It took us a good three years from moving into our home, to finally get planning permission and proceeding with the full renovations. This was party down to us having to save up the money we needed for the work but mostly (if we’re completely honest) down to the fact that we might be THE MOST indecisive couple ever!
The Bedroom Before
Now, there was no way in the world that I wasn’t going to decorate anything during that time so we both agreed that we would give the rooms a lick of paint in a neutral colour and then cover the walls with the art and posters that we had collected over the years. The house was basically a Pot Noodle short of a student dorm but we were surrounded by some of the things that we loved so it felt more like our home at least.
Our bedroom became a miss match of furniture styles as we worked our way through the renovations, storing our old writing desk, side board and Ercol armchair, all beautiful in their own right but a little bit like Brangelina…completely wrong for each other. It really wasn’t in-keeping with the style of the rest of the house post renovation and was feeling pretty cluttered.
It was time to make a mood board and to have a brutal cull. Now, I’m not a hoarder by any stretch but it does pain me to sell quality furniture that I love. If we had a garage it’d be packed to the rafters but we don’t so it was time to get my ebay on. I have to say that if you invest in good pieces of furniture, you will never loose money though. I have often been known to make a little bit of a profit when I sell them on in fact so it’s well worth the investment.
The Bedroom Mood Board
I made at least a couple of mood boards for the bedroom before we settled on ‘the one’, the first was based around dark, inky grey walls. We do love a dark room in our house (you may have noticed) but in the end I opted for a scheme that involved chalky off-white walls.
I’ve always been susceptible to a bit of insomnia so I wanted the room to feel restful. Although, the colour that we opted for on the walls changed, the rest of the look and feel in the room remained the same. Texture, nature and modern rustic vibes with a nod to the industrial tend to be where we inevitable end up and as it’s always a good idea to keep some elements of consistency that run though-out the entire house; the red thread as the Swedes like to call it, it needed to include our signature natural materials; wood, metal and of course plants.
Now the wood, was originally only going to be included in the furniture choices but when we unexpectedly had to temporarily move our Design Agency back into our home. This meant that we inherited yet more beautiful furniture that we could not bear to part with and also a pallet wood wall that Ross had painstakingly taken apart and put together. This posed a very important question…? How many clad walls is too many? Actually, don’t answer that.
I wasn’t going to see it go into landfill so we removed it piece by piece, sanded it all down (79 planks to be exact) and put it all up in the bedroom behind the bed. We loved it in it’s natural state. It was giving me all of the Soho House feels but it was a little bit too rustic to be in keeping with the restful scheme that we were aiming for and I have to say I was a little bit concerned about the chemicals that may have been used on the wood during it’s life as a pallet. You don’t really want that giving out all of the nasties while you sleep do you?
There was one thing that I was adamant that I wanted even before the dark vs light debate and that was in the type of paint that we were going to use. I wanted a natural lime based paint with a tactile and textured finish. No toxic fumes and a bit of a nod to the bare plastered walls from my Mediterranean heritage…although I’m pretty sure that my mum (the Mediterranean one) will ask me why I haven’t finished painting it.
So we washed over the boards and the walls with Bauwerk Colour in ‘Bleached White’. The paint is very different to anything else that I’ve used, it has a very watery consistency but is really satisfying to work with. You just paint it on with a large flat brush in a criss cross motion. It dries very quickly so you don’t need to wait long between coats. Perfect for an inpatient decorator like me.
I frog taped the bits I didn’t want to paint as it’s not like regular paint and you won’t get the sharp cutting in edge that you might be used to. You might get a few brush hairs left over on the wall but if you wait until the paint dries, you can just rub them right off afterwards.
My only regret with using this paint is that I should have stopped a coat earlier as I think I have been left with a less textured finish than I would have liked. I’m tempted to get a small pot of paint in a shade darker and go over the top but we’ll see if I can find the motivation for that one.
I initially painted the ceiling in ‘Puppy Love’ by Valspar but it was unfortunately way too similar to my Cover Girl foundation in the early 90’s so that had to go. After a bit of toing and throwing we opted for ‘Oxford Stone’ by Farrow and Ball. It had a natural earthy tone and almost looks a little bit like exposed plaster in some lights. It adds a bit of much need warmth to an otherwise very monochrome pallet and will also eventually mirror the colour of the oak flooring.
Wood and metal
We did inherit two pieces of furniture from the studio that we absolutely loved and there was no way that I was going to part with them. Thankfully they worked perfectly with the look and feel that we were trying to create for our bedroom. A rustic scaffolding and metal shelving unit from Etsy and a beautiful sideboard from Swoon Editions.
The bedside tables
As well as recycling some old pallets and finding a home for our studio furniture, we had already repurposed our bedside tables into a desk space at the top of the landing. Read more about that in a previous post here.
We were on a roll and with more left over decking cluttering up the garden, I had an idea. I wanted to make some chunky bedside cubes for the pallet wall that would almost disappear within it, but give us somewhere to put our glass of water and a book.
