The Master Bedroom : Version 1.0

I’ve realised that I’m very good at telling you all what I’m planning in the house but actually showing the finished article is happening a lot less. That is partly because nothing is yet ‘finished’ – or what I would call finished anyway, as I don’t feel done with a room (actually, am I ever done with a room?) until all the finishing touches are complete too. In the case of our grey bedroom, in some ways it is finished – the decorating is done, we’re back in there and it’s functioning, but in others it is very unfinished. We don’t have a door handle for example (just a small matter,) the walls are pretty bare, the bedding is less than perfect and the walk in wardrobe is still something of a dumping ground with a solitary rail, Billy book case and shoes all over the floor.

However, it’s going to be a bit of a wait before we get it exactly the way I want it and I’ve been asked before how I approach decorating a room so I hope this will give you some insight into my thought processes. Here’s the finished bedroom Version 1.0 :)

As you can see, we’re sticking with the white bedding, a perennial favourite of mine, but I’m still struggling with the perfect combination of cushions. I’m totally torn between the modern geometric look and the more subdued pink and grey. The problem is that the coral and mint tones in the geometric pattern are just not sitting quite right to my eye with the lilac and slate in the curtains or the perfect pale pink I found at H&M.

There’s also the matter of getting the right size/shape combination going. I can see there might be some re-hashing of the covers I have bought, particularly the cheapo H&M ones. At less than £10 each, I don’t mind taking some scissors to them. They are also on our old bed which we plan to replace, (this one will go in another bedroom elsewhere,) but again are just waiting for the cash to materialise!

This lamp is totally wrong… the base I could live with, but it’s one of a pair so they will probably be utilised elsewhere together. It’s the yellow shade that is throwing a lot of the room off I think, but I haven’t seen a suitable base or shade to replace this one. The plan for bedside lamps is to have wall lamps above the headboard and I’ve seen the ones I want, they’re just not in the budget right now. While we are on lighting, the capiz shade was an old bargain in BHS lighting dept from our old bedroom, but we have plans to replace this with something a bit more ‘design-y’, if that’s even a word.

One thing I am really pleased about is the art in here. I bought Pete the surfers print a couple of years back and went back for the print of Rincon Island off the coast of California just recently as the peachy pink tones were the kinds of accents I wanted to bring into the room. They both remind me of our travels on the West coast and a lovely afternoon we spent in Miami watching surfers on South Beach and I’m really happy with everything about them apart from the fact they are crooked after being put up approximately 2 minutes before I took this photo, by Pete mid-argument, as we were late leaving for something! ;)

I had also been lusting after a Lulie Wallace print but she only releases prints (instead of original artworks) a few times a year and none had come up int he right colour combinations until this spring when this grey pink and peach tones print called ‘Flowers for Hope’ popped up and I snapped it up.

The doors to the walk in wardrobe are bifold and so slide right back allowing plenty of space and I’m really happy we chose them. What’s behind them is not so pretty and whilst I could have tidied it to make it look presentable, I really didn’t have the time or energy so this is as much as you’re seeing!

The curtains were bought before we even moved out of the room. Because of the height of the ceilings and windows, we have to have custom curtains made, but thank goodness, I have been using a place in Southport for curtains for years. If you happen tot be local or around the area, it’s well worth a trip – the fabric is ridiculously cheap (and often John Lewis, Prestige or Sanderson,) and the making up is also cheap. To give you an idea, these were £300 for a 3m wide bay with over a 2m drop. The equivalent in JL, for something in their own range, mid price point fabric, would have cost at least double. They are black out lined which is essential and has been amazing as it’s an East facing room and very sunny in the mornings.

As you can see, we also have the stained glass back in now which was taken away when we replaced the windows and encapsulated or sandwiched into a triple glazed panel. Unfortunately the glazier who did the work was taken ill, hence the 6 month delay but they were worth waiting for.

