Project House - Our Bedroom

September 26, 2016

Yay finally a room finished enough to write a full makeover post on! When I look around at the house and see so much that's unfinished, I forget just how much we have changed and done so far. Looking back at these photos reminds me of the transformation week by week. I've forgotten about the weeks of hard work and occasionally tears because I'm just so thrilled with how it looks and feels now. We had an idea from the start of the kind of look we were going for, light and fresh with a lot of white and some bare wood. In the end it's probably less white than we first envisaged it would be after sanding the floorboards back and keeping them natural. It seemed such a shame to paint over them! But it works and I love love love waking up in here every morning. It still feels such a treat. 

Before -

This wasn't actually the master bedroom, there's another room that's bigger than this one with three {!!} windows in. But it was certainly bigger than our old bedroom and weirdly we actually couldn't decide how to use the other room {we still haven't decided, we're trying to work out ways with the conservation officer of diving it up into two rooms possibly or making an en-suite in there}. So things may change in the future but for now this is our master. As with the rest of the house, it wasn't in terrible condition but needed updating and could so easily be transformed. They had yellow wallpaper, ceilings and old carpets.


The first job was wallpaper stripping. The very first day after getting the keys we filled up the steamers and got scraping. It came off surprisingly easily, lulling us into a false sense of security that the rest of the house would be as straightforward. {little did we know that the rest of the house had layers upon layers of vinyl that would need some serious muscle power to get rid of!}

Ben dismantled the fitted wardrobes on the left hand side of the room and got rid of the sink that was there. Every single bedroom had a sink in! So old fashioned but kind of cute. 

The whole time when buying the house we kept wondering about the floors. Would there be original boards under all the carpet? We were in luck and jumped around with excitement when we ripped up the carpet discovering wide old pine boards that were in surprisingly good condition! 

With the wallpaper stripped and the floors bare, we had our shell ready to build up the look that we wanted.

We hired a sander {from HSS hire} for the weekend after Easter and after removing any staples or nails, Ben got to work sanding off the thick black varnish. It was a pretty tough task and needed the edges doing with a smaller rounded sander and then the middle with the bigger one that looked a bit like a hoover. The difference was amazing after just a few minutes. We had lots of rolls of different strength {coarseness?} sandpaper with it. The guys in the hire shop gave us a brief rundown but luckily Ben's pretty handy and knows what to do. You'll want some to start off with and then a finer grade to finish and smooth it off at the end. 

Until you start sanding floors back you don't really know how they'll come up. As mentioned earlier, we had always imagined painting the boards white in here but then fell in love with them in their raw state and figured that it would be a shame to cover up all the hard work Ben had just done! And also it would be hard to undo once painted. 

I then decided on paint colours. We wanted grey in here, our old house just felt too cream! So cue 50 shades.. It was so hard on picking a colour. Before we got the keys I'd imagined going for Farrow & Ball Elephants Breath, Cornforth or Skimming Stone. But when we put the testers on the wall, they looked nothing like grey! I'm not sure if it was the light in here or what but they seemed more browny and taupey. In the end, after going out to buy more tester pots it was between Ammonite and Blackened which for us in this room were the only two light greys that actually looked grey in the whole Farrow & Ball colour chart. We also tried a few Little Greene colours and some of the Homebase ranges. Blackened won the day with the light in here, although it looked completely different on this wall with the chimney breast compared to the wall where our bed would be going! 

The ceiling, architrave and picture rail all got painted in white and it transformed the room straight away. Bye bye horrible yellow ceilings. The walls are in Farrow & Ball Blackened. All by our lovely lovely painter Pete, he's such a legend.

The minute that we got to this stage, it felt like it was very quickly all coming together. The white in particular just transformed it. 

We kept the built in wardrobe in the corner and had it painted in Blackened {eggshell for woodwork}. Where the wall of built in wardrobes had been, Ben built a framework for new wardrobes out of timber and plasterboard. It got skimmed and was then ready to add doors and rails into.

We repainted the door and doorframe in Farrow & Ball Pavilion Grey for a bit of contrast against the light grey. 

Not the best photos as the light was going but I really love the colour. 

Ben bought wooden doors from Wickes to use for the wardrobes and fitted them along with architrave for the doorframes. They were then primed and painted by our decorator. 

By building the wardrobes in and creating a false wall, we covered up some of the original coving and picture rail. To match it in with the rest of the room, Ben got a couple of pieces of different shaped picture rail to cut to size and stick together and create the same shape and design as the rest of the room. Now that it's painted you'd never be able to tell the difference. We also fitted a picture rail at the same height as the other wall to carry it on. 

This was then painted in an eggshell version of Blackened to tie in. 

