Tell us which room in your home you’d like to transform, and how you’d do it, and you could be in with a chance of winning £2,500 worth of tools, materials and expert tradesman advice…’ said Tots100.
Home Improvement fantasist that I am, my immediate reaction was, “Which room? ALL OF THEM!”
But then I thought for a bit. And I thought some more. And I thought of the places in our house where £2500 would be a drop in the ocean (sob), and I thought of places in our house where it could make a really massive difference. So I decided to blog about what I would do to our bedroom, were I to be fortunate enough to do it up.
Here’s our room as it is currently. There are too many things wrong with this picture for me to point all of them out (after all, you have eyes of your own). On a macro level, the room needs decorating, and it needs new flooring.
It has beautiful original coving, and a fabulous bay window which is currently obscured by our heated airer (which I do love, by the way, but not quite enough to keep it in our bedroom in pride of place as a design feature) and also by some of the cheapest, most sorry, hideous, thin, tiny excuses for curtains you ever saw. I don’t know if they were badly made to measure, or if it’s just luck of some terrible kind, but the material o-n-l-y j-u-s-t covers up the window panes, meaning that pulling the curtains is a delicate trick, involving pulling the fabric gently one way and then the other ad infinitum. We have been meaning to get ‘nice’ curtains for this room since we moved in. But we keep being distracted by things like new babies. And a new roof.
I mentioned in my last post that the radiator needs moving. Here’s why. The wardrobes are currently clustered around the window, blocking out loads of light. If the radiator (just seen, on the left here) was moved to beside our bed, it would be warmer at night, the wardrobes could move to the opposite wall, and the whole room would start to make more sense, and would be much lighter to boot. The boxes of stuff, needless to say, are also not a permanent feature. I also have to confess that they’re not something which a lack of cash is preventing us from sorting out. In fact, part of the reason for posting them here is to shame myself, or perhaps more realistically at 38 weeks pregnant, to shame Oli, into sorting some of them out…
So there you have it. In my defence, not all of it is awful. For one thing, I aim to sound lucky rather than smug when I say it is a big old room with loads of space and light. And of the things already in it, lots can stay. Our lovely bed, for example. Particularly when it’s made up with my our beautiful 1000 thread count white bed linen. I bought the bedding (not pictured here – was in the wash) after finding a link on Mumsnet where it was on sale. Sleeping in it, to pinch India Knight’s phrase, is exactly like being ‘borne aloft by the hands of the heavenly host‘. The only downside is it’s so thick and silky that it makes sleeping on anything else feel like being wrapped in hessian….
Of course, being a ‘one bit at a time’ kind of home improver, there are some other little bits that make me smile rather than groan when I see them. The lovely sun mirror hanging over our bed. The various hooks I have put up to manage my jewellery and scarves. The sun clock that we found in Dunelm Mill. The ‘hangy things’ (excuse my technical term) that my sister bought me for my birthday, which hang in a beautiful if slightly frivolous way above the light switch. Similarly, our bedside tables, along with our bedside lamps, although certainly cheap, are still lovely. I will allow them all space in my dream room. Along with the wardrobes.
But as for the rest of it, the picture below is rather more what I had in mind:
Which is to say: wooden floor, soft neutral walls, deep navy / teal feature wall, faux-fur and knitted textured throws and cushions heaped up luxuriously on my beautiful bedding, cosy reading nook with armchair and lamp, family photos and artwork, damask-style rug. *happy sigh*
I have had all these ideas in my head for ages, and this competition prompted me to put them all in one place. I am ludicrously happy that I did so. Even the nagging knowledge of how long it might be before our bedroom actually looks like this (which is to say, FOREVER) can’t shift the little moment of pleasure that just looking at the picture gives me. I made this with Olioboard, a website that I pinned a while ago thinking it looked promising. Allow me to confirm that if you are a visual person, and don’t mind fiddling about with pictures a bit, and are into designing fantasy rooms (just me?!) then it might just be your technological spiritual home.
I have been long been dreaming of an armchair in the bay window, with an arc lamp over it, where one could sit and read, and enjoy the light. Similarly, I have been hoping for hard floors in our room as a means of helping out poor Oli with his allergies. (Or perhaps, as a means of reducing Oli’s snoring, and therefore increasing my own restedness, cheerfulness and happiness. Ahem.) The strip of pattern down the left hand side is the fabric that I would use for curtains. And I solemnly promise that I would BURN the current curtains, and furthermore would laugh whilst I did it. The Ikea light fitting is slightly enormous and funky, and would cast amazing flowery shadows all over the room. The personalised destination blind prints might be getting slightly hackneyed now, but I absolutely adore them, and always have done, and am a firm believer that interior decoration should be about combining things you love, rather than worrying overmuch what’s fashionable or current or – heavens – slightly passé. I think it would all go very nicely with the items I highlighted above (sun mirror, hangy things, et al) which would help the room to look more like a much-loved bedroom and not like a page torn from a catalogue.
But this picture at its heart represents not only the end of lots of aesthetic imagining, but also much more than that.
It is in fact the Bedroom of Dreams. ‘If you build it, they will come‘.
I know it is a ridiculous fantasy to harbour, but these are the things that part of me TRULY BELIEVES will come to pass if our bedroom ends up looking a little more like the one above, and a little less like the first picture in this post:
1. Upon being brought home into such a soothing atmosphere, third baby will immediately become one of Those Babies that Other People Have, napping beautifully in the day, and sleeping peacefully at night. I will become one of Those Annoying Women who says, incredulously, “She just slept through from a few weeks old!” Everyone will hate me, but I won’t care because I will be so fabulously well-rested.
2. I will inexplicably but immediately find I have lots of spare time which I can spend lounging on the beautiful grey armchair above. Probably flanked by fresh flowers in a vase, and drinking herbal tea (which, truthfully, I’ve never been a massive fan of). I will sit peacefully, sipping my fennel tea, leafing languidly through copies of stylish magazines and piles of improving books.
3. Once the wardrobes are moved to their proper place, some magical feat of feng shui will mean that all the clutter from the room is banished, and will never return. I will sort out all of my clothes and end up with the kind of painstakingly edited capsule wardrobe that magazines always recommend: a small number of quality ‘pieces’ that will last a long time, augmented by a carefully chosen small number of fashion items to bring me up to date. And I will never shamble out of the house on the school run covered in milk / other people’s Weetabix / worse again.
4. I will start exercising regularly. I can explain this one even less adequately than I can the others. I just think this looks to me like the bedroom of the kind of together person who exercises regularly. Not the kind of person who means to exercise regularly but keeps
eating Galaxy having babies instead.
I don’t think all that is too much to ask of one room makeover, do you?
So there you have it. The neutral / teal Bedroom of Dreams. Pick me, Tots100! Pick me!
Moodboard created on www.olioboard.com and published online here.
Paint colours: Dulux Just Walnut, Farrow and Ball Drawing room blue
Armchair: The Strandmon Wing chair from Ikea
Floor lamp: Large Bow lamp from www.made.com
Curtain fabric: Copacabana, Indigo from John Lewis
‘Where there is love, there is no darkness’ lasercut: Julene on Etsy
Personalised destination print:by Betsy Benn from notonthehighstreet.com
Selection of black and white photos: image from Tidbits from the Tremaynes
Bedside table: that would be one of mine
Bedding: Faux fur throw, faux fur cushions and knitted cushions from the White Company (image of bedding here).
Clock: Metal Daisy Clock from Dunelm Mill
Rug: Alexa pino damask rug from overstock.com