Interiors // Bedroom Renovations; Creating a Panelled Wall & Building Wardrobes

March 22, 2018

I'd love to share some updates on our latest renovation project - you can see the first post talking about our plans & inspiration for it all here.

So, since we last spoke I finally made up my mind on some of the decisions for the finishes. I knew I wanted grey walls but I narrowed it down to a few. In the end I went for Ammonite by Farrow & Ball {online here} for the bedroom walls. It's a warm grey which is neither too light or too dark. Our current bedroom is Blackened by Farrow & Ball which works but feels quite modern, and can be cool {colour wise not trend ha}. So Ammonite feels a perfect for the panelled walls, a little more traditional but still versatile enough to go with a whole host of other colours. Dark colours on panelling can look SO smart but this room is so light with double aspect windows, and it's our bedroom so I wanted to keep it nice and light, serene feeling rather than dark & dramatic.

We've also decided on colours for the attic bathroom. The walls will be Strong White on wooden panelling {horizontal, not like the squares in the bedroom} and chosen these Bert & May tiles for the floor to go with underfloor heating. Am I boring sticking to grey & white again? Partly! But equally, we're only doing this once and if I choose a bold colour, there's the risk I'd get bored of it. At least with grey & white you can pair other colours with it easily that can be changed. So with that all chosen, it was time to get started on the building work.

We've wanted to install panelling for a while now. By the way, what is square panelling actually called to distinguish it to say vertical or horizontal planks of wood? Is it Victorian? Anyway, what I mean for our bedroom are these squares. You don't even have to have squares, some I've seen are rectangular, others have differing sizes on the way down. Ben mapped out our room and decided that a regular shape would be best for us, and we wanted to make the wardrobes the same to blend them in.

He's a mathematician & very logically minded design wise, so planned it out on a computer and then started drawing the lines on the wall - measuring it all out. 

With the walls mapped out, MDF sheets were attached to the walls with grab adhesive and screws {these were counter-sunk and only in places which would be covered} as the panel bases.

These got primed. 

Then the cross pieces of MDF {which had been cut down into 100mm strips and primed} were glued and pinned into place for the verticals.

Next, the cross pieces were fitted - again, glued and nailed into place to create the squares.

I love including photos like these, as I know once we're all finished in here I'll be amazed that it ever looked this chaotic! {here's hoping anyway!}

With all of the MDF in place, it all had to be primed. Also, you can see in the photo below the wires that we'd had put in place ready for wall lights. 

After a couple of coats of primer, any nail holes were filled and the edges were caulked in to smooth everything off.

Wardrobe wise, although it feels a shame to cover up the chimney breast in here, it's an awkward shape and due to the other walls being filled with windows, it's the only place to have wardrobes in here. The fireplace is just resting here by the way, there's no way we'd cover up a fireplace! So Ben built a frame out of timber and then created doors out of MDF {essentially the same as the panelling but on hinges}.

The top of the wardrobes will be plaster-boarded and have picture rail fitted so that it looks as though it's always been there to tie it in with the rest of the room. The bottom will have skirting to match the rest of the room.

The panels were then made the same way as the walls had been, and primed/painted.

In these photos the middle edges look like they stick out too much, the hinges still need adjusting a little so that it sits smooth {but so that you can still open the door}.

With most of the panelling complete, it was time to paint!! 

We've gone for this modern eggshell finish in Ammonite. Eggshell is the perfect finish for wood and the modern part, rather than the estate version means that it's more durable and wipeable.

I was SO excited for the colour to go on. Although whenever I see a colour going on I wait with my eyes half closed, I've had a few bad paint experiences in the past and always get scared that I've made a mistake! Rest assured this time though, it was love at first sight! Phew!

So much love for Tommo, our v funny decorator.

And OF COURSE, my husband who works so hard with all of these projects.

Did we already have the hole in the ceiling when I last shared photos? Also I need to get photos of the bath being hoisted up to the loft in here too! It was quite a feat.

With the panelling all painted, the staircase arrived. It kind of seemed a shame to cover some of it up, it looked SO good and I was envisioning the room. But we do really want an extra bathroom & to have a cool attic en-suite attached so unless we were going to climb some kind of rope ladder, stairs it had to be. 

Ben ordered them bespoke from, where you put all of your measurements in & it then works out the angles/steepness that you need. You can customise some of the options, we've gone for a pine finish as we'll be painting it.

Suddenly it was really starting to take shape!

And this is pretty much where we got to before leaving for Sri Lanka. It's so cool being able to walk up the stairs to the attic now though. The next steps will be to finish the wardrobes, fix the stairs/put some panelling underneath them and finish {mostly start} the bathroom. It needs more insulation, the wood cladding fitted, underfloor & tiles laid, plumbing, etc etc. So it will still be a fair while until we're done. But we've booked the decorator for a couple of weeks at the start of May to get everything completely finished {she says! and hopes!} paint wise. 

We're still deciding on a bed, but have ordered a headboard & wall lights. Just need bedsides now too and we'll use the corner cupboard which was already in this room to house a TV. I might look into a fabric/velvet ottoman to go at the end of the bed, or in between the 2 windows but I also want to see just how the room feels space wise once we've got a superking bed in here. And I always like to add a few bits after once all the essentials are in.

Will share more as we go! Hope this helped to answer some of your MDF panelling questions.

R <3 xx 

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  1. Love this Rebecca. I wondered if you or your hubby had any advice on how to achieve this in an old wonky house with no 90 degree walls! Thank you, Karen x

  2. Hey! Please could you let me know what thickness of MDF you used? Thanks x


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