If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now you’ll know that last year Tom and I bought our first house together. You might also know that I had a lot going on in my life around the same sort of time which meant that sitting down to write up posts on how the home renovations were going was not at the top of my to-do list! However, I’ve had such an amazing response from my home decor instagram posts and stories and a few requests to write up posts so I thought it was about time I got started.
When we bought our house it was not in need of major repair, but in our opinion it needed a decent bit of work to get it how we wanted it to look. The previous owners were a young family and as a young couple with no intentions for kids any time soon, we were looking for a very different style of decor and wanting something that really reflected us and was pretty modern. One of the key rooms that was stopping us moving in was our bedroom. It was a generously sized room with a gorgeous bay window and wood cladding on one wall but there was artex on the wall, a textured ceiling; carpet that the previous owners admitted had been down since the owners before them (a full 9 years earlier) and certainly smelt like it had been down that long and some pretty vile wall paper. It felt like a pretty big task but we set off with pretty vague ideas of what we wanted to do with the space, apart from knowing that we wanted it to be light, bright and contain the fewest items of furniture we could get away with.
I had taken such a strong disliking to the wallpaper when we visited the house before we put an offer in that 7 weeks later when we got the keys, I walked straight in the front door, up to the bedroom and ripped it straight off the wall then and there. This sadly also revealed that the whole room needed plastering. Joyous. We were also planning to leave the carpets down as dust sheets whilst painting, however my dad came over one day to help and exclaimed that he couldn’t stand the smell any more, ripped it up off the floor, chopped it up with a stanley knife and threw it out of the bedroom window. Tom went off to B&Q that day to buy some more real dust sheets.
It turns out that finding decent plasterers, or pretty much any tradesmen, is actually quite a challenge but the guys we ended up with did a pretty good job. The ceiling in particular is so amazingly smooth, well worth the £500 or so it set us back. We had also discovered that there were old tiles from a fire place that needed taking out and filling with wood and some weird contraption that had been used in the bay window to block some of it off to hang an oversized radiator that needed removing. We therefore needed a new (correctly sized) radiator, (odour-free) flooring, lighting and every single thing in the room needed painting. It was quite a task.
For flooring, we went with a light grey laminate from B&Q which was roughly £10 per metre square and we ended up using the same for our living room, hall and conservatory too. Having a dog that sheds hair 24 hours a day means that laminate is pretty much the only sane option for flooring in the majority of your house and it is much easier to keep clean. It definitely freshened up the room after the old beige carpet had been removed! On three of the walls we wanted a really light grey/white, which is honestly one of the hardest shades to find. We had shades that kicked up purple, blue, you name it, we probably tried it! When I started talking to people about the ‘grey paint struggle’ numerous people suggested ‘Polished Pebble’ by Dulux which is one of the colours that you can buy off the shelf and because it’s mass produced, it’s also a lot cheaper too. To every single one of those people who suggested this shade, seriously, I salute you! It’s perfect!
I also knew I wanted one contrasting wall in the room and after stamping my foot a few times at Tom’s request for a different shade of grey, he caved and we used Crystal Grey from Valspar, which, despite the name, is a very subtle dusky pink toned shade, on the wooden cladding. I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever been happier with a colour combination before and we have received so many compliments from people when they’ve come round to visit too! We are lucky enough to have a nice picture rail in our bedroom so we used this to keep the ceiling white which really makes the room feel fresh and light.
For lighting, we brought over the bedside lights from Tom’s bedroom at his parents as he’d only recently purchased them. They are actually run from a ceiling rose via thick black cabling and then the lamps themselves are industrial style, white metal pendants. I’m pretty sure he got everything from eBay but he bought all the components separately so they were custom to what he was looking for. They definitely make a really cool feature and since they are all linked up with Philips Hue light bulbs, they are dimmable too! We were also left with cables poking out for some wall lights too and we have only just been able to agree on some lights that we liked for these! We knew we wanted some sort of concrete lighting but the shape, size and exact colour of the concrete was definitely a topic of discussion for a while. I ended up finding these ones from Lights.co.uk but we mounted them the other way around to provide up lighting rather than more down lighting. They were so much cheaper than any other we’d found, even on eBay, however I was so impressed with the quality and the appearance of them when they arrived! They were also really efficient in terms of delivery too!
Quite a few of the actual pieces of furniture in the room are from IKEA, including the three roller blinds at the windows, my dressing table and chair, the storage cabinet and the two bedside tables. We only intended for the blinds to be a temporary measure as they only cost us £10 a blind, but apart from being pretty unpredictable in terms of whether they ratchet or not, I quite like how they look, they really block out a lot of the light and they will roll completely away allowing us to get maximum light into the room during the day. They are also adjustable to different window sizes so I’d definitely recommend them, regardless of whether you’re looking for a quick fix of a more long term solution. My dressing table is the Malm dresser and I brought this with me from my parents along with the chair and one of the bedside tables (which is also from the Malm range) and we purchased a second one to match. I am planning on changing the chair to a blush pink velvet chair instead at some point but it’s been knocked down the ‘to-purchase’ list by other more urgent items in the meantime! The mirror on my dressing table was a gift from Tom when I graduated and is from Illuminated-Mirrors.co.uk, it is absolutely amazing and was honestly one of the most thoughtful gifts Tom has ever bought me. The customer service from the website was pretty shocking though so be warned if you decide to make a purchase!
Our bed was brought over from Tom’s room at his parents and was another one of Tom’s many eBay bargains. It’s like a textured dark grey fabric and although we love it, we will be replacing it for a super king size bed at some point this year, due to a very small dog taking up a very large amount of space. This will also mean that the bed side tables will need to be changed to smaller ones but both the bed and the tables will be kept in storage until we renovate our loft into a spare bedroom. You might remember the bedspread and cushions from my ‘Instagram made me buy it‘ style post and they are from Dusk.com. I would 100% recommend buying from Dusk as the quality is absolutely brilliant for the price! I will be purchasing a nice new set of bedding from them too when we get the bigger bed!
Finally, after months of staring at blank walls, Tom and I agreed on some prints to create a gallery wall. I was kindly given a gift card from Desenio which enabled us to pick up pretty much all the prints we needed to get the effect we wanted. The only prints not from Desenio are the ‘M’ and the ‘T’ which Tom created himself. All the frames are varying sizes of the IKEA Ribba frame in black and we are so happy with the overall look. We tried to pick prints that would first of all work well together and secondly reflect our personalities and interests. I’m so pleased I convinced Tom to have one pop of colour in the form of the Dahlia print although Mr Boring insists he’d have preferred it to be all black and white. *Yawn*
Apart from a few random extras, that’s it! We are so so happy with how it has turned out and i’ll be sure to keep you posted about the new bed over on instagram when we finally decide to get a new one. I hope you liked this new style of post and I’m hoping to eventually get round to writing more of these on the other rooms in the house! Please let me know what you think.
P.s You may have noticed that there are no wardrobes in our room, in the spirit of proving that we are young and carefree, we turned what was a nursery into a walk-in wardrobe. Post to follow!