The carpet is the same one we had in the lounge in the last house. We searched high and low for the right pale grey that didn’t look ‘silver’ and it wore really well in the last house too so we just ordered the same again. It also has a subtle fleck of naturals in it which hides a multitude of sins (mainly cat hair,) that a monotone carpet wouldn’t.

So, I think that’s it for now. I hope you like it or if not, at least found the process and sources useful – I have put a comprehensive list at the end of the post for you. I might do another one soon with some finishing ideas that we’re yet to purchase.

Happy Monday readers,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Where did you get that?
Walls: Cornforth White, Farrow & Ball
Woodwork: Brilliant white (eggshell)
Glass Wardrobe door handles: John Lewis
Curtains: The Fabric Shop, Southport (open at weekends but the warehouse is only open Mon-Fri)
Reproduction Eames RAR rocking chair, Redbrick Mill
Geometric Cushions: Conran at M&S
Pink and Grey cushions: H&M Home
Velvet cushion: The White Company (old)
Bedding: Linea at HoF
Mirror: Next
Photographic prints: Ian Baguskas, at 20 x 200
Flower art: Lulie Wallace
Frames: Ikea Ribba (with custom mounts from a local art shop for £5.)

Sneak Peek: Bedroom in progress

Right now, things are BUSY. I hope you will excuse the lighter than normal schedule and bear with me while I get straight again. Meanwhile, I thought I would tell you what the hold up is…

Last Tuesday we caved and chose to get the bedroom walls lined with lining paper to give a perfect finish for painting. We had previously paid for them to be skimmed (lesson learned!) but cracks started to appear, which is inevitable in old houses and likely to only get worse as we shake it all again with the kitchen building work. We are so desperate to get back in there that we have since been flat out painting it. Everything needed doing and there was considerable prep work prior to actually getting on with the painting – ceiling, coving, woodwork, windows, doors and the walls, plus it’s not a small room so it has been an all consuming task each night after work and poor Pete has taken the brunt of it while I was at a hen party this weekend. (To be fair he is on the corresponding stag soon too!)

We are so close now but had to knuckle down and get it all done as the skirtings were last and had to be done before the carpet was delivered tomorrow. Now the end is in sight but the rest of the house is a mess, work has kicked up a gear, I have written work due for a course I am currently on, and the kitchen needs emptying before work starts in there. And at 24 weeks, I haven’t made time to do a single bit of exercise, which I feel pretty rubbish about.

So I need a few days to recharge and get sorted. Thanks for understanding.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Home Updates: The Pocketful of Dreams Creative Studio

Good morning readers! Now the weather has cooled down just a touch I’m feeling more productive and thinking about my home again so I was super excited when Michelle (remember her advice on Getting Organised for the New Year during #JanuaryJoy?) sent her office renovation in to share. I don’t think I have ever seen anything so pretty as those gold polka dots! 

At the beginning of the year I vowed to do two things: get organised and clear out the clutter. I went full guns blazing into my #projectorganise and have since found I have a renewed love for my home.

My studio is an attic room at home and was my first victim with a much-needed update. Several (I’m talking about 10 here folks) bin bags, a few clever storage solutions and some pretty new decor pieces later it’s finally starting to feel more like ‘me’. A space where I enjoy spending long days, working away on design concepts for my clients whilst the sun streams through my overhead window.

I also love the fact that as it is a true blank canvas with the crisp white walls and neutral carpet I can pretty much update it whenever I want with some really simple additions. Here’s what I’ve been adding lately:

NEW TRESTLE DESK – WITH DIPPED PINK LEGS

Ikea is my trusty go-to for relatively cheap office furniture, they always have something that will do the job whilst not breaking the bank. Plus it always works for me having a clean base to work with. So I purchased a new desk that allowed me a choice of tops and legs. I opted for a white gloss finish top and the most basic of their trestle legs range as they just look much nicer than the poles they offer. As they come in a standard grey metal I thought I’d add a little POD magic to them and first sprayed them white, then sprayed the ends in a hot pink for a dipped look.

