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Make your bedroom work hard on a budget

If you’re living in a shared house, you may need to get savvy with your rented bedroom furniture. Check out these ideas for inspiration

Make your bedroom work hard on a budget

Brought to you by Houzz

Emily Hutchinson, Houzz Contributor

If you’ve just moved out of home and into a new shared house, you’ve probably come to realise that maybe it wasn’t so bad living with Mum and Dad after all! On top of coughing up a month’s rent in advance, you also need enough money to kit out your bedroom properly, as this is where you’re likely to spend the majority of your time.

Your new sleeping quarters may also be on the small side, so you’ll need to create space out of nowhere. The trick is to get creative with your decorating and be resourceful with pieces that can serve a dual purpose – it will not only make your bedroom feel a bit bigger, but will also turn it into a more functional space.

Master Bedroom

Double up a desk

If you’re still studying, having a desk in your room may be a necessity, as there’s rarely a lot of peace and quiet in a typical shared home. This is another piece of furniture that can take up a lot of space though, and once your degree’s in hand it can be a bit of a waste of space.

To give your desk another purpose, simply add a mirror and it can double as a dressing table. It will become the perfect private spot where girls can do their make-up and guys can fix their hair, saving on shared bathroom time.

Discover essential furniture pieces for small space living


Make it personal

Ensure your rented room has a more comfortable and welcoming vibe with extra throws and cushions on the bed. This one also doubles as a source of inspiration to start the day off on a good note.

Like the pendant lighting? Find more hanging lights here

My Houzz: 2 Tools + 1 Resourceful Guy = Lots of Great ‘New’ Furniture

Fix shelves

Unless you’re blessed with built-in cupboards in your new room, you’ll be needing somewhere to store your clothes. Wardrobes and bookcases are bulky pieces that your small sleeping quarters can probably do without, so why not set up bookshelves to use as storage and displays for your favourite reads instead. These can then also serve as somewhere to put your clothes and shoes too, just like this resourceful dweller has done.

Tip If your landlord won’t let you put any more holes in the walls, head down to your local hardware shop and buy some sticky hanging strips. Be sure to buy ones with the capability of holding heavy loads and that won’t leave marks on the wall.

My Houzz: 2 Tools + 1 Resourceful Guy = Lots of Great ‘New’ Furniture

Use every inch of space

Another alternative for those who need a desk but have limited space is to simply pull a chair up to a low shelf and use this flat surface for studying. When the shelf isn’t being used as a desk, it can easily revert to being a display spot for books and other decorative pieces.

Melbourne photo shoot #2

Choose a sofa-bed

Beds aren’t just a place where you can catch some sleep, they can also be a great general hangout area. By investing in a sofa-bed, you can give your sleep space an additional workout as a sofa, where you can catch up with friends when they visit. It can also serve as a place to watch TV on your laptop, and a good spot to kick back with your favourite book.

Bellechasse 2

Sneak in extra seating

A bedside table is essential for many of us, providing a place for books, a reading lamp and an alarm clock. By using a small stool as a bedside table, you can also pull it out as extra seating for guests when they come to visit. And having legs instead of a solid base on your bedside table will also make it easier to clean the carpet or flooring underneath.

Newtown House

Let there be light

Having pockets of light in the room will make it feel nice and cosy, but lamps are another expensive addition you could do without. That said, there’s nothing worse than having to jump out of your warm bed to switch off the overhead light before you doze off. An adjustable spotlight-style floor lamp could kill two birds with one stone. When you want to read in bed, simply adjust the light so that it shines on your page. Then when you want full lighting in the room, position it to face the ceiling instead and it will illuminate a much wider area.

Check out 10 wall lights that don’t need wiring in


Try out wall hooks

Sometimes rented bedrooms can come with multiple wall hooks left behind by previous tenants. If you don’t have any art to display, use these hooks as extra storage space. Hang your most beautiful jewellery, clothing, or even your house keys to create a great display, or just to make them easier to find.


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