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


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 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!