‘it’s Feminine and Fun-filled’
Louise turned a beige, boring bedroom into a shabby chic scheme
we moved into this house 13 years ago, and my husband, James, and i have been slowly working our way through the rooms ever since,’ says louise. ‘The spare bedroom had sadly been ignored; it had become the place to sort and do the ironing. Catching sight of piles of washing all over the room one morning last spring, i decided something had to be done. The boring beige walls, grubby carpet and saggy bed had to go!
The room isn’t huge and is an unusual shape, which is why it was chosen as the spare. One of the biggest problems was the lack of storage and the terrible bed – it wasn’t a room I was eager to show guests into. And as I’m a big fan of colour, a half-hearted scheme wasn’t an option.
The most important thing on the shopping list was a comfortable bed. I like shabby chic rather than anything ultra contemporary, so I researched metal beds and measured carefully until I found one that I liked. The carpet had been taken up, but we found that the floorboards weren’t in good condition. We put a good chunk of the budget into new whitewashed solid wood flooring, which will last and last. I’m a real one for bargains, but I didn’t want to compromise on the bed or the flooring.
Having set my heart on floral wallpaper, I scoured the internet for something in duck egg blue with roses on it. Roses are my favourite, so I wanted them to be a big part of the scheme. I was just going to create a feature wall behind the bed, but I realised it would look good if we papered two of the walls. Then it was a case of choosing a paint colour for the other two walls. I wanted to rein in the feminine vibe a little and went for a pale grey, which added to the French feel. I love
‘Use items that mean something to you. i’ve added a little white chair from my old nursery school’
rooting around in charity shops and at car-boot sales for furniture that can be painted and used again. I found the chest of drawers locally and painted it in two colours of Annie Sloan chalk paint to give it a distressed look, following an online tutorial. I also spotted a tall mirror at a car-boot sale that needed a coat of paint, and a chair in a charity shop. I like the idea that they have a new incarnation and will be used on a regular basis.
The new radiator looked a bit plain against the wallpaper, so I spray-painted it pink. I also put up a blind (with a rose pattern, of course!) and some artwork I’d bought in junk shops over the years. Guests are always delighted by the new room, and my daughter Daisy loves it so much she’s begging me to let her swap rooms. I might be turning her bedroom into the guest room before long!’
FLORAL Feast ‘i’ve thrown plenty of roses at this room, but kept the same key colours of pink, blue and pale grey for a light and bright feel to make my guests smile’
WARM It UP ‘The only possible place for the chest of drawers was under the window, so we moved the radiator along the wall’
layer up ‘I like to start with white bedding, adding a couple of bedspreads like this rose print one I found in a flea market in New York’
Neutral FLOORING ‘Keeping the floor light has lifted the room and lets the wallpaper stand out’
PINK power ‘I’ve made a focal point of my pink radiator, rather than leaving it to blend in’
idea to steal ‘To save space, try using a metal clothes rail rather than a wardrobe’
wall art ‘I’ve given the pale grey walls a pop of colour with my junk shop finds’