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Keen to retain the room’s Arts & Crafts feel, the owner kept some original features, but updated others for a contemporary look
Before moving to Arts and Crafts property, this couple lived in a Fifties house in Middlesex. ‘After our daughter was born, we decided to move out to Surrey where our money would go further and we’d get a decent garden, so we’d been keeping an eye out for the right place,’ says the owner.
‘We were thrilled to find this little gem of a house tucked away in a quiet street. It’s an area of Surrey that Robbie knows well, as he was brought up nearby and his sister lives just up the road.’
Ready for a makeover? Check out our bedroom ideas
‘The house had so much history and so many original features from the Arts & Crafts era still intact – lovely old fireplaces, gorgeous original hearth tiles and panelled wood everywhere. The flip side was that, as it had barely been touched, it needed lots of work, but we were up for that.’
‘As this house hadn’t been updated for 20 years, its condition would’ve put some people off, but we were excited that it hadn’t been modernised and ruined,’ she adds. My husband is fairly handy at DIY, and I love interiors, so we drew up a three-year plan as soon as we moved in.’
‘The downstairs was more of a long- term project, so we decided to focus first on our bedroom, so we’d have a retreat while decorating the rest of the house.’
‘We wanted to turn the bland bedroom into a cosy retreat with a modern makeover that showcased its original features,’ say the owner. ‘The floors needed sanding and polishing, which we did ourselves over a couple of weekends, and we were determined to preserve the apricot fireplace tiles.’
‘As we already had wooden floors, I didn’t want to have a wood bed, too, so I found an upholstered one in a dark grey linen-look fabric to add some texture.’
One wall was left bare for a statement wallpaper, which we found online for just £12 a roll. ‘It seemed too good to be true, and it did take three weeks to arrive from China, but it’s great!’
Get the look
Enquire online: Castello king-size bed in Charcoal, £370, Birlea
Buy now: Similar Nordik Wood wallpaper, £16.99 a roll, Wallpaper Direct
With long, wide windows on both sides of the room it was hard to find a solution, but the couple decided the smartest and simplest solution was white shutters.
‘They took up a substantial chunk of the overall budget,’ says the owner. ‘In fact, they cost us over £1,000, but we absolutely love them. They’re a great solution for half-height windows like ours, where a short curtain or multiple blinds wouldn’t have looked right. And they’re useful in terms of extra security, too, so the money was well spent.’
The rattan chair came from Bali.
Get the look
Enquire online: Kensington Plantation shutters in Premium White, £1,175, Tuiss
If you inherit built-in wardrobes, paint them to stop the wood overwhelming your scheme. ‘After painting the wardrobes, we then chose a soft grey shade for three of the walls, to go with the original, apricot-coloured fireplace tiles,’ says the owner.
Typography adds a cool, graphic touch to a collection of cushions from Dunelm.
Hearths are excellent places in which to show off objets. Use the pyramid principle – form a triangular shape by staggering the heights of objects. This is a common trick stylists use to create a sense of balance that’s pleasing to the eye.
Rather than clutter up the room with blocky storage or a chest of drawers, go for open ladder storage on which to display special pieces. ‘I love to take photos and I also collect vintage cameras, so the finishing touch for the room was making sure there was plenty of space to display my finds, which also tie in with the age of the house.’
Get the look
Buy now: Similar oak ladder shelf, £325, Cox & Cox
‘The project took three weeks to complete, and I’m proud to say we did all the work ourselves. This room’s a sanctuary and when we walk in here we instantly relax. We love it in here now and I’m so pleased that we managed to preserve the original features.’