If you have caught up with my Instastories lately, you will have seen sneak peeks of our guest bedroom makeover. It's been an amazing journey that was totally inspired by a designer duo in the States called Madcap Cottage and their love for colourful interiors, pattern and colour clash. When it came to decorating this room, I knew I wanted to inject character, give it a boutique hotel feel with the charm of old style English B&B; you know, floral wallpapers, upholstered bed, that kind of thing.
When we first moved into our current home, we rushed to update all rooms and ended up with a nice freshly painted but bland spaces. Over time I have tried to inject more character in the room but using leftover paint and the furniture we brought over from previous homes meant an unattractive miss-mash of styles.
it wasn't bad as you can tell from the below, but it wasn't great either. The chair and side table (painted in Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue) were ebay finds, the white bed brought from the previous home, and the rosettes on the wall a lucky find in a local shop in Oxted.
The wall was painted in Farrow and Ball Moles Breath on two sides while the other two were Dulux Steel Symphony 4. I told you, whatever leftover paint was available in the garage...
There have been times where I used the room in my styling challenges for the blog and some of them were really successful, but with products on loan most of the time, the room would go back to becoming Cinderella dressed in rug clothes after midnight. But I had enough.
As we have a lot of our family residing overseas, we regularly have visitors for the holidays, including grandparents and siblings. And with three major visits planned between October and Christmas - my mom whom I had not seen in over a year in October, my sister and her hubby in November (on his first trip to London) and my father in law spending Christmas with us - this was the perfect opportunity to re-style the room and treat my guests to an unforgettable stay!
So while working out some plans for the room, I asked everyone on Twitter and Instagram to help me decide between two very different styles. Both were based around a velvet upholstered bed (the Bermondsey from Sofas and Stuff) and contrasting wallpaper behind it.
Although the majority of you (and thank you for it) voted for the first option, I have to say I still like my yellow bed against blue grey wallpaper as I do feel it also has boutique hotel vibes (and I'd be interested in hearing your view about it!). But on I went with option one.
I did take my sweet time to get the room together I have to say, but mostly because I wanted to get everything together before starting the makeover. Being completely useless at anything other than painting, I had to bring in my decorator to hang the wallpaper and the new blinds were expertly fitted by a professional. So let's break down the look.
Moodboard for the room. The paint is Rolling Fog (Little Greene), the mustard and green fabric are from Designers Guild and the coral one is from Hillary's. The print is by Sarah Campbell Designs.
I knew I wanted an upholstered bed, and the Bermondsey double bed from Sofas and Stuff was a no brainer for me. I think it has all the wow factor with the tall camel-style headboard highlighted by large, widely spread hand studding.
They say it is a "trusted look for both the city or the country" and I agree. I chose the Napoli velvet fabric in 'Viridian' which is an emerald green colour, picking one of the colours from the wallpaper.
The bed was assembled quickly, it is heavy and robust and I teamed it with a memory foam mattress for ultimate comfort.
I guess the wallpaper dictated the colour of the bed. This one is from Little Greene (the same company I used for my dining room makeover). It is called Paradise and it is part of the Archive Trails collection.
Paradise (c1940) celebrates a truly rich mix of styles. The English Heritage-owned document from which this paper is drawn is actually a 20th Century piece, but the subject – exotic flora and the familiar oriental ho-ho birds - is classic ancient Chinoiserie, whilst the colouration in the original is very much in the style of a 19th Century French paper.
This design retains the original’s oversized repeat and has been reproduced in six stunning colourways. The one I chose is called Feather. The particular colour way has some zesty yellows and oranges that look almost neon up close.
The subtle injection of blue and line also means that the paper looks modern and can be combined with a number of other accessories. The rest of the room was painted in Little Greene's Rolling Fog which is also the background colour of the wallpaper.
Little Greene's Paradise is also available in another 6 colour ways
With green on the wall and on the bed, and having chosen yellow lampshades (more about those below) I was torn between using yellow or something else on the blinds. Luckily, early in October Hillarys launched a new campaign for AW17/18 called I WANT THAT STYLE which drew my attention. I wrote about it in this post so do check it out because they brought together 4 fabulous stylists on a challenge to design the same room 4 different ways.
