behind the headboard in lushly romantic flowered or pictorial wallpaper. Since the area only involves a single wall, you can afford to splurge on reproduction antique paper or a paper-backed fabric wall covering, more luxurious than you might afford when papering the entire room. If a fabulous piece of wallpaper is too small for the entire wall, or if you get a bargain price on a remnant that won't stretch to fit the space, mount the paper squarely behind and over the bed so that it extends down past the top of the headboard -- at least a little way -- and paint a metallic gold faux frame around the "textile panel" that turns your bedroom into a royal chamber. Pick up the color or a pattern from the wallpaper in a silk throw for the bed -- less expensive than a bedspread but an opulent drift of color and design. A silk scarf tossed over a bedside lamp softens the light to a warm, romantic glow, but don't let it get too close to the bulb to avoid the risk of fire.

Hoist the Canopy

  • You don't need a real canopy bed to enjoy the theater of sweeping drapes of fabric surrounding your mattress. Position a swing-arm curtain rod on the ceiling on either side of the headboard, aligned with the length of the mattress. Drape a long drift of gauzy fabric over the two rods so it swoops down a bit over the bed and falls gracefully on either side. Cost: fabric and two small rods -- attach them to the ceiling joists so they stay up. Wait for a sale and raid the fabric store for a bolt or substantial remnant of a shiny, heavy fabric to coordinate with your decor colors. Inky violet or icy blush-pink are the stuff of 19th-century romance novels -- silk taffeta or a convincing synthetic with some body is your game here. Install a rod that stretches the width of the bed a few inches from the ceiling. Hang gathered drapes that fall behind the headboard and pool on the floor. Add another rod at ceiling height for a deep valance of inverted box pleats in the same material.

Sleep Amid the Stars

  • Fairy lights are your friends when your budget is tiny, but your heart is extravagantly aflutter. Hang white mosquito netting in columns at the four corners of the bed -- suspend small embroidery hoops from the ceiling, or just a handy large cup hook, for attaching gathered netting. Snake a string of white fairy lights down the inside of the netting; connect all four strings under the bed and plug in the lights for a starry night. Even simpler, just drape netting from the ceiling behind the headboard and hang a starfall of tiny lights behind the cloud of net.

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