Before/After: room makeover (bedroom)

When I moved into this flat, this was the bedroom. Dark brown ceiling, copper wallpaper. The previous owners had gone for a cocooning feel, but I wanted something very different.

My goal was: a calm, soothing room, with interest added through texture and a few pops of pastel colour.


But check out that massive wardrobe!


I had less than 48 hours between getting the keys and moving in. First priority was the ceiling. You do NOT want to paint a ceiling with furniture in the room.


Already looking brighter! Then I moved in … and the slats on the bed didn’t fit, and there were boxes everywhere, and for a while it was just a total mess …


I’d made the smallest of the cushions myself, out of fat quarters I got for Christmas. They’re not quite identical, which makes them a bit more interesting! I’ll do a future post on them, in some detail.

The bed was from Antique Furniture Direct – it’s from the 1920’s. I absolutely adore them – they dealt with a complex delivery situation, and their prices were very good.

I stripped the wallpaper – it was paste-the-wall, so I could remove it easily by hand, without steaming – and actually I LOVED the industrial raw look of the wall here. In another lifetime, I would have kept it. But bare plaster creates a LOT of dust, and I had worked hard on the vision of the calm peaceful room, and didn’t want to change it!


Next step was wallpaper. I fell in love with the gorgeous cow parsley wallpaper from Cole and Son, and shopped around until I found a cheaper version I liked just as much – Misty Floral in Grey, by Albany.


I love playing with light in a room – the string of LED lights above the bed creates a romantic atmosphere.

The result so far was very soothing, but it needed some texture and warmth. Enter a knitted blanket for the bed, some curtains, and funky Moroccan-style bedside lamps:

Yes, I know the duvet cover needs to be smoothed out a bit … !
In hot weather, I get rid of the duvet and pull the bedspread up instead. It stays, with the knitted blanket, in the winter.


And now for a few detail shots …


Clockwise from top left: the hexagon shelf from Flying Tiger (£6) makes displays for memorabilia; a bathroom storage shelf from Argos adds to the memory corner; the bedside lamps, at night; the fabric used for the curtains – the pattern on the grey fabric complements the wallpaper and is a nod to the mid-century flat, while the pink warms up the room.

What I already had:

Dresser, chair, some of the bedlinen, curtain rail, jewellery box, candle in hurricane glass, clock, painted panels on each side of the window

What I bought:

Bed: £315, Antique Furniture Direct

Memory foam mattress, Warren Evans: £300

Bedside tables: £40 for the pair, eBay – half RRP (IKEA Hemnes)

Blue accent cushions: £7 each on clearance, John Lewis

Wallpaper: £20 per roll, Wallpaper Direct (took 5 rolls)

Paint: £40, Chalky Downs 5, Dulux

Moroccan lamps: £20 each, Wilko

Candle: £6, Marks and Spencer

Display ladder shelving unit: £30, Argos

Faux sheepskin rug: £10, IKEA

Carnation Lily Lily Rose poster, Tate Britain: £8

RIBBA frame from IKEA: £10

John Lewis bird shade, large: £30

Hexagon shelf: £6, Flying Tiger

What I made:

Curtains: Fabric total of £56, including cotton poplin liner, John Lewis

Cushion for chair: made of scraps I already had

Cushions for bed: made of fabric given to me as a gift



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