At last – it’s finished!
Three years after we started our 4 room shake up, the last room – our bedroom – is done.
You may remember we started with a re-roof, then we converted the loft for me to use as a studio. This gave us valuable storage space, as we had never been able to use the loft before, and allowed me to move my studio out of the box room, freeing up a room for my son to move into (him and Lily had been sharing).
Next came swapping our smaller double bedroom with my daughter for the larger double the kids had shared at the back of the house. This included the tricky 6 month gap where we ended up camping on our lounge floor every night, and had no storage whilst we sorted out our room. You may remember I thought I was going mad last year when *every* room in the house had boxes from other rooms that couldn’t be sorted until something else was finished. We also needed to move the boiler downstairs and took the chance to move and replace all the upstairs radiators. All 3 bedrooms then needed total redecoration (my job); with Robert’s having a loft bed which Gary designed and built, and ours to have built-in storage (again by my very handy Gary, I’m a lucky gal!).
I can’t express how pleased I am to finally have a finished bedroom, and to have solved many of our space problems moving all our rooms. For the longest time it wasn’t even possible to do any sorting and clearing, because there was nowhere to unpack anything into!
Our compact house (and bijou, Mostyn) really did need some clever storage ideas to comfortably fit four of us and my working studio into. For me, the key to the whole solution was not only to free up space, but almost more importantly to create or enhance the *feeling* of space.
Things like *having nothing stored under the bed* were paramount to me! Since we moved into our house in 2000, underneath my bed has been a solid mass of things that should be in the loft. I now just love the way my Ikea circle rug disappears under the bed.
My inspiration was a kind of Huf Haus/ Miami contemporary meets a log cabin in the woods, and I have been following the current modern rustic trend with great interest – it echoes exactly what I wanted.
So, after much collecting of ideas on Pinterest my bedroom has turned out as I planned it, except it gives me such a feeling of peace and serenity, which I hadn’t expected.
We chose Farrow & Ball ‘Skylon’ grey for the walls, and kept the existing warm oak-style laminate flooring.
Because of our very funny shaped rooms with fireplace and thin alcoves it was going to be really hard to get an off the shelf wardrobe solution to fit that didn’t end up wasting a lot of precious space. Fitted wardrobes was really the only way to go to get both the storage we needed, and the simple look I craved, but would reduce the size of the room dramatically. Then I remembered good old mirrored sliding doors – how very 70′s! Gary was not keen! However, when I found some with a grey mirror, it changed the feel of the whole thing and we knew this would fit our idea perfectly.
We contacted Sharp’s Bedrooms first, for a quote, but decided that £8,400 was a little beyond our budget (seriously, though??!!), and after much searching found Gliderobes who take your measurements and create a bespoke design to fit your exact setting. They then issue all the components of the wardrobe in kit-form for assembly yourself, or by hiring your own carpenter – this option was only £1700, (but would obviously would have been more if we had paid a local carpenter to fit it for us).
I am really pleased with the result. It was no mean feat to measure the room in 3 dimensions when not one single wall or part of the ceiling was plum in any direction. Gary deliberated and re-measured many times – it’s a lot of money to spend and find you measured the space for the door wrongly. Creating a square-frame from these walls was very hard, and you can also see from some of the pictures that our ceiling curves downwards on the outside wall edges which meant that I couldn’t quite have my floor to ceiling mirrors without having a corner cut away.
The kit that arrived had a massive amount of components, all cut to fit our exact room, and there was not one issue or part missing (Ikea, take note!).
That wall hanging? Like The Dude’s rug in the Big Lebowski, that tied the whole room together. Thoughts of one day lying in my bed looking at those trees far off in the distance, reflected in the mirror was what kept me going through all those months sleeping on my lounge floor.
Both bedside lamps and the pendant light were from Habitat. One look at my lighting Pinterest board will tell you that I looked *everywhere* for the right designs. I had decided on these 3 from Habitat, and when I went back to buy them in January, found they were on sale – 40% off, thanks very much.
I really wanted some retro green polyester single colour floor length curtains with a textural pattern, try as I might, I really couldn’t find them (not surprising, it was a rather specific idea) so was amazed to find *exactly* what I wanted, all be it in a charcoal grey from Ikea.
It’s still a work in progress, I’m not completely happy with what’s on my merchant’s chest of drawers. The Tiffany-style lamp and books is great, but the Ikea decoration hanger, that I was using for my own jewellery was a pretty flimsy buy and is wonky already!
The bed, slatted shelves and merchant’s chest were all from our old bedroom and just basic pine items that we had made to our own design and originally stained with a mixture of Jacobean Oak and Mahogany, then mat-varnished. They still look great with this look and the grey, I think. All they needed was a little touch up here and there with a dark brown permanent marker (a great find!) and we are going to upgrade those handles for something more contemporary. I’m looking forward to deciding on an art piece to mount on the wall above, soon.
Of course, it’s not all about mirrors, because our wardrobe drives me giddy with glee and just what we have crammed into it! One slide of a door, and the illusion of space is broken, but just look at all the storage!
All our clothes are inside, plus our paperbacks (they used to live ‘out’ on the shelves in the old room) and we’ve even worked out that if I move my shoes, we can fit all our old cds in there, too. Ok, I may not have the tidiest wardrobe, ever …
We even persuaded the wardrobe company to specially leave the fire hearth hole open, so that our nested suitcases fit in. Now that does make me happy.
So if you want me, I may well be languishing in bed, looking at the trees – inside or out.
Products we chose:
Bespoke fitted sliding wardrobes : Gliderobes.co.uk
Curtains, rug, wonky accessory hanger, side tables both Hemnes : Ikea
Bedside lamps, pendant light shade : Habitat
Wall Tapestry : Urban Outfitters (US website)
Bed, merchant’s chest, slatted wall shelves : bespoke stained pine, from previous room
Paint : Skylon Grey, Farrow & Ball
Laminate Flooring : already in the room, originally from B&Q
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