I arranged an appointment and soon enough was visited at home by their very professional rep who measured my blinds and took me through the various fabric options. Now, I cannot begin to describe how perfect this service was.
Their rep was also our fitter. End to end, my blinds were fitted within 2 weeks, but mind you we did put this down as an urgent request, otherwise expect an additional week from order to fitting.
Unlike my husband, their fitter did not make a fuss about the wall being too hard to drill (cement/steel underneath), he finished the job really quick and even cleaned up before leaving. he is definitely on my speed dial for future jobs.
Yes, the blinds were gifted to me, so you may think I am biased, but I approached Hillarys and not the other way round. The appointment I booked was exploratory and it was only after I found the perfect fabric in their collection that I decided to go ahead. The fabric I chose in the end was called Tetbury Coral and I chose it as it was also one of the colours in the wallpaper.
One thing I did differently this time with the blinds was to fit them outside the recess. Why? Well, everywhere else in the house, roman blinds are fitted inside the recess. Unfortunately, this means that even at their highest when drawn up, you still lose around 1/3 of the window light.
You should chose a recess fit if you want to minimise the amount of light that can escape from the sides. Our fitter pointed it out, but choosing a black out lining can minimise this.
During my recent trip at Decorex last month, I came across the Pooky Lights stand, showcasing - as expected - their new collections which OH EM GEE included velvet shades. Hello, this was another must have for the room.
I chose their Lucas table lamp in green resin (£90) and added 30cm straight empire shades in beryl velvet (new). Worth noting that they are less translucent than most other shades with lighter materials, and the light is mainly up and down, but the effect is stylish as hell.
Another strike of pure lack, the lamps and shades arrived on the day of my visit from Hillary's and thank God they did because I think I might have gone for mustard yellow blinds instead! We quickly assembled them and placed them in the room only to realise that if the shades were yellow, the blinds needed another colour altogether.
The central lampshade is from IKEA and as it was in a similar colour way I decided to let it as is in the scheme.
Working on the colourways during the visit from Hillary's. Photo @SeasonsinColour
Bedside tables by Swoon Editions
You have all seen me tweet often about Swoon Editions, so no surprise I turned to this brand for my beside tables. They are well known to produce beautiful limited edition pieces (and in fact I also have their HUGO media unit in the living room) and these campaign style tables with storage and a drawer seemed to complement the scheme. Thank you again to everyone who helped me choose them!
What I really like about their design? The dark mango wood means that guests won't be afraid to leave marks or scratch a glass top table, and the brass accents give it the boutique vibe I wanted. The drawer will keep all of the bits and bobs out of sight and my favourite books and London guides will be tucked underneath for easy access.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
A room also needs to be styled appropriately, so to finish the look I chose bedding from Designers Guild Astor collection and added the Majella Lime throw (also Designers Guild). As the room was already busy enough with the wallpaper, I thought that crisp white bedding will tone down the whole look but also complete the boutique hotel look.
I used cushions from My Billet Doux (the smalll silver/green one), Laura Loves (the green/blue with leaves) and Bombay Duck (the hot pink one just for the fun). The painting on the wall is from eBay (another lucky find).
The ornate sunburst mirror over the bed is from Exclusive Mirrors and it's their Round Gold Layered Leaf Mirror (67 x 67cm). A true statement mirror, I chose this one because it had just the right tone of antique gold on it.
I could not be happier with how the room turned out. It would not have been possible if I hadn't worked with such a line up of amazing sponsors who contributed product as follows:
Wallpaper & Paint - Little Greene
Roman Blinds - Hillarys
Bedside Lamps - Pooky
Bedding - Designers Guild
Cushions: My Billet Doux and Laura Loves
I also received a small discount from Swoon Editions for my bedside tables.
When designing a guest bedroom, comfort should comes first and design a close second. I definitely learnt a few lessons while working on this room and cannot wait to put my new knowledge to good use in future projects.
What did you think of this makeover? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well as your own tips for making a guest bedroom feel comfortable and homely.