Budget Bedroom: Bland to Bold

Little has been done with the top floor of the house in the three years since it was built and so with the recent departure of a lodger, it was the perfect time to decorate a bedroom. My other half set the brief of modern, clean, light and gave me a budget of £150.00 – which I managed to achieve for only £105.50. As many of you will know, modern is not my usual interior style as I favour more of a classic look or, as my Dad would say, “Downton Abbey” inspired.

My initial thoughts were to go down the route of calm and modern and adopt my default colour of GREY, incorporating a bright colour to create a pop and add some warmth and personality. Grey and yellow work really well together and have gone hand in hand when it comes to interiors for years but I wanted something a little bit different. After running through colours in my head I quickly started to dismiss most choices; blue – too cold, red – done to death, pink – shot down and then I came to orange. Now I love orange as I think it’s one of those colours that has numerous shades and tones, like burnt orange and peach,that can create so many different vibes. However for this project I knew what I wanted and that was a bright citrus, yet classy, orange. I now just needed to find it!

Armed with my iPad I snuggled down into bed with a decaf Yorkshire Gold and began trawling though my regular internet haunts. I finally tracked the cushions down in Dunelm for £8.00 each and a matching throw from Wayfair for £17.99 (Reduced from £52.99). I’ve never made a purchase from Wayfair before and so I was a little apprehensive, but I have to say, the quality is great. With the orange in the bag I was on a roll and turned my attention to the accessories. Now, as I strict rule, I don’t like to mass buy accessories as I think it’s best to collect items that you really love – that way you will always find that special place to put them, else you can end up with a mass of clutter around your home. However with this room being a totally blank canvas I felt it needed a couple of items to add a homely feel without it being too much engineered personality in a guest room. To complete the room I got some simple white lamp shades from B&Q for £5 each to replace to blue shades of the table lamps and decided to stick with the existing grey ceiling shade to maintain a soft lighting to the room.

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Storage Heater Solution

Apartment living does have its benefits – low maintenance, extra security and no worrying over structural damage. However, apartment life does have one big downside – STORAGE HEATERS!

For anyone who has lived in an apartment this issue will definitely have affected them. Whether your apartment is 2 years old or 20, storage heaters seem to be the norm. Forgetting the fact that you need to have a NASA qualification and be best friends with Mystic Meg to figure out how they work, THEY ARE UGLY! There is no way around the fact that they are a big white blot on the landscape of your beautifully decorated room – no matter how hard you try to block them out.

So this is when I set myself a challenge – How can I distract from the heater in my hall with an easily movable cover (As storage heaters cannot be covered while in use)?

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My first thought was a radiator cover as this could be lifted away if in ever wanted to use the heater, but after a lot of searching (whilst also working my way through a full tin of Betty’s Yorkshire Shortbread with tea), I found that the pre-made covers were not deep enough. Feeling defeated, I thought about a lift on/off shelf but quickly dismissed this idea and went back to the drawing board, reverting to one of my favourite pastimes – scouring eBay for furniture! As I clicked the ‘nearest first’ filter it triggered a light bulb moment – Why don’t I just buy a cupboard, remove the back and cut down in depth to fit over the heater? Well, that could have been an option had it not been for the skirting boards. Undeterred, I pursued this approach by exploring what furniture I could possibly adapt and eventually decided that a table would be the easiest to adapt and the most practical as it can be easily moved and will sit flush to the wall.

I popped the kettle on (and fought the urge to rummage for more biscuits) before narrowing down my table search. In addition to eBay, I also find the local Facebook selling groups a great option – there is nothing worse than finding the ideal piece only to discover it is collection only from the top of Scotland! This is where I found the perfect table for the job, (albeit nearer to Hull that York) but luckily for me, and my very small Mini, one of my friends works close by and could collect it for me.

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Once delivered (in exchange for one of my homemade coffee & walnut cakes) I began dismantling the table to remove the lower tier and two of the legs. From there I measured how far out of the wall I wanted the table to be, and importantly, how deep it needed to be for the legs not to get in the way and then sanded the table so it was ready to paint after being cut to size. To cut it down you could hand saw or jigsaw it with a steady hand and careful eye but I however took a more accurate approach (purely for my OCD of not wanting a wobbly line) and took it to a good customer of ours who designs and creates playgrounds and parks. They ran it through their circular saw giving me a perfectly crisp line meaning no more sanding!

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My bathroom on a budget makeover!

When I bought my apartment in November 2015 its fair to say that the bathroom had seen better days – the walls were full of scratches and marks from years of use by tenants and a badly chipped mirror had found itself well and truly attached to the wall (thanks to what must have been several tubes of  no more nails!). The mirror had to go! After what felt like hours of cheese wiring, scraping, taping and prizing, with the help of a friend, I finally managed to get the mirror off the wall. Success you may think – unfortunately not as now that I had removed one problem from the room this left me with another – yet more wall surface issues!

With a housewarming party looming (and my snobbery rearing its head) I grabbed some filler and half a pot of some left over Farrow & Ball ‘Elephants breath’ and embarked on some minor redecoration. My initial idea was to simply tidy up the bathroom until I replaced the bathroom suite, however, with a year of weddings, birthday weekends and a craving for some sun, the priority of the bathroom suite somewhat took a back seat.

Before

Fast forward a year and whilst the minor redecoration had made the bathroom served a purpose, I felt it it was time to grab the bull by the horns and pay the bathroom some much needed attention… Albeit on a budget!

After a long hard day of work I love nothing more than a long hot bath, and so for me, the bathroom is somewhere I spend a lot of time.  Armed with a fresh cup of tea, my laptop and a £100.00 budget I set about my bargain hunting and research and bargain hunting.

My key to finding design inspiration is to expand my vision around one key theme or items that you are particularly drawn to. I find you can get some great inspiration from browsing for home accessories and so it wasn’t by chance that whilst browsing through the Zara Home website (which incidentally, and much to my excitement has a store in Leeds) I found inspiration in the form of sea coral – in particularly a tumbler with a bold print adorning the front and finished with a warm antique gold rim.


My decision was made – this theme was to become the key linchpin for my bathroom interior ideas. Now that I’d found my theme I let my creative mind run wild and began to conjure up a vision of a light, bright and colourful yet still tranquil space. Unfortunately the balance of stark and bright, yet tranquil, can be quite a tricky balance to create, especially if like mine, your bathroom has no windows (oh the glamour apartment living!).

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