Mad About . . .

5 Ways To Revamp Your Bedroom

18th May 2017

It’s the third part of my mini series 5 ways to revamp a room and this time we’re looking at the bedroom. We have recently revamped The Mad House bedroom by changing the wallpaper (see below) and painting the walls. Neither of those tips appear in this list as I imagine you can work that one out for yourselves – just remember if you are repainting to do the skirting boards, picture rails and radiators all the same as the walls. Now, on with the list:

grey bedroom photographed by Paul Craig styled by Kate Watson-Smyth

grey bedroom photographed by Paul Craig

Let’s start with easy one and that’s the SOFT FURNISHINGS by which I mean the stuff that just involves shopping. So we’re looking at new bedding and maybe a throw to add some colour and texture and come to mention it, warmth, given that it must be the coldest spring on record*. Now it’s a truth universally acknowledged that boys hate cushions on beds. Actually I’m kind of there with them on that one. The only time my bed has cushions on it is when the photographer is coming round – see above. After all, I leave my bedroom in the morning and go back when it’s bedtime so I’m not sure who the cushions are for in the meantime, as all I’m doing is either arranging them or moving them.

Instead, I would suggest mixing and matching your pillow cases so you can bring in some colour that way – you can’t see clearly in the picture of my bedroom above but there are two pink pillowcases, one grey and one that is actually black and white stripes – a bit like mattress ticking. That way everything on the bed has a reason to be there and it doesn’t take you 20 minutes to prepare the bed before you can get in. This is also important as many of us have small bedrooms and there’s just no room fill the floor with cushions.

bed from graham and green

update your room with a new rug bed from graham and green

Finally, think about a new bedside rug. Either two small ones either side or one large one that goes under the bed and comes out at the sides and end. This is entirely budget dependent. We are currently using the two sheepskins that the boys had in their pushchairs when they were tiny. I think The Mad Husband has the better deal though as his is all soft and lovely whereas I have clearly ended up with the one that was covered in baby food and vom and it’s just not that luxurious underfoot. Time I took my own advice and bought new rugs I think.

black and white bedding with green accessories via hmhome

black and white bedding with green accessories via hmhome

Moving (swiftly) on. The next think you can do is change THE BEDSIDE LAMPS.  Now as with the sitting room, there are various ways you can do this. Firstly – swap lights with another room. Costs nothing and will feel like an instant change. Then, as in last week’s post you can do things like replacing the flex or the shade to ring the changes a little.

But perhaps you want to take things to the next level? I don’t know about you but I find that bedside tables can get very cluttered by the time you have the pile of books that you haven’t quite got round to reading, the alarm clock, phone which is charging, lipsalve, glass of water… the list goes on. And if you’re trying to find room to fit a lamp as well it’s a midnight crash, glass of water all over the phone waiting to happen. So, think about calling in the electrician and fitting either wall lights or hanging bedside lights.

wall sconce from anthropologie

wall sconce from anthropologie

The easy way for the former is to buy a wall light that simply plugs in to the socket and just needs fixing to the wall. Or you can buy that one switches on and off by the light itself which is a bigger deal as it will involve chasing out the plaster and making good and painting afterwards. But then only you can decide if it’s worth the aggro to free up the space. The key is to make sure you put it at the right height so that you don’t hit your head on it but can easily reach up to flick it on and off without having to stretch too far. Mine (top picture again) is ever so slightly too high and involves and stretch and a grunt every time. Which I’m sure isn’t at all irritating for The Mad Husband. Mind you we won’t get into irritating habits here, thank you very much.

bed from westelm

think about a hanging bedside light to save space on the bedside table bed from westelm

If that idea isn’t right for you then how about customising the central pendant light? Buy a two way outlet ceiling rose, lots of flex and a couple of hooks and drape two lights from the central light to hang down either side of the bed. This is relatively easy, but to make it really successful you need an electrician to install a couple of switches either side of the bed so you can turn the light off a) independently from either side of the bed and b) without getting out of said bed.

