The bedroom makeover reveal

It’s been a while I know since I told you I was going to give my bedroom a bit of a makeover. To be honest I got straight on with it but it’s taken me an absolute age to get the pictures together.  I much prefer to decorate than take pictures. To make matters worse the wallpaper I’ve chosen, which I still love, is quite reflective and very difficult to photograph without getting a shine.  Of course a professional could make an excellent job however that is not me. But enough of my excuses here are the pictures and the details.

Now if you remember the aim of the exercise was to bring the space together in a cohesive way to give an overall feel of sumptuous luxury…. and as ever on a budget.  As you may know if you’ve read my other blogs I also love to recycle old bits of furniture so have tried to capture a bit of that too.  The points you need to remember are 1) the bedroom is dark, it’s partially underground with very little natural light from the north facing windows 2) it’s a rather large room in part of a larger Victorian villa however as it is in the basement flat (servant’s quarters only) so has no Victorian features, but I’ve gone with the Victorian(ish) theme. I’ll put all the details of my purchases along the way.

The wallpaper

As  I can’t do much about the lack of natural light I went with the dark and picked a richly coloured wallpaper  Caselio Power Maya Damask Wallpaper Teal from  I love Wallpaper reduced to £7 per roll.  This turned out to be a complete bargain as some of the other papers considered were in the region of £20 per roll (at least). The teal colour complements my dark wood furniture and I think brings the sumptuous luxury feel I was going for. Of course the wallpaper went all the way around the room, every wall.  Here are the pics.

Before

As you can see the old wallpaper was bright and bold, in my attempts to brighten up the room, with a little bit of a feature wall going on.  It didn’t work.

It's time to decorate the bedroom. Read all about how it started. Follow the blog to join me on the journey to see how the wallpaper, shutters and all the rest end up

 

After 

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The shutters

I don’t know about you but I’m not great choosing curtains. I only like curtains if the go all the way to the floor, which would be a bit of a waste of curtain in this room they are small windows.  This made me think of shutters but made to measure shutters are a little bit out of my price range so Mr Husband was employed to put together something a little less expensive.  He had great fun (not) trying to hinge and fold in the correct direction.  Eventually he got it right and I now have shutters for the cost of  a bit of MDF, a pot of paint and some inexpensive brass hinges for my local discount store.  I’ll be writing a blog about how the shutters were created but for now you can see the shutters in the above pic when then are open, and below how the light shines through in the morning.  The handles where a £1 each from a local flea market stall.  They were very dirty and corroded when I bought them but cleaned up rather well.

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The lights

I struggled picking the lights.  I wanted something simple but didn’t want anything overly fussy or too modern, you know bare light bulbs.  I found these simple antique brass lights and shades from John Lewis for £30 each. I needed three.

The fire place

We had a hole the wall as you can see, so it seemed a shame not to make it look more like a traditional fire place even though it was never going to function. So I had a hunt around the local antique shops but eventually found this fire surround on ebay for no money at all, £22. It may not be an antique but it looks the part. It needs a bit of a clean and touch up but that was all.  I think it does a very good job.  I want to get a bit lantern to sit in the hole but not found anything I like yet, but I will keep looking as its all part of the fun.

Before

It's time to decorate the bedroom. Read all about how it started. Follow the blog to join me on the journey to see how the wallpaper, shutters and all the rest end up

After

Read all about my bedroom makeover and how I went all Victorian and sumptuous. I've got the before and after pictures of the walls and the fireplace, and if you're thinking of other options rather than curtains then check-out my DIY shutters

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So that’s my new bedroom and after a few months of sleeping in it I’m still loving it.  It may not be to everyone’s taste but it’s in-keeping with the building and my budget. What do you think?

 

 

 

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The bedroom makeover has begun

I’ve finally poked my head out from under the duvet after the Christmas holidays and started to think about what’s going to be happening in the home this year. Yes, I have at last turned my attention to the dreaded spare bedroom.

You may remember I posted about how I needed to make better use of the biggest bedroom of my two bedroom home, which is currently being used as a guest room, home office and general dumping ground, catch-up here.  Well on a wet weekend a few weeks ago I had a go at rearranging the furniture to try and make it a more cohesive space, but no luck.  In the end I decided the best solution was to switch bedrooms. So now the spare room has become my bedroom and the guest bedroom / office etc has been put in the small room.  And for now, it’s all working. As the space is smaller things seem to fit together a bit better……so small can be good.

So now the new challenge is to redecorate my ‘new’ bedroom to make it a sumptuous sanctuary.  I was inspired in the Summer during a visit to Chatsworth House by a chinoiserie  design and used it as my starting point for looking for some new wallpaper.  These were my top picks.

