Well, January’s been a busy old month in the house decoration mission, and we’re currently feeling pretty darn smug with how much we’ve achieved since the start of the year. Before Christmas, the upstairs of our house was in disarray – boxes everywhere, furniture blocking every passage way, a spare room which had been stripped of wallpaper and left as an empty shell, a nursery room which was acting as a dumping ground for everything we didn’t have a place for, and our bedroom feeling like the messy space we didn’t like spending much time in.
And now? Well we have an absolutely delightful spare room (if I do say so myself) that is functioning as both a home office and a guest room as well as a cosy space I just can’t get enough of, a freshly painted nursery room that just needs a few finishing touches, a clear landing free of furniture and boxes and a main bedroom which, while not decorated, is back to being in liveable condition with space to move freely around the bed once again.
Back in December you might remember me blogging about our plans for the spare room in our house, and mentioning our desires to make it a truly multi functional space. It’s been our main project since moving in to our new place back in October, the one room that needed the most work, and the one room we were determined to tackle first and get completed before there was a baby in our lives. It almost felt more important to us than the nursery room, which sounds silly but considering that we’re not expecting mini to be in their own room for at least six months, it made sense to tackle one of the rooms that would be getting the most use over the next few months. Having somewhere comfortable to house guests when they visit was key, and for me especially, having a calm and motivational space to work from felt very important. Not just because working from the sofa was getting tiresome, but because our lives are about to hurtle into the chaotic unknown, and making sure at least one room offers a sense of normality, might just help.
We worked with DFS on this project, who helped us turn an empty tired looking room into a stylish inviting space that’s fast becoming a true haven. Last year I was lucky enough to visit the DFS factory and learn all about their manufacturing process and since then, they’re the furniture brand I always turn to when looking for sofa advice. Their pieces are for the most part made in the UK by skilled craftsmen and women and with their range being so big, it’s easy to find something that suits your needs without breaking the bank. We’ve had a few pieces of furniture from DFS over the years, and the quality has always been unrivalled with the pieces lasting the test of time so I was really pleased to bring some of that quality into this room too.
You can read more about our exact goals and needs for the room in my previous post, but the general idea was to turn the small space into a chic room that could switch easily from being a home office day to day, to being a guest room when needed (and not be averse to housing a small child from time to time).
Obviously, when expecting a baby, there are certain functional aspects you need to consider when re-decorating, and we’ve certainly found that our mindset has changed significantly when it comes to our wants and needs in a house since getting pregnant. Having said that, when so much of your life suddenly becomes about sensible purchases and functional decisions, it’s easy to lose sight of your own personal style. Although we wanted to make sure our spare room was baby friendly in many ways, we didn’t want to fall into a trap of looking at it only from a parenting point of view, and were keen to keep it as grown up and true to ‘us’ as we could. Seeing as my husband now refers to it is ‘your room’ I think I’ve succeeded in making it true to my style anyway ha! We were limited with the size of the room so needed to be clever with storage and sleeping arrangements, ensure that there was a work vibe for my office, and keep a sense of comfort to nurse a baby to sleep in the early hours. I’m happy to say that I think we’ve achieved all of that!
Today I thought I’d finally reveal the completed room, with before and after pics and how we set about tackling it. (Warning – very picture heavy post!!)
The lining paper goes up…
A first glimpse of the new pink wall…
When my first post on this project went live, we had just stripped the wallpaper off the walls entirely and by the time Christmas rolled around had a rather bleak looking empty room with four bare walls.
Our first task in the new year was to re-wallpaper – a laborious yet necessary step that seemed to take ages and was fairly unsatisfying. We opted for a plain lining paper as were painting on top and just needed a base layer. After a few days of getting covered in wallpaper paste, navigating tricky edges around the fireplace and getting extremely frustrated when we accidentally cut lengths too short, we had a wallpapered room ready to be painted (and felt exhausted already).