Right, bedside lights sorted and new bedding bought. Next thing on the list is not so much for looks as for practicality. Buy some SLIM FELT COVERED HANGERS. Now we all know that wire hangers are bad for you clothes not to mention they tangle like the very devil if you get more than two together. A few years back I spent a small fortune at Ikea on wooden hangers. Looked great. Took up loads of space. So two years ago I found a set of flat hangers at TK Maxx and swapped everything over. Result. The wardrobe was only half full. I had to go shopping for more clothes…. On a series note the felt stops things sliding off and they really do take up much less room so you can see what you have, fit what you have into the cupboard and stop draping things all over the floor and the chair. Well, in theory anyway.

padded bedhead by bianca hall

padded bedhead by bianca hall seen her on her instagram account

Time for more of a project now. This will depend on the type of bed you have but think about CHANGING THE BEDHEAD  to something more luxurious or more up to date. You can make a new bedhead as the talented Bianca Hall has done with lots of long bits of wood, some foam and a glue gun.

Another idea which I saw recently and which looks great is to use tiles as a headboard. Now that might seem a little cold and unfriendly but that’s what all the mismatched pillows are for don’t forget. I have also seen this done with vintage shutters propped up behind a divan and, of course, don’t forget you can just paint an interesting shape on the wall and make the suggestion of a bedhead – this will also save space for those who don’t have much of it.

tiles used as bedheads in the massaeria moroseta hotel in Puglia

tiles used as bedheads in the massaeria moroseta hotel in Puglia

Finally, THE WINDOW DRESSINGS, possibly one of the most important elements in the bedroom aside from the bed and one which can make all the difference to a good night’s sleep. We have kept it very simple and just have plain white black-out blinds on our windows. But then our wallpaper on the wardrobe is quite full-on so simple blinds work best in there. But this is one room where there might be minimal furniture so curtains can look great and bring a decorative element to the space as well as a softness that blinds don’t give. So there are three rules with curtains: high ’em high and hang ’em long and hang ’em wide.

hang your curtains high and wide

hang your curtains high and wide via elements of style blog

They must be floor length – amazing how many people don’t do that and – a lesser known trick is if you hang them high over the window they will make your ceilings look higher and your windows look bigger. Obviously, this will also reduce the amount of light they block out when they are open. The same goes for blinds by the way. Rather than hanging them just above the window, hanging them as close to the ceiling as you can and then pull them down so they graze the top of the frame. It will look as if you are pulling them down over the top part of the window as if you had really big windows.

high curtains high and wide image by Kay Prestney of Kinship Creative

hang curtains high and wide to make your windows look bigger  image by Kay Prestney of Kinship Creative

  • I haven’t actually checked that but it definitely feels like it


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  • Reply Tabitha 23rd May 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Great tips here, the wall lamps for the bedside table are an ingenious solution to a universal problem! If you don’t fancy doing the electrical legwork however, why not try a simple wall-fixed battery light. They can be fairly cheap and minimalist in design, with a simple push ability to switch on that won’t have you grabbing at the wall in the middle of the night.

  • Reply Jeanne Bernard 18th May 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I’m with you on the bedroom pillows. Too much trouble unless you are styling your house to sell. Would you share the wallpaper design in your bedroom?? Great ideas. Cheers.

    • Reply Kate Watson-Smyth 18th May 2017 at 2:27 pm

      It’s Hollywood Grape by Neisha Crosland. I have loved it for years.

  • Reply Stephanie Heath 18th May 2017 at 10:08 am

    Really useful tips, Kate and gorgeous to look at. Now, which one, which one?
    LOVE your blog.

  • Reply Sue Luckin 18th May 2017 at 9:21 am

    A brilliant blog today, Kate, soooo blown away by the beautiful tiled headboard in the Puglia hotel. Thank you as always. SueX

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