A new look for our top floor bedroom

Dark decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

We’ve mentioned our top floor bedroom a few times in past posts. It’s been well over ten years since it was last decorated so a spruce up has been long overdue. We thought we’d share a few photos of progress to date.

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

We love this room. It’s our retreat of choice in the evening – particularly dark, cold winter evenings when we light the stove, watch TV, listen to music or work on the computer – all from the comfort of bed!

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

We like the structural ‘bones’ of the space with its exposed stone wall and original, wide floorboards.

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

It was a great opportunity to introduce some darker colours into our home décor which we’ve intended to do for many years! These shades have a real sense of atmosphere and drama – particularly on said dark winter evenings with fires, candles and fairy lights flickering away.

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

They look good by daylight too – contrasting very well with warm natural shades of wood and wicker – and providing a great backdrop for artwork.

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

The bed is a very important occupant of this space, so we decided on a complete re-vamp. We exchanged a very old, squeaky frame for a new powder-coated metal one; the fabulous people at Tweak supplied us with an amazingly comfortable luxury mattress that we recently reviewed. And last, but certainly not least, some lovely black cotton satin bedding – bought locally (at generous mates’ rates) from good friend, Shaun who owns Rochdale-based textile company FabTrad. They’re wholesale suppliers to some major retailers, but also sell on eBay.

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

It’s hard to put our finger on the exact look of our top floor bedroom. We wanted to furnish it with interesting objects and specimens from nature (in a Victorian gentleman’s study kind of way).

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

So you’ll find shells, fossils, skulls and the like…

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

…favourite antique finds too – that form interesting little vignettes on table tops and walls.

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

We also dotted the room with brass, gold, copper and pewter (desperately trying not to overdo it and ending up with a pub snug style). We do love these flashes of metallic though – they give the room a real lift and look fabulous when light catches them.

Our dark-decorated top floor bedroom | H is for Home

It’s still work in progress, but we’re getting there. We hope you approve!

A fast guest bedroom makeover

Spare bedroomcredit

If you’re anything like most people, the chances are that your guest bedroom is used mostly as a junk room. It’s only when Aunt Ginny announces that she’s coming to spend the week that you realise just how ropey the room is and that it needs a makeover before your guest arrives. Should you find yourself in that situation don’t worry, because by using the tips below you’ll be able to quickly transform your spare room into a hotel grade bedroom for your long lost relative to enjoy.

Cleared spare bedroomcredit

Clear the room

The first step is to clear the room. Strangely, this task will take the most time, so make sure that you put aside at least a day to get it done. Often, it’s better to do this task at least a week before you plan to start decorating to give yourself a bit of extra time should you need it.

Equip yourself with a roll of bin bags, boxes and a way to label each one. This will stop you from accidentally sending your good bedding sets to the tip because you picked up the wrong bin bag. Be ruthless, throw away what you don’t want, give away what you can and store what you still need in the garage, loft or basement.

Drawer of cleaning productscredit

Clean the room

Next, give everything a good clean. Doing so will let you see whether you really do need to do any actual decorating.

Brushes and wall paint

Refresh the paintwork

If cleaning the room does reveal issues, take a minimalist approach to resolving the issues. For example, only touch up the marks rather than repainting the entire run of skirting or a whole wall.

Dandelion clock wall decal in a bedroomcredit

Use wall stickers instead of wallpaper

Should you decide that re-touching the paintwork is not going to be adequate, consider buying some wall stickers instead of repainting the entire room. They come in a huge range of designs, and don’t cost much. Best of all, they can be put up in under an hour. Provided you buy the right kind, you can easily peel them off once you’ve finished with them.

They’re not expensive, especially if you pick them up in the sales. Often, you can find discount vouchers for wall decals on coupon websites.

bedding with large wildflower print

Update the bedding

There’s no sense buying a brand new set of bedding for a single bed that only gets used once or twice a year. A better and less expensive approach is to buy a nice throw or bedspread instead. This will quickly give the bed a fresh new look.

Spare bedroom with fluffy cream rugcredit

Add some rugs

If the floor looks shoddy, consider using some rugs rather than going to all of the expense and hassle of laying new flooring. They don’t cost much, and are usually the quickest and easiest option. Just be careful not to create a trip hazard.

Bedside pendant lights with decorative bare bulbscredit

Put in a new light bulb

Sometimes, even after you have done all of this, the room can still appear to be a bit dark and dingy. Usually, you can resolve this by taking the light fixture down, giving it a thorough clean and putting in a brighter bulb. Also, try tying back the curtains so that more natural light can enter the room.

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How to achieve a dreamy bedroom

How to achieve a dreamy bedroomcredit

The bedroom should be a place to retreat into, a place to forget the stresses and worries of the day. A space that you find cosy and relaxing by night time enabling you to drift off – and refreshing and positive as you wake. So, set the scene for a good night’s sleep by creating a dreamy bedroom.

White painted four poster bedcredit

Choose the right bed

Many of us keep the same old bed and mattress for many years beyond their best – quite surprising when you consider how much time we actually spend in bed over a lifetime – an average of a third by most estimates! Perhaps it’s time to consider a new mattress or complete change of look. Four-poster beds, sleigh beds and French provincial beds make climbing into bed feel so much more dreamy. Add fluffy pillows, soft blankets and throws so you can really snuggle in for the night.

All white bedroom with white beddingcredit

Sheets, blankets or duvet?

