After a manic Christmas and New Year period, Phase one of “make my incredibly expensive but really quite manky flat” is about 80% complete. This meant decorating and furnishing the back bedroom to make this my room, and so allow me to rent out the front room and be able to eat again.
The room itself wasn’t particularly bad, just a bit dull – magnolia walls ahoy – and quite an unusual shape. I needed to ensure that it would fit in a double bed and ultimately enough storage for two people. I also really wanted it to be super dark to help with sleeping, and insulated to avoid having to use the heating at all costs (London = expensive, not sure if I’ve mentioned this).
All in, it was a pretty easy ad successful project. I used Crown Pure Brilliant from B&Q, which was on sale so I got two massive tubs for £26 (bargain). The most annoying part was that there was actually quite a lot of wall area considering the usable floor size; the room is like the anti-tardis thanks to the long thin corridor.
For the wardrobe, I was heavily influenced by a beautiful Nordic house on Homedit. I think their system may have been more expensive, but the Ikea Algot system worked brilliantly for me; total of £71 all in (excluding wall fixtures), and there is space left on the wall for a third 60 cm section. I really love the exposure of the clothing, and doubling the rails has meant enough space to ensure that clothing isn’t all squashed in and creasy. Moving the clothing in and taking a bit of a moment to sort through enabled me to take out 7 items that I didn’t really need any more (#minimalist4life). Currently the rest of my clothes are in a Kallax unit I already owned, but made workable by adding Ikea Drona boxes (£10 total), and in under the bed drawers.
To decorate the walls, I wanted to keep it simple to ensure the room didn’t look cluttered. I used some existing items I already owned, which an ex-housemate picked up about 8 years ago from Urban Outfitters, and which I
stole honourably agreed to look after when he moved to Australia. In terms of bedding, I’m not keen on massive amount of bed decoration (why make work for yourself each night and morning), and I didn’t want to spend any more money, but I thought it needed a splash of something, so my favourite living room cushions got an upgrade to prime position on the bed.
For the curtains, I was really inspired by the idea of using a curtain that went the full length of the wall. Not only would this block out maximum light and provide solid insulation, it would also bring some harmony and consistency to an otherwise cluttered wall. Initially I wasn’t keen on using Ikea again, but whilst in store the Marjun curtains jumped out at me. They looked pretty bad on their website, but were much darker and more expensive looking in real life. A 3m aluminium pole for hanging was tracked down on the web (thank you ShopFitting Warehouse, and may I say how much I enjoyed your jazzy snowy Christmas website), and after some interesting times trying to screw it all up by myself, I got it all worked out fabulously. And it it PITCH BLACK. Amazing.
There is still a bit more to do; the curtains need taking up, the light needs fitting properly (instead of just lazily balancing the shade on the bulb), I want to do something slick to refurbish a big chest of drawers from the end of the bed, and I should probably fix the fact that water pours in around the french doors each time it rains (sigh). But before all that, Phase 2… The Front (Rental) Bedroom.