Before and after – from laundry dumping ground to glamorous guest room

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  • Pretty florals 
and upcycled finds added colour 
and charm to a
 dated guest bedroom

    Since moving in 13 years ago, the owner had been slowly working our way through the rooms. ‘The spare bedroom had sadly been ignored,’ she says. ‘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 the owners was eager to show guests into. And as she’s a big fan of colour, 
a half-hearted scheme wasn’t an option.

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    Image credit: David Giles

    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.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Oliver bed, £276, Feather & Black


    Image credit: David Giles

    When the carpet were taken up, the owner 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,’ she says. ‘I’m a real one for bargains, but I didn’t want to compromise on the bed or the flooring.’


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘Having set my heart on floral wallpaper, 
I scoured the internet for something in duck egg blue with roses on it,’ says the owner. ‘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.’

    As she wanted to rein in the feminine 
vibe a little, she went for a pale grey, which added to the French feel. The little white 
chair is from the owner’s old nursery school.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Sheepskin rug, £34.99, Dunelm
    Buy now: Rose Trail wallpaper in Duck Egg Blue, £34.95 a roll, Wallpaper Direct


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘To save space, 
the owner has used a metal clothes rail rather than a wardrobe. ‘One thing I love to do is root around in charity shops and at car-boot sales for furniture that can be painted and used again,’ she says. ‘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.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar Songmics clothes rail, £21.99, Amazon


    Image credit: David Giles

    The only possible place for the chest of drawers was under the window, so the owners moved the radiator along the wall. ‘Our new radiator looked a bit plain against the wallpaper, so I spray-painted it pink.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Acova 2-column radiator, £145, B&Q
    Buy now: Plasti-Kote Twist 
& Spray satin paint in Cameo Pink, £5 a can, Amazon


    Image credit: David Giles

    ‘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,’ says the owner, who has given the pale grey walls a pop of colour with her junk-shop finds.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Walls painted 
in French Grey Pale intelligent emulsion, £47 for 2.5ltrs, Little Greene
    Buy now: Woodwork painted in French Grey Pale intelligent eggshell, 
£59 for 2.5ltrs, Little Greene


    Image credit: David Giles

    Pastel tones and upcycled furniture have given this room a unique character. The space feels feminine without being too girly.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Copper desk lamp, £22, Dunelm

    ‘Guests are always delighted by the new room, and my daughter loves it so much she’s begging me to let her swap rooms,’ says the owner. ‘I might be turning her bedroom into the guest room before long!’

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