Which ever of these options you prefer, choose something that’s made of pure linen, 100% wool or Egyptian cotton. The quality of materials and thread-count, well… count. You want bed linen that keeps you warm but doesn’t make you over-heat. Sleep is only satisfactory if you’re comfortable; not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

Electric candlelight at a bedsidecredit

Light up the night

As you wind down and get ready for bed, the room lighting is very important. There’s nothing worse than a stark, bright overhead bulb in the bedroom. A directional bedside lamp might be required for reading, but also think about candlelight, flicker flame bulbs or fairy lights to create a relaxing mood and atmosphere. What about using one of those children’s night-lights that project stars or other shapes on the ceiling or walls?

Lavender linen spraycredit

Make it scent-sational

The wonderful aroma of flowers, scented candles, room diffusers or linen spray creates a real haven of relaxation and natural calm. Lavender, in particular, aids restful sleep; so look for products that incorporate this beautiful fragrance. You could make your own pillow mist which is easily done by combining a little lavender essential oil, witch hazel and water in a little pump-action bottle.

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How many hours is a good night’s sleep?

Bedside table with alarm clock, pot of flowers, cup & saucer, teaspoon and bananacredit

Sleep is something that many people take for granted, but that should not be the case. If you don’t get enough sleep then you can end up experiencing difficulties in your life. You can find it difficult to concentrate when you’re working or studying. You can even cause danger on the roads if you attempt to drive your car while you are tired from lack of sleep.

The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to remain healthy; even missing out on as little as half an hour’s sleep can make you feel really tired. You shouldn’t experience any major problems if you do not miss out on sleep very often, but if it starts to happen fairly often then you can find yourself starting to feel irritable and stressed out. We’re going to take a look at some things you can do in order to try and ensure that you get the seven to nine hours sleep you need each night.

Arm showing above a duvetcredit

Making sure your bed is comfortable

One of the most important things you can do in order to try and ensure you get a good night’s sleep is make sure you have a comfortable bed on which to sleep. The idea of comfort varies from person to person; some people prefer their bed to be soft but others need a firmer level of support. This is often especially the case if a person suffers from back or neck pain.

The most important thing to do is make sure that the bed you have is comfortable for you. Do you need a firm mattress? Could a new mattress topper provide you with the support you need? You can take a look at online advice from experts such as Sleep Judge to get further information on how to make sure you’re comfortable when you sleep.

Laptop backlight shining on a bed at nightcredit

Switching off the lights

Most people switch off the lights in the room when they go to sleep but that is not always enough to ensure that you get the good sleep that you need. You need to make sure that the room you’re sleeping in is as dark as possible. Any light that is present can disrupt your sleep pattern. This is especially the case with the blue light that is emitted from electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones. You should never attempt to fall asleep in a room where one of these devices is switched on because you will find it difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep.

The amount of sleep you need to remain healthy varies depending on the individual but it normally lies in the seven to nine hours per night range. Making sure you have a comfortable bed to sleep on, and ensuring that you sleep in a dark room, are both important factors in determining whether you’re able to get the sleep that you need.

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5 things we do in bed… it’s not just for sleeping!

Button & Sprung bed with floral upholstered headboard and base

Many people see their bedroom as a sacred shrine to sleep. You read articles advising insomniacs to remove unnecessary distractions such as computers and mobile phones from the room. Luckily, both of us rarely have trouble dropping off to sleep. It’s said that you spend a third of your life in bed – for us it could be getting on for up for a half! Here are some of the things we get up to in bed… no sniggering there at the back!

Working from home in bedcredit

Work

We both work primarily from home, and a lot of that time is actually working from bed. Working mornings begin before we even get out of bed; we’re on the iPad or laptop answering emails, browsing social media… and even blogging. They’re all jobs done from the comfort of bed. Speaking of comfort, upholstered beds & headboards give necessary support to your back. They can be beautiful as well as practical, we especially love the pretty floral patterned example from Button & Sprung in our main image. Get extra help from bolsters and cushions.

wall mounted bedside reading lightcredit

Read

If you enjoy reading in bed, you’ll need decent lighting. A wall-mounted reading light frees up limited bedside table space. The bulb should be bright enough so you don’t strain your eyes, but not so bright that you dazzle yourself. Get a lamp with an adjustable, directional arm so that you (and your page-turner) don’t disturb or keep the other person awake.

Breakfast and newspapers in bedcredit

Eat

We usually have coffee in bed first thing most days, but breakfast in bed, especially at the weekend – now that’s a real real treat. A tray laden with fresh coffee, croissants, fruit, bacon & egg… along with newspapers and the radio… bliss! Come to think of it, it’s been a while – Sunday it is.

Bedroom decorated in natural shades with TV mounted on a wall at the base of the bedcredit

Watch TV

We love watching films and gorging on box sets such as House of Cards and Scandi dramas. We have a large TV mounted on the wall opposite the bed in our upstairs den. It’s such a comfortable position to watch the screen from. The perfect place to switch off and relax in the evenings – wood-burner crackling, pillows plumped up, a snack or chocolate treat close to hand.

Poppy storage bed base from Button & Sprung

Store stuff

Your bed can take up a huge amount of the space in your bedroom. Make it a multi-functional, practical piece of furniture by having an ottoman or under-drawers. You can never have too much storage space! You’ll find a large selection of divan beds with drawers and king-size ottoman storage beds on the Button & Sprung website. Bedding, towels, out-of-season clothes, shoes or, in my case, the overspill of vintage handbags can all be stored out of the way until needed.

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