When designing a bedroom, I feel it’s important to ensure that we are aware of how we would like to close the day and begin it. For myself I wanted to make a room that was creatively stimulating yet overall felt soothing to be in. Colour and texture play a large role in our bedroom design. I took notes from all of the best hotel suites I’d ever seen like Domaine Des Etangs in Massignac, France or the Villa Treville in Positano, Italy and aimed for a notch higher. Your bedroom is where you spend most of your time rejuvenating yourself so when you invest in your bedroom you are actually investing in yourself therefore it’s worth aiming for perfection.
When we moved in, the bedroom was originally a faded beige floral wallpaper and worn out pale beige carpet. It was not alarming, but it lacked any restful interest for me. I kept thinking about how I would like to uncover something like the raw texture of an old Italian Palazzo with torn wallpaper and plaster crumble; I wanted to create visual interest so that when I laid in bed I felt like I had something to rediscover every morning.
I decided to re-use the inherited wallpaper scheme by painstakingly steaming some out, tearing sheets down and sanding the ‘bald spots’ I’d created so that the raw plaster would show through along with the edges where the paper meets the plaster. In the process it revealed the original decorator’s handwritten notes in blue pencil, an unexpected yet welcome detail that I decided to keep as it added to the history of the house.
The more layers we removed and reworked, the more colours were unveiled from the original beige to peach and even a hospital green. I worked with Bauwerk Colour known for their modern lime wash paints, to emphasise these hues with a wash in different tones to stain the original wallpaper, brushed on in sweeping motions. After all of this I still felt like it looked too done, so I sat for hours scratching at it with a nail to rough it up. The architects and decorators were utterly confused, saying the project has officially driven me crazy. It partially might have been true but not about the decor!
For furniture, I love a bit of juxtaposition so it felt right to complement the raw interests with something contemporary and linear. Working with a fabricator to bring my vision to life, we custom designed some iconic pieces. The table tucked into an alcove was made to look like a simplistic brass desk with curved edges and an Art Deco feel and reveals a vanity inside.
The bedside tables were created to float seamlessly beside a four-poster bed that’s essentially a giant cube made from brass. I love brass because, when left to live, it ages and changes in patina in a beautifully unique way; taking on the history of the house and its inhabitants. It felt relevant after I did so much to the walls to create that well-loved, time-worn look.
The rich blue velvet drapes were chosen to counter the feminine overtones of the plaster colours found in the walls and to pull out the blue of the decorator’s handwriting and the dark stained floor boards. They were custom-made and really help to draw the eye up, showcasing how high the ceiling is. I’m naturally drawn to velvet, it feels decadent and warming; it’s in the section of the cult classic Togo sofa in an incredible old rose and in the vanity stool and chair finished with fringing. We don’t have a rug so it brings just the right amount of soft texture.
Lastly, a stunning piece of art from Simon Casson hangs over the mantel; a swipe of paint that slices the canvas in two. It’s immensely personal because it’s a gift from my now husband Tommy and it actually hides the television on a specially designed brass sliding picture rail. Much like our home, it’s the perfect juxtaposition between the 200 year old history of the house and a play on today’s modernity while bringing together the colour palette as a whole. Plus it means we don’t have to stare at a telly, a gorgeous piece of art is everything!
At the end of the day, i’m falling into a cocoon of soft layers of overwashed and faded bedlinen, and every morning I wake up feeling invigorated by my surroundings. A bedroom is so deeply personal, it’s all about finding that balance that works for you.