Lighting up the Night…

Since we decorated out master bedroom, finishing the decor has kind of fallen by the wayside in favour of, you know… the rest of the house and having a baby. After all it’s nice, but the lack of detail has been bugging me. I already have a new dressing table on order – mirrored again to match the chest of drawers and with several more drawers so hopefully it will hide way more of my stuff that currently resides in baskets under the existing dressing table. That should take care of some of the clutter.


(Bedding: Secret Linen Store // Pink velvet cushions & Gold sequin cushion: H&M Home // Geo cushion: Conran for M&S // Wall colour: Cornforth White – F&B)

However a more pressing practical consideration has been bed side lights. We had a small lamp on my dressing table but it was really awkward to reach round (as the bed was slightly forward of the dressing table as it is against the chimney breast,) and turn off, and meant the only light was on my side. It’s a small thing to turn it off but it drove me crazy that it had to be me to do it every. single. night! The other issue was that the wall above the bed was really a blank canvas waiting to be used. I didn’t want a simple print or canvas up there and started to think some wall lights would be great. One big ‘but’ stood in the way and that was the fact that our bedroom walls have been lined as well as painted, so having something wired in would have been a massive cosmetic issue and hard to patch up, so whatever I chose had to be plug in.

After looking at lots of different options we chose these Ogilvy swing arm wall lamps from Made.com. They were a budget friendly £50 each and despite my dislike for black, actually work really well in here because of the black accents on the mirrored furniture and of course the black iron bed frame. I had considered the white but think it would have looked very wrong in retrospect. Initially we were looking for more industrial bare bulbs but it didn’t fit with the room at all and I’m glad we didn’t force it.

Look out for a post later in the week on some other options I found for plug in wall lamps. I hope you like the result here!

Rebecca xo

Spotted: Made.com x Living Etc

Imagine my excitement when Made.com joined up with my favourite interiors magazine to design a collection of design pieces with that extra modern edge? This summer’s isn’t the first collection but it’s the first that has been right up my street in terms of my own home’s decor and I’ve got my eye on quite a few pieces. Our master bedroom after being initially finished (i.e. no longer a building site) has languished at the back of the queue in terms of finishing touches and we’re on a renewed drive of enthusiasm towards getting the house more ‘finished’. And that includes those finishing touches. You can see our bedroom here.

As you can see, I was going for a grey and pink theme but really struggled to get the right shade of pink for what I wanted. We were still looking for a rug, cushions and throw, which I might have found in one go with this collection.

You can view all of the current Made.com x Living Etc collection here (including the pieces I have featured;) – Let me know what you think!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS More of My House Here:
The Attic bedroom
The formal Lounge
The Kitchen

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.)

Renovation Ruminations: The Master Bedroom

I’m going to be sharing in the coming weeks a few rooms that I have plans for so far in the new house, talking about what I want to do with them and why or how in some cases. Today I’m kicking off with the master bedroom, our room and one of the rooms pretty high on the priority list.

First of all, here’s a list of what needs doing in this room. Like most of the rooms, you may look at it and think, ‘Well, paint, carpet, decor, not too big a job?’ Here’s the list…

  • Knock through from the bedroom into the office creating a walk in wardrobe and install double doors.
  • Replace the windows with hardwood window frames and encapsulate stained glass
  • Remove the chipboard/anaglypta wallpaper (above the picture rail only – small mercies!)
  • Move the existing radiators
  • Paint the bedroom walls
  • Paper the dressing room
  • Kit out the interior of the dressing room
  • Recarpet
  • Replace the bed with a super king bed and mattress
  • New Curtains
  • New Ceiling light fitting

And before I get too bogged down with the to-do’s, here’s what we’re aiming at…


Le Royal Manceau Hotel, Paris

Of course it’s not as simple as that. We currently have the bed in the third position it has been in(!) and it’s still not perfect.

Because I want to knock double doors through into the wardrobe, (partly for a sense of space and partly for impact,) that wall is largely lost. I initially thought we would put the bed facing towards the window, but to fit in 2 bedsides as well as plenty of room to manouvre around the door was a bit tight and also imbalanced – the window end of the room was empty.

This floor plan isn’t to scale but it’s not far off. Believe it or not the bed is the same size in both – doesn’t it look smaller in option 1? So the look is a lot better in option 2 but isn’t problem free. with the bed against the chimney breast the bedsides need to be deep to function as such – luckily our current el cheapo ikea ones are very deep, but unfortunately they’re not staying and therein lies one problem.


White closet

Inside the wardrobe I think we’re looking at open storage. It wont be messy because we will be able to shut the doors, and I love having visual access to everything I have – otherwise I forget things!. It’s also a practical decision, as the room itself that will become the wardrobe is 1.5m wide. If we were to put standard wardrobe units in (IKEA’s PAX units are 66cm deep,) they would take up a considerably large amount of space. I am however worried that open storage leaves the opportunity for dust to collect and the last thing I need is another area for dust to gather!


