It’s been way too long! But my silence here has mainly been due to a complete lack of new projects being finished. My house (and my insta along with it) took a bit of a hiatus due to some unfortunate personal circumstances, but I’m back with a bang. This time, with a big refurbishment to my master bedroom, which I’m now pleased to say is very much lighter and more welcoming.
Here’s how it looks now:
How the Room Looks Today
There are more photos at the end of this blog post. But first, a few photos of how it looked before and also how I made it what is today.
The “Before” Photos
Here’s how it looked before. Some of these aren’t the best photos as they are old and I’d taken screenshots of them to make them more recent in my camera roll. I’ve also upgraded my phone since then and my new one has a much better camera (though I must admit, I wouldn’t mind a proper camera to take these photos on!). But you can still clearly see the room in its previous state:
I had mainly black furniture in this room, with black curtains and black feature wallpaper. As my skills and taste for interiors has grown over the last couple of years, my preference has evolved to favour brighter spaces. My master bedroom is definitely not the biggest and I feel that in small spaces it’s best to keep things as light as possible. Dark walls in particular can make spaces feel smaller than they actually are. The wallpaper was a bit tired anyway and was also marked in a few places. Time to freshen it up.
So that’s how it was then. Onto the transformation…
I’d gotten a lot of inspiration from Pinterest for this, but I’d also taken some inspiration from Life On Jack Lane (a fellow Laura) and House To Home At Last (Danielle). These two home instagrammers are both VERY long-time Insta friends who I’ve followed from the early days (a couple of years now, I think). Laura is one of the nicest people I’ve ever come across on insta and has always been very supportive of me, including when I came out as transgender in April 2018, and she’s always lovely to chat to. Not only is Laura’s house an absolute dream, but it also has a great story. She is very inspirational and I can relate to her a lot, and also had the pleasure of meeting her in Leeds last year at an event called the Housewise Brunch. As for Danielle, she was one of the very first accounts I ever followed and I’ve always been in awe of her talent for interiors, and she’s always been very supportive of me too just as I have been with her. I think my love for grey decor must have started with following her insta posts and her blog was what inspired me to start my own. She is lovely to chat to as well. It’s great people like these that make the interiors world on insta the great community that it is, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.
I’m not a scandi home like Laura is, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bring in some of the same principles that make the scandi style the great style that it is, and it definitely helped me achieve my goal of brightening up the space and giving it more of an airy feel. Danielle’s insta page provided lots of ideas for how to dress the bed, in particular, and some of the other accessories like the picture frames.
The first thing I did was choose some new bedding. I went with the “Kyoto Garden” bedding designed by Emma Willis. This has a beautiful floral pattern on it but also a more subtle hexagon pattern, which matches well with the hexagon-shaped tray I already had on my bed. I added two black and gold cushions from Next and two larger cushions and a throw, also from Next but these are specifically the Lipsy brand you can get from there. It’s nice how one of my favourite fashion brands has also branched out into homeware! The cushion fillers came from Dunelm.
Next up was to replace my somewhat beaten-up black wooden beside tables with some white high-gloss ones from IKEA. These are the “Malm” ones, and are SO much easier to keep clean and don’t need repainting from getting chipped. The old ones were still wanted by a close friend of nearly a decade, who was without bedside tables at all, so she came and picked them up.
I was just about able to assemble the new bits of furniture myself without too much trouble. After that, I could already feel that wonderful sense of a great space coming together.
The chest of drawers did not come from IKEA but rather from Argos. I was a little disappointed to find that IKEA had discontinued the white high-gloss Malm as a chest of drawers, so I had to go for this Argos one instead. They match up pretty well. Although you can notice differences if you look closely, they are a good enough match and I soon forgot they were from two separate places.
Then onto the bed…
I had help with dismantling the old bed, owing to having a slight physical impairment. Dad was on a visit back from his place in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, near the Staffordshire/Cheshire border. It was replaced with one from Arista Living, a company I met at the Housewise Brunch and Laura had a discount code with them at the time. For quite a long time I wanted a storage bed where the mattress raises to provide storage underneath and this was a perfect opportunity to acquire one for a brilliant price. I am SO pleased with it! Though I did have a nightmare getting it here due to a series of failures with the carrier company (nothing to do with Arista, they’re brilliant). I know you’re supposed to wait until the new bed arrives before dismantling the old one, but it just had to be done when the help was available to do so, and considering I have two bedrooms, both of which have beds in them, I just slept in the other one until it was sorted.
