“There are two things I definitely don’t want in our new bedroom,” said the Pink House Husband last summer, “And that’s pink walls and patterned wallpaper. Apart from that I’m happy for you to crack on.”
“No problem at all,” I replied, gazing wistfully at my drawer stuffed full of predominantly pink, patterned wallpapers. “I’ll get started...”
Read on for the tale of my bedroom renovation, AKA how I stuck to the PHH’s brief but still ended up with the pink, patterned bedroom of my dreams…
Chapter 1: The Bed
My bedroom renovation story began, as these stories often do, with the bed. Or rather, with the lack of one. When we moved house from Edinburgh last July, I decided to get rid of our white, wrought iron, shabby-chic affair which I had grown out of (aesthetically I mean; as a super-kingsize it was actually rather too large for our new, bijou London bedroom). My reasoning was that if we left it behind and just slept on the mattress, this would ensure we swiftly replaced the bed with something much better.
But it turns out that a couple of years immersed in the interiors world, plus a couple of decades of obsessing over beautiful hotel rooms had left me with rather particular tastes regarding my dream bed. Six months of sleeping on the floor and I still hadn’t found one I loved.
Then one day I attended an event hosted by the Royal family's – and many top hotels’ – preferred bed creator, Hypnos. I told them of my inability to find the perfect bed, and they had an idea: how would I like to design my bed from scratch, and have them make it for me? #DREAMCOMETRUE Click HERE to read about how my bed was made (in the construction/design sense – there’s nothing about hospital corners), and see below for some pretty pics of the fabulous finished bed (dressed in Chalk Pink Linen Company pink bedlinen), with the Easy Store™ divan's capacity to store 54 pairs of shoes.
Chapter 2: The Carpet
Getting this right was crucial. With PHH’s wall-related prohibitions, it fell to the floor – specifically, Alternative Flooring - to pick up the pink, patterned gauntlet.
I’ve been obsessed with Alternative Flooring’s designs for years. In fact I can trace my love affair with the brand back to when I saw Kate Watson-Smyth’s polka-dot stair runner in Livingetc and knew I had to reprise the look in my Edinburgh home, where I fitted two flights of stairs and a landing with their Quirky B Dotty in Damson – then sold the house three months later (floods of tears emoji).
Having left my spotty carpet behind in Scotland, my bedroom renovation seemed the perfect opportunity to pick up with Alternative Flooring again. I knew I wanted a wool carpet; nothing beats the Monday morning blues (or, if you’re a parent of young kids, the Saturday 6am blues) better than something warm and snuggly beneath your feet the moment you stand up.
As for the pattern: there were so many to choose from in the Quirky B collection, which features designs by leading interior and textile designers. But at the same time, only one design would do for this room: the Capello Shell in coral pink. This design is part of Alternative Flooring’s collaboration with Liberty Fabrics, and is the first time Liberty has used its famous patterns on a carpet. As a HUGE Liberty fan, I adore it. Add to that the fact that the Capello Shell design is inspired by one of my all-time favourite children’s books, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden’ and the accompanying rhyme: ‘Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow, with silver bells and cockle shells…’, and how could I resist. Plus of course…it’s PINK!
Who says the pattern has to go on the walls? See, PHH, I stuck to our deal!
Chapter 3: The Wardrobe
It’s all very well having a beautiful bedroom, but if there’s nowhere to store your clothes/shoes (and, I suppose, PHH's clothes/shoes too), then it’s only doing half a job.
As our bedroom is so compact, I needed to come up with a clothes storage solution that made the most of every inch, without it being too overpowering. With the shoes side of things sorted thanks to those capacious under-bed drawers, that just left the clothes. My solution? Commission Lee from Freeborn Carpentry to create a bespoke full-height MDF wardrobe along the wall opposite the bed, paint it the same blue/grey colour as the walls (Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue) so it kind of ‘vanishes’, and add a touch of brass – and class – with some sexy-yet-discreet Buster + Punch handles. I’ve got two-thirds of the clothes storage space for my sweary pink sequins, leaving PHH with a whopping one-third for his identikit shirts/suits. Happy days all round.
Despite the gigantic wardrobe, we needed extra space for those clothes that required drawers. So instead of small bedside tables, I chose full-sized chests of drawers that tuck in neatly to the alcoves either side of the bed. But these aren’t just any chests of drawers; these are Graham & Green Umberto drawers of dreams, with their gold finish, wooden tops and shell-like handles that reference the carpet. The way they catch the natural light from our large windows is just insanely good. I love them so much I used the smaller version when designing this bedroom for Hillarys.
Chapter 4: The Décor
The problem was, once I’d seen House of Hackney’s cheetah lampstands and fringed Pluma Tilia shades, I couldn’t not have them in my home. So I pulled in an ‘it’s my 40th birthday they’re like heirlooms and look they’re not even particularly pink’ favour with the Pink House Husband and took myself off to HoH’s Shoreditch store. Where the lovely shop assistant saw me coming and upsold me a Timmy the Very Large Tiger pink velvet cushion, resulting in what is now a threesome situation. I also bought a dress.
The art propped against the wall? That’s an incredible original artwork by the graffiti-turned-fine-artist Dale vN Marshall, a contemporary of Banksy’s. Although it looks great in the room I think I’ll actually end up hanging it in the hallway. So what goes on that wall is still tbc…
Chapter 5: The Blinds
These were the last things to get sorted in this room, though at this juncture I need to point out that there are still a few things that aren’t finished, including the ceiling light, a mirror - or something - to go above the bed, and an bespoke ottoman for the bottom of the bed that the very clever Sarah from Sarah Beech Ottomans is in the process of finishing off (watch this space).
Having worked with Hillarys and had a chance to inspect the various fabrics they had on offer, I asked them to make me these pretty roman blinds in Clarence Chemise. They may be pink, but they’re not - strictly speaking - on the actual wall. So I TOTALLY kept to the brief, right?
With huge thanks to Hypnos, Alternative Flooring, Graham & Green, Hillarys and Farrow & Ball who sponsored this bedroom post. As always, all ideas, opinions and sly tricks for winning the interior war are my own