From Dungeon to Modern: A Room Makeover for Under $200

I didn’t really want to leave Toronto, and I really didn’t want to move into the one bedroom in the house that’s in the basement and looked like a dungeon, but add some floral. And then my sister and I binged a lot of HGTV and a room makeover sounded great – especially with her taking the lead.

See I’ve been living in this room since mid-March but it didn’t feel like mine. It was the dumping ground for the whole family (mostly dad – how much hunting gear does one man need?) and a dark teal on the walls combined with a lack of light and extra tacky floral curtains well, it left a lot to be desired. I slept in there, but that’s it.

So, after Jess created some mood boards for me (aka showed me some images on Pinterest) we got to work.

The Purging

I hate cleaning, and purging. But it wouldn’t be a room makeover without ridding the space of junk.

Even these before photos somehow make it look better than what it was. It really was the place you left junk, and I usually come home a few times a year so the stuff had piled UP. We kept what was needed in bins in the basement, made a few dump trips and moved the treadmill AKA my clothing rack out of the room.

Right away, the room started to feel bigger. And honestly, it’s bigger than any room I’ve had in Toronto.

Painting the Day Away

Love the idea of painting, hate doing it. But paint is key to any room makeover – seriously it changed the whole space.

What was a dungeon started to seem bright and cheery with a few coats of white.

This is where my first money choices came into play and while I didn’t have a budget, I didn’t want to break the bank.


White was a must, and we went with the lesser expensive of the two brands at our local Home Depot – but the ‘best’ version of the cheaper paint with a built in primer.

And since I wanted accent colours, but we didn’t know what we were doing with them, we got samples instead! These little babies are $5, and we didn’t even end up finishing them! They have a lot packed into the tiny cans.

As for why we picked the colours we did…well I found the bedding first (clearance at Wal-Mart!) and the rest just happened. I had to fight for the yellow, and actually ended up adding a lilac grey colour for the headboard too – but we used spray paint for that.

All About the Details

I love knick-knacks.

Jess…does not.

The idea was to have greenery, but since I suck with plants and the room doesn’t get a TON of light, we went with fake ones. Then we had some dollar store finds that we spruced up and the rest were taken from around the house! My fave find was what looks like a tapestry on my wall, but it’s actually a bath mat that we added tassels and some twine to.

Like the wicker mirror (fresh coat of paint!) and the chair (used to be my gramma’s!), everything fit in nicely once the layout of the room was thrown together.

Upcyle Time!

My favourite project of the room is the headboard. This bas boy is from 1994 but looks so cool with the new coat of paint. We kept the gold to match with the lamp (which is probably from before 1994 really) and it came out looking so good.

I’m creative, but she’s one of those people who can make the vision in their head come to life. I never would put the concept together. My idea of a room makeover is moving furniture around and calling it a day!

The Reveal

To say I love it is an understatement.

And I give all the credit to Jess, truly. She took a dark and lacklustre space and made it a room I want to be in. As soon as I figure out my latest wifi extender, I’ll be working in my office nook and spinning records all day!

The Cost

The most money went towards a single dresser, something that we weirdly didn’t have an extra of! The rest of the furniture was taking from either our Toronto condo or around the house. I think a second-hand dresser would have been even better, but the second-hand shops are just opening up here and I was getting a little inpatient.

Paint was the second big cost, but still came in well under budget since we opted for the least expensive of the options at Home Depot. And compared to the higher-end BEHR brand we used in another room, none of us can see a difference. A few extra coats, but we were going from a dark teal to white!

Accessories were mostly dollar store finds and changing what we had – like the frames, for example. A new colour of paint made the images change instantly and I love that.

Plus, with the accent wall, not much was needed!

Sticking to under $200 wasn’t a must, in fact it was mostly by accident – a blessing of living in a small town away from the city is that the clearance sections are always PACKED and finding this bedding was sheer luck.

I might buy blinds in the future, as the room is awfully bright at 7 a.m., but for now I’m content with everything.

Having a new space feels refreshing – especially at a time like this where we’ve been in the boring routine of not leaving the house. I’ve been missing the office a lot but I’m certain having my little office nook is going to make a huge difference!

Next up – the living room. I’ll be eagerly awaiting HGTV’s call until then.


1 Comment

  1. July 21, 2020 / 11:32 AM

    Beautiful job!!!!

Leave a Reply