The old bed went to the same friend that took the chest of drawers and bedside tables. Everything from this project was donated to friends in need.
The mattress was due a replacement as it was getting old and worn out. It was also a small double, whereas my new bed was a standard double. A decent mattress is one of those things you really can’t scrimp on as it’s so important for restful sleep. I got this one from Bensons for Beds. These guys are totally awesome! They lay you on a machine that is able to simulate different firmness levels and they look at a pressure map to see what level of firmness is best, from 1 (the softest) up to 5. They found that a 3 is best for me, and when it came I was in so much comfort. They took the old one away for recycling. On a later visit I went back and invested in some new pillows too, going for some that were made from recycled plastic bottles. I highly recommend Bensons as they just help so much with taking out the guesswork with making a large purchase that is going to service you for years to come.
I replaced my wardrobe, which was falling to bits (not that that stopped a friend from wanting it) with one from Wayfair (search for “Traci” on the site). This one goes better with the rest of the furniture, offers more hanging space and has a much bigger mirror, making the room feel bigger. It also has sliding doors, which is better for small spaces. I was quite restricted in terms of width because of the bulkhead and wanted sliding doors, so this meant that the IKEA Pax ones were out of the question. This does the job beautifully though (again, I had help assembling it, it’s a two-person job).
The boxes on top of the wardrobe are simple cardboard boxes from IKEA covered with wallpaper from The Range.
See something else different above? The wallpaper! I ordered samples from Wallpaper Central and ilovewallpaper.co.uk, and taken some from my local Next as well. In the end, the one with diagonal lines from ilovewallpaper.co.uk won (search for “Milan Geo”), because the diagonal lines match well with the cushions and also the new laundry bin.
The silver picture frames above are from Next and the prints inside them were made by me using a drawing app on my iPad. I also drew the feather one above the console table. I could have spent money on artwork but I thought, why not make my own instead?
The new lights came from Iconic Lights (the table ones are called “Angus” and the ceiling one is called “Danish”). This is another very popular insta brand and I’m pretty sure I met them at the Brunch too! At first I thought I’d made a terrible mistake getting the table lights in copper, but when I got them here I was happy.
Lastly, I finished off the room by adding some white curtains, another Next purchase, keeping the same black tie backs and rail. The curtains have a blackout lining so do a good job keeping the room dark when sleeping and also help keep the room a bit cooler if left closed during the day when the weather is hot. I think black and white will always be a favourite combination – I love how crisp and elegantly simple it looks. Maybe that’s something else I’ve picked up from my growing interest in scandi decor.
That’s just about it, I think! I had a fair few questions about where things were from and there’s just too much to talk about here in insta stories, so here’s a list of all the brands I have going on in here, in no particular order (note that it includes some stuff unchanged from before):
- Next – Black geo cushions, laundry bin, picture frames, hexagon tray, faux flowers on the tray, orchid, curtains, heart ornament next to the TV, ornament next to mirror, star-shaped infinity mirror, faux succulent plant on bedside table, picture of my childhood cat above TV, clock, tea light holders, light box, the “L” near the window.
- Lipsy – throw, large cushions behind the black ones.
- Emma Willis – duvet cover and pillow covers, pink lips cushion above TV.
- Dunelm – round mirror, heart on tray, heart hanging on ornament near the mirror, heart hanging on door handle, curtain tie backs, coasters.
- ilovewallpaper.co.uk – feature wallpaper behind the bed.
- John Lewis – terrarium.
- Stackers – jewellery stand and cones on the console table, plus a small box on the shelves above the TV.
- Lisa Angel – hexagon-shaped box on the shelves above the TV.
- The White Company – gift boxes on show.
- Dulux – Polished Pebble and Chic Shadow were both used.
- Wayfair – wardrobe.
- IKEA – bedside tables, boxes on top of wardrobe, legs for console table.
- The Range – the wallpaper covering the IKEA boxes.
- Argos – chest of drawers.
- Arista Living – bed.
- Bensons for Beds – mattress, pillows.
- Tesco – the three grey baskets above the TV.
- Iconic Lights – bedside lights, ceiling light shade.
- 5A Fifth Avenue – reed diffuser.
- B&Q – the book on the tray is wrapped in a wallpaper sample from there. The top of the console table is just a piece of MDF from there and the material for the shelves around the TV did too.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this transformation as much as I did actually doing it. Everybody has been overwhelmingly positive about how much of a difference it’s made. It’s been exciting for me too, as I’ve shown myself what I can do with the knowledge I’ve picked up since being involved with the world of interiors.