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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!