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How to Plan a Room Makeover with Three Easy Tips


I’m sharing easy tips for how to plan a room makeover with my daughter’s global bohemian bedroom in a room refresh challenge.

Welcome to week 2 of the New Year New Room Refresh hosted by my amazingly talented friend Stephanie from Casa Watkins Living.  She is a genius when it comes to dreaming up blogging series that gets us motivated! 

Last week all the featured participating bloggers shared plans and inspiration along with the space we are refreshing this month. (Yay for an extra Tuesday!)  Today I wanted to give you an update on the plans and the steps I took to prepare my daughter’s room for the design with some quick tips.  If you are coming from Monica Wants It, welcome!

Week 1: Global Bohemian Bedroom Design Inspiration for a Girl

Week 2: How to prep for a room makeover with easy tips

Week 3: An Easy Furniture Update for Global Chic Style

Week 4: Decorating Challenges of Living Overseas and How to Overcome Them

Week 5: A Beautiful Dollar Store Wall Hanging for Your Boho Home

Week 6: Global Bohemian Bedroom Makeover for a Girl

Easy Tips for Planning a Room Makeover

A washitu room with soft yello sand walls and bright and bold large art with twin bed and white quilt.
How to Plan a Room Makeover

Here are simple ways on how to start a room makeover or refresh!

  • Organize and declutter.

First, make sure everything is in its place by organizing and decluttering existing items.

I’m a huge fan of the Kon Mari method of organization by category and not by room.  All my daughter’s books, clothes, games, and toys “live” in her room.  The space is too small for a dresser but the tatami room closet is nice and deep.  Her toys are organized by type and stored in pull-out drawers on one side, clothes organized on the other with board games stacked in between.

An organized closet in a Tatami Room for our military family living overseas.  Girls items stored in bins and hangers.
Room Makeover Tips

The only other storage she has in the room is a woven chest for dress-up clothes, a storage ottoman for legos, and a bookcase for her many books.

Quick storage tip:  Books that were too deep for the bookshelf store in a magazine bin.

I don’t like having books that are too long sticking out of the bookcase so an easy solution was to stash them in a book basket that was just the right size.

A magazine basket holder is a great solution for large books.  This one sits next to a wood bookcase with kids' books and a hello kitty doll.
Pretty Storage Solutions
  • Try different furniture arrangements.
A three picture collage of a girls room in a Japanese rental with her twin bed, shoji screen, sand walls, and bright and bold art.
How to start a room makeover!

To prepare a room for new decor and furniture,  make sure the existing pieces are in the right spot.  Shuffling things around will also give you the opportunity to vacuum under pieces and make room for new pieces coming in.

A nook in a tatami room in a Japanese home for my military family.  This cute girls room shows a bookcase with childrens books, a dollhouse on a grey coffee table and storage cube-basket.
Good furniture placement.

We made progress in my daughter’s room by moving the dollhouse to the reading nook and centering her bed so we could finally properly hang a couple of things. 

The big Cozamia art print is a great statement piece and looks even better ON the wall.

A young American girl living in Japan's bedroom with a low tatami win bed and white quilt, floral pillow, and bright and bold art on the walls.  A tear drop dream catcher hangs above the headboard and a small basket stool next to the bed with a stack of books.  You can see the tatami flooring and shoji screens behind sheer curtains.
Room Refresh

I was happy to get a push pin into the sand walls (the walls are made of real sand!).  A cute tear-drop dream catcher is finally displayed.

A close up pictures of a tear drop shape dream catcher with white feathers on a soft-yellow wall.
New Wall Hanging

I also removed a layer of pink curtains and hung the white sheers from her reading nook over the shoji screen and reading nook window.

Quick decorating tip:  Use tension rods above oddly placed windows and doors for a rental-friendly solution to hang curtains.

There are metal Japanese curtain rods (requiring pinch and pleated curtains) right about the window and door.  They are not at the optimal height for hanging curtains so I used a tension rod between the wall and wall unit for the doors and between the two alcove walls above the window.

I was super happy to be able to reuse existing curtains.  The room looks a bit taller now.  Mission accomplished.

A collage showing three pictures on how to hang a sheer curtain with a tension rod in a nook for a renter-friendly solution.
Renter-friendly Curtain Hanging Tip
A wide veiw of a tatami room decorated for a little girl with tatami flooring, a nook to the side with a bookcase full of children's books and a low twin bed on the other side with white bedding but a colorful and bold large art hanging.
Japanese Bedroom for American Girl
  • Clean as you go.
View of hallway outside a washitu room with sliding doors and a colorful hallway rug on a wood floor.
Keep the Room Clean

While you do all that decluttering, organizing, and shuffling; make sure to have a vacuum and dust rag on hand so you can get underneath/behind furniture, baseboards, and anything that should get a wipe down.

A traditional Japanese wood pendant light in a washitu room.
Japanese Wood Light

Having a clean and organized space will make your room makeover go much more smoothly and enjoyable!

So remember to start a room makeover you should declutter and organize, optimize your furniture arrangement, and clean as you go. Now that my daughter’s room is all in order, I just have a couple of DIYs and decorating to do.  Here’s an updated inspiration board.

global bohemian girls room design
A graphic showing brand logos.
New Year New Room Refresh Sponsors

I’m so excited to be working with some fabulous bloggers.  The room design with some amazing products would not be possible without RUGSUSAVelvet Finishes, and SmithHonig.


  1. Rearrange the furniture placing the bed centered on the right wall.
  2. Repurpose the reading nook.  Possible doll house area?
  3. Paint the bedside table gold.
  4. Paint and recover storage cube ottoman.
  5. Address window treatments.  (Cover the ill-placed curtain rod?) Make sure new window coverings can move to a different house.Was able to reuse existing curtains. Wahoo! 
  6. New bedding cohesive with the colors and design of the space.

Here’s the resource list:

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Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

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  1. Great tips – especially the decluttering and organizing! That goes such a long way in seeing what you have and need! I like where you moved the big art piece, too!

  2. Kathy, you are a miracle worker. I hate organizing and this week I need to organize my room in order to pull off the carpet in my closet and I am dreading it. Anyhow, this is looking good and it is coming together nicely.

  3. These are great tips Kathy! The space is looking amazing already! Oh, and how cool about the sand walls! I’ve never heard of that before. I can’t wait to see more!

    1. Thanks Iris! I’ve tried command strips, removable wallpaper, and push pins in those sand walls! They are quite a challenge but I guess it all adds character.

  4. Oh my gosh you are a creative powerhouse! I love the tension rod solution and all the pretty smaller storage solutions. And that light fixture is so pretty. I noticed one of your outlets and they look like old school plugs here in the USA. Is that what they look like in Japan or is it americanized?

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