Decisions, Decisions

Making DIY decisions to decorate the guest bedroom

In my last post I shared the Pinterest mood board for my guest bedroom. Now I’ve started work on the room there are a few key decorating decisions to make. Mainly about fitted furniture, feature walls, and lighting. I’m hoping for some help here – read on and let me know what you think!

Decision 1: Fitted furniture: does it stay or does it go?

Fitted furniture
The Fitted Furniture in the Guest Bedroom

I’ve deliberated a lot on this one! The room was fitted out with a huge amount of fitted furniture:

  • 2 double wardrobes
  • 1 single wardrobe
  • A huge double overbed storage unit
  • 2 bedside tables
  • 3 chests of drawers
  • 1 ottoman

From that list you’d think the room was massive! It isn’t. On the plus side, it’s good quality solid stuff, and that’s a LOT of storage for my many possessions. On the minus side, my guests didn’t really like having a huge unit overhead, the door didn’t open fully because it hit a chest of drawers, and it just felt overwhelming.

Guest Bedroom before picture
THAT overbed storage unit

The final (kind of) decision to remove it was made because I’ve purchased a lovely new carpet, and couldn’t bear the thought of cutting it to fit around the furniture. So it’s gone out:

Decorating the guest bedroom
The guest bedroom minus fitted furniture! (apologies for dust on the camera lens)

This stuff is seriously heavy, and it fought back! However, removing it isn’t quite the end of the story, which is why there are still decisions to make. My idea is to re-use some of it, by painting it and bringing it back into the room as freestanding furniture, sitting on top of my lovely new carpet. I don’t know if this will work, it’s all a bit trial and error. Then I need to decide what colour to go with. The choice, fitting in with the mood board, is between dark blue, pale grey, or white. What do you think?

The impact of removing fitted furniture

There have been 2 unfortunate side effects of removing the fitted furniture:

  1. I discovered there is not a single wall in the room with a full length of skirting (WHY do furniture companies cut out the skirting when fitting furniture? It’s not hard to scribe it around). So there’s an extra job on the list, to add skirting board. And an extra decision – to match the profile (a custom job) or save money by using the best match I can get.

    DIY fixing gaps in skirting board
    One of the smaller skirting board gaps
  2. We were very limited in where to put the electric sockets and radiator in this room – basically any spot that didn’t have furniture there already! Now I’ve taken it out, I’d really rather the sockets and radiator were elsewhere to provide more flexibility in furniture arrangement. So with hindsight – I should have bitten the bullet and removed everything before having work done. I doubt I’ll change it again though.

Decision 2: Lighting

When the house was re-wired, the light was moved to the centre of the room. To save a bit of money, I opted to fit a light I already owned, that I’d purchased for my last house:

Should the ceiling light get pimped up?
The ceiling light, with test LED light bulbs

The thing is, I don’t really like it anymore. It’s a chandelier, with crystals, which I like. But there aren’t many crystals, and I’m not sure about the colour. I’ve gone for a more art deco style in the rest of the house, with shiny glass and chrome. So I’m thinking about pimping it up with extra crystals, and wondering whether to try a re-spray. Would chrome spray paint look good? Not sure…..

Decision 3: Feature Wall Deliberations

I’ve wondered about doing a wallpaper feature wall on many occasions, but this is the first time I’m actually going to do one! The decision is, which wallpaper. Here’s the shortlist:

  1. Coconut Grove by  Sophie Conran, cobalt colourway
Coconut Grove by Sophie Conran wallpaper
1. Coconut Grove by Sohpie Conran, cobalt colourway

2. Oriental Landscape China Blue (I don’t know the designer, I found it on Ebay)

Oriental Landscape China Blue Wallpaper
Oriental Landscape China Blue Wallpaper

3. Banyon Tree by Brewers, navy blue colourway

Banyone tree wallpaper, navy blue colourway
Banyon Tree by Brewers, navy blue colourway

4. Lazzaro by Arthouse, blue colourway

Lazarro wallpaper, blue colourway
Lazarro by Arthouse, blue colourway

Which would you do? And which wall? Is it best to paper behind the bedhead, or opposite it, so you can see it from the bed?

Decision 4: The other walls and furniture

Having chosen my feature wall, I then need to decide on a colour for the other walls. Here’s my thinking:

  1. Dark blue – I love dark blue and it’s potentially cosy. But it’s probably too dark in an east-facing room that is a bit light challenged
  2. Pale blue/pale grey – it’d be very important to get the tone right to ensure it’s warm and cosy, not cold
  3. White = classic? But possibly too stark?

Have I mentioned I like to consider my options very carefully? Then there is the furniture – do I paint it to match the walls, or to contrast with them? I think pale walls with dark furniture would look good. But the alternative is dark walls with white furniture…

Progress and next steps

The guest bedroom stripped back to basics
The bit where the room looks a lot worse

So here’s what’s happened so far:

  • Moved the light to the centre of the room (done by electrician)
  • Increased the number of power sockets (done by electrician)
  • Increased the radiator size and moved it from behind the door to underneath the window to better heat the room (done by plumber)

All the rest is all my own work:

  • Removed the fitted furniture
  • Shopped around and purchased several lengths of skirting. Fitting is in progress.
  • Stripped the walls
  • Removed the curtain rails
  • Patched the holes in the ceiling, walls and floor left by the electrical work/paper removal/curtain rail removal/furniture removal, followed by a fair bit of sanding
  • Stripped the woodwork
  • Sanded the cornice. Yes, you read that right. I found in the office that white emulsion paint does not adhere well to previously dark painted plasterboard cornice. So trying a new approach.
Holes in the floor to be patched
This hole I just discovered when I removed the carpet – an interesting feature that came with the house!
Patching a previously blocked up fireplace with filler
A fireplace that had previously been blocked up needed some patching with filler

So now it’s time to start some re-construction, namely:

  • Fit new skirting boards
  • Line the walls
  • Paint the ceiling and cornice
  • Paint the walls and skirting boards
  • Paper the feature wall
  • Fit a new carpet
  • Decorate the furniture and pimp the light
  • Fit new curtain poles and window treatments

Well OK then. And before anyone asks, I do not need to have this room finished for Christmas, fortunately!

So what decisions would you make? Answers on a postcard please*

*or you could leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Or on twitter or facebook**

**or by carrier pigeon, or whatever you fancy really. I don’t mind!