Nothing kills your home makeover hopes and dreams faster than the word “budget.” Picking the perf bedroom color combo and using the Color Snap App to transform your decor was the easy part. Now you’re faced with the hardest task of all: trying to make it all come together under budget. Luckily, the super-talented Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins has joined forces with Havenly for an exclusive bedroom makeover that is #budgetgoals. Jessica came up with some über creative ways to transform her bedroom into a pastel pink boudoir, bringing the bedroom of her dreams to life without spending a fortune. Scroll down to learn more about the project, see some of Jessica’s favorite places to buy affordable decor and read a few tips and tricks for getting a dream bedroom of your own.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your inspiration for tackling this project.

“After living in a studio apartment in the Lower East Side in New York City for most of my post-grad life (#chaos), I knew I wanted to create a sense of serenity in my bedroom when I moved to Chicago. ‘Bright, airy and feminine’ are words that kept coming to mind, especially when thinking of how I wanted to feel each morning when I woke up in my new space. As you can tell from my blog’s name (Bows & Sequins), I have a penchant for all things fun and feminine. I wanted my bedroom to feel grown up but also have a sense of whimsy. And since I’m not having to cater to any masculine design opinions just yet, I knew I wanted to have fun and inject some feminine personality.”

Where do you splurge and where do you save when it comes to decorating on a budget?

“It’s all about a balance of splurge and save when I decorate! I want to invest in quality pieces that will last for years to come, but I also don’t want to break the bank. For this room, I chose to splurge with my bed and dresser because I know I’ll want to have both for the long haul. They’re both neutral pieces that will be able to work in lots of rooms down the road! I guess I splurged on my rug too, but that’s kind of inevitable because they are just SO expensive. Since I had a few big splurges, I found inexpensive artwork, lamps, nightstands and an accent chair. I’m all about the mix of high and low.”


What was the biggest challenge about this project?

“The biggest challenge for this space was that I was essentially starting with nothing! Especially when you’re not wanting to break the bank, starting from zero is definitely a challenge. I moved from a 300-square-foot studio in Manhattan to a true one-bedroom apartment in Chicago last summer. With the space increase, I knew I wanted to upgrade from a full-size bed to a queen. In NYC, I had a huge dresser that doubled as a buffet in my kitchen, but I had to sell it before I moved because it didn’t work with my Chicago bedroom floor plan. So I seriously had to start from scratch — not a single piece other than my gold Moroccan pouf and Lulu & Georgia faux fur accent rug was in my New York apartment.”


There are some fab pieces in your bedroom! What was your favorite decor find?

“That’s a tough one! My two favorite decor pieces in my room have to be my Paris print and my blush pink rug. I found a rug that I was IN LOVE with for the space, but it happened to be $6,000 — not happening! I searched the web for something similar in an accessible price range and ordered so many different rug samples before I settled on this one from Pier 1 that I absolutely love.”


“The Parisian print was a similar story — Paris is my all-time favorite city and I love how the city almost looks like you’re looking at it through rose-tinted glasses in the springtime. Since I was going for a rosy color story, I searched and searched and searched for a print that was just what I was looking for with that rose-tinted hue. I read a lot about Feng Shui as I was designing my room, and you’re supposed to place an inspiring image across from your line of sight in bed so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up. What’s better than Paris? I knew an Eiffel Tower image would be a bit too cliché for my liking, and it’s really the Parisian architecture that I can’t get enough of during my visits. So this Parisian façade is perfect in so many ways!”


Which resources would you recommend for finding affordable decor?

“I love Wayfair for basics, and flash sales on sites like One Kings Lane and Joss & Main for one-of-a-kind pieces. Those can get pricey, but you can still scout out some affordable finds. Shopping at your local Home Goods and World Market is always recommended, too. Pier 1 is another favorite of mine.”

What advice would you give to anyone looking to make over their space on a budget?

“When you’re working on a budget, it’s all about those small changes that make a big impact. Switch up your throw pillows and bedding, or even change your paint color for easy and relatively inexpensive ways to make a statement. There are a lot of great budget-friendly lamps out there, which can definitely change the feel of a room. Inexpensive artwork is another easy way to make a big difference in your decor — I love Minted & Etsy for those types of art finds!”


How has working with Havenly changed the way you redecorate a room?

“I’m hooked on creating mockups now. I use Photoshop all the time for my blog, but I never used it to mock up a room before. I’d simply purchase pieces that I thought might work, but I could never really tell until I got it into the room. When you lay everything out digitally beforehand like Havenly does, you get a much better sense of how the room will flow — before you purchase and get the pieces into your home.”

Did you try any DIY projects during your makeover?

“I did DIY a few small elements of my bedroom. I splurged on my bed and dresser, so I wanted to save on my nightstands. I found these oval nightstands on Wayfair — they came with basic nickel knobs, so I swapped them out with these gold and ivory bone inlay knobs that I found at Anthropologie.”


“I found my tufted linen accent chair at World Market, but it had light oak legs that I knew would clash with my dark wood floors. I headed to the local hardware store and got a can of wood stain and a few foam brushes and stained the legs myself. I was pretty proud of that — it’s harder than it looks for someone who isn’t a frequent DIY-er!”

Your color palette is on point! How did you decide on pastel pink?

“I love blush pink and how feminine it feels — it’s one of the main colors of my website. I found a photo on Pinterest of a clothing rack that spoke to me and really set the tone for my whole bedroom: multiple shades of blush pink, lots of texture and a few metallic touches. Since it was a fashion-focused photo that set the palette, I think it allowed me to really get creative with what I wanted the room to evoke and not get caught up in wanting to replicate an exact bedroom design.”


What advice do you have for adding your personal style to your home decor?

“I think it’s important to inject your personal style into your decor to avoid your room looking too cookie-cutter. It’s easy to get swept up into the trends that are popular on Pinterest, but I say take inspiration photos just as they are: inspiration. Mimic a few elements that speak to you, and find other ways to implement a few touches from there, too. You can rarely go wrong with family heirlooms, keepsakes from your travels and vintage finds — no one else will have those!”

Describe your style in five words.

“Feminine, polished, playful, + partly preppy.”

How dreamy is this bedroom? Follow us on Pinterest for more home decor inspo and budget decor tips.