To add a further splash of colour I have edged the desk with a turquoise blue washi tape and really love how these accents now start to define the space.

Those little blue pots adorning my desk are actually candle-holders but I prefer them to having huge pen pots on my desk and means I can get more in them. The John Lewis lamp that was kindly donated to me adds the perfect task lighting whilst still looking stylish.

INSPIRATION BOARDS

I am constantly gathering inspiration and like to have oodles of it surrounding me whilst I’m working on particular projects so I’ve kept my purse-friendly corkboard (previously a hideous red with pine frame) and simply given it a lick of pale grey paint so it blends into the space better. For the things I don’t want to stick pins into (like photographs) I use my Rockett St George magnetic memo board or rip up a piece of washi tape and use the wall behind my desk instead.

STORAGE SOLUTIONS

As a wedding planner my events kit is constantly growing and contains all manner of tools from scissors, hammers and screwdrivers to little packets of pins, pegs and sticky dots. I have to be prepared and I also have to have things to hand quickly to ensure a seamless set-up.

Recently my kit had grown a little out of control so I began looking for a tool belt that would double up as both office storage as well as to use at events. And wouldn’t you just know it, I stumbled across this lovely little pink canvas storage from H&M homewares (only available online or in London currently).

That’s where I got the perfectly cute aqua bow-tie hooks from as well, they did do a hot pink version but I found it a little too harsh for this space so have yet to use them. I have lined a few of the hooks up along one wall to store both my kit and other items like my trusty alphabet bags canvas bags.

A GOLD POLKA DOT WALL

The final piece of the puzzle and the element that makes me squeal every time I enter the studio is my gold polka dot wall. This is actually a party backdrop I came up with for a client event that’s translated so well into an interiors feature too. The high-gloss polka dots are low-tac stickers so they don’t damage walls and can be easily removed. If you fancy bagging something similar yourself head over to our Etsy Party Boutique as we’re now offering polka dot wall kits to buy.

So there you have it, a few relatively simple and inexpensive updates to my home studio space that I feel have really transformed it. What do you think folks, do you have any ideas to share for clever storage solutions or easy ways to add a little colour to an otherwise blank space?

Michelle xx

Michelle is one half of a creative-duo of event planners, specialising in creative and wow-factor weddings at Pocketful of Dreams. You can find her on twitter, instagram and pinterest.

Bedroom updates

A few months back, before I even started thinking about the spare bedroom makeover, I revamped our bedroom. We re-decorated in there about 3 years ago now and chose some white striped wallpaper, keeping the existing high gloss Ikea wardrobes, Ikea bedsides and our iron Feather & Black bed. I wanted it all very soft a soothing so chose White Company bedding in white with a grey and white silk throw and mink and grey cushions using texture to provide contrast.

Typically, it wasn’t long before I tired of the monotone look and decided to add to the single shot of colour in the lamp shades with some small additions and it’s amazing what a difference they have made.

The inspiration for the change around was the new picture above the bed. I blogged it and bought it not long after – I love how bright and cheerful it is.

I also changed the drawer handles on the bedsides for coral ceramic ones from Anthropologie.

We already had these butterfly pictures up but had different colour combinations (We had had a large white one above the bed too,) as they come in a pack of 6 (see similar here). To pick out the lamp shades we had had two yellowy butterflies there previously, but as the large white one was now gone from above the bed we used the smaller one and a blue one, simply switching them from the hall where the rest are going up our stairs. In fact it worked well as the yellows work beautifully with the yellow Cow Parsley wallpaper we have in the hall.

In fact, since taking these, the bedroom has changed again, as we finally found a chest of drawers to add to our lack of storage in there. I also realised I didn’t take any of the other end of the room so maybe I’ll share another update soon.

Hope you like it readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Room Re-vamp: After

Ok, so you have seen the ‘before’s‘, now for my thoughts on what to do to rescue this sad and unloved little room! Here are some moodboards I put together (it’s so helpful to see things almost together before you splurge!) and I’d love to hear what you think!

