A basement bedroom refresh featuring a wallpaper mural.

How to Refresh a Basement Bedroom on a Budget.


Today, I am sharing a recent project I completed for a client/neighbor! I love quick projects that can be done over a weekend because it is about as close to instant gratification as you get in design. My neighbor recently had an overflow of guests and rented our short-term rental property to a few family members. After their stay, he approached me about refreshing a few spaces in his home. He was honest about having a modest budget. And the first rooms were in the basement <hmmm>, But I love a challenge, so I said YES! Let’s look at how to refresh a basement bedroom on a budget.

What we started with:

This home is also a short-term rental property for a portion of the year. When the owners are home, it is used as a guest room. It’s a small bedroom with low ceilings and little natural light.

My favorite is the large soffit hiding the HVAC system <cue facepalm emjoi>. They had painted a wall gray as an accent wall and added art to try to liven up the small space, but it was dated, and the owners agreed it could all go. The daybed wasn’t being utilized, so it was one of the first things to go. There are definitely some challenges to address before we get to adding cozy!

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The room has an egress window, which is required in a basement bedroom, but it does not have a closet space (it’s right outside of the hallway), so technically, it is not a legal bedroom according to the local building codes in Michigan.

Budget for the Bedroom Refresh

I was given a $500.00 budget for the bedroom, but the house owner was willing to roll up his sleeves and do some painting and wallpapering. It would take some shrewd shopping skills (including some things he had in the garage), but I was determined to make it work for him. I sent the initial mood board to give him ideas on a color scheme and to see if he was comfortable with a wall mural. The client loved it!

Paint and Wallpaper Mural.

A large-scale, bold-patterned wallpaper is a great way to add visual interest to a small space. I chose this green and blue wallpaper mural for the wall behind the bed. This was a new company to me called Muravie Walls, so I was very nervous about ordering from them, but it was so easy! I measured the walls and sent it over, and they custom-sized the mural for me. I went with traditional wallpaper (the kind you paste) as I find it easier to use than peel-and-stick wallpaper. All you need is some good-quality paste, and I recommend this kit for easy installation. This wall is relatively small, so it comes in three strips. You can see some other wall murals I have done here and here.

Ordering from Muravie Walls wallpaper website for a basement bedroom refresh.

Paint color is essential to creating an inviting space. I love the feel of white walls in a small space, so I chose SW Alabaster from Lowes’s Sherwin-Williams Showcase paint line. I love the quality, and it covered the grey accent wall beautifully. This warm white of the Alabaster color looks lovely with the mural.

The paint took a day—we skipped painting the mural wall—and the wallpaper installation took a few hours.

My photo color is off here, and the mural is much closer to the image on the website.

Wallpaper Mural on a basement bedroom wall refresh.

What makes a Basement Bedroom Cozy

These are some design elements I suggest for turning your basement bedroom into a cozy retreat. Cozy is a goal for any bedroom refresh, especially in a basement.

Rugs or Carpet:

Basement spaces usually have cold flooring. This carpeting is in pretty good shape and cozy for bare feet, so we are keeping it. If it had not been carpeted, I would have chosen an area rug for under the bed.

Layering your bedding:

I am a fan of layering bedding, especially in a guest room. People have different preferences, so it is nice to offer options. Here, I have a quilt, a bed blanket, and a throw layered on the bed.

A Small Dresser to unpack belongings:

Even in the smallest guest bedroom, I try to include a dresser for guests and a luggage rack for suitcases. I found this small dresser in the garage, which was a bonus as it was FREE!

Chair for putting on shoes:

I prefer A bench at the end of the bed if you have space, but at least try to add a chair for putting on shoes (and if I’m honest, for throwing your clothes onto at the end of the day). :-


Guests need a place for glasses, reading material, water, and lights, so add them if you can. I found a used FB Marketplace nightstand and painted it; the total cost was less than $55.00. I also found an outdoor side table on clearance at TJMaxx that I will use as a bedside table for $33.00.

Refreshed Basement Bedroom Reveal:

Here is the final reveal. I am struggling with the color of my pictures, so bear with me.

Bed with white layered bedding and a bold wallpaper mural.

I wanted to add texture to the room, so I added a some pole wrap from Lowes. On top of the pole wrap, I added framed photographs of the village where the house is located.

Next is a wicker chair with a faux fur seat cover (for extra coziness) and a small stool for books and such.

Pole Wrap in a basement  bedroom refresh.

So, how did I do budget-wise?

  • Wallpaper Mural $138.00
  • Installation Kit (Amazon) $15.00
  • Paint – $45.00
  • Pole Wrap $75.00
  • Faux Fur Seat Cover $13.00
  • Night Stand (FB Marketplace) $55.00
  • Accent Table (TJMaxx) -Using as nightstand $33.00
  • Small Stool (from Aldi) 14.00
  • White Bedding 25.00
  • Green knit throw (Target) $59.00
  • Small Lamps (Target) 10.00 ea.
  • Finishing touches: Art, bowl, and blue vases- Found in garage
  • Plant $3.50

We refreshed the entire space for just under our $500 budget. YAY!

Bedroom refresh featuring a wallpaper mural.

If you count the shopping and the weekend, the entire project took a week to pull together.

Basement bedroom refresh on a budget.

View from the bedroom into the hallway.

Basement Bedroom Refreshed on a budget.

I am happy to report that the client loves the fresh look. We are almost finished with the second space (a downstairs bathroom), which I will post as it’s finished.

I hope you enjoyed this basement bedroom refresh. Thank you for stopping by.

Until next time,


You may also enjoy:

A quick bedroom refresh for Spring

Our DIY Basement Renovation reveal is here

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