Bedroom renovations: my tips for a calm but stylish sanctuary

Bedroom featuring neutral shades of beige, white, grey

Earlier this year, the main project on my mind was getting our bedroom sorted for summer – and now it’s the ideal place to snuggle down and weather the darker months. And after our house renovation last year (we created a new master bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, and ensuite over our kitchen extension – feels like we never stopped working) took up a lot of time, I’ve finally gotten around to putting up curtains too.

So we can keep out dreary days now, and when the sun starts waking up earlier again so will we. It’s great for morning larks and when you need to be out the door early, but not so good for lie-ins – so we’ll enjoy those while we can.

But refurb or not, we all spend at least a third of our lives in bed. So, really, it’s worth putting time and money into your sleep area to create a haven you can escape to and unwind after a busy day.

Plan ahead

With so many ideas, colours, and interior inspiration out there, where do you start? And how can you pull all of your ideas into one beautiful, coherent scheme?


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This is usually a job for an interior designer and I personally think a one-off consultation can be money well spent, as they will help you put colours and ideas together or elevate your plans to something better. Or, if you can, invest in ongoing project support where the designer is on hand from start to finish.

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Whichever route you choose – you may prefer to do it all yourself – always begin by creating a moodboard to collate things that represent your vision, including paint, material, and fabric samples, photos of designs you like, and items on your wishlist.

Once you start putting your finds together, you’ll likely notice a theme or discover some parts won’t work or you actually don’t like something after all. I find apps such as Pinterest and Instagram great for gathering ideas for a new look.

For instance, when I was looking for the best green for our bedroom, I searched the name of Farrow & Ball paint colours I liked as a hashtag. It was fascinating to see how a shade can look so different in varying lights and styles of room schemes based on the images others have shared.

Warm up to neutrals

There are numerous paint colours, wallpaper styles, and furniture shapes to add a design statement to your bedroom.

Bedroom with neutral bedding and floral patterned wallpaper

Patterned wallpaper can come in more neutral shades, too, even if it is floral – such as this Back to Nature design, created by Courtney Brims for Mineheart. It is priced £152 for a 10m roll, and for every unit sold the company plants a tree in areas in Africa which have been affected by deforestation.

And while I will never tire of soft muted shades or textured fabrics, interiors are moving on from Scandinavian hygge to embracing more mix-and-match vintage and luxurious looks that are still pared back and comfortable, but with more interest and tactility.

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Look to the floor

When it came to doing the upstairs of my house, I really struggled with finding the right floorcovering. I love painted or polished wooden boards and even smooth tiles, but nothing quite beats the feel of soft carpet underfoot.

Bedroom with green walls and brown bed

If you can’t decide between tiles or wooden flooring and carpet, why not combine the two? Soften harder floors with a rug that feels cosy underfoot and adds some style. This scheme features Bolnado’s Madame C bed, from £2820 for a double from Go Modern, which was inspired by Coco Chanel.

I really like natural fabrics such as sisal, jute, and seagrass, which you will find at specialist stores such as Naked Flooring and Alternative Flooring, but are also stocked by Carpetright and John Lewis & Partners.

Rugs give you the same textural feel, but in a smaller dose, and the selection out there is brilliant. I love the boho traveller look,with its earthy colours and geometrics – another way to get those warm neutrals in.

Remember storage and accessories

There is so much to say about getting your design right, but it’s always key to plan in storage from the outset.

My top tip is to talk to your builders or a specialist cabinetry company to find the ideal solution. Alternatively, there are great ideas for modular wardrobes, chests of drawers, and bedside tables, so shop around for designs to suit your space and style.

Rattan laundry basked

Whether you choose it for a bedside table, chair, or as a laundry basket, rattan will add warmth to your scheme. Dark and Lights laundry chest, £120, Garden Trading.

A big look this year was rattan, which has migrated from the patio to the bedroom and seems likely to continue into 2020. Look out for bedside chests in the material, as well as dressers and lampbases, decorative mirrors, and smaller items such as vases and frames.

With so much to inspire, planning a new bedroom really is enjoyable and creative.

Ready, set, get moodboarding.

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Featured image: Neutral colours don’t need to be boring, and they certainly don’t feel cold – as once more proven by this scheme featuring the Kenley ottoman storage bed upholstered in Oatmeal, £599.999 for a double from Furniture Choice.

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