Tuesday, 17 February 2015

GUEST BEDROOM MAKE-OVER: CREAM & WALNUT

If you have been reading my blog, you will know by now that I am not very adventorous when it comes to colours. Downstairs is pretty much black, white and grey, and I made a decision to use softer and lighter colours upstairs. Why? Well, mainly because I feel that bedroom should be a peaceful and relaxing place where you go to unwind after a long day. It is important to keep some consistency though, as the bedroom decor and design should still echo the rest of the house. We tried to keep it modern and timeless in order to achieve this.

It's also worth having a look at my older post Master Bedroom Make-over. We had a professional painter decorator for this job but this was after we decided to try our DIY skills on one of our guest bedrooms. This room is actually not finished yet but I decided to share our story as it might help someone from making the same mistakes that we did! I actually got an email a while ago from a reader asking whether it's best to use matt or gloss paint on the walls. I will get to this very soon ;)

Here's what it looked like Before!


And After!






It's amazing what a little bit of paint can do, don't you think? And, it is also a very inexpensive way of updating your decor. The bedroom was not that bad when we moved in. The cream carpet looked new and the room was big enough for a double bed and the windows allowed plenty of light into the room. I think natural light is one of the most attractive things about this house. Each room gets so much light, that not only does it keep the house warm (during the summer a bit too warm), but it also enhances the light coloured decor.

As you can see, the walls used to be blue which didn't really suit my plans. We were lucky though, as this was the only bedroom that didn't have wallpaper on the walls. In case you didn't know, wallpaper is a nightmare to remove! We just did a bit of sanding and then repainted the walls. It's especially tricky painting around window frames (in this case especially because they are wooden) and to avoid getting paint on them. We taped them and I used an old make up pencil for the smaller touch ups. We even painted inside the fitted wardrope which was not the most comfortable job but it would have looked unfinished otherwise. Oh, and painting an old radiator is not a fun job either! We had to use radiator paint for it but luckily it turned out pretty good.

We used Dulux Natural Hessian Matt Emulsion Paint for the walls just like in the other bedrooms. It's a nice warm beige colour. We chose a matt paint for the walls because in an old house like ours, the walls won't be perfectly even and glossy paint will show the imperfections even more. Also, when the light hits matt paint it looks so much nicer in my opinion than glossy paint. I like to paint the ceiling with a different colour than the walls so there is a nice contrast. I find that white paint on the ceiling really opens up the room. If you look at the pictures you will see that the walls look ok but the ceiling is a different story. My husband painted the ceiling using satin paint (which is more glossy) and that is why it looks so shiny. This was not intentional! He went to pick up the matt one from B&Q and forgot to check the full name of the paint and didn't notice until he was half way through painting. So I guess it's worth mentioning that you also need to pay attention to the products you are using to make sure they are correct. We will rectify this at some stage and we will need to sand down the surface to remove the sheen and start again with the matt paint/primer. Oh well, at least we learned a lesson. By the way, invest in the brushes! We used some B&Q own brand ones first but they weren't very good. I found Dulux Perfect Finish exceptional. They are great for smaller areas and give that professional look. They are very easy to clean as well.

We got a qualified electrician to install the spotlights. We have spotlights throughout the house which keeps it consistent and modern. We also installed dimmers. Best decision ever! It's important you leave all painting/decorating after the electrician has finished his work so that cosmetic dents can be fixed. The only thing that will need to be done afterwards is the carpet (so that it doesn't get paint on it). If you are planning to install wooden or laminate flooring then it's a whole different order as the skirting will need to come off first! We also want to fit coving to the ceiling but we will get a professional carpenter for this job because it can be very tricky around the corners.

In my opinion, it's best to keep a guest bedroom pretty neutral looking and not to go too wild. You want your guests to feel comfortable and relaxed and pick a colour scheme that suits most tastes. I tend to stick to neutral and safe colours but this suits my style very well anyway. This doesn't mean that you should forget to accessorise! There is nothing worse than having a guest room with no accessories. It's nice to have the basic things like bedside lamp, flowers (fake ones are fine), candles, some art work and if you have an iphone docking station even better.





We do use this room for storage but it is important that you have wardrope space to keep it hidden when you have visitors. I always hide the glutter so  the room is organised when your guests are staying there. It's nice to leave few empty drawers as well. I don't use room diffusers in the room because I've found that burning a (good quality) scented candle will leave a much nicer smell in the room. I use them in the bathrooms as well.

We got the bedroom furniture from Paul Simon and luckily we managed to get the same furniture for all of our bedrooms before they closed down in 2014. The bedside tables are identical to the ones in our master bedroom except different colour combination (cream rather than white). I wanted all the bedrooms upstairs to have the same furniture and I feel it keeps the decor consistent and symmetrical looking. As you can see, I am all about the symmetry! I think the cabinets look great and the walnut effect brings a bit of drama to the room. Multi coloured cabinets are very much in trend at the moment! Have a look at Heal's Nordic Wide Chest of Drawers. Askvoll range from Ikea is very similar to our bedroom furniture as well. I love the minimalistic handles which are also very practical. The cabinets are easy to keep clean and because they are glossy they bounce light off beautifully.

We got the smart touch bedside lamps from Homebase and they look great but are incredibly fragile! I think we have broken 3 or 4 so far (we have them in every bedroom). We had a great idea though and got the 3 year replacement care for them which has turned out cheaper than having to pay for a new lamp!

The windows are a different story. They will need replacing soon. They are not double glazed and are getting very old. Double glazing keeps your home warmer and quieter as well as reducing your energy bills. I want to pick white framed Upvc windows which will go better with our modern look. It was also difficult to find curtains to fit the windows due to the odd shape but in the end we got them from ebay and they do the job perfectly.

So, was it worth doing the work ourselves? Absolutely. We learned a lot. If you live in a new build consider yourself lucky because the walls are new and even which makes the paint job much more pleasant. In an old house like ours, you will not see perfectly even walls, unless they have been replastered. Little imperfections don't bother me that much. I always try to find clever ways of hiding them anyway. If you do want to plaster the walls, get a professional and don't get the cheapest guy to do it! It's a real skill and if it's done wrong you can end up paying a lot more in the long run.

If you need any DIY advice, My Builder have a great advice centre where you can submit questions to tradesmen directly. How successful your DIY job will be depends a lot on your skills, commitment and the preparation work you have done in advance. Don't underestimate how long the the job will take and most importantly don't cut corners because that will definitely come back to haunt you one day.

Good luck with DIY projects and if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them!


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4 comments

  1. i like this post, we visit again for more updates , thanks for sharing this article.
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  2. That's great to hear Chris! :) Pia

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  3. Wow!It's beautifully furnished. I need to know the double glazing cost of glasses for my home's best decoration. But which supplier to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the comment! If you find a good supplier, let me know ;)

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