By lifting the carpets, we discovered an old hearth on the chimney breast where a fireplace originally would have been. I think I've talked before about bringing the two fireplaces that we'd fitted previously in our old house in the bedrooms. It adds character and makes it a bit more interesting. They were eBay purchases that Ben carved hearts into and sprayed black. For me when putting this up to the wall it didn't look right in black. Ben wanted to keep it but I thought that white would look better and feel fresher. Poor Ben was then given the task of painting it white! We went for a gloss white spray by Rustoleum. 

We bought a chest of drawers from eBay to go on the wall to the left of it. We're mad about storage, each having so many clothes. We really need to have a proper clear out sometime! 

The white looked so much better.

We used a lot of our old furniture in the bedroom, most of it not being very old from buying it for our last house. But we also wanted a few new bits. I got this adorable chair from Loaf. 

Once the decorating was all finished it was ready to start unpacking and moving furniture into. After months of living out of suitcases strewn across my parent's spare room, it was such an exciting day finally unpacking our clothes into the new wardrobes and being reunited with our things! 

We bought plain white tab top curtains from Ikea and put a white wooden curtain pole up. We'd bought the plain off-white roller blinds with the house which are handy as they were made for the windows.

Oh and how could I forget the radiators?? We replaced all the radiators with new, old looking, cast iron style column ones which felt a bit more in keeping with the period of the house. And look so much nicer! We bought them online here and are really pleased with them.

In my eyes this is the really fun bit, dressing a room and making it feel like your own.

I love finding new homes for pretty bits. Ben bought me these mirrors {here} for Christmas when we were in Hampstead last December so I was excited to find the perfect spot for them between the curtains and wardrobes.

We spray painted some screws with copper paint to match the mirror chains and hung them off of the screws.

The loaf chair sat perfectly underneath them and it's now my favourite corner in the room.

I set the top of the chest of drawers up as a dressing table and added some pretty bits. I'm mad about pink which goes really well the Blackened grey walls. I bought this new vase to add a bit of colour without being too pink {annoyingly now discontinued but for similar try here or here}.

The other bits are all from our old bedroom, the mirror was from an antiques shop and already painted that grey colour. The flower crown was from a day at the Races last summer. Glass heart trinket bowl here and Pretty Honest beauty book here.

Our bed and headboard {from Feather & Black} that we had in our old bedroom fit well. We bought the little chest for the end of the bed from an antiques shop. 


Basket from Olli Ella, here. Chair and cushion both from Loaf

We finished the wardrobes off with crystal glass pumpkin door knobs {here}.

We finished our bed off with new white bedding {online here}, it's got an adorable pom pom trim on! And was very kindly sent this gorgeous grey herringbone throw from Hammam & Home here

Our bedside tables are from Ikea, we just updated the knobs on them. The copper lamps are from Dunelm. White frame and hand cream online here. {bedding as previous here and headboard here}

We put an old print {from Not on the High Street} into a new white frame to sit on top of the fireplace and added some plants for a botanical feel - a mix of succulents and ferns. The copper candle is from Primark of all places! The plant on the floor is sitting in another Olli Ella basket.

I love having a favourite candle {here} and fresh flowers by my bed.

Scaffold board jewellery hook DIY post here.

I got this little copper frame here and framed a favourite photo {from our trip to Norfolk a few January's back}. It sits next to my favourite Jo Malone fragrance for this time of year.

Copper frame from TK Maxx.

I love how much sunlight this room gets and adore the sliding sash window.

We picked up the baskets that sit on top of the wardrobe in France this summer.

A handy basket for storing my hairdryer.

There's a full length mirror hidden inside the wardrobes along with our TV mounted onto the inside of the door. We just open it up at bedtime. I would show you a photo but that would mean tidying my wardrobe!! 

A few night photos:

I'll start working my way through the rest of the house for makeover posts soon! And write an update on house renovations in general. 

R <3 xx 

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  1. What an incredible job you've done! It goes without saying that your lovely room looks heaps better,but I particularly like the colour you've used on the walls,and the wardrobes you built too. So clever! That pom pom bedding is gorgeous, and I THOUGHT it was White Company before I clicked the link, which clearly shows I spend too much time browsing in there...! ;) Flora x

  2. I love snooping around other people's home renovations and yours are just stunning! The idea with the wardrobes is really clever - I'd seen your pictures on Instagram and would never have guessed they weren't original!
    Can't wait to snoop around the rest of your gorgeous house!
    Kerry X

  3. I love this bedroom makeover, it's such a transformation, we are doing ours at the moment which leads me to ask a slightly random question, what happened to the air vent hole in your wall behind the fireplace? Did you fill it in? I ask as we have one and am wondering what to do with it as also putting a fireplace in the same spot to bring back some character to the house.
    Kiran xx


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