Option One: Duck Egg and Neutrals/Grey with Botanical elements

This look was inspired by the Botanist range at John Lewis this spring/summer (the sale started today in case you liked any of it too.) I liked the botanical sketches, and the way there were a range of garden blues and greens that worked together with a neutral backdrop to dilute the duck egg. It also appealed to the inner victorian in me with the collections of curios and I lucked out finding an appropriate curtain fabric – always a tough one when you have a particular scheme in mind.

Option Two: Blue and Coral

I love Coral and suddenly had a brainwave that it actually goes beautifully with the blue shades here when I came across a whole range of different coral prints in Zara Home (who’s sale also incidentally started today!) My2 major reservations when it comes to this scheme are: a. will it feel out of place come winter, and b. I’m really struggling on the curtain front.

Option Three: The combination

So then I thought, can I possibly combine the two? Coral colours, with the blue and a hint of botanical victoriana? The answer is I’m still not sure. The key with mixing patterns like this is to make sure the shades are bang on perfect and I don’t know if this look is just trying too hard to pull it all together.


Items all as above.

This is where you guys come in! What’s your favourite look? Cast your votes below and all suggestions or advice welcome!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS If you missed them this morning, here are the before pictures.

Real Room Revamp: Before

I’m sure many of you think that I live in a pristine house, tastefully decorated throughout. Although I’m very proud of my living/dinging area and bedroom, other rooms either lack that finishing touch to make them look pulled together and stylish, or are too messy to ever look good. Our spare room fits both categories.

When we moved into this house we did a few minor cosmetic jobs that cost little and then got distracted by our engagement and wedding. After that the house came second to travelling and now we’re at that stage where we’ll be moving in the not too distant future so any updates need to be budget friendly. The spare room gained from one of the early updates and we decorated with one of my favourite patterns at the time, Laura Ashley’s Oriental Garden wallpaper in Duck egg blue. The bed was donated to us by my Mum and we picked out a country style chest of drawers and wardrobe from good old IKEA. With the addition of toning bedding, a small duck egg lampshade and a wool throw, it seemed pretty good at the time.

My tastes have evolved dramatically since then, now the blue on cream on blue seems far too matchy match for my taste, there isn’t enough colour and It looks a bit neglected and unfinished to my eye. Add to that the fact that it is most often used by either our cats as an all-day snooze spot or us as a laundry room and general dumping ground and it is seriously lacking in some love.

Here comes the challenge. I’ll admit it, I am terrible when it comes to making the best of what I have, preferring to ditch it all and start again. However that is what I’m going to have to do here, to stay in budget and just avoid waste in general. It’s not going to be a true budget make-over, but I’m hoping to keep costs down, if only by waiting for the sales for some items. We are hosting my sister come August as she relocates to Manchester while she looks for a place of her own so it’s a great prompt for a massive clear out and kick up the behind to truly finish off the room. I thought it would make a great couple of posts, not only to show you what I have done but show you what I think could be improved in the existing decor.

So what am I planning to do?

