Some Small Updates In Our Bedroom

I thought I would share a few photos of our bedroom on here. I posted the big reveal back in June 2014 here and since then we have made a few small tweeks.bed 15 1

The main changes are the artwork. I treated myself to this print here. Yes, it was expensive, but I have no regrets. Its a long story, but I already had the frame for it when I bought the wrong sized frame for our Velvet Underground print in the dining room from Ikea. So of course it makes complete sense to buy an expensive print for a cheap picture frame rather than throw it away, sell it or donate it. Yep, thats some smart financial thinking from me right there!bed 15 2

I also brought myself the Trellick Tower print above (with a discount code) for my birthday this year. I love it, and who wouldn’t want a bit of Brutalism in the bedroom eh?

That last sentence sounded all kinds of wrong, didn’t it! But I like it because I am proud to live in an ex-local authority house on a council estate and I like big ugly mid century concrete buildings.bed 15 3

I think that I can now say that this room is ‘done’. Phew! All thats left to do is to buy a new door for the room, which we hope to do by the end of the year or early next year when we will be replacing all the crappy, badly hung interior doors in the house in one go.

Our Bedroom Project Part 3 – After

Here is the final reveal post and a guided tour around our bedroom, as specially requested by Rob who has been telling me to hurry up and publish this post!

Yes, that’s Rob, my other half who lives with me and sees this room every day! He is also pretty much the only person who reads this blog* and my biggest cheerleader bless him!

After we** had finished the decorating and furnishing part of the room, we were left with a fairly blank canvas that needed a bit of prettying up. We painted the walls in a neutral greeny-grey colour, chose plain curtains (in a much more practical colour) and had chosen simple, non fussy furniture. So the bedroom was crying out for some colour, pattern and personality to be injected into it!

This part took the longest as I am notoriously indecisive! I over think my choices and never rush into decisions. That is in part, why it has taken me almost 18 months to finally blog about our bedroom. I wanted to make sure that everything was finished and just right before sharing it on here. Well, that and laziness.

If I am honest, the room is not completely finished. We still have a print to hang (which you will see in the photos) but lets face it, when is a project ever finished? Rooms evolve and change over time. While Rob and I are not the spontaneous types to repaint out walls a different colour on a whim every few months, I do re-arrange nik-naks and switch artwork around. So as much as I want to put off this post due to my laziness perfectionist tendencies with the (unfinished) finishing touches, I have decided to go ahead anyway and at some point in the future I can do another post showing the future changes and updates.

Gah, darn this overthinking habit of mine! My initial plans for the bedroom had involved soft feminine touches with some granny chic thrown in the mix. All inspired by my love of crocheted blankets, embroidery art, patchwork quilts, kitschy artwork and Cath Kidston. I even won a Tina print on Ebay to hang on the wall, remember?

Welp, lets just say that the wall art gave me the biggest headache. I just could not make up my mind what I wanted to hang on our freshly plastered walls and where. Eventually Tina was sold on (making me a £20 profit!) and it was back to the drawing board again. I had initially planned to do a picture collage a’ la Beautiful Mess and the rest of the internet, but I kept changing my mind about wether to use coloured frames or plain white frames like we have in the rest of the house…..decisions, decisions eh!

As I said earlier, I wanted to make sure the room was right, as once we have finished a room that is that. So I wanted to make sure that it would stand the test of time (or rather – my indecisiveness tendencies!) I am a fickle so and so when it comes to pattern. So I always play it safe and keep things fairly plain and serene in our house. I am a minimalist who loves colour if that makes sense?

No pattered wallpaper for me thank you! My heart belongs to bright, cheerful primary colours, vintage nik naks, bold graphic artwork, leafy houseplants and vinyl toys. And so, like the rest of the house, thats what I filled our bedroom with!

Right, lets start by coming through the door, oh wait we don’t have a bedroom door. Good job that we don’t have guests stay round who might see us naked (poor things)! We removed it to repair the door frame and to rehang it on the other side of the frame, but as you may know if you read my blog regularly, I hate our internal doors with a passion. So we could not be bothered to repair it etc, we just chucked it and will eventually replace it when we get our act together and sort out some new internal doors.

