‘it’s Fem­i­nine and Fun-filled’

Louise turned a beige, bor­ing bedroom into a shabby chic scheme

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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.

Mak­ing plans

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.

The look

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.

Fin­ish­ing touches

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’

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