It's all anchored by a smart monochrome palette
As a busy professional living on her own and travelling all the time, it was so important that the owner of this two-bed cottage in St Albans have a comfortable home. ‘Somewhere I could retreat to for some rest and down time,’ she says. ‘I wanted my bedroom to go one step further by being a truly intimate, feminine sanctuary that reflected my personality. I already had the bed, side table and chest of drawers from my previous home, so I knew the room had to complement their clean, minimal style.
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Before any decorating could happen, she had to deal with a few major issues. The windows were rotting and nailed shut, so she had a local sash window expert restore them. ‘I also had two old radiators replaced with a more efficient single radiator and freed up some wall space.’
Storage was another big concern, so as well as adding a white freestanding wardrobe that matched the rest of the furniture, she decided to embark on a little construction work. Inspired by what a neighbour had done, she had a builder and carpenter create a fitted cupboard in the empty space above her stairs. It was a lot of mess and dust, but well worth the effort for the extra storage space.
‘Once I had the basics finished, I started thinking about the scheme,’ says the owner. ‘Right from the start, I knew I wanted a sophisticated pink for the walls. However, that’s where I stopped, as I had no idea what other features or accessories to choose. In my desperate bid for some inspiration, I came across the refreshing yet quirky Instagram account for Vickie Nickolls (@interior.therapy), and asked her to help me crack the look I was after.’
‘Vickie suggested we share a Pinterest board and hunt down elegant, grown-up schemes that incorporated pink. Scandi style cropped up time and time again, and I fell for a simple monochrome palette as it took the edge off the girlie pink, making it feel more refined. I did have some concerns about the black Roman blinds, but the dark, sultry tone is the perfect partner for the pink walls, ensuring the look stays grown up.’
Get the look
Buy now: Walls in Hemsley Cheriton Blush matt emulsion, £10 for 2.5ltrs, Homebase
Buy now: Similar Hemnes double bed, £175, Ikea
Buy now: Jacquard weave cotton rug, £79.99, H&M
‘If you’re struggling, find an item you love, like a cushion, and use its colour around the room for a harmonious effect,’ suggests the owner.
Vickie also recommended a painter to redo the fireplace, as the owner wanted to enhance this period feature.
‘Vickie suggested replacing the old red hearth tiles with modern patterned ones to bring a touch of interest, so I did this before the new carpet was fitted. After that, it was easy to move in the furniture, which I had waiting in the second bedroom.’
Get the look
Buy now: Devon tiles in grey, £28.27 per sq m, Tons of Tiles
‘Adding the rug halfway under the bed was a stroke of genius on Vickie’s part, as it brings another dimension of pattern to the room, as well as another layer of comfort,’ says the owner. ‘I never would have thought of that! The bedside lamp was also a great style choice as the white, black and gold design ties all the elements together.’
‘But the biggest triumph has to be the gold door and drawer knobs. I was a little nervous that spending money on them would be a bit of a waste, however they have transformed the Ikea and M&S furniture and made it more personal.’
See more schemes in this shade: Pink bedroom ideas that can be pretty and peaceful, or punchy and playful
‘I love the elegantly restored windows, the touches of glam that the gold accents bring to the space and the connection between the diamond rug and the striped monochrome cushions. Oh, and the round pink cushions, which add a feminine vibe. Basically, I love it all! It’s my total haven, and I feel so calm sleeping here.’