For only a little time and money you can give your bedroom a new look.

By Pilar Guzman
Updated September 01, 2004
| Credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

When you were a little girl, your fantasy was that frilly canopied princess bed (which you never got). Your fantasy as an adult is something—really, anything—besides the flimsy metal frame on casters that came with your mattress. If you’ve dreamed of a headboard, you can have one by simply painting a trompe l'oeil panel on the wall. The artful illusion will provide a decorative point of interest without taking up so much as an inch of floor space—or costing much more than $20.

The tools you'll need are one-inch-wide blue masking tape (about $5 at hardware stores), a level, and a three-inch roller. For a standard queen-size bed, use the tape and the level to mark out a rectangle that’s 50 to 52 inches from the floor and 62 to 64 inches across (or two to four inches wider than the mattress). Then fill in the whole area with two coats of high-gloss paint. Finally, a dream come true.