Algot storage system, IKEA

The white shelving above has to be the ideal, but in reality, I think we’ll end up with a more practical and cost efficient solution from ikea. I also want to wallpaper in here with something quite out there, either a bold geometric or a really beautiful print. I love the idea of seeing the design through the shelving and behind the rails or drawers


1 // 2

I love a mirrored finish and to add some glamour to the room and polish, I’d love to find mirrored doors but so far I’m drawing a bit of a blank. They might have to be a DIY effort!


Architectural Digest

Lastly, this room is going to be a sanctuary, so I’d love a seating area in it where I can sit and read perhaps, or just lounge around with rollers in and a glass of champagne in my future glamorous life (Ha!)

I suppose some of you might be thinking that the dressing room area might have made a nice en suite. I’m actually not that bothered about en suites (humidity in the vicinity of my hairstyling area? No!) so it was an easy choice for us, plus the bedroom is right next to the bathroom anyway. We also would have struggled to get the waste pipe out as the room is at the front of the house and nobody wants a poo pipe decorating the front of their house!

Decor wise, I’m thinking a very muted pinky grey with more similar toning shades of pale grey, silver, white and I know some pattern with creep in there somewhere – Maybe in the curtains, an ottoman or chair?

I can’t wait to start this room, but as you can see, it’s no small task, nor is it a cheap job and part of me doesn’t want to move out again already into another room – I should just be grateful we have an alternative I know!

So what do you think readers? Any words of wisdom or thoughts?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

New House Tour: Part 2

Hello readers!
It’s time to continue my house tour. There are three floors and we’ve done the ground so lets go upstairs…

The stairs are lovely and wide and have a half turn in them on the way up, with a half landing. The first bedroom you come to is the back bedroom, or as I call it, the blue room. This is above the kitchen and has room enough for a decent double as a guest room, or will hopefully one day be the nursery! It’s already decorated in a dusty blue so we fortunately have bedding and curtains (the ones from Francesca’s old room,) all ready for it in the meantime. It the time these pictures were taken it was just a junk room, and had all the study stuff in there which we have now relocated upstairs. My Scandinavian armoire is also in there currently – something else I’m not sure where we’ll put!

Once we had cleared the boxes we used it as a guest room last weekend when Pete’s family came to stay and it looked half decent!

Next is the bathroom, and a separate toilet, that we’ll probably knock together in time. Having a separate loo is great if there’s not another one, as it relieves pressure on the bathroom, but as we do have another, the space would be better utilised for a separate bath and shower. The tiles really aren’t my choice, but it has a claw foot bath and rain shower which are nice. As a result it’s going to be a long way down the priority list and I can’t see us changing it within 3 years.

Carrying on around, our bedroom is next, above the lounge. This is probably the most tired room decor wise and fairly high on our priority list. I can’t wait to decorate it but as with most other rooms there are large jobs within the renovation which make it costly, like restoring the windows.

We also plan to knock through into the space above the hall, which (accessed from the landing,) was used as an office. We don’t need it for that and I happen to think it’ll make a great walk in wardrobe. ;)

The other room at the front is Francesca’s room. Painted a rather strong red that wouldn’t be so bad if not for the addition of the highlighted red cornice (the thought of the hours it will take to paint over that makes me feel ill!) we’re not going to redecorate while Francesca’s in it, so as not to disrupt her again, and I haven’t really got any fixed ideas for this space either. It’s a lot lighter than this picture looks now without the boxes blocking the window!

On the top floor there are another three rooms. When the previous owners bought the property many years ago, it had been in three flats and the back room, (above the blue room,) was the kitchen and bathroom for that flat.

As a result there is a newly updated and practically brand new ensuite in a rather awkward position, leaving a room that is only good for an office really. We talked about making the whole room a bathroom, but it would mean losing a bedroom and would make for a rather large bathroom, basically for guests.

Instead, I think we’ll end up relocating the ensuite to one of the other rooms, where even if we stole some extra space they would still be double bedrooms. I’d also like to make it accessible from the hall rather than as an ensuite, then it’s available for all the people on that floor to use.

2 more rooms are at the front of the house – one I call the ‘L-shaped room’ which will become a guest suite with a sleeping area, small sofa and table, tv and storage. It currently has old fitted wardrobes in that need ripping out and it’s likely we’ll have to retrofit insulation by taking down the ceiling. Currently as there are rooms in the attic space, there is no insulation and you can hear the rain on the roof so loudly it makes me worry about how thin the ceiling is!

The last room is above ours and probably the one destined to have some space stolen from it for that relocated bathroom. With the built in cupboards taken out again, there will still be space for another guest bed, or we will probably make this our office with a pull out sofa bed.

