We live in a New England style home, inspired by the salty sea air, rustic boardwalks and silver-white wooden clad homes of Cape Cod, except we live in Surrey, UK. We’re an hour away from the southern English coast, but our dream is to one day have a place directly overlooking the sea. In the first two instalments about our master bedroom makeover I talked about how the room just didn’t fit in with the look of the rest of the house and the balcony off our bedroom was particularly nasty to poor, forgotten bedroom. Balcony is extremely full of herself as she’s quite a dishy thing and has become quite the starlet. She didn’t take kindly to being annexed by an 80’s has been whose dreams were dashed by peachy-pink walls, a muffin-top waistline and nasty shoes!
Enter wannabe stylist and part-time cheesy smile knitting catalogue model Mr J.P Clark: determined to bring poor little miss droopy-draws back to her former glory. After all, surely the master bedroom should be the prettiest of all rooms. She deserved a ten years younger style makeover, perhaps a facelift and a few nips and tucks, a new wardrobe and a Hollywood smile? She’d soon be up there in lights with balcony. She was due a comeback and she’d soon be ready for her close-up!
One of the key elements of her makeover was the tongue and groove panelling. We had used it in many other parts of the house, but instead of using real wood and having to batten the walls and nail each plank one by one, we used MDF moulded sheets of tongue and groove from Wickes. This saved so much time. You just use No More Nails or some other liquid nails equivalent and dot and dab the glue directly onto the back of each sheet. The last sheet will have to be cut to size to fit your wall. You will also have to measure and cut out the holes for any sockets. Mr C did all of our carpentry as I am completely rubbish at all of that – blue job!
Although, I hate that expression when used by two guys as it implies I do the pink jobs, which I do, but I want you to know that doesn’t mean I’m not butch! Just because I can multi-task, I’m good with a sewing needle and I like a pair of Marigolds when I’m washing up doesn’t mean I don’t do hard grafting too. Believe me, if you had my garden you’d know how much lifting and hulking about I do. We’ve done eight house renovations and I’ve knocked down walls, built kitchens, tiled bathrooms and slept with nothing but a sheet of tarpaulin between me and the rainy night sky. If that’s not butch then I’m Penelope Pitstop! Right, that’s put that straight, slight Segway there, but it needed to be said.
We placed each sheet directly on top of the skirting boards, which were already in place. Once glued on to the walls and allowed to dry – we left it a day, you can then add your top panel to complete the look. We also added a shelf, which I shamelessly copied from the lovely Theresa Gromski, but I did ask her first!
Our top panel and shelf were made of pre-planed and sanded pine planks, roughly 10cm x 2.5cm x 240cm. We had to join two planks together to go the full length of our wall and this required us to mitre the two ends so that you don’t see the join so much. I then filled any gaps with wood filler, allowed to dry and sanded. The shelf was screwed into the top of the top panel and countersunk. I then filled the holes with wood filler. We added a pine angled moulding underneath the shelf and secured with No More Nails and then tapped in a few pin nails to secure it.
The shaker pegs were an absolute must as far as I was concerned, although Mr C didn’t really see the point of them. “What the hell are you going to hang from pegs above a bed? It’s not a cloakroom!”
I explained to the heathen that the pegs were for prettiness and they would be brilliant for faffing with and styling for photos – just imagine swags of fir at Christmas! I found them on eBay – just type in shaker pegs. We pre-drilled holes in the top panel once it was on the wall. You could pre-drill before you put the panel up, but we weren’t sure how many pegs we wanted to use at that stage. Use a wood drill bit the same size as the bottom end of your shaker peg, not the knobbly end (the bit being glued into the hole). All this talk of knobs and holes is all rather suggestive. The photos below came from a mini video story I did on Instagram. I had loads of direct messages after saying they thought my demonstration and subsequent narration of peg insertion was slightly turning them on. I had visions of Insta couples up and down the country getting their groove on using the peg bag as a sex toy!
Anyway, you then just have to add No More Nails to the bottom end of each peg and push them into your pre-drilled holes and then leave them for a day before starting to paint. I used a basic white undercoat on the panelling and then Farrow and Ball All White Estate Eggshell. I always use their exterior eggshell, even inside as it seems to dry much faster and its tougher. I started by painting into the grooves of the MDF panelling, then using a gloss roller and filled in the gaps. Once dry, I started the same process, but with the Farrow and Ball top coat.
With the decorating completed it was now time for the fun bit – faffing with gorgeous things And finally turning bedroom into a star! I’d spent a lot of time sourcing the look. As I said in part one, we had a very tight budget on this, so I made a piece of art using an old printing tray, which I filled with my collection of seashells from walks along beaches both near and afar. I used a glue gun to attach the shells to the tray.
