Real Renovations: Bedroom Update

Hello readers! This afternoon, Jess is back to share the progress of her house with a huge update. I’ve been watching this room come together for the best part of a year now and I cannot tell you how big the change has been – I think the pictures tell the story best however, so let’s get on with the show…

After last months dilemmas about my bedroom, I thought today I would update you all with the progress so far.

Now it may not seem all that exciting to some people, but let me tell you, after living for over a year with just a couple of hanging rails and an old chest of drawers, this week saw some real progress with the arrival of the wardrobes, which is just about the best thing I have spent money on so far for the house. We deliberated for quite some time over what kind of wardrobes to go for, either freestanding or fitted. Initially I was looking at freestanding wardrobes because I like the look of them and there is so much more choice. Dan was dragged around a few furniture stores but we quickly realised that we would struggle to use the full height of our room as most wardrobes wouldn’t even reach the picture rail, let alone go the foot and half above that up to the ceiling. I wanted to be able to hide away all my bags and shoes etc, and really wanted enough storage space so that I wouldn’t have to have things on top of the wardrobes.

We then came across a very pushy saleswoman from a company that sold fitted wardrobes and were cleverly led in to a ‘free design visit’. Now, although there was no way in the world that we would buy off this company (you know the type- ‘buy it now, we’ve got a special sale on that ends tomorrow’, or ‘if you make a decision today we will give you an extra 10% off’), we did let them draw up some fancy images on their computers which gave us a good idea of what we would be able to do if we went with the fitted wardrobe option. And so, after a bit more research, we decided that fitted was the way forward for us and set about looking for a smaller local company that could make what we wanted, and quote us the ‘real’ price at the first time of asking. We found a company we trusted and put in our order…


The bedroom walls were in a pretty poor state due to some dodgy DIY over the years, and the chimney breast has been widened at some point, presumably to fit a double bed across it. We also had some damage to the plaster in the bay due to a leaky window. So before ordering the wardrobes, the chimney breast was knocked back to its original width and the whole room was re-plastered. I had no idea just what a messy job this would be, and would really think hard about doing it to any other rooms unless absolutely necessary. I think the picture explains better than I can! The carpet was ruined, there was a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards. But, the end result was good and gave Dan some lovely smooth walls to paint!

We had to wait several weeks for the custom built units to be made and that process couldn’t be started until all the plastering had been done. So despite the fact that I had been up all night at work and normally would have gone straight to bed, the arrival of the wardrobes this Monday morning was something I was prepared to stay awake and sacrifice my sleep for. Before the afternoon was over the wardrobes were in! I’d seen a similar design with the wardrobes fitted around a chimney breast when we were looking at houses so had an good idea of how it would look when all done, but the result was better that I had expected.

I decided to use my own choice of door knob rather than those supplied with the wardrobes to give the room an extra detail. Zara Home is a fairly recent discovery for me and has been a complete revelation; it didn’t let me down when I found the ceramic flower ‘Julie’ knobs that even Dan managed to describe as ‘nice’. I’d say thats a positive reaction from him, so you can expect to see a lot more of Zara Home products cropping up in my home from now on. It’s just a shame (or maybe a blessing given that we are also trying to save up for a wedding,) that there isn’t a store in Manchester!

The new carpet was put down the next day, and the ‘Bourbon’ bedside tables from Made.com have arrived too. So now I get to enjoy moving my clothes to their new home (I doubt it will stay looking quite so orderly), and when the windows have some kind of covering (the venetian blinds are on order) Dan and I can move in to our new bedroom at last, I cannot wait!…

Love,
Jess x

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

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