Boho girl's bedroom makeover: before & after

11/30/2016 07:30:00 am HELEN STILES 0 Comments

I have written this post from bed...no I've not opted out of society, but I have been struck down with a horrible shivery-gluey-hacking-cough-thingy (that's a technical term) and am currently sitting in bed writing this. I flaked out yesterday and did nothing except lie in front of the fire semi-comatose for the 6 hours the children were out of the house. Hubby has taken them to school this morning, which is a very welcome break, but guilt at doing nothing has definitely kicked in! So here's a good old before and after of my little girl's bedroom makeover to cheer me up...

To recap, this room was a pretty sorry spare room when we first moved in. I then used it as my office for a while and painted it a deep chocolate brown (which I loved) but felt that it needed a new brighter look to become my daughter's new 'big girl room'. You can read about my decision to come back from the dark side here and about the overall design plan here.

First the 'before' photos – you'll have to forgive the appalling images from my very old iPhone, but they do give you the gist! They also give you an idea of what a messy DIY-er I am.

Once the walls were white I decided to add a little warmth by painting the fairly high ceiling a pale dusky pink (if you are wondering what the colour is, I mixed a little of 2 Little Greene tester pots into my Dulux White! The colours were Little Greene Ashes of Roses and Carmine). High ceilings are usually desirable, but this is a long and fairly narrow room, which felt a bit like a chimney, so I wanted to make it feel cosier!

Next I started testing out various textile options before moving on to the wall treatment. I had toyed with the idea of an elaborate painted-wall effect (think Kelly Wearstler graffiti wallpaper) but decided that something subtle and a little bit organic would be right for this room. Inspired by the good old Beni Ourain rugs that I so love, I decided to try out a relaxed diamond motif on the walls. You can see my masking-taped pattern here:


I simply rubbed newsprint gently along the edges (thrifty heh?) to create the overall effect, then finished with hairspray to prevent smudging (you could use artist's fixative, but cheap hairspray actually contains the same ingredients for about  fifth of the cost). Voila, a DIY wallpaper!

The bed is really the centrepiece of the finished room. I turned a plain old trundle bed into a day bed by having 2 headboards made and screwed onto either end. I then sewed the valance and 2 bolster pillows to complete the look (I'll list the various materials and sources at the end):

The textiles add some colour and pattern – the kilim rug, frazada blanket and hemp pillows are fun and bright. And I just love those 'mamma bear' and 'baby bear' prints above the bed.


On the other side of the room, I repurposed our old Ikea sideboard as a wardrobe! We glued plywood over the glazed panels (for safety in a 2 year old's room) and replaced the shelves in one side with a hanging rail. It'll work for a few years until we need to upgrade to a proper wardrobe, but for now this works perfectly and has a bit of a mid-century feel to it which I love! 


My metal antelope/gazelle head wall-decor (bought years ago for a song) has been pimped up with some cotton-ball fairy lights. He's the first thing you see when you walk into the room, and I always like to try to add something that has immediate visual impact when you enter. A few teddies and an old pantone print complete this corner. 

And finally, a cute little reading corner (because of course we have to keep things educational too!) These shelves are just the right height for Abigail to help herself to her favourite books, and she already loves sitting on the Moroccan pouf to look through them. I love baskets for toy storage – something about the wicker texture tones down all the gaudiness and makes tidying up easy (essential if you want any chance of the little darlings helping you!)

And finally, here are the sources...

1) Orange velvet fabric on daybed: Designer's Guild Zaragoza in Paprika
2) Striped hemp cushions on daybed: Hide & Seek
3) Yellow pillowcase: made from Volga Linen in Chinese Yellow
4) 'A' cushion: Asda
5) Frazada blanket: Hide & Seek
6) Brass side table: West Elm
7) Striped kilim rug: one-off, similar available at Hide & Seek
8) Organic British Sheepskin rug: Hide & Seek
9) Bear prints by Amy Hamilton: Society 6
10) Roman Blind: made from Laura Ahsley gingham
11) Wall hanging: came from Tiger, but doesn't appear on their website). Really this is a place holder for a proper macrame wall hanging!)
12) Pantone prints: bought at Home Sense a long time ago, but also available here.
13) Chest of drawers: Ikea
14) White animal head: similar available here
15) Coloured fairy lights: Cable & Cotton
16) Book ledges: Ikea
17) Basket: Hide & Seek
18) Moroccan Pouff: Hide & Seek
19) Wooden sideboard: Ikea, no longer available. Similar
20) Joshua tree print: Hide & Seek
19) Framed feather drawing: gift from an artist friend
20) Table lamp (from BHS years ago, but similar available from Habitat)
21) Ceiling light Ikea

By reusing things I already had around the house, I managed to spend only £310.50 in total.  The paint was in the shed; yellow linen was left over from a project years ago; the blind was made from old curtains. The only new items were the velvet for the daybed; the 'A' cushion (only £5!); 2 bear prints, wall hanging, new cable and cotton balls (to go on an old set of lights), Ikea book ledges, ceiling light and Joshua Tree print. Abigail seems pleased with her new room. She loves running in there to empty the clothes drawers (sorry, get dressed) and read her books. We're still working on getting her to actually sleep in the big girl's bed though (even with a side guard on it)...looks like I'm not going to be getting my new office any time soon!

So, what do you think of my boho girl's bedroom makeover? I'd love to hear from you (as ever), all comments appreciated!



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