The online world can be such a misleading one can’t it? We look at (carefully edited) images of people’s homes, fashion, lives and think everyone has it all figured out and why can’t I be like that? I receive lovely messages from people who see a picture of our living room and say “your home is so beautiful you must be so pleased”.
And yes, the bits we’ve worked hard on I am DELIGHTED with, but there are so many that I don’t share like our spare room that still has piles of unpacked belongings after 7 years. The gaps in our landing floorboards after I pulled up all the carpet and still haven’t gotten any further with our staircase restoration. The fact that despite appearances, our kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bathroom are all just temporary makeovers until we can get round to the major works.
That said, little easy improvements ARE worth it if it makes your home a more comfortable place to be whilst like us you save up to afford larger renovation works. I can’t imagine how much I used to hate our kitchen and how much I love it now just from a few simple things like painting the cupboards and replacing the flooring. We used to think that it was pointless to bother even giving anything a quick coat of paint as “it will all be changed at some point” and well, here we are 7 years later and in some cases that “some point” still hasn’t happened.
Our bedroom is definitely a case in point of how a space can be transformed without too much effort. Tucked away in the loft after our home’s previous owners did a conversion, we really love the feeling of space, light and being separate from the rest of the house. That said, we’d love to do our own renovation works to the space, adding a walk-in dressing area and swinging the bed around so it’s not trapped under the sloping part of the ceiling.
In the meantime though I’ve recently been working on a few changes here and there which have massively improved how much we enjoy the room and helped to make it a little more cohesive.
There’s no getting away from it, I think one of my most popular DIY activities over the past 6 months has been painting the wardrobes. Our former owners left their wardrobes and it was a fine cost to save but they left a lot to be desired. The first thing I always saw coming up the stairs and into the room.
Now though they are completely transformed and look as though we paid a few hundred pounds for them, all it took was some paint, a long weekend, a little bit of MDF and some new handles and voila!
Creating Multi-Use Spaces
This past year has seen many of us spending a lot more time at home, if not all our time at home. My husband has been working from home full time since March 2020 and immediately set up camp in our office, which left me self-employed at the time to create a new space for myself. As I didn’t have to be 9-5 at a desk, I chose to create a workspace area from my dressing table and it was ideal for the flexible working pattern I had then.
Lighting is everything in most rooms, especially a bedroom. I don’t tend to use central pendant lighting very often, much preferring the softer ambience of table lamps. Still, if there has to be lighting suspended from the ceiling then turning it into a feature rather than an eyesore really helps to enjoy your room more.
The lower ceilings that you often find in a loft conversion can cause difficulties in finding attractive flush pendant lamps and we’d already replaced the spotlight that was here when we moved in with something functional, but unexciting. Once I started to makeover various pieces in the bedroom it became an ugly focal point that I kept trying to find a way of blocking out of photos.
Now though I’m delighted to have worked with the wonderful team at independent brand houseof who have sent me their brass 3 light flush ceiling light and I absolutely love it. Featuring asymmetrical globes suspended on brass arms, it makes a huge difference to the feel of the room and is really cohesive with the handles on the wardrobes and drawers.
Whilst I must admit that painting is definitely my safety zone when it comes to giving furniture a face lift, people do SO many inspiring things to create luxe look statement pieces from furniture they already have. I’m very much still finding my feet in this domain, but adding a lollipop stick top to my Malm drawers creating a herringbone effect look is one of my favourite projects.
I also created a fun bench for our bedroom (or you know, handy photo prop) using a shelf from an old abandoned table that I upholstered and added hairpin legs to. Its taken me a while to understand and enjoy the value of upcycling furniture and I won’t lie, I’m excited for car boots to reopen – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that!
We have this strange little nook in one corner of our bedroom where there is a low Velux window and a shelf in front of it – I think it may be to facilitate escape in case of a fire but it’s such an odd spot. For years I didn’t know what to do with it and then at the start of lockdown last year I had a lightbulb moment.
I decided to paint the shelf part of the window in a tile effect pattern to at least spruce it up and it has since become my plant-propagating and reading area. The light from the window is great and often the warmest part of the house, and I tucked an ottoman and a cushion into the corner. It’s a great spot too to look out over the estate we live on and has turned this nothing corner into one of my favourite parts of the room.
There we go – I hope that’s given you some ideas on how you can give a little refresh to any room even if it’s only temporary and allow you to enjoy the space more. It may only be for 6 months or so but it’s always worth it. There will be a few more bedroom projects to follow so watch this space.
Thank you so much to houseof for supplying new bedroom lighting. They have not asked for a blog post feature but as it’s one I was planning on writing anyway I thought I’d include them.