When we left off our bedroom makeover project, we had a long list of jobs and an even longer list of decisions to make, from coving style to paint colours.
Here’s a quick reminder of our ‘before photos’…
After a few weeks camping out in the spare room and spending our weekends stripping textured paper from the ceiling, installing coving, fixing floorboards and painting every single inch of the room – we’re done!
How do you decide on a colour scheme? There are as many methods as there are colours. But here’s what worked for this room: starting with a statement piece of furniture, and working outwards.
I fell in love with this mid-century modern rattan bed from made.com the second I saw it. I have a longstanding love affair with rattan and was in the market for a new bed to provide a design anchor for the room makeover.
What I hadn’t fully appreciated until the bed arrived, was just how beautiful this rattan is.
As well as creamy beiges, there are streaks of soft olive green, sparks of burnt gold and flashes of a deep coppery rust. It’s an absolute thing of beauty, and the colour scheme was born there and then.
Choosing the right paint
Pulling out the olive green for the walls was an easy choice – with white floorboards and a newly-coved white ceiling, I needed one of the punchier rattan colours on the walls.
After much deliberation, I chose Farrow & Ball’s Mizzle for the walls, skirting boards and radiator. It’s a gorgeous soft green with ever-so-slightly blueish-grey undertones. In our east-facing bedroom, it positively glows in the mornings as the light streams in through the two tall windows.
The best advice I can give for paint sampling is to put the whole tester pot across a wall, and keep an eye on it throughout the day – ideally on days with different weather. It’s incredible how the light transforms the tone of paint, and you may love it in golden hour, but it could leave you cold when the sun goes down.
Quick tip: want to make your ceilings feel higher? Paint your skirting boards the same colour as your walls, instead of opting for the classic white treatment. It extenuates the walls and gives a more contemporary finish.
Catch up on the fireplace saga here if you want to find out how what we thought was a washing line down the side of our shed turned out to be a salvaged Edwardian antique…
Firmly fixed to the wall, it’s now the focal point of the room, anchoring the colour scheme with its shock of matte black. I styled it with prints, vintage books and plants.
Doing justice to that incredible piece of furniture was going to take some thoughts. Simple mid-century bedside tables (now sold out but similar here) and some mid-century lamps (discontinued, similar here) frame it on either side. A pair of single-line illustrations in oak frames mirror the symmetry of the bed.
As far as bedding goes, I’m a complete linen convert. I’ve had a few questions about whether linen’s worth the price tag and, yes, it is. It’s wonderfully cool in summer but, most importantly of all, looks great without ironing.
I will never iron another set of bedding as long as I live, and that’s worth its weight in gold (which isn’t much, obv, because linen’s pretty light).
The set I chose pulls out the darker olive tones in the rattan, while the throw cushions reference those coppers and rusts. I think the finished effect lets the Mizzle paint step back and become almost a neutral canvas for the richer colours.
After reinstating a period ceiling rose, we chose That Rattan Lampshade that you probably see every time you open Instagram. What can I say? I never promised not to be extremely basic.
The desk, chair and other pieces were a legacy from my last house. At some point, that chair will migrate elsewhere in the house and a more fitting one will go in here.
The door hooks were a total bargain, and another opportunity to faff endlessly with some styling.
There are one or two snagging jobs left in here. We still need to upgrade all the electrical fittings to brass and pin down a few extension cables.
But overall, this makeover did exactly what I wanted at the outset: it changed the way we live in this space. This is my ultimate litmus test for successful design. Instead of a slightly shabby room where we avoided looking at the patchy walls, and stepped over the floorboards that creaked, we have a space that we love.
It’s a complete pleasure now to sit up in bed on a Saturday morning with a coffee. Instead of rushing downstairs, we stay put a little longer. As the sun tracks across the street outside, shafts of light stream in and travel from the corner of the room across the fireplace.
I watch out for it hitting that trailing ivy now. That’s when I know it’s probably time to get up – if nothing else, I need another coffee…