I never thought the day would come when this bedroom would be almost finished. I say 'almost' because there's still some work to do (more about that later) but for the most part I'm happy with what I've achieved so far.
Bedroom refresh - Where we started
Once we finished building our house, there was still much to do inside. In order to keep costs down, we decided we would try to complete as many tasks every year as we could manage financially. Our list was long and our bedroom was way down at the bottom of that list. At the time, I didn't think it would bother me, we just painted the walls white, laid parquet flooring, moved our bed in and that was that.
The thing is though, it did bother me. The room always felt cold and unwelcoming, not really a place where you would enjoy spending much time. Not really a relaxing space.
One side of the room is meant to be a walk-in wardrobe and will eventually be fitted out professionally – once we've saved enough cents ha! In the meantime, a couple of old wardrobes fill this space and they are falling apart at the seams.
When I thought about it though, I realised it wouldn't take much to make that room a more pleasant space. The final push came when we bought a new bed. I loved it in the shop but when it was in our bedroom it kind of looked out of place somehow. Then I realised, it wasn't the bed that was wrong, it was the room so that's when I decided I was going to make a start.
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Painting The Bedroom Walls
The first thing I did, was to gather lots of paint samples. White was just too cold in this north facing room at the back of the house I decided. A bazillion paint swatches later (ok, maybe just ten....or twenty....at any rate less than thirty), I decided on a soft blue-grey. Bear in mind that we have lovely cream curtains in this room already which we wanted to keep so curtains and paint had to agree with one another.
Once the decision was made, I couldn't wait to get started. Off to the shops I went, bought the paint, covered the bed with plastic sheeting and the floor with painters cloths. Then I started taping off the areas which didn't need to be painted. The paint went on like a dream and after two coats, I stepped back to admire my work – lovely!
Well, that's how it stayed for quite a few months. I wanted to finish it, I really did but every time I tried to look for bedding, rugs and accessories I kept coming up empty-handed. I just couldn't seem to find the right look or the right colours to match the curtains and the walls. I couldn't understand why I was having such a hard time getting it right and I was really fed up with the whole thing. So I just left it.
This Tool Saved My Bedroom
Then I came upon a tool by chance which changed my game completely. The tool is called 'Designer in a Binder' and if you're interested in reading more about it, I wrote a post called 'Designer secrets for a home you'll love' here. After getting my hands on this and devouring each and every page, I really had one of those 'Aha!' moments and realised immediately why I had been having such a hard time completing our bedroom - now it all made sense.
You see, Tasha (she's the author of Designer in a Binder) explains the exact method to go about designing any space in your home. She takes you through each step and explains why you need to do this or that first or last. Have you guessed my mistake yet? Well, I hope Tasha won't mind me giving away this one little secret amongst the many she shares in this wonderful tool.
My big mistake was painting the walls first! Can you believe it? I was so wrapped up in finally getting the job done that it did not occur to me for one teensy tiny minute that painting the walls first would be the worse thing I could do! Not only was it the worse thing I could do but it also stalled my project for months while I tried to figure it out.
So what's the problem with that? I hear you say. Well in Designer in a Binder, Tasha explains that you should always choose a statement piece for any room first. Take my bedroom as an example. I wanted to buy a new floor rug but I couldn't ever seem to find one which would blend nicely with the wall colour. Same with the bedding, same with the accessories like throws and cushions etc.
It's much easier to choose wall colours and accessories to match your statement piece. Say I bought the rug first and it had blue and cream colours in the pattern. It would have been easy to gather loads of paint swatches and hold them against the rug. It would have made it so much easier to see if the colours looked good together. Once the paint is on the walls though, you're basically stuck – unless you decided to repaint of course but that's such a waste of time and money isn't it? You can't match rug samples to the paint on your wall, can you? See my problem?
Bedroom Problem Solved
Once I was able to hit the nail on the head so to speak, I was determined to solve this problem once and for all. Thanks to the tips and tricks in Designer in a Binder, I was able to put together a layout of the room and finally figure out a solution which worked – at least I think it worked, you shall be the judge of that ha!
By the way, this wasn't the only problem Designer in a Binder solved for me. It also saved me from making a hugely expensive mistake in our lounge but that's another story you can read in 'Designer secrets for a home you'll love' because this post is long enough already.
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'New' Furniture For The Bedroom
Next, it was time to look at the furniture. We originally had IKEA (again) bedside tables which were bought for our London flat and followed us to Germany. A trip across the English Channel, a drive through France, the entire length of Germany and many house moves later and you can just imagine what condition that furniture is in now!
We already had a lovely wooden chest of drawers which was among the first pieces of furniture I ever owned. It was also my first makeover using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint 'Paris Grey' and 'Old White'. After looking for a while on eBay, I found another little chest of drawers that would be perfect for my side of the bed. The space on my side is narrower (how did that happen?) so the smaller chest fits in nicely. I painted the chest in ASCP Paris Grey to match.
On The Bed | Bedroom Textiles
For the bedding, I decided to go with a simple set of white covers from The White Company which just happens to be one of my favourite shops for bedding. The bedding has a small flower print which is really pretty.
The cream bedspread is the same colour as the curtains and was purchased online at H&M Home together with the two large cream cushions. These all have a lovely quilted circle pattern.
The curtains have a diamond pattern which you can't see in the photos but it echoes the pattern of the cream and black throw on the bed. The throw was also bought online at WestwingNow just like the black and cream Moroccan cushion. You can find them all at Westwing by clicking the banner below:
On The Walls | Pictures & Paint
The paint colour was a custom mix of blue-grey from our local DIY store and I had to hunt like crazy to find the colour card for it so I could try to match everything else – Keep your colour cards safe people, you never know when you might need them again!
I brought the fern prints back with me from my last trip to the UK and they were a bargain buy from Matalan. They are really simple but I love them so much. They have a slot at the top so you can easily change out the prints. I like them as they are for now but it's nice to know that I'll be able to change things up with the seasons, (don't tell my husband I said that ;))
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Bedroom refresh | What's Still To Come?
As I said at the beginning of this post, the room is not completely finished yet.
I have a chalk painted vintage mirror which will go up on the wall opposite the window.
I may or may not buy a new rug(s) for under the bed. At the moment we have white rugs which are still OK although I think they look a bit small now because our new bed is larger than the last. Buying rugs is always a bit of a thing because we have underfloor heating and whatever goes down has to let the heat through. That's not a priority though so it will have to wait.
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The bedside lamps will have to be changed. They take up too much space so they will take up residence in the guest bedroom instead. I'm still undecided whether to change to wall lamps or whether to just get slimmer table lamps – what do you think?
The next big job in this room will be fitting out the walk-in wardrobe and oh boy, I can't wait for that day. I have a board on Pinterest just for walk-ins here if you're interested in seeing the ideas I've collected so far. Some of the pins on that board are there just for the layout or ideas for storage solutions. I think we are tending towards wood and white (surprise, surprise!). Who knows when it will get done but it is definitely on the list of 'all the things' and I'll definitely be consulting my Designer in a Binder BEFORE I start this time!