  1. The room has never had curtains that I’m happy with. These ones were discounted Laura Ashley fabric and a vain attempt to bring a different colour palette into the room that totally failed. In an effort to save money I skimped on length when the room would have looked way more luxurious and ‘done’ had they been full length.
  2. We have already bought over head lamps for behind the bed, something we had planned to do for years. Because of the wardrobe position a side table is unfortunately unable to fit so at least this will provide directional light that can be controlled from the bed rather than having to get up and switch off the main light.
  3. I’m toying with the idea of covering the wicker bedhead and footer panels. I’ve never loved the wicker and think it would look softer, plus a longer panel at the foot of the bed would hide the multitude of things stuffed under the bed.
  4. We have never bought cushions for the bed as it seemed a waste when money was tighter but I think it contributes to the room appearing unfinished and un-lived in, so they are on the list.
  5. This is one of the few rooms that we haven’t re-carpeted as it gets little use, and that wont be something we’ll change but I may add to it with a patterned rug to brighten the space.
  6. The wall running alongside the bed really needs something. I just don’t know what. I’m leaning towards a gallery wall-esque arrangement of pictures, but I need to avoid anything that can be knocked off the wall by a sudden sit-up-in-bed manoeuvre by any visitors.
  7. The chair currently in situ was rescued from a skip and painted by me but never upholstered. Turns out it should have stayed in the skip as no amount of fixing can make it sturdy and anyone who sits on it takes their life in their hands. I’m debating the need for a small dressing table/desk and chair in here but they would have to be seriously thrifty finds.
So, have you got any ideas?
Come back this afternoon and I’ll share both of the moodboards I have put together for my propsed make-over and I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Rooms: A Pigeon bedroom

Today I’ve got a fab real room for you from Caroline, who blogs at Patchwork Harmony but is also the founder/editor of 91 Magazine. I was blown away by her serene and calm bedroom, that still has a dose of pattern and some beautiful decor features. Without further ado…

When we moved into this house in 2009 there was quite the rainbow of colours on the walls. Yellow in the hallway, baby blue in the kitchen, purple in the sitting room and deep red in the bedroom…. the paler colours I could deal with, but the yellow hallway and the dark red bedroom were the first to go! I based the scheme in the bedroom around the Thornback and Peel pigeon wallpaper which I just had to have! Its ironic as I actually hate pigeons and flinch when one comes to close to me, but they are in fact the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning! The original plan was to go for a pale grey on the walls to compliment the darker grey of the pigeons, but it turned out the Fired Earth paint we went for, Pale Cirrus, was more of a pale pale blue in the end. Going so pale meant the walls required numerous coats to cover the dark red, and although it was a long old slog, we were really happy with the results and loved how much brighter it made the room.

We were on such a tight budget when we moved in, as we’d ploughed all our savings into buying the house, but being a thrifty pair I think we managed to decorate the bedroom with some fab but really affordable finds. The bed was the biggest expense, but I figure its something you use every day so worth spending a bit more on. Even so, we managed to get a really good deal on it, as we bought it in the Heals half price sale. The wardrobe and drawers were bought at the Princess Alice Hospice charity shop in Kingston. We got both pieces of furniture plus a huge vintage trunk (not the one on top of the wardrobe though, we use it as a coffee table in the living room) for £150.

As the room is relatively small, I didn’t want to fill it up with much more furniture, so the only other pieces in the room are the bedside tables – one which I picked up at a local car boot sale for £5, and just added a new handle to the little cupboard door, and the other is a vintage wooden crate bought from a local florist for about £18.

I’d been collecting vintage mirrors for a while, via eBay, car boots and markets so we decided to hang these as a group on one wall, again to try and create the illusion of the room being bigger, but in a quirky way. I’m also always picking up floral paintings and vintage botanical prints at markets, so this is the focus on the walls in the bedroom, either in frames or hung by bull dog clips. In fact the most recent addition to the room is the giant bull dog clip used to hang the bird print. I bought this recently from fab stationery shop Present and Correct.

I made the checked cushion covers on the bed from a vintage tablecloth, I like to have a bit of a handmade touch around the house, without over doing it, so these are my little nod to being crafty in the bedroom!

I like to let a room evolve over time, so there have been little tweaks here and there over the last few years, things have been added, removed or replaced as we find new things, or get sick of others. But overall I’m happy with how this room turned out, especially as we were on a tight budget. At the same time, I think its worth not scrimping on certain things – so for example paint and wallpaper I think are worth that little bit extra, as hopefully they will last for a good amount of time, and it more time consuming to change these, whereas you can try and save on furniture by buying at charity shops & markets. And of course, getting crafty will also help budget-wise and will give your room that extra personal touch.

