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I'm dreaming of a zen bedroom

This has to be the most drawn out room pimp ever – and the changes weren't even that dramatic. But it's done, and our sleep space now feels calmer, zenner and softer underfoot.

Here's how it looked before:

Kind of busy, right? It was always a temporary arrangement; the bridge between the long period when the room – the biggest in the house, and an ensuite – was rented out, and the period when it would be transformed into something new when my boyfriend moved in, the lodgers moved out and everything got switched around.

I liked it as it was and I was always sad that the most interesting headboard in the house didn't fit in the dinky mezzanine room I slept in – it was a £10 find on eBay. 

A bargain, especially with built-in bedside lighting and a shelf across the top I thought. 

And probably, were I less of a clutter hoarder, and had stuck to all-white bedding and less stuff on the walls, it might have remained. But I was yearning for a bedroom clear of as much clutter as would be possible for someone like me. I wanted a headboard you wouldn't see, and an air of peace all around it.

So here's how it looks now.

We had a false half-wall built behind the bed, and treated ourselves to a luxury new kingsize mattress. As for the bed, more of that in a minute.

The whole room feels calmer, though I think something still needs to happen to that bookshelf, it's not relaxing to look at.

Excuse the not great photography, by the way – my camera has been out of action for weeks and so these are phone snaps.

The small, paint-splattered step ladder is the most last-minute Christmas gift I think I've ever bought – I was walking the dog at around 5pm on Christmas Eve and the walk takes us past a friendly junk shop.

This was outside and I thought my boyfriend might like it, as he was short of a bedside table now that the built-in ones had vanished. I was egged on by a cool young American mum with small children who had interesting names who seemed to think it was an amazing idea and called her to her husband inside the shop to tell him my plan. I couldn't really go back with this audience anticipation, and luckily the gift was well-received. Very useful it is too. And an improvement, I think, on this:

On the other side, this is how the upgrade looks:

I'd been fantasising about a floating shelf for months, to elevate and quantity-control the erstwhile floor pile.

The old china seagulls were a present from my brother and sister-in-law years ago.

Here's the other side of the room, which had a bit of a declutter and a fresh coat of paint.

The small drawers are Ikea, and you can see the revamp they had here. The chair was my grandma's and the lampshade was an eBay find. A bit trashy retro, but I think it works in this setting. (Much as I try to escape trashy retro, it seems I am just not that sophisticated.)

The photograph on the wall features my great grandmother and great grandfather, along with my grandma as a toddler with all her siblings. It's a nice thing to look at as I get ready in the mornings.

The little silver pot, another of the many things salvaged from her home after she died, has her name engraved on it, and the date of 1942. In fact, the chest of drawers and mirror were hers too, and the silver mirror and hairbrush, engraved with my name, were 21st birthday gifts to me which she must have bought when I was little and forgotten about, as I found them in a plastic bag, carefully wrapped in tissue paper, with a note in my grandma's handwriting which read 'For Kate's 21st birthday'.

We bought two of these rugs from Ikea to make one big one. Having something warming and soft underfoot when I get out of bed now is SO nice.

The wardrobe, you may have read, dominated one of our August bank holidays.

Ah, yes and the bed. This has also been a challenge.

I couldn't find many non-divan-style bed bases without headboards, and so we decided to get the builder to make one. We bought a whole load of birch ply and some cute legs from Pretty Pegs and a slatted mattress support from Ikea and asked the builder to put everything together. Part of the motivation was also that bed frames are expensive and we'd blown our budget on the mattress, figuring that was more important. Sadly it didn't work out quite as bargainous as we'd hoped.

The plan had been to have the slats far lower down in the base but he built it while we were at work and, well, that didn't happen. As such it was all way higher than anticipated.

This meant that the lovely – and not, I should add, especially cheap – legs had to be brutally chopped down. I painted the sides of the bed white (and, oops, some of the legs too). At some point, I will treat the bare wood showing at the top, which I like. Due to the leg issue there's no storage underneath, and due to the choice of ply and the method of construction, it weighs a tonne. (It took about an hour and a half and two people to lift it enough to get the rugs underneath.) But it feels amazing to sleep in and huge compared to the double we had before, with a very tired mattress. And I guess have learnt a lot for the next time I get a bed made... I'll go for this upscale pallet design, as seen in the incredibly cool Casa Helsinki guesthouse in Argentina, as spotted on Remodelista.

Have any of you had a bedroom makeover recently, or decided to DIY something that didn't quite turn out as you expected? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

1 comment :

  1. virtual voyage:Cool design - great photos!!Simple but unique.....very nice.I like it very much.
    Virtual Voyage Interior Design College