Welcome to this week’s edition of 10 Beautiful Rooms and the best of this week’s instagram, and yes we are, so far, resisting the Christmas decorations for another week. Today is all about warm and cosy spaces and, it turns out, quite a lot of fabulous bedrooms.
But while you wander through these kitchens, I would first of all like to say thank you to all of you once again for your support and loyal readership over the six years since The Mad House opened its doors. It won Best Interior Design blog at the Vuelio Awards on Friday night, cementing its position as the No 1 UK Interiors Blog and that is down to you. If you didn’t continue to visit and read and comment then this blog wouldn’t be where it is and for that I’m truly thankful to all of you.
When I started this blog in 2012 it was as a kind of online CV. Freelance journalism commissions were becoming harder to find as people stopped buying newspapers in favour of digital platforms. The blog certainly led to more work, but it also took off far beyond where I could ever have imagined and I write very rarely for newspapers these days. Six years, two books, one podcast, over 2,000 blog posts and almost two million hits later (with a third book on the way) and I’m so happy to have furnished this corner of the internet and thrilled that so many of you choose to join me in it every day. Thank you.
So pull up a chair and let’s carry on with these rooms shall we? All three are warm and cosy in different ways but all have lots of natural wood in them. Ellie’s below is the most modern but the wooden stools and floor keep it warm and provide a foil to the sleek modern cabinets. If you do nothing else in a room find some wood – vintage is always good, but modern works too, and bring it into the room.
This dark sitting room by Rebecca of Malmo and Moss looks like a great place to sit on these cold dark days doesn’t it? Again it’s a largely black and white scheme, but the battered leather armchair brings warmth and just look at all the different textures from the patterned tiles to the shaggy rug and the Pampas grass and that’s suddenly a thing on Instagram. A story in The Telegraph a year ago said sales had plummeted due to its dodgy connotations but perhaps Instagram will bring it back from the cold. And if you’re not a British reader and aren’t sure what I’m talking about then click the link to understand.
Now, bedrooms. There are so many gorgeous ones around at the moment that I thought I would gather them together here. I know it’s Monday and perhaps you don’t want to see cosy bedrooms when you’re trudging through the rain to work, but if you’re reading this later then maybe it will inspire you.
Pearl Lowe has gone full wallpaper and it looks wonderful. So much better than if there was just a single wall although if you were nervous of all that pattern you could paint either above or below the dado rail. And if you don’t have a dado rail then you can always put one in which is what we are about to do in the spare room.
We plan to put anaglypta below the rail for texture and then paint it a different colour from the wall above. Only we haven’t quite nailed down the colours yet. It’s very unlike me to be so indecisive but, for once I’m stuck. I think it’s because we have a grey sofa bed in there that can’t move and it’s hampering my decision.
But just feast your eyes on these two lovely bedrooms by Susanna of SHNordic and Fiona of Around Houses. Both colour palettes are muted and minimal but just look at all the different textures. That’s the basic lesson here. That and a bit of artful rumpling.
One from the dark side now and this is so cosy and tempting. If you are painting your bedroom you need to decide if you want it dark so that it’s perfect for late night reading and sleeping or if you need it lighter so you can get up in the morning.
I always admire pictures like these but I know that I need a light bedroom or I won’t get out of bed in the morning. We have compromised with a dark wall behind the bed, which matches the headboard and means that I see it when I go into the room but not when I’m lying in bed. One of the, possibly rare, occasions when a single feature wall really works as it can double up as a dramatic headboard.
Two black and white rooms for you now. One is a child’s room which is so pretty – note the wooden skittles for warmth. You could easily accessorise this with splashes of any accent colour you like. The other clever idea is painting the wall around the bed to zone that area from the rest of the room. Perfect for a child’s bedroom where they may need space to play or read as well as sleep. You asked for a post on kids’ rooms and I will do one for you in the new year.
Finally, the tongue and groove in this bedroom provides a wonderful backdrop to the bed and note the shaker pegs at the top, which make for great storage if carried on round the room. You can hang pictures on them as well as clothes or baskets of books.
It’s a great way to decorate a spare room, as Sophie and I discussed in last week’s podcast, where you don’t really want to fill the space with a wardrobe but a few hooks can be really useful. If you put them high enough you can hang long clothes and coats on them too.
And so we come to the end of our tour. I hope you have enjoyed these rooms and thank you all so much once again for your support. It makes all the late nights and weekends worth it.