Bedrooms. We spend so much time there (about a third of our lives) but I think they get neglected. As they aren’t on show to friends and family, the way our living spaces are, bedrooms are like the poor relation to the rest of the house. Or is that just me? I wouldn’t describe ours as a Dream Bedroom.
Last year, we took part in a sustainability challenge with IKEA, and as part of that, a few of their team members came to meet us at home. I gave them a tour, and they came up with suggestions of how we could live a more sustainable life. When we got to our bedroom, they were kind of stumped, as it is already practical. It has a bed, chest of drawers, wardrobe and laundry bins. It has a thermal blind. All they could suggest was LED lightbulbs, which we now have.
It may be practical, but it’s nothing special, and it’s not our dream bedroom.
Aside from stripping out the wallpaper, monstrosity of a built in wardrobe, dog-scented carpet, 1970s chipboard doors, and painting it in Crown’s Sail White, we haven’t done much to make it ‘ours’.
We removed the curtain rail and added a a plain off white blackout blind. We managed to squeeze in the furniture from our old house but the room is smaller, so it does feel crowded. The room just really lacks personality. I did do a big tidy up before I took these pictures – it’s never been this tidy before!
It does look a lot better than it did when we bought the house. This is how it looked before we moved in. This is an estate agent’s photo, it actually looked worse when we got the keys and saw the state of the carpet.
Now that we have finally finished our kitchen (which I will post about, once I have cleaned the plaster off the windows, as the fingerprints off the cupboard doors), my thoughts have turned to how we can make our bedroom more of a sanctuary.
Being a self-employed copywriter, and part-time blogger, by evening, my brain is normally fizzing with ideas, as I work best at night. That makes it difficult for me to switch off and actually sleep. Poor Ryan has to get up at 5.30 every morning to get to work 50 miles away, so getting a good night’s sleep is vital for him too.
Creating a peaceful oasis of calm is my next mission.
The trouble is, I’m not feeling ever so inspired, which isn’t really like me. Luckily, I am going to creative blogging conference Blogtacular next week. I went last year, kind of on a whim and it was the best thing I could have done. So inspirational and energising.
There was a pre-party the night before at interiors heaven West Elm interiors heaven West Elm but I didn’t realise I could go. I was gutted when I found out what I’d missed!
This year, I am more prepared and have booked a hotel so I can go to everything. I’ve never been to West Elm before but I have wanted to go for ages. I rarely get to London now, unless it’s for a meeting, or to meet friends, and those meetings tend to revolve around afternoon tea and catching up, rather than browsing furniture.
An Exciting West Elm Competition
West Elm are running an amazing competition to create a dream room, using their furniture, so this is my entry. Wish me luck! I’ve been thinking about what our room needs, and found plenty of dreamy items on their website and I’ve been lusting over their department in the Milton Keynes branch of John Lewis. They pretty much have my dream bedroom right there!
I love the warm real wood and clean lines of their mid-century modern furniture, and think this bed and storage would work well in our room as it has a slim-line profile that would let light circulate around the room.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, a few lines about why I’d love to work with West Elm.
Firstly, their ethics. West Elm want to create community with their customers and team, by providing inspiration, events and conversation, that helps connect like-minded strangers. In today’s environment, I think these kind of genuine connections are ever more important. They went to give us choice, to help us create homes that tell our stories. My home is becoming more and more important to me. Now that I have children, I want to create that sanctuary away from whatever the world throws at them. And finally, and this also rings so true to me, they focus on consciousness and honest business practices. I am passionate about supporting brands with sustainability models and fair practices, who work to minimise their environmental impact.
Secondly, their products. Just a quick look at West Elm’s website will let you see what I mean. They have a truly stunning collection of timeless classics. These pieces aren’t disposable short term furniture. They are to be treasured for years to come. They collaborate with up and coming designers as well as established experts, giving new artists a chance to break into the main stream.
So Back to my Dream Bedroom Wish List
A Splash of Colour
My first instinct (as always) is to go with grey. I even bought some grey chevron curtains a few years ago. But because we have a dormer window, we worry they will block out too much light. So they are still folded up in the bottom of our oversized wardrobe. And it’s been so long, I don’t even really like them anymore! So my current ideas sway from a painting the wall behind our bed a rich, moody blue, or adding some wallpaper.
Some new bed linen wouldn’t go amiss either. This organic abstract brush stroke design at West Elm caught my eye, as it’s so fresh and cheerful. Plus it has some of my beloved grey tones in it too, and hasn’t been made with lots of horrible chemicals.
Dream Bedroom Furniture
Aside from adding colour, I would really love to replace some of our furniture with something a bit less blocky, chunky, and frankly, overbearing.
A New Mid-Century Modern Bed
Our giant wardrobe is not a thing of beauty, but it holds a tonne of
our hoarded junk essential items. I think our money would be better spent on a new bed. Our bed frame is such good quality and was a wedding present ten years ago. But it’s so creaky and oversized, I’d much rather have a more streamlined mid-century modern frame.
Either way, we definitely need a new mattress! I did treat us to these new mid-century modern bedside tables last year, as we were using an old chair on my side, and an old coffee table on Ryan’s.
So I have my eye on a chest of drawers that would go, like the two tone white and natural wood of this chest of drawers. The slim legs would again help create a feeling of space.
A Chic Dressing Table
My ageing dressing table could be replaced with something a little lighter in style, like this desk:
And don’t even get me started on that chair: SWOON! I think this Penelope Desk with its marble top would also make a great dressing table, and would display all my natural, chemical-free make-up beautifully. I may have to streamline my collection a bit though!
A Reading Nook
Ryan really wants a reading nook. He often has to read long scientific papers (‘scientific’ is the extent of my understanding of them) and can’t concentrate when I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy in the lounge. If we scaled down some of the furniture, I wonder if we could fit in a comfy chair and lamp like this one?
A Statement Mirror
When planning a room, I think the extra dressings like pictures and mirrors really make the space come alive. We have a picture shelf with some pretty pictures, but I wonder about adding this lush statement mirror into the mix somewhere? Doesn’t it pop against the dark wall? I think it would look fab above our bed.
So what would you do? Would you add some curtains to soften the window or leave the blind as it is? Would you go for the dark blue with pops of yellow, or something different?
What do you think about the furniture I have my eye on? I’ve saved all my favourite pieces to a Pinterest board to see how they grow on me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, please let me know what you think in the comments. I would love to be able to give us a sanctuary where we can relax at the end of a stressful day.