So that’s it! As you can see, we were very lucky in that everything has been maintained very soundly, but we’ve got three floors of renovation ahead of us, before we even get started on the garden! Right now, we’re trying to decide where to start – we’d love to get on with the bedroom, but we’re currently waiting on ballpark figures for the kitchen renovation which will dictate what we can and can’t do financially before then.

It’s also good to live in the house. I really feel we shouldn’t do anything until after Christmas, but we have a week of leave in November that Pete’s itching to get going on the house in. I’m going to use the weeks before Christmas to get quotes on everything and see what we’re in for, and more importantly, pull together some mood boards to share our plans with you guys!

I hope you enjoyed the tour. If anyone knows anything about retrofitting insulation, I’d love to hear! I’ve heard you can possibly get government grants for this as it’s energy saving?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Once again please excuse the photo’s – they are a mix of hurried iPhone shots the day after we moved in and some Instagram updates since of slightly more organised rooms. I hope you get the gist! Still no camera cable :(

Dream Destination: The Laura Ashley Hotel

Often when I’m planning a trip away, one of my criteria when booking the hotel is that I love the interiors. I take pride in my home so when I go away I want the place I’m staying to be just as restful or inspiring. It’s no secret I’m a fan of Laura Ashley and so when I heard that they had opened a new boutique Manor Hotel in Elstree, Hertfordshire, I wanted to share it with you all.


Premium signature suite

The hotel has an exclusive restaurant, terrace bar area and 49 bedrooms, which I had to admit were the feature that caught my eye. For a relaxing break, often I enjoy just unwinding in my hotel room, catching up on TV or taking a long bath and of course getting ready for an evening out, so the luxurious interiors created by Laura Ashley using their own range of home furnishings and decor were right up my street.

Not only that, but there’s some serious interior decor inspiration for those of you looking to create some boutique hotel chic in your own bedroom for that relaxing feeling every day. I loved looking at these and seeing how Laura Ashley have interpreted their designs into real rooms.

For a bit of Laura Ashley luxury however, you can book a room from £150 (and the property will also host weddings.) Just log onto www.lauraashleyhotels.com

What do you think readers? Those rooms look so inviting!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Renovations: Is White Alright?

Good afternoon readers! Jess has got a brilliant post for us all this afternoon with another update to her house renovation – this time she needs your help. Do leave a comment and share your thoughts on her selections and tell us what your bedroom is like…

The renovation of our bedroom was not at the top of our priority list when we first moved house. But, after over a year now of living with lumpy walls, old carpet, and perhaps most frustratingly no wardrobes, we have now taken it on as our latest project. The room has two alcoves either side of a chimney breast, although unfortunately the original fireplace has been removed by a past owner. There is also a big bay window, and the obligatory picture rail to add to the rooms features. It is a big room, yet it has been the room that I have struggled to find a vision for more than any other we have done. I don’t know if its because of the size of the room, or because its the bedroom and I want to get the mood and feel of it just right. I have found it hard to picture the end result in my mind, which makes making any decisions, from wardrobes to paint colour to soft furnishings, a very long and drawn out process!

One interior trend I really like at the moment is the military or ‘campaign’ furniture. I like the mix of wood, leather and metal (sounds a bit kinky but thats not what I mean!), with an antique kind of look, that reminds me of a romantic bye-gone era where people travelled on steam trains or ships, with huge trunks of luggage (before you had to pay excess baggage charges no doubt!). I’m just not sure if I can translate that style into my own bedroom.


LV luggage side table // Pale blue campaign desk/dressing table

Another look I like in bedrooms is the ‘Americana’ or typical Ralph Lauren style bedroom with lots of rich blues and navy, multiple stripes, tartans and mismatched layers of fabrics. Its quite a masculine look, but there is something about those big wooden sleigh beds covered in duvets and throws that make me want one myself! 


Blue paisley bedding // Navy and stripe bedding // Sleigh bed

The bedroom style that I have deliberated over most is the all white look, with lots of different textures; wools and chunky knits alongside cottons and silks but with a very limited colour palette. My only worry with this look is will it look too sterile? Can I soften it enough to make it relaxing and luxurious, rather than reming me of the operating theatre in which I work every day. Or maybe that’s why I like white? Dr Freud would probably have something to say about that…




White with grey headboard // White and neutrals // White cosy room

We have just had the walls re-plastered, and so more out of indecision than any great vision we have repainted them… white. I mean white white. Not a fancy named slightly grey or slightly beige or cream-white. White. Brilliant white. Matt white. White. I’m nervous about it, can you tell?!?! Its a big room, and very white. But, I have ordered some bedside tables in a muted turquoise/blue color that I hope will be the statement of colour that the room will need. I’ll share the final result with you all when the room is finished. Because at the moment, with no furniture and only freshly painted walls to look at, it is just a very daunting shade of… white.

Jess x