I just love this room. The wallpaper is quirky get still very feminine and the soft bluye walls might just have converted me back to coloured paint! The botanical prints are beautiful too – That’ll be my search for this afternoon then!

Don’t forget readers, if you have a room you would like to share then please do send it in to hello@florencefinds.com

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Sale alert!

Real Rooms: A Toddler’s room makeover

Today I’m sharing a post that I would love to see more of on Florence Finds, a real room make over. I know you guys love reading them and stealing some inspiration so please please please do send in your room makeover’s to hello@florencefinds.com and I’ll post them here.  In the meantime, here is a brilliantly bright bedroom makeover that Alice (from Simply The Nest,) created for her toddler daughter. Thanks for sending it in Alice!

I saw your post on pastel interiors and I thought you might like to see some pictures of the (super-bright!) hot pink and pale blue nursery my husband and I recently created for our eldest girl, Eva Bella. Like all toddlers she loves animals, and she’s also an adventurous, fearless girl who’s at her happiest when climbing bookcases and ladders and then hurling herself onto the floor from great heights, so we decided on a jungle animal and travel/explorer theme.

While I love the chic, understated look of nurseries often featured on American blogs (like The Brick House), I personally prefer lots of colour and pattern for older children. I’ve been drawn to the fuchsia/pale teal combination since Matthew Williamson’s Electric Angels show in 1997, and have always wanted the opportunity to translate it into an interior. We used hot pink on one wall only, and toned it down with pale blue on the other walls, amber-coloured original floorboards and white bedding, so although the room is undeniably bright it doesn’t feel overwhelming – well, maybe too much for an adult but perfect for a child :-)

We undertook the entire room transformation ourselves – we’re in the process of gradually renovating a big old run-down Victorian in a leafy South Manchester suburb. The house hasn’t been touched in about 30 years so the décor is eighties-tastic, but we have twelve-foot ceilings! and original fireplaces! and gorgeous original plank flooring! and cellars! and a turquoise bathroom! and a kitchen shoehorned into a bay window containing a dodgy old cooker, a sink, and not much else! We’re fierce DIYers who love a challenge though, so couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Andre (my husband) re-plastered, painted the walls and sanded the floor, while I painted the woodwork and oiled the floorboards. I really wanted to have a go with the floor sander as I love getting involved with exciting power tools, but being heavily pregnant with our second child at the time I reluctantly watched from a safe distance!

Instead, I sewed giant curtains for the bay window (using this amazing pink and white travel/animal fabric), teetered at the top of a step ladder to hand paint a huge mural depicting a fantasy landscape of jungle animals frolicking among famous world landmarks, and made pink paper pompoms to suspend from the ceiling. We bought a vintage 1950s Queen Anne wardrobe on eBay, and reclaimed a big 4×4 Ikea Expedit unit that had previously held my beloved jazz record collection to store all her favourite toys.

After watching several hours of upholstery tutorials on YouTube, I also upholstered a chair in fabulous pink floral fabric, personalised an Ikea toddler table and chair set, and sewed cushions, a pillow case and beanbags (the latter are particularly popular with our two Jack Russells). All these projects can be found on my blog, Simply The Nest (along with tons more pictures and projects from our first and current house).

Right now we’re hard at work finalising our second daughter Natalia’s nursery – she’s getting a turquoise, blue and yellow colour scheme and an English country garden inspired mural. After that, we’re going to tackle the master bedroom, which currently has brick-red walls and ceiling, a brick-red carpet, and mustard-yellow woodwork *shudder*. Renovating with two small children and two dogs is an extremely slow process! but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of seeing your daughter happily whacking her toy hammer on your lovingly renovated original Victorian floorboards to make it all worth your while :-)

I love this room and the way Alice has created such a fun decor scheme that’s girly yet still really fresh and vibrant. Thanks so much for sharing :)

Don’t forget to leave Alice some love if you like it!

Love,
Rebecca
xo