Having something floating on the wall like this gives an uninterrupted floor area, which helps to make the room feel bigger.
The old bed stays
Sadly the budget could not stretch to a new bed so I just sawed off the old headboard and added our linen french seat pad from the garden. We now have somewhere to store it when it’s not in use and it’s a good solution, for a temporary measure.
Our homemade art above the bed completes the look without breaking the bank. All you need is some wall filler, mixed with leftover paint or sample pots, a bit of creativity and you’ve got some completely bespoke pieces of art that can be changed up regularly. I painted the textured circle straight onto the board at the back of an old frame and removed the glass.
The fitted wardrobes that were already in the room were flat and uninspiring. I wanted to add a little bit of texture to make them into more of a feature so I bought some cane webbing and some hessian samples on ebay. I LOVE cane webbing, but when the samples arrived they looked cheep and plasticy. To be able to afford the good quality stuff would have cost more that some brand new wardrobes so I opted for the natural coloured hessian.
We bought some pre cut Stripwood slats from B&Q, painted them in the ‘Downing Street’ nearly black paint that we painted the doors and frames with, bought some wooden handles on ebay and voila!
£74 all in and they now completely make the room as oppose to disappearing into the wall. We used a heavy duty staple gun to hold the hessian in place and then nailed the wooden slats on top with a nail gun.
The dressing table
I knew I was desperate for a well lit dressing area to get ready from but as this bedroom is a little on the petite size I would need to find a space saving solution to work within the space. Console tables are a great alternative, as generally they are designed with narrow hallways in mind. For even smaller spaces you could consider a shelf though.
This one from Made.com was absolutely perfect.
Not too fussy and with some very useful storage drawers for my hairdryer and bits and bobs that I do not want on show.
The large, circular mirror is also from made.com and the angle poised light that completes the look is absolutely perfect for doing your make-up. It can be easily adjusted and moved as required. You can find a lot of these Scandi inspired angle poised lamps around if you fancy selling a kidney but I found this one for an absolute bargain on Amazon. You can thank me later…or maybe not…this lighting and mirror combo takes no prisoners let me tell you.
Speaking of lighting, in the getting ready department, there was something else in the bedroom that had been really bugging me…and it wasn’t my husband leaving his pants on the floor. That’s another issue for another day. I may have mentioned my beef with this particular issue before in a previous blog post dedicated to lighting. Yes it’s the “big light” as us northerners like to call them. A centrally hung light that shows up approximately nothing but big old shadows under your eye bags.
We desperately needed to see into our wardrobe and due to there not being anywhere to put a lamp in that corner, I finally had my excuse to get the metal mesh lamp of my dreams from Dowsing and Reynolds with the extra long flex cable. We’ve hooked it right in front of the wardrobe, which works a treat. I can see into the darkest corners now and it looks bloody fantastic in our bedroom (the light not the contents of my wardrobe sadly.) That still needs some attention.
Radiators can be sexy too
The new, sexy anthracite radiator has changed my life for two reasons. 1, it looks so striking against the white walls and 2, it takes up barley any usable space behind the bedroom door. The old radiator was a big and awkward pain in the bum. I took up the entire wall and I could not wait to see it go. This one is from Soak.com and they now also come in black.
You. Complete. Me.
I first came across Tikamoon a couple of years ago. Their passion for well made wooden furniture caught my eye and stole my heart. With each piece designed by their in house designers and artisans while remaining affordable I was hooked.
I spotted this industrial set of drawers with their mango wood top and I knew they were a match made in heaven for the dressing (whoops console table) and shelves. They arrived fully assembled a couple of weeks later and I think it’s fair to say that I was completely over the Tikamoon (sorry). The bedroom was all starting to come together.
The black windows and shutters
Last but by no means least, the cinnamon on the bun (well I don’t like cherries, OK?) I have coveted some dramatic black window shutters like these to match our black framed windows for the longest time. After a lot and I mean A LOT of internet searching I found the perfect match with Palm Shutters who made us some beautiful plantation window shutters, sprayed in the perfect shade of black(ish) and now I can fantasise that I live in a Boston town house to my hearts content.
We’ve had countless people knock on the door to ask where we got our shutters and our windows from so I’m hoping that soon there might be at least 3 or 4 others on the street too. Boston smoshton.
Oh, and before I forget, I mustn’t ignore the elephant in the room. The floor. The black and natural, rustic floor boards that just happened to be underneath the nasty orange laminate that I ripped up on a whim last summer, were a fortunate accident. I love them. My feet sadly do not though, and we already have some left over flooring to cover them with from the downstairs renovation. I’m genuinely thinking that I may paint on a similar effect afterwards though…watch this stripy space.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about our bedroom makeover. Let me know what you thought in the comments below and if you do decide to try out any of the ideas I would love for you to tag me on Instagram so that I can see the results.
Now, it’s way past my bedtime.
Night Night All.
For more tips and advice on how to introduce biophilic design principles into your home or workspace, you can read Marianna’s new book ‘At Home with Nature‘.