Bedroom 2 was the first room in my house I started working my imagination on. I would say that this is the room that has come the furthest way. It literally was a dumping ground, once so full of junk you could barely move. I used to use it for my music hobby, but I no longer play like I used to.
I really wanted to make something of this unloved room. I considered myself lucky to have a two-bed house – when I was moving out I really expected a one-bed. This second bedroom really could not be much smaller than it is, but it is good for guests staying over and would also be good for a couple with a young child. Either way, it’s good for something and I set about giving it the respect it deserves.
Here’s how it looks now:
And now for the “before”… here are some very early photos of it. Believe it or not there was a time when this room had so much stuff in it you couldn’t see the floor! Bear in mind though that some of the photos in this blog post are very old and my photography skills weren’t great then. Plus I had an older phone and the camera wasn’t as good.
My dad built the worktops in the back corners out of bits of chipboard and my mum made the curtains herself. The walls were magnolia and the skirting boards white, with a shelf running the whole length of the room being white too.
Though I have a little bit of a scandi influence these days, my main style is monochrome and most of the accounts I followed on Instagram in the early days were aficionados of grey and white decor. I went about clearing this room out and 2017 me grabbed a roller for the first time and got to work.
It was at this point where I really started to feel the buzz that comes from reinventing a space and I’d been well and truly bitten by the interiors bug. As I replaced magnolia with white, the room was becoming more in keeping with my newfound style and was already feeling much fresher and brighter. I painted the skirting boards and door frame grey, which really worked well with the white walls and I hadn’t seen many people do that so felt like I was putting my own stamp on something.
I also painted the long shelf black. You can’t get a higher contrast than black on white!
I opted for a black and white wardrobe from Argos and a friend came over to help me build it. It went where the smaller of the two worktops once stood.
It’s my personal preference for bedrooms in my house to actually be able to serve as bedrooms, so for me that means having a bed of some form, even if its a really small one or something like a day bed. This bed, as well as its mattress, came from Wayfair and is the “small single” size – this is the smallest standard size and is two and a half feet wide and therefore smaller than a single. It’s plenty good enough for guests staying over for short periods, which is really the only time this room actually gets used as a bedroom. I slept in it myself for a while last year while I was getting the new bed sorted out in Bedroom 1. It’s really not that bad and I think it was great value for money, plus as you can see it pretty much perfectly fits in this corner.
The only downside to this is there is no scope for a bedside table. There is a lamp on the raised floor, where the stairs go under, to the right of the door. This was passed on from my grandad and I painted it. I can only think of one other way to set a bed up in this room and that’s across the window and use the raised floor as a bedside table, which for me would mean losing the worktop the computer sits on. This is perfectly good enough for my needs, though.
I later got a ladder bookshelf for Christmas and set it up in here to display the accessories on and it’s great for styling. The industrial-style bin is something I’ve had in my bedroom right from when I was very young and was originally red. I painted this pink as well to go with the other things.
Fast forward to 2019 and I decided to upgrade the bedding in both bedrooms to something a bit fancier than plain white. I searched around and noticed that Emma Willis had released a range in Dunelm. For this bedroom I went with her spotty design. I love the fact that it’s reversible and on one side it has a design with larger spots and on the other side a design with smaller, more numerous spots. I kept the runner that was made from spare fabric from when mum made the curtains and hung up three little hearts, a recurring motif in my house, painting them in the same colours as the cushions, which themselves were meant to tone in with the canvas above the bed.
At this point, I put away all the music gear. Though I once played piano, unofficially at grade 6 level (as in, I played pieces equivalent to that level in concerts held by the music school I once attended), I played less and less due to lack of free time, and eventually stopped altogether due to physical health. I’ve mentioned it a few times on this blog where relevant, but in 2015 I developed an autoimmune condition called rheumatoid arthritis, where your immune system basically malfunctions and starts attacking your joints. This was my initial reason for becoming plant-based in my diet, since I’ve read that can help it. Though I responded well to treatment and I am in pretty good health five years on, I was left with very weak wrists with poor mobility and strength and sadly was never able to recover, and this means I’m not quite as dexterous as I once was. It’s also the reason why my house is not entirely a solo effort – when it comes to things like the bathroom renovation and building large pieces of furniture I need to get help with it. I accepted that it’s unlikely I’ll be able to play again any time soon, so just tucked my keyboards away. Maybe in the future I’ll improve to the point where I can again. I know it’s there for me when I want it though.
For now, I just set up the space as a home office. I really enjoy seeing these sorts of spaces on Pinterest and decided to have a go at putting the inspiration to good use. I started by giving the worktop where the keyboard was a good wipe down as it was marked with paint in a few places. The musical notes thing above the computer came down too and now sits on the long shelf on the other side.
Next thing I did was treat myself to something new to go there and then set myself a budget of zero from that point onwards. Helen has a series of blog posts called “Style it New” (see an example Here) where she gives spaces a new look without spending a penny by using bits she already owns. With it being the run up to Christmas, I thought it would be a really neat thing to do myself so I took up the challenge. But not before allowing myself one awesome new addition to the house…
One of my longest time Instagram friends, Laura of “Life on Jack Lane”, launched a new venture with her partner Jamie, called Made on Jack Lane. She has started out with these really cute scandi shelves and is currently taking orders on her @madeonjacklane insta page. I bought one and had a lot of fun putting this up myself and styling it, and did so using bits I already had. I put a print I designed myself in a frame taken from the kitchen. I also painted pink a cardboard tube some festive ribbon came on and painted some twigs to put in the middle. I also used the “tell a beautiful story” star from Dunelm, originally in my living room, which I thought was very appropriate given I am going to be writing blogs here.
I am so happy with the result of this and personally I think it looks brilliant against the white wall. This shelf is a fantastic addition to the house and everyone I’ve shown this to loves it! I love it too, but that hopefully goes without saying!
The next thing I did was make myself a little paper tray using bits of wood I had lying about the house. I then painted it by mixing together several other tester pots. Never thought I’d turn my hand to carpentry! It was hard work sawing the bits up but although not perfect I am happy with how it turned out!
On the other side I styled the space with a trailing, artificial plant I got from my mum and dad’s loft, which they weren’t using, a little pot that was originally in the living room and also a little tray thing from Søstrene Grene, a brand that doesn’t really have a presence here in the east but I got it along with a few other things during my Cheshire trip last year, so it’s a nice souvenir.
And here’s the finished space!
So let’s be clear, the shelf from Made on Jack Lane was bought, but then the space was styled with a budget of zero after that. Not only did I have fun doing it, but it’s great knowing I saved a bit of money in the process!
I hope this story of how an ugly ducking of a room became something I can be proud of inspired you. I very much regard this room as the origin of my passion for interiors given that it was the first room I started working on after discovering the home community on Instagram. I feel like I’ve come a long way in my skills too, and it’s a pleasure to be able to share it with the community as well.
See you next time,