It's time to decorate the bedroom. Read all about how it started. Follow the blog to join me on the journey to see how the wallpaper, shutters and all the rest end up

…….but I went a little astray and picked this little number, which is currently on order. It has a bit of a sheen which will pick up the little light this room gets.  I’m hoping the rich colour will bring a warm and a touch of luxury.

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I’ve also tasked Mr Husband to make shutters to replace the existing roller blinds, and he is also going to be creating a fire surround to make more of a feature of the hole in the wall we use as a bit of a storage space for general rubbish.

You can see I have a crazy feature wall at the moment; there will be no feature wall, the wallpaper will be going all the way around. Also need to replace the wall lights, there is no central light in this room so I’m going to hunt for suitable wall lights – I’m not a fan of wall lights so I think this will be tricky for me.

bedroom makeover

And yes in case you’re wondering this is all going to be done on a budget.  It’s far too easy when money is no object, where’s the challenge!

 

However, this is going to take a few weeks to complete so keep following if you want to see the finished result and the bits along the way.

 

xxx

How to make a good first impression; The Hall

As a break from the travel blogs (back next week) today I thought I’d just write something short to tell you about the smallest area in my flat, (although you could argue the most functional) the Hall.

Now the word Hall makes it sound rather grand, what I am referring to is the bit of the flat you step into when you come through the front door.  Mine is 2.6 x 1.4 metres so not huge but a usable space all the same.  It has a door leading into the kitchen, however we’ve taken the door off the hinges as there wasn’t really any room to open it.  Constantly dancing around door to get people in and out. Obviously, we’ve kept the door opening.

Pretty soon after moving in we replaced the old front door and decorated the Hall, and now its the area I always tidy if I’m expecting visitors, as it gives the first impression of the flat and, well me really. I went for the friendly, relaxed but organised look – can you be relaxed and organised? I think being organised helps you to be relaxed but that’s altogether another blog.

But a Hall can’t just be for giving a show stopping impression, unless you’ve a lot of space and a walk-in cupboard close to hand to hide the coats and boots, unfortunately we don’t. So before we did anything we thought about how we needed to use the space on a daily basis.  You may think two people don’t need much coat hanging space etc, but we live in a cold part of the country and love to go out walking in both the rain and the shine.  We have coats and boots for every weather situation. There was a time of year when I lived in the South of England, where I would put the winter coats and shoes away for the summer.  Not anymore. Bearing this in mind as much space for coats and boots was essential. Also, it needed to be an area where it didn’t matter too much if it got a little muddy.  I didn’t want tiles (very cold) so I went for sisal flooring.  Having incorporated our main needs, I then prettied it up with some wallpaper and a mirror,  kinda in-keeping with the age of the house (1880s) but not over the top.

 

If I’d been organised I would have taken ‘before’ pictures, but I didn’t so let me describe it to you, it had been a neglected area.  The entire end wall was covered with a built set of pine cupboards, kitchen cabinet style with a worktop surface, above which were a matching wall cupboards. They were soon filled with our clutter. We never put shoes in the cupboards just placed them outside in a human nature fashion, meaning you could never open the doors.  It really didn’t work for us as a space however, we did re-use the pine surface to make the bench.

Today I’ve no visitors calling, we’ve just bought a new vacuum cleaner and Mr Husband has just had to replace his computer monitor so the ‘Hall’ has become a bit of a dumping ground as you can see, the reality of real life. But that’s OK for a while (very short while, there will be a trip to the dump on the weekend, I promise!).

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Do you have the same needs for your ‘Hall’? If you want more Hall inspiration why not take a look the Pinterest Board I’ve put together just for you.

Soon we will wander through the doorway into the kitchen, for which I do have some before and after pictures.

 

Hiding our ugly essentials with DIY shelves

Thought I’d share with you how I managed to hide an ugly spot in my small hall, a big old radiator with a fuse box and fire alarm above.  All essential things, so no option to get rid and too expensive to move. However as this was the ‘view’ when moving from the kitchen into the rest of the flat, I needed to think of a cost-effective solution of how to disguise.

What were the options??

  • I could have replaced the radiator with one more appealing, there are  a lot of fine looking radiators about but they can be expensive and it wouldn’t address the fuse box.
  • I could just box the whole thing in, but how would the heat get out?

A solution?

I thought I would make a dresser like feature where I could keep glasses etc, a bit of extension of the kitchen, as it was so close. Although as ever I didn’t want to spend too much money.

