Published On October 22, 2017 | Last Updated August 13, 2020
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Get inspired to reclaim your spare room

Spare rooms tend to collect random piles of stuff.

In my house, the spare room is the place where things end up that I plan to deal with later.  Or I just don’t know where else to put them. It collects clutter.

If you’re ready to turn your “hoarder hole” into a beautiful and organized space, check out these clever DIY storage and decorating tips. Clear the clutter and create a stylish spare bedroom.


When my older brother moved out of our childhood home, his room stayed just as he left it for years. Finally, during a lull in DIY projects at my own house, I convinced my mom to work with me to give the room a makeover.

This bedroom was full of clutter, and lacking in style. Here’s how we cleaned up, simplified, and brought in a classic style, while keeping some unique personality.

Clear Out the Clutter

Declutter a spare bedroom
Check out that old computer monitor, huh?!?

Old kid’s toys and outdated electronics cluttered this space. This made it seem busy, and overwhelming. It was not the relaxing retreat that most people want their bedrooms to be.

While I admit that I made that quilt for my brother, that was back in the 1990’s, when those colors were “cool.”  It was ready for an update, too.

And the black curtains had served their purpose.

Spare room makeover ideas

To start, everything was cleared off the shelves, desk, and other clutter piles.

Decluttered shelves

Anything that had value, monetary or sentimental, was set aside to be brought back into the finished room. Useful items were donated, and the rest was recycled.

The old shelf rack was replaced with more stylish brackets.  A quick coat of stain gave the shelf boards an instant style boost.

The busy quilt was replaced with a plain down comforter, and a coverlet in soothing colors.  This became the anchor point for the style of the rest of the room.

Here’s a fun thrifty tip:  The new curtains were made by simply cutting a shower curtain in half, and adding a strip of accent fabric.  It was the perfect size for the window, and the grommets at the top allow it to slide easily on the rod.

Make drapes from a shower curtain
A shower curtain edged with accent fabric becomes custom drapes.

I made some matching throw pillows for the window seat.  Check out how to make your own throw pillow covers here.

accent pillows covered in fabric on couch
DIY throw pillows with accent fabrics add color and style.

Bring in a Style

Spare bedroom makeover

This room hadn’t been painted in years.  There were also empty spaces where some furniture pieces had moved on to other uses.  

Random pieces of artwork still hung awkwardly on the walls.

Makeover a spare room

After a fresh coat of paint, we wanted to protect the wall behind the bed with a headboard.

This is a SUPER inexpensive DIY headboard.  It’s just a piece of hard foam, that I covered with a piece of faux leather, and attached to the wall with hook and loop tape.

Make your own leather headboard
A new headboard protects the wall behind the bed.
How to make a leather headboard
Made by wrapping a piece of foam in faux leather.

I made the pillow shams out of a fabric remnant that fit with our new color pallet.

And check out the new storage next to the bed.  Guess what that is?

Bedroom storage
Ugly wooden trunks become stylish storage.

They’re two old wooden military chests.  They now hold many of the old toys and sentimental items that used to clutter the shelves.

And topping them off, that’s a bamboo slat window shade!

We found this window shade in the bargain bin at the home store, and it makes the perfect disguise for a very functional, but less pretty storage method. I also used something similar to hide plastic storage bins.

Keep Some Personality

My brother was always into art, and held onto an M.C. Escher calendar for years.  We took a selection of pages from that calendar, picked up some inexpensive frames meant for records, and hung them on the wall behind the bed.

His drawings and carvings made in school still decorate the top shelf.

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