DIY Project: Spring Display Board

Hey there! Sarah and Hannah here. We’re going to test out a new series of posts designed for the budget-friendly consumer. We know a lot about bedroom design, but we also know a lot about building necessary components. We want to pass this knowledge on to you, our dear readers. So, welcome to our DIY Project series! First up: turning your old mattress spring into a display board.

This is, in part, inspired by Melissa Urban’s project on Shabby Love. Below, we have listed the essential materials you will need.

mattress spring
– clothespins
– zip ties
– pictures, knickknacks—whatever you want to hang

To begin, simply remove the spring board from your old mattress. This works best with smaller mattresses, such as twin beds and padding used for cribs. The removal method will vary according to the mattress, but the basics will be: use a sharp scissor or knife to cut along the seams of the mattress. Remove excess material until you uncover the springboard underneath. We recommend doing this in a large area—there will likely be a lot of material.

Once you’ve removed the spring board, the hard work is over. If you want to paint it a specific color, now is the time to do so. If not, it’s time to start decorating! Use the zip ties and clothespins to attach anything from pictures and notes to clocks and letters. Don’t add too much weight to the board, however—you don’t want it to fall.

Once you’ve decorated the board, find the perfect spot. This is where you can really get creative. For minimalists, simply lean the structure against a wall and—voila!—you have a new, custom-made decorative piece. You can also give this a bit of utility—use it as a headboard, in place of a corkboard, or as a place to hang important kitchenware. The world is your oyster!



And the Pantone Color of 2018 is….

Ultra Violet?

You heard that right: Ultra Violet. According to Pantone’s website, Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that “points us toward the future.” On the color, Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, has said:
We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

Reflecting Pantone’s commodifying, pandering spirit, the Associated Press has said the color “speaks to rebellion.” They posit, “the color wasn’t chosen because it’s regal, though it resembles a majestic shade. It was chosen to evoke a counterculture flair, a grab for originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking.”

We’re not buying it.

If you’re not a fan of this one, you’re not alone. Designers and media outlets have clung to this Pantone choice as a source of comedy in the first few months of 2018. At Bedrooms, Designed, we think the color is far too much; though bold, Ultra Violet commands the attention of anyone in a room. Better than last year’s vomit-tinged “Greenery,” we are very unimpressed with Pantone’s choice. The online publication Jezebel said it better than anyone on the internet:
It’s pandering to the fashion set, the music set, the wellness set, the crystal enthusiasts, and those that consult a horoscope and a natal chart before they put on a pair of shoes. In short: it’s trying to do a lot for everyone, slightly panicked, but with a smile, like a frenzied host at a party who really wants everyone to just leave, already.

Top Bedroom Design Trends for 2018

Design trends change every year. The speed throughout the twelve-month period varies between episodes of punctuated equilibrium and gradualism, but the world of bedroom designs is consistently changing. We have entered a new year, which means the top 2018 design projections are already disseminated around the internet. Realtors, in particular, won’t let the beginning of spring go by without offering tips about bedroom design trends. Below, we have listed our contribution to those projections.

Four-Poster Beds—This year, beds themselves are having a moment. Often, bedroom designs shift around colors, floor materials, and lighting. This year has already proven to be different; the four-poster beds of our childhoods are coming back with new, cleaner lines and grown-up colors. We recommend opting out of the curtains on each side; the lines themselves provide a romantic charm on their own.

Metal Lamps—2017 saw a metal resurgence in the kitchen and the bathroom; now, it has moved into the bedroom. Metals lend an industrial character to spaces, and in the bedroom, they create a beautiful contrast with the lightness of a duvet. Copper and gold are some of the most popular, but pretty much any style fits the bill—hanging, reading, wrap-around, &c.

Low (or non-existent) Headboards—We think this trend might have to do with the current trend-setting group: millennials who, incidentally, don’t have much money. A headboard will cost a lot of money, and younger people are beginning to prefer simple box springs or cheaper IKEA fames. We see a lot of low-headboard frames combined with a low, overhead shelf or a brightly-colored wall.

Velvet—Velvet, though timeless, has struggled in the twenty-first century. Finally, eighteen years after its turn, the fabric is in vogue. Incorporating this material into your bedroom design is easier than you might think; one or two decorative cushions are all you really need.

Creative Bedside Tables—We aren’t quite sure what to do with this one. People are beginning to use old chairs, antique furniture, and stools as bedside tables—anarchy! We have a feeling it has to do with the recent antique-leaning trends and developments, but the cause might be similar to the current headboard situation; millennials are opting to utilize stuff they already own rather than purchasing an expensive, new piece of furniture.

Budget-Friendly Design Tips

We understand that not everyone can spend hundreds of dollars to re-design a bedroom. To help your process, we’ve listed these four essential design rules that work well with tight budgets. If you want the bedroom space of your dreams, you don’t have to settle for less than what you deserve; you just need to spend your money strategically.


  1. If you’re going to spend money, spend it on lighting. Investing in lower wattage bulbs can easily change a room’s mood from hospital building to restful spa. If you’re willing to go a bit further, spending money on an artful light fixture is the best way to bring your room to life.


  1. Plants! Let’s talk about plants. It doesn’t have to be a massive, six-foot-tall tree smack in the center of your room. Consider asking your local florist for leaf clippings; a single Monstera leaf will last several weeks when placed in a jar of water, and you can often get them for a nominal (or free) price. Don’t want to deal with keeping plants alive? Your local craft store will have everything you need for a hassle-free plant experience. Just be sure to strike when they are on sale.


  1. Figure out your floor situation. Rugs are very expensive, so budget designers should work with what they have. Are your hardwood floors dull from age? Waxing, finishing, or re-staining them should do the trick, and you won’t spend more than $15 if you do it yourself.


  1. Buy fabric, not products. Can’t afford the drapes of your dreams? Head to your local fabric store and make them yourself. Is that tapestry necessary to tie the room together? Again, go to your local fabric store. If you bypass the cost of labor and put fibers together yourself, you can save hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars.



Bringing Your Business (and Accounting) Up to Speed

Our success as a small business is inextricably tied to our interest in finance and bookkeeping. When we first started Bedrooms, Designed, we knew that one business aspect was more important than the rest: balancing the books. You might say, well, I’m good at doing my own taxes. Why should I have anything to worry about?

In theory, this shouldn’t be a source of stress. The two of us worked at a bank before launching our business—we know how to do taxes, and we know how to do other people’s taxes. However, doing your business taxes, personal taxes, and payroll taxes on a biweekly or monthly basis is, well… it’s pretty tough. Add that to the baseline stress of managing your business—assuming you get over the hump of starting your own design business—and you have a tricky situation on your hands.

For most every small business owner, we have one piece of advice: DON’T do your own taxes. Running a small business is a lot of work, especially when you begin to hire additional workers. Between figuring out your own salary, their paychecks, and when you should be paying quarterly and annually, you’ll run into the same problem that kicked you into starting the business itself—a lack of balance.

Sarah and I invested in wage reporting software early on, and we haven’t looked back. Now that we have around a dozen designers and individuals working for us, our software can function as a wage withholding tool; calculating and printing paychecks would normally be a full-time job, but it’s as easy as imputing data when you find the right software. Bedrooms, Designed would not be the thriving business it is today without smart accounting and software choices. Take it from two former bankers: it’s worth the investment.