The painting itself I actually had very little hand in, being 8 months preggo and all, and although it didn’t take too long, probably wasn’t GB’s favourite week (I’m not sure he’s destined for a career in painting and decorating). As I mentioned previously, I’d always dreamed of a dusky pink wall in my office and luckily I managed to persuade my Husband it was a good idea too. We decided on whites and greys as our main colours with the pink and a soft green being accents. Choosing which wall to paint which colour was tricky as we weren’t entirely sure how all of the furniture would fit but in the end we both felt the fireplace surround was crying out for a bit of colour and therefore it made sense to mirror the opposite wall with the pink shade. The rest of the walls were painted in a simple white emulsion, and lastly we freshened up all the woodwork on the skirtings and picture rail using a white satinwood (I’ll never forget the look on GB’s face when he came down the stairs thinking he was finished only for me to remind him about the woodwork). All of the paint we used was Wickes own brand, as it just so happened that they had the shades we were looking for, and the space being small, meant we didn’t have to spend a fortune.
By the time all the walls were painted, it already felt like a totally different room and I was super excited for our furniture to arrive so that I could indulge my styling side.
Our DFS picks
As the room is our only spare room, it does need to function as a bedroom whenever guests come to stay and therefore our main requirement was to find an alternative to a bed that wouldn’t look out of place in an office space, fitted the rooms small dimensions, looked stylish and was still comfy enough to make a decent sleeping option.
After much deliberation, we decided on a sofabed and set about looking for something that folded out into a strong and reliable double bed without overwhelming the room. We also wanted it to be just as comfortable as a sofa too seeing as that’s how it would be used for the majority of the time, and of course fit the style we were aiming for and be in a complimentary colour. Enter the Arden sofabed from DFS – it comes in various different sizes but we opted for the smaller 2 seater deluxe which just fit along the main wall of our room, and was able to be expanded to a bed without filling the whole space. We chose the charcoal grey which is a gorgeous warm tone in a cosy woven fabric. It also sits on skandi style wooden legs (which you can choose in light or dark wood) and the buttons on the cushions can be done in a statement colour. After a slightly hairy moment where we thought it might not fit where we’d planned it to, our new sofa was in and everything felt a lot more homely. What we really love about this sofabed is how large and bouncy the cushions are, and how wide it is in sofa mode, meaning you don’t have to compromise on a comfy seat just because it’s also a bed (which happens so often with sofa beds). We also chose it based on the thickness of the mattress for the bed, making it more of a durable long term option for us.
Due to the size of the room, we were limited on how much other furniture we could fit in (so hard when there were so many gorgeous pieces at DFS), especially knowing that my desk would be taking up at least one wall but I really hoped I could squeeze in my DFS pink Britannia armchair somewhere (the chair that I hand upholstered myself during the press trip last year and is the comfiest thing in the world). Luckily we made it fit in one of the alcove corners and the pink fabric complimented the pink statement wall perfectly. I can’t think of a better chair to have in this room for once our baby arrives – it’s nice and wide, amazingly comfortable and will be the perfect spot to nurse in and get a baby back off to sleep.
We did also choose a storage unit to keep extra baby clothes and accessories in, but unfortunately the dimensions were just a little too big for our wonky alcoves in this old house and it didn’t fit. We have found a great home for it in our kitchen instead though where it’s doubling up as an extra work surface and potential downstairs changing station so photos of that to come soon.
Lastly we chose a stylish nest of tables to make the room feel more like a living space day to day (which also happen to make the perfect flat lay surfaces for my blog/Instagram photos), a cosy rug to cover up the carpet and make the room more homely and an array of cushions in shades of pink, grey and white to bring it all together (you can never have too many cushions if you ask me!)
After – the full reveal
To save linking to each individual piece throughout the post, I’ve included a full round up of everything in the room at the bottom of the post (just shout if I’ve missed anything).