Anyway I am digressing. Here is what you see when you enter the room.bed 1And here is a little reminder of how things used to look.b&a

Much better IMO! Instead of a bare lightbulb hanging down from the ceiling we have finally hung our cheap Ikea sort of version of the classic MCM Artichoke pendant. Our large colourful artwork is on full glorious display. There is a long story about how I eventually decided on what to hang on the wall involving several wrong sized frames from Ikea and bad decisions, but as this whole blog post is one long story, I will spare you from it!bed 2Next we have a glimpse of our new(ish) wardrobes and our vintage teak mirror from Ebay (of course!). We also have a cute little wooden chair which used to belong to my mother when she was a child and has been a constant piece of furniture in every bedroom of mine for as long as I can remember.

A little tip for all wannabe stylists – If you move your piles of PJ’s and clothes from a room that you will be photographing, make sure that they are not reflected in the mirror!bed 3The wardrobes were a splurge that we hope will last us for the next 20 years. They are Schreiber from Homebase and are much better quality than our previous Ikea flat pack furnishings. We bought them when they were half price and on an extra 15% off shopping event day, so they worked out to be not that much more expensive that our original Ikea bits we bought 8 years previously for our first house! his n hersAnd look at how much crap we can cram into these bad boys! Please excuse the mess on top of them that I really should have cropped out of this snap.
bed 4Here is the WIP corner of the room with a print waiting to be hung, a cactus plant that I need to find a pot for and my West German pottery collection which needs to grow.booksI have recently downsized my books and intend to just hoard vintage books from my childhood, vintage cookbooks and a few much loved favourites. I resolved a few years back to only buy books from charity shops and to donate them back once I have finished with them. So far so good. Except I have been hunting Game of Thrones book 4 for around six months in my local chazzas with no luck!bed 5bed 7Above – Not the greatest photo, but I wanted to show our (still to be hung) morale boosting motto which we need to see each morning.bed 6Next we have our bed made (but still looking messy) with our Orla Kiely imitation bed linen from Ikea and a peak at our bedside tables.bed 7You know when you read far too many blogs when you find yourself saying things to your other half like “I need to style our bedside tables”.

Yes that ever so slightly wanky statement is one that I have uttered! But our bedside tables looked so boring with all their practical things on them like a wake up light, alarm clock, glasses of water, box of tissues, mobiles and loose change etc. I had the urge to style them up big time!

I thought about a pair of matching lamps, or even better some hanging bulbs from the ceiling with coloured wire! But we have our handy string light pull already hanging above the bed (as seen in the second picture above) so there was really no need for any lamps.

I thought about displaying some matching Jonathan Adler type ceramic animals, but it would just be another thing to dust, plus all I could afford with my budget was some garden gnomes from Asda!

In the end I just PAPOI. I put a plant on it! The internets new put a bird on it! The favourite styling/photograph friendly habit of all bloggers out there! Boom! Easy. Plus I love mother-in-laws tongue plants and they are almost impossible to kill. Hence the name.bed 8My view from my side of the bed. Not bad, huh?

Next I am going to finally finish this post with some photos of pretty much the same thing. Sorry about that.

bed 10bed 11toys for boysbed 11

*Totally my fault as I don’t tell anyone about my blog, bother comment on other blogs or network on Twitter. Or actually blog much at all these days.

**Rob also would like it pointed out that every time I say that “we” did something regarding DIY, that I really mean that Rob did something regarding DIY!

Our Bedroom Project Part 2 – During

Part one showed you how our bedroom used to look and left you at the point where we had sold our old Ikea furniture, piled most of our clothes, shoes and junk into the spare bedroom and were about to move our brand new (back in 2013) bed into the office.

Here’s how that looked if you are interested! We were camping in the office for around a month while the later part of the work shown in the pictures below was carried out. It was fun at first, then it soon became less fun and felt like we were squating in the office!officeExcuse the mess and bags for life dumped on the bed. This is a very unstyled photo! The cat loved it though. As you can see her six hour naps were undisturbed during the renovations!wardrobesAbove is a little reminder of the old mirrored wardrobes and all the junk we crammed into them, with one door removed.popsSee above – Our cat is a champion sleeper.crack is wackThe crack of doom.I have no styleAbove – All the doors removed. With most of our stuff removed except for some of my bad fashion choices for all the interwebs to see in their full glory!ward 1Almost gone now! We also removed the dodgy spotlights from the ceiling as only one of them was working and decided not to bother reinstalling them. You can see in this photo where Rob had patched the holes up with plaster board.messThe mess from another angle.plaster casterceilingdoorAfter ripping out the wardrobes we could see that the house originally had two built in wardrobes in the main bedroom and one built in cupboard/wardrobe in the second bedroom.

I will say it again – I have beef with people who rip out original features to replace them with horrible DIY replacements. If it aint broke don’t fix it!