The process

I used an off-the-shelf radiator cover as the base of the dresser and fixed some shelves above, topping off with a removable panel to hide the fuse box.  The shelves and panel were fixed to the wall in their own right, so not supported by the radiator cover; that would have been far too wobbly.  Also this means if needed the radiator panel can be removed without taking down the shelves. As I had materials over I went a bit further and built shelves around the office door, well it would have been rude to waste them 😉

Here’s a little photo story of how I did it. Of course, when I say ‘I’ I mean I had help from my DIY man about the house-husband 😍

DIY hall (2)

Picture 1. View from the kitchen door, you can see the radiator and the fuse box and the big red fire alarm!  At this stage I’ve added the wallpaper that will form the backing for the shelves.

Picture 2. The radiator cover in its raw MDF state, and after it had been painted Picture 3

This pic below gives you an idea of the assembly process and the location of the over the door shelves. The dresser would be positioned on the wall where you see the stools. Everything was painted before the final assembly, which made it a lot easier.

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work in progress

And this is how it looks today.

finished hall (2)

The shelves outside the office door are great. They take up no room, but are home for all of life’s odds and ends. Against the busy wallpaper nothing really stands out, which is perfect as these aren’t things of beauty in their own right. I have however fallen out of love a bit with the paint colour of the pseudo dresser, so will soon be repainting, maybe green?

The cost of the project was around £120 with the most expensive item being the radiator cover. The MDF sheet for the shelves was £18 from my local building suppliers who even cut it to the required sizes at no extra cost. The rest of the spend was for paint, wallpaper and fixings, including the magnets to hold the removable fuse box cover in place.

A few more details……

Wallpaper Fine Decor Birch Tree Natural Wallpaper  £12.99, Homebase

Paint Annie Sloan Emile Chalk Paint £18.95 (more than enough)

Radiator cover Cambridge Medium Radiator Cover B&Q £58

Would be good to know your thoughts and how you have solved similar problems around your home 🙂

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Bringing The Outside In

Spring has arrived and plants are budding up, so soon I’ll be drawn into the garden at every available minute. I love being outside, so it’s no surprise to see there is an unconscious but consistent nature inspired theme building in my home.

It seems bringing the outside in is a strong interior trend for the summer with increasing indoor infiltration of floral prints and green hues, and I’m not going to complain about that. Even a white minimalist look can be improved with a splash of nature.  And on that note I thought I would take a you on a mini tour of my nature grounded bits and pieces. Here we go……

 

The silver birch inspired wallpaper (Fine Decor Birch Tree Natural Wallpaper), is slightly reflective so catches the light between the branches.  I have it hanging behind shelves in my hall, where there is minimal natural light so it makes the most of every drop. I’ll soon be writing a blog about how we made the shelves.

Moving to the butterflies, this is a big pottery platter, which I think is meant for hanging in the garden but I have it on the kitchen wall.  I bought it at a National Trust gift shop and used it at my daughter’s wedding as it was the only plate big enough for her cheese wedding cake, you can just see it peeping out in the picture below.

The second pic of wallpaper (Arthouse Opera, Provence Pink) lives in my kitchen, birds and dragonflies in pink, how can you go wrong! I picked this as it says Victorian rather than French to me – I’m thinking Darwin, so it fits in with the age of the house.

The only really cutesy thing I have in the house is my owl cushion. I used to talk to her, but we haven’t spoken for a while 😀

The leaf inspired tablecloth from John Lewis, gives a bit of a 1950’s look.

….and finally is the metal tea caddy and mug with simplistic stylised birds.  These were picked up from a local Fair-trade shop, and I use them every day .

I think there’s still space for a little more greenery around the home but its a start, and it all keeps me going during the winter.

 

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My ‘pink’ kitchen shelves

My son, a keen cook lives in a modern flat with an open plan kitchen living room.  Great flat but not much kitchen work surface or storage for him to flourish so we were thinking how to add some shelving without everything feeling too enclosed. He was not convinced this could be done, so I’ve put some ideas on a Pinterest board for him (I’m fairly certain he won’t look).

It got me thinking about my own kitchen shelving and how practical they can be, giving easy access for everyday use.  It can be sooo exhausting opening all those cupboard doors. Here’s the main set of shelves in my kitchen. My only other shelf is home to the microwave and fits into an alcove space over the work surface.

My tip would be to use open shelving for items used all the time so things get washed and not covered in kitchen grime.  But I’m not all that tall so there is a limit to how high I can reach. The top shelf is off limits to anything other than my fingertips without a ladder so I admit the things at the top are a little yuk.

It’s great having an easy grab shelf full of cups. Also, I can stand at the dish washer and put them straight back onto the shelf.  It’s interesting, when the husband unloads the dishwasher the cups are always more ordered.

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Writing this has highlighted how pink everything is – the wallpaper, the plates, so after three years it might now be time to wow it up with a bit more colour. Perhaps I could take some inspiration from my 1960’s plates. Already started to imagine, I love the lime green, I will keep you posted. Finally see below for my completely pinked up look.

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