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Experts weigh in: 15 Things that would tidy up this bedroom

We asked readers to send in pictures of their bedrooms for a chance to receive some expert advice. This pretty, but basic, bedroom stood out from the mix, so we asked an interior designer to offer 15 tips to transform this space.

Start with the basics

drab to fab bedroom 2

We love this basic bedroom with the pretty, on-trend gray wall color and the Carrie Bradshaw-inspired bedding, but we can’t help but wonder how we could dress it up a bit, make it more functional and cozy, and add a fashionable flair — or two.

To create a fabulous new look, we turned to Brittany Nixon, a gem of an expert in the design field. Brittany is an interior designer with more than 10 years of experience and a passion for finding inspiration in design, fashion, pop culture, family life and work. You can find her at The Creative Life.

After reviewing the photos, Brittany pulled together the following items to create an inspiration board, and explained how to recreate this look at home.

Brittany's top tips

1. Paint the walls a lighter color, such as Benjamin Moore Winds Breath, and the trim and the ceiling in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee in a flat sheen. If you prefer a darker room, keep the dark greige, or try a shade of navy blue.

2. Scrape the popcorn ceiling.

3. Add crown and base moldings.

4. Declutter— or you could call it edit. Remove the elliptical machine and the sconces and the small shelves from the walls.

5. Update the TV.

6. Bring the furniture up to speed. Either purchase new furniture or refinish or paint the existing pieces. If replacing with new, consider a pair of matching nightstands — go with a wider set that has ample storage; three-drawers would be perfect.

Brittany’s pick: Paula Deen Home gray Steel Magnolia one-drawer nightstand (Wayfair, $720)

7. Buy a dresser to place opposite the bed that’s tall and has plenty of storage to help with the “editing” (decluttering).

Brittany’s pick: Somerset Bay St. Simons dresser (Layla Grayce, $5,404)

8. Keep the bed, but add an upholstered headboard to create softness in the room.

Brittany’s pick: Custom upholstered Fillmore headboard (Serena & Lily, $995-$1,350)

9. Consider adding a bench at the foot of the bed in a durable, patterned fabric. This would add a place to sit and put on your shoes or set a suitcase on. Functional pieces are must-haves. An accent chair with a side table by the dresser or windows would be lovely and functional as well.

Brittany’s picks: Karl club chair (Wayfair, $247), Carved wood side table (West Elm, $199)

10. Try new curtains, hanging them closer to the crown molding or the ceiling if you don’t add moldings. Either a print fabric or a solid would be lovely. Grommets make it easy to hang curtains and have a nice, clean look.

Brittany’s picks: Scribble curtain in midnight blue (West Elm, $29-$59), Velvet pole pocket curtain in regal blue (West Elm, $59)

11. Update the bedding.

Brittany’s pick: Dotted stripe duvet cover and shams in stone white/peridot (West Elm, $24-$139)

12. Incorporate some accent pattern and color with accent pillows.

Brittany’s picks: Labyrinth citrine pillow (DwellStudio, $110), African spot pillow (DwellStudio, $87), Chatham pillow cover in Dijon (Serena & Lily, $68)

13. Put some artwork in the room. Consider a statement piece over the bed such as a starburst mirror, or a framed piece of art over each nightstand that brings in a color that’s also in the pillows.

Brittany’s picks: Emporium Home lotus natural mirror (Layla Grayce, $1,525), “Blue on Blue” abstract painting (YellowRedAndBlue, $350)

14. Keep the current lamps or try something bolder in color.

Brittany’s pick: Pop color modern ceramic table lamp in navy (Shades of Light, $449)

15. Building on the current neutral walls, consider a monochromatic color scheme with a pop of a color such as cobalt blue or yellow. Any color would do.

More on great design

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4 Powder room makeovers to die for
Home makeover tips that reflect your personality

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