Below is a badly cropped partial floor plan taken from Right Move to show what I mean, how the top floor was originally built.bad croppingRather than any original features/handy storage, we just inherited walls that needed a lot of work. Before Rob put up the plasterboard to cover where the middle door would have been, he wrote this little message on the wall below – what a soppy so and so!brandedThen covered it up.wallWe ripped up the old carpet.floorboardsAnd removed the radiator in preparation for the plasterer.no radBelow – A shot of the other side of the room.bedroom beforeNext we had the walls and ceiling plastered.plasterplaster 2plaster 3all whiteUnfortunately our plasterer mixed up his plaster wrong and it started flaking away as you can see in the photo below. So we had to get him back round to repair it. We are still having a few issues with the plastering. Yeah, not great. But shit happens. No biggie. And now is not the time to go in to it.

crackBelow – After the repair. We also fitted brand new skirting boards. We used the same sized wood as the original skirting, in keeping with the house. We had to replace the original as sanding, filling and repairing it would have taken forever and not made much difference to its battered appearance. It would have been cheaper though. Replacing woodwork costs a small fortune! It is a hidden cost on DIY projects – please be warned people!fixedStay tuned for part 3 – the big reveal! Coming soon! (Once I have actually taken the photos that is!)

Our Bedroom Part 1 – Before

Today I am finally ready to start sharing the transformation of our bedroom. We started this project back at the beginning of 2013. In fact I blogged about our plans here and here. Then I hardly mentioned the bedroom again, except to acknowledge that it would take me a while to blog my before and after post!

True to my word as always, now that we have finished the last few little details, like wiring in a plug and hanging the artwork, I am finally ready to blog about this room.

As you may have already noticed, I do tend to overshare when it comes to stuff about our house, so to keep thing relatively short and (semi) interesting, I am going to publish three posts – a before, a during and an after.

Right, lets get started and share some photos, and I will walk and talk you through the before state of the room!

bedroom b4 1Where do I start with this photo? We had a messy, unorganised book shelf that did not match the rest of the furniture, a pugly waste bin in full view in the corner (surely that is bad feng shui or something?), some pictures just hung on random nails that were sticking out of the walls, unmade bed with a pile of rubbish on it, nik-naks unarranged, tester paint patches and a mug which needed taking downstairs to the kitchen!bed 3When we first moved into our house, this room did not have any curtains. Just a broken curtain pole left behind on the floor (Nice touch. Thanks for that former owners!) So off we went to Dunelm where I selected some plain white curtains, as I wanted nice simple curtains that would not dominate the room.

After we fitted a new pole and hung them, which in itself was a job and a half being a bay window with zero space between the top of the windows and the ceiling, within days the cat had ruined them with her claws as she was bored stupid with not being allowed to go outside for 6 weeks. The little moo!

They were blackout curtains, and did a decent job of keeping the light pollution out. Thats apart from the many little pin prick holes that her claws had left behind! Poppy’s claws created a constellation type of effect which was kind of cute. Except when you wanted to sleep. And yes, white was a bad choice of colour, they did get a little grubby. Hindsight, eh!bed 2

Above – A dark photo of our unmade old bed, piles of junk on the floor and a broken stereo.

bed4Above – Robs arm reflected in the mirror and a pile of cushions and our draft excluder from the lounge on the bed. BTW I have no idea why they are in this photo. Maybe it was taken when we were having carpet fitted in the lounge?

We inherited the magnolia walls, which we eagerly painted samples on when we first moved in. We then lived with the reminders of my dashed hopes/bad decisions on the walls for around two years, until the time was right to decorate. Its amazing the difference between the colour on the chart and the colour that goes on your wall, paint drys so dark!

bed 5Above is our main peeve about the old bedroom – the mirrored wardrobes. I hate seeing my refection, I dodge mirrors like I dodge cameras. These things were enormous, but I managed to get used to avoiding my reflections eye. They were at the top of our hit list of things to go as they were rusty, falling to bits and not to our style.bed 6Right, thats the full 360° of the old bedroom in all its glory! I cannot believe how messy we used to be,I have got a stress headache just looking back at these photos!

In the photo above you can almost see the cracks on the ceiling and how bad the plastering was. When we viewed our property, I remember the previous owner proudly telling us that he had stripped off all the woodchip wallpaper from the walls. Lets just say that he stripped most of it off! There were a few missed patches and lots of nicks in the plaster work from his scraper. He then painted the room with a satin finish paint which really highlighted all the imperfections. See above the radiator for reference. We knew that when we came to decorating this room we would have to cough up the extra cash to get a professional plasterer around to repair the damage.

