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When the owners of this house moved in, this bedroom was a completely blank canvas – it had brand-new fitted carpets but everything else was neutral. The couple didn’t have any furniture to fill it with, but rather than rush to fill the room, they decided to sleep in it as it was so they could get a better feel for the space and what decor would work best in it. They were quite clear on what they wanted, in principle: a hotel-style bed, lots of clutter-eliminating storage and a dressing table too. It was asking a great deal from a fairly small room, but by taking their time the couple found solutions.
‘For a while it felt rather odd sleeping in an empty box. But it did give us time to work out what we wanted. We knew everything would benefit from a fresh coat of paint, so we used a crisp cream colour on the walls and painted the woodwork glossy white. Although the carpet wasn’t my choice, it seemed silly to change it. So we gave it a good clean, and even at that stage the room began to feel more homely.’
The couple wanted a bed with a large upholstered headboard, and they found a base that ticked all the boxes - and which had plenty of hidden storage too - on eBay. 'In a small cottage, extra storage is a bonus so we were very pleased. And it's incredibly comfortable too!'
Bedroom storage was a key priority to ensure the compact space remained clutter-free. 'Once the bed was in place we decided to fit a run of wardrobes to keep everything neatly tucked away. We each now have our own wardrobe, as well as drawers. I love the neat, sleek design.'
Living in the room for a while before decorating helped the couple realise certain things about the space, one of which was that their choice of window dressing was important. 'The sunshine comes streaming in, which is lovely during the week, but not ideal when you like to have a lie-in at the weekend!'
The couple liked the idea of a layered window dressing: 'I like the sumptuous look of both a blind and curtains, and found lovely striped Roman blinds for a base.' The couple chose a neutral set of curtains with a subtle leaf print that fits in with the nature-inspired theme elsewhere in the space. 'I introduced lots of soft, natural motifs and colours, which makes our room tranquil and relaxing.'
By now the bedroom was practical, but needed some styling. The owners had built a Pinterest board, which featured a relaxed botanical vibe, and were keen to find ways to create this in their home without stretching their budget too far.
'I wanted an artwork to hang above the bed but couldn't find anything I liked. While browsing Pinterest I saw an idea for making wooden plank art, so I gave it a go.' The result, a distressed-wood focal point featuring calming colours and a painted meadow-grass design, blends beautifully with a selection of botanical-inspired cushions that dress the bed. 'I wanted to find cushions with the type of images you find in natural history books - I bought panel designs and sewed them myself,' says the owner.
Similar cushion panels
'I wanted a dressing table that would fit in a restricted space, and found a console and stool that weren't intended for a bedroom but which I knew would work perfectly. With a wooden top and iron legs it had the rustic vibe that I was after,' says one of the owners.
The console table is just 35cm deep, so it doesn't jut out into the room. The owners added an angled, frameless retro mirror to make it into a dressing table, and added personal touches - from plants and vases to a butterfly-adorned phrenology head - to add character.
Loop the Loop
It was so easy to create the panelled wood wall art that the owners chose do create another decorative panel, hanging it by the dressing table to tie different areas of the space together a little more. This panel is more practical, featuring a display shelf and wall hooks to hang jewellery on.
Wooden planks and hooks
If you have an awkward space to fill, it's a good idea to look at all types of furniture, not just bedroom sets. 'I knew a nest of lamp tables would be great by the bed,' says the owner. The compact design they chose looks neat in a small bedroom, but has plenty of space for vintage style lamps, alarm clocks and other bedside essentials. With the same finish as the dressing table and stool, they help create a cohesive space.
Bedside tables and lamp
Similar alarm clock
The bedroom looks completely different from the bland, blank canvas that the owners inherited. By being creative and making, adapting and crafting decor and accessories, rather than buying ready-made pieces that don't quite fit the brief, the couple have got exactly what they wanted, often at half the cost. 'We've created our very own look - it's what we've loved most about designing this space,' they say.