There’s always that wobbly moment in a room makeover before you’ve added the finishing touches that you think ‘Oh I’m not sure’ but once the furniture had been arranged how we’d imagined it (so thankful we managed to squeeze my desk into the corner with the sofabed still able to expand – whew!), pictures had been hung, plants had been added (a touch of greenery makes all the difference), curtains which matched the charcoal grey of the sofa had been put up, mirrors used to make the space appear bigger (can you believe that deco style mirror had been discarded and left by our previous tenants? We found it dusty and forgotten in our downstairs cupboard – what a gem!) and final style details finessed, it honestly just came together and we couldn’t be happier with the end result.
The sun shines in the room in the morning, warming up that spot on the sofa beautifully and making it my favourite place to start the day with a cuppa. The room, despite having more in it now, somehow feels bigger than it did previously and the soft colour palette seems to work wonderfully to create a calm environment. With my desk back up and running (I won’t go into detail on the styling of that as I did a post previously on my home office makeover, and bar a few new pieces it’s as it was) I once again have a motivational space that I feel excited to work from, and managed to get my tax return done in no time at all! Looking up at my fresh pink wall and tropical cheese plant (a gift from a friend who clearly knows me well) also makes me stupidly happy each day – like a slice of Miami heat even on the coldest of days. The only new addition to my desk is the black wall grid which has replaced my rose gold frame as a bit of a pinboard. It’s actually an Ikea hack – using two of their outdoor trellis’s for climbing plants (a much cheaper alternative to the desk versions which are usually around £50!).
Having the sofa in the room makes sure it’s not too office led too, and some afternoons when GB is at home, he’ll come upstairs and work from the sofa while I’m typing away at my desk, and it all feels really relaxed. We’ve also brought our Moses basket into the room too and propped it up next to that comfy armchair in the corner. I’m sure relaxation might not be as easily achieved in a month’s time, but right now I’m imagining rocking a little one to sleep in there and then maybe catching a power nap myself on the armchair while the world goes by outside the window.
One thing that garnered a lot of attention when I shared a sneak peek of the room on Instagram, was the large flamingo print from artist Sofie Rolfdotter. I actually spotted this in a living room picture on Pinterest months ago, and knew immediately I wanted it for this room. It took a bit of tracking down, as the image didn’t mention the designer but eventually I found it and had to have it. It’s now only sold in this tall size, but I actually love the fact that it takes up the whole alcove and makes a true statement as you walk in. The prints on the other side are a few I picked up from Desenio (who have an AMAZINGLY huge range and sell the frames too) and I especially love the Copenhagen print which reminds me of our great weekend trip there last summer. Our plan is to eventually get one for every city we’ve visited together and have them dotted all around the house.
Anyway that’s our finished room, and we really are so pleased with the end result! I hope you’ve enjoyed peeking into the project and that it might have inspired you in some way! Let me know if you have any questions at all!
All the Links
Sofabed – Arden 2 seater deluxe c/o DFS
Desk – Stanton Corner Desk at Lakeland Furniture
Office Chair – Retro Europe at Amazon (now sold out)
Pink Armchair – Britannia c/o DFS (sold out, similar)
White Nest of Tables – c/o DFS
Cushion (desk chair) – grey check – c/o DFS
Pink check throw (on sofa) – Next (sold out)
Cream throw (on armchair) – Aldi
Cream and Black Trellis rug – c/o DFS
Moses Basket – Izziwotnot
Large full length mirror – Ikea
Small Deco mirror – left by previous tenants
Copper and black standing lamp – Aldi
Flamingo print – Sofie Rolfsdotter at Wayfair
Copenhagen Print, Tropical print and small Ampersand print – all Desenio
Typewriter – vintage found at car boot
Woven basket (for tall plant) – Ikea
Charcoal Grey curtains – Argos
All desk accessories – found in this post
Desk wall grid – Ikea
*This post was in collaboration with DFS, who we worked with to revamp this room. However as always all ideas, word and photos are my own and I genuinely do love the brand and would have turned to them for furniture anyway.*