Next, we moved our bed into the second bedroom (which is Robs office where he works from home) and set about demolishing the wardrobes. Stay tuned for part two!

Bargain Bedding

I do love a bargain! A while back I blogged about bedding, and I picked out this bedding set from John Lewis for my wish list. It retails at £50 for a double duvet cover not including the pillows.

The other day, I was browsing in my local Wilkinsons store and spotted this nearly identical bedding set for £11 (including two pillows!) Needless to say I snagged up the last set in double size.

Excuse the crappy phone picture

Please excuse the crappy phone picture

I think it looks rather dandy in the bedroom on our new(ish) bed!

Bitching Stitchings

Here is a little peek of some pictures I have ready to hang in our bedroom so far. As well as the newly acquired Tina print!stich pics

As you can see I have done a little DIY to the frames. I know that it is not much of an accomplishment just painting them, but for me its an achievement as I am a bit rubbish at craft type stuff!

I have experimented before with spray paint, but after spraying our patio pink last summer and having a picture frame stuck to newspaper, with loads of drip runs on it. I said never again and decided to DIY these frames the old fashioned way, with some paint and a paintbrush! I will save the spray paint for if I feel the need to tag a wall or something.

The rest of our prints around the house are framed in simple white frames. I did plan to re-frame the large embroidery, but I thought I would have a go at painting it yellow first and then if that turned out to be another DIY disaster, then I would take it along to my local framers.

How it looked before

How it looked before

This picture used to belong to my Nan. I asked for this picture, as it bought back memories of my visits to Liverpool and staying with my grandparents. Apparently one of their next-door neighbours made it for her around 40 years ago. Nan would probably hate the yellow, but would be pleased I kept her picture!during

I on the other hand love yellow, I love pops of yellow in a room. Its so cheerful! The owl embroidery I have blogged about before here. I hated the boring brown frame, so jazzed it up in another favourite colour of mine, pink. The flower stitching I found for 99p in a charity shop and painted the horrible plastic gold surround turquoise.

This paint from Hobbycraft is the bomb! I am fighting the urge to paint everything I can with it! Rob pointed out to me that the paints I chose were like the printer colours CMYK. I did not realise when I picked them, but he is right!

I know I am prattling on about the pictures in our bedroom far too much on here. I’m kind of boring myself about it. But here I go yet again, sorry about that!

My first thoughts and feelings on how to accessorise the bedroom, were to work around my crocheted blankets which I love so much, and granify the room with a collection of embroidered pictures and even have a few doilies scattered artfully around the room. Cath Kidston would be very proud of me!image-1-1024x1024                                                       Image above from here

I would love to build an embroidery collection like above. But then I am pulled away from my granny chic leanings, with my love of mid century modern and kitschy mainstream art. So you know what, I think I am just going to do the full works! I know that these elements do not necessarily work together, but I love all of them. At the end of the day I think its best to just follow your heart and fill your home with things you love. There are no rules to decorating, only your own imagination (and budget) and that’s why I love interior design.IMG_4062-1024x768

Image above from here

Not that I have a clue or any talent myself when it comes to interior design BTW!

 

Bare Naked Ladies

Our newly decorated bedroom’s walls, carpet, curtains and new furnishings are plain and simple. I really don’t know why we did not choose this furniture range to jazz things up a bit!

The wardrobes and chest of drawers are also quite contemporary. So because the bedroom currently looks fairly modern, I feel that I need to vintage it up* a bit to make it have more personality!

I feel the best way to do this (vintage it up*) is by hanging some art on the walls. I did a post here about some prints I like on Etsy, but having the privilege of no life and spare time (I am only half joking here!) to think about this, I have now decided that in the bedroom I want lots of glamourous ladies hanging on the walls.

I have long admired kitschy mainstream art from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I adore Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl painting. I have a reproduction print hanging pride of place in our dining room and it is always a talking point! Most visitors to our house think that I have very odd taste, and cannot understand why I would want this on my wall. Some people, naming no names *cough* Mum *cough*, absolutely hate this picture and tell me it is ugly nearly every time they visit!

click on image to view source

click on image to view source

But I am not easily offended and I do appreciate that its not to everyone’s taste! I love art, design and illustration. I am a former art student, and I did actually study art history A Level for a while (before I dropped the subject, but lets not talk about that!) The art world is great, but very serious. It hates this kind of mass produced art. You will never see a Tretchikoff, Lynch or Shabner original at the Tate. Which is a shame, because I would venture out of Kent up to London town’s galleries loads more if they did!