I also shopped my home by going around every room and the loft to see if there was anything better suited to the new bedroom. It’s amazing what you can find in your own home that you forgot you had! We had washed up coral and driftwood in the loft, a painted driftwood garland, an antique lock and key, a painting that looked so much better above our bed than where it was before and even an old directors chair I bought years ago and didn’t know where to put!
The rest of the items we either had bought ourselves within the budget, or were items we already had in the bedroom, or were gifted as part of collaborations with brands.
The storm lamp that hangs from the ceiling came from our trip to Key West in December 2019. Two of the wicker spokes were broken, so we got it discounted and I fixed them up at home. We don’t have a ceiling light in the middle of the room. Instead, we have lots of lamps, which are all turned on from wall switches, including one directly above the bed so that muggins here doesn’t have to get out of bed to switch all the lamps off! I don’t miss the ceiling light, but I do miss something hanging from the ceiling (no not a sling, god you’re a filthy lot!) it adds a focal point, so I thought why not use the storm lantern? I added a remote control real-wax faux candle so that we can turn it on without having to open up the lantern cage.
The angels wings, which we bought a few years ago from one of my favourite brands of all time; Cox and cox, were already in the bedroom, but somehow with the paint colours we had they just didn’t work. I was going to re-hang them in a different room, but when I finished painting the bedroom I realised they were now perfect exactly where they were. Somethings you just need to see!
I wanted a painting to go above the bed that reminded my hubby, Mr C of his birthplace in the Lake District. I found Jennifer Muntz of @jennifers_studio on Instagram. Her artwork is so beautiful and her style was perfect for the room. From commission to delivery was only about two weeks and her prices were very reasonable. Do check out her page.
I was delighted when Cox and Cox said they would like to collaborate on the bedroom project, a little dream came true for me that day. The beautiful storage console, which I am using as a dressing table is from Cox and Cox, as is the lovely storage bench, the faux coral and the ammonite dish. Everything worked harmoniously with the look and the quality and finish on all of the items is excellent.
The white stonewashed bed linen came from Linen Shack, another great company. You don’t have to iron it, because crumpled linen is de rigueur, but I do give a quick once over when we first make the bed up as I like the feeling of freshly washed and pressed linen. It crumples up over the next few nights and looks better as the week goes on! I cant recommend Linen Shack enough and the bed linen is the most comfortable I have ever slept in!
The indigo cotton throw, the rustic cotton cushions on the bed, the Hamptons cushions on the leather armchairs, the Tallows linen tote bag on the back of the door and the Natural Jute European cushion with black stripe on the directors chair are all from a lovely lady called Anastasia, who runs an amazing small business called Byron Bay Lifestyle, in New South Wales, Australia. I was blown away when she said she wanted to collaborate. I had been searching on Pinterest for rustic coastal-inspired linen cushions and throws and I found a photo of her beautiful products and I just knew. I was so disappointed when I found that her shop was the other side of the planet! I messaged her to ask if she had a UK distributor and she came straight back and said she can send direct. It took about three weeks, but that was totally fine considering the distance. I am one for shopping local most of the time, but every now again, something is so perfect it just has to come from source.
The rustic black wood and glass cabinet on the far wall, the botanical banana print by the curtains and the lamp with fillable glass base were all bought from One World. I filled the cabinet with treasures from the sea and the base of the lamp I filled with burnt caramel coloured nautical rope, which I bought on eBay. The white linen effect curtains we bought from Dunelm Mill. The round mirror above the dressing table we bought from Culinary Concepts London and the cute wooden shelves on the wall above the bed came from an interiors shop in Key West. They are the old treads of a rope ladder, which have had fixings attached to the back to turn them into shelving.
The baskets you can see in between the leather old boy chairs are from The Basket Company. They have a basket for everything you could possibly ever need one for! The smaller one is a large Jambi natural round weave and the larger one is a Sumba natural tall sea grass basket.
The final company that I worked with on the revamp was Design Vintage, which has stores in Notting Hill, London, Guildford in Surrey and Chichester, West Sussex. The moment I walked into their Guildford Store I knew their style was right for our bedroom. They sell the most stunning rustic boho-inspired pieces, basket-weave lamp shades and vintage treasures. The vintage bench and the denim panel wool throw are both from there.
So Bedroom is now ready for her close-up. She feels fabulous and looks like a movie star! Let’s hope Balcony tries a bit harder to get along, after all she’d better watch out, there’s a new girl in town!
N.B: If you want to know more you may not have read the first two blog posts about it. The first one is about the inspiration and research stage and the second is about the decorating and sourcing. I hope you’ve enjoyed the read. Jp x
This post includes gifted items as part of a collaboration with Cox and Cox, Linen Shack, Byron Bay Lifestyle, The Basket Company and Design Vintage.