All three artists had very little recognition and credit during their lifetimes. Tretchikoff was ridiculed by art critics, very little is known about J H Lynch and Louis Shabner does not even have a Wikipedia page!

She's a beauty eh? Image from igetakickoutofyou.me

She’s a beauty eh? Image from igetakickoutofyou.me

But lets get back on track here, I am currently the winning bidder on a original Tina by J H Lynch↑ on eBay, which I am really hoping I win, as its collection only in Maidstone. How serendipitous is that eh? Its not often items I like are local!

I am not the only person out there who likes this kind of art, it has a cult following and prices for originals have increased slowly over the years and they are highly sought after. As I am a bit of a cheap skate and famously unlucky on eBay, I will probably buy some cheapish reproduction prints. But I will always keep one eye open for an original, you never know I might find one for a pound at a boot fair! Then again, I might walk on the moon!

Many moons ago I bought an issue of Living Etc magazine that featured a tour of Jamie Theakston’s house. I think it was published around five years ago now, and I have long since recycled this mag, but his house tour stuck in my head.

I never thought much of Jamie Theakston before, but after seeing his stylish family home I have a new found respect for him. In particular I loved his wall of art (see image below↓), it made me have one of those eureka moment thinking “so that’s why everything on eBay goes for so much – all the rich and famous people bloody buy it!”

click on picture for link

click on picture for link

Please do have a butchers at this fantastic Pinterest board put together by Jenny Keily. Which, if any, are your favourites? And would you want any of these on your walls?Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 9.38.41 PM
I think my faves are Tina, Woodland Goddess, Nymph, Nicola, Melanie and Miss Wong. Am I right in saying that these paintings also have the best names ever BTW!

*™ Kirstie Allsopp

Bedding-Smedding

Our bedroom is nearly finished! The walls are painted, the new skirting boards and doorframes are fitted and glossed, the pendant lampshade that we bought 3 years ago is now down from the loft and hanging on the ceiling, the new curtains have been hung, the furniture has been delivered and assembled, and we are back sleeping in the room again having camped in the office for 6 odd weeks! – Not much fun when you work from home, let me tell you!

I really cannot say how long it will take me to take some pictures and post the room tour on here. We still have lots to do to get the room finished and I want to be happy with the room and the photos. This is not a case of me being a peferctionist, it is more a case of once I post the room tour, I probably will not bother to take any future photos of updates we make to the room. So I might as well wait until everything is done and I am happy with the room!

This is were the fun part of the decorating starts, because all that is left to do is the finishing touches, like finding some choice nik-naks to display, pictures to hang up on the walls and the soft furnishings!

Our bedroom is quite currently plain. To be honest in my decorating I am a bit afraid of pattern. I am not afraid of colour, but the thought of chosing a patterned wallpaper for a feature wall scares the crap out of me. I admire other peoples choices and taste in home magazines, but I just cannot decide if I like one particular pattern enough to commit to it being on my walls for many years ahead and potentially ruining the plaster. Instead I personalise our house by adding colour through accessories, cushions, soft furnishings and wall art. Decorating for wimps some of you might say, but I chose things that are easy to change and move around basically!

The easiest way to bring pattern, personality and colour into our bedroom is with the bedding. At this point Rob is probably rolling his eyes while reading this, as the one thing that we do not need is anymore duvet covers. We have enough (lets be honest, everyone just needs two really, to alternate when washing) but it does not stop me from internet window shopping bedding!

We do not have that much bedding (honestly!), we currently have four options to play with, all of which will go with the new bedroom scheme, so I will not be buying anymore. Plus I like a bargain and I will not pay more that £30 for a set, and all of below cost considerably more!

But if they ever have a sale on!……..000312659↑From John Lewis here.000319266

 ↑From here. And basically all the rest of Orla’s bedding! Love it!dande↑From here.

A Before And After

Recently I have gone from this………fromTo this……..to

Yep, from a chest of drawers to three bin bags full of clothes.

Right before Xmas I managed to sell our battered bed frame on Gumtree within a week. While I was browsing on the site, I found a local ‘wanted’ ad that someone had placed for Ikea Malm chest of drawers in Oak.

A few emails and texts later, I sold the big chest of drawers and our two bedside cabinets. It was earlier than we planned on doing so, but sometimes you just got to take the money and run!

So this means we will definitely have to invest in some new bedroom furniture! Good job the sales are on………..although they are on all year round!