Don’t be afraid to go a little OTT with a theme. Our top tip? Find brands that do them with panache – like this vroom-vroom room from Vertbaudet (pictured), or a cute car motif wallpaper from Marimekko. Talk about a dream machine.
This stylish nineteenth-century house on London’s Portobello Road is the work of Eleanora Cunietti, one half of Carden Cunietti design practice. The main bedroom has a rich colour scheme and a palette of teal predominates. The owner loves it. ‘There is something incredibly calming about the colour,’ she says. ‘It reminds me of water, always changing, always different.’ The bedcover is ‘Meadow’ silk by Mulberry.
In a west London industrial mews house owned by designer Caroline Riddell, the main bedroom has a neutral palette of panelled wood walls with splashes of yellow, creating a bright, sunny space. Open-plan living is made cosy with warm touches to this family home and office.
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Floor-to-ceiling windows ensure this child’s bedroom in Gytha Nuttall’s south London home is flooded with natural light. The internal windows also emphasises a feeling of height, which is much-needed here – the structure of an office space in a former schoolhouse was adapted to create this ‘flat within a flat’.
After visiting her friend Kathryn Ireland in France’s Tarn region, Anne Halsey bought a French farmhouse retreat there and enlisted the help of the decorator to create a relaxed space perfect for entertaining. This twin bedroom is decorated with a pastel pink colour palette and features white gauzy canopies, which are often adored by children (particularly those who like princesses). The subtle scheme is ideal for young and teenage girls alike as this style is both fun and ‘grown-up’.
The refurbishment of this central London townhouse was a case of sisters doing it for themselves; interior designer Amanda Baring’s sister is the owner. A painting of a party dress hangs in a frame (see how to do your own version here) while curtains made from ‘Les Chiens’ cotton from Clarence House add a playful note to the bedroom, which mixes an array of print and pattern.
Jane Sacchi recounts the experiences of updating a twelfth-century tower in Florence, with her husband, architect Bruno Sacchi. ‘It took three years to transform it into an exceptional family home, during which period Bruno often wandered about with a hammer and chisel picking plaster off the walls to expose the frescoes.’
Define each area with a clear purpose, so that every inch of space works hard. Here, a desk doubles up as a dressing table with built-in drawers and three pretty mirrors. This clever trundle bed is perfect for weekend sleepovers!
Two headboards? Why not? We love the idea of reusing some reclaimed wood to make a headboard (see how to make one out of old doors here) and then placing another headboard in a different material in front of it (this one is from Zara Home). Very original.
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Wendy Nicholls of Colefax and Fowler has honed her personal and professional style in her London flat which is full of Victorian accents and unique accessories. Wendy’s bedroom has a softer palette, with an embroidered bedspread from Chelsea Textiles. Walls of pale mauveish grey show off the yellow silk of the four-poster’s simple, unlined curtains. Her shock revelation is that they were made from silk taken from the curtains in the yellow drawing room at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler’s Brook Street building. That room, with its lacquered buttercup walls and three pairs of massive curtains hung about with passementerie, was a shrine to decorating, an emblem of their grandest classical style. Was it heresy to cut up its curtains? Wendy quickly assures that these were the last remnants of earlier pairs, which had fallen into shreds.
The naturally subdued color scheme of rustic style is perfect for a small space. Use weathered wood, an interesting ceiling fixture, and whimsical touches like the faux animal heads in this enviable room from Peace Design to give your bedroom lots of interest.
If there’s one thing that makes a bedroom, it’s soft bedding you can see yourself burrowing into. Get that right, then add a striking pendant light and statement nightstand for a look that’s the epitome of effortless style.
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Shoe horning three children into one bedroom is no mean feat and to pull it off this stylishly is quite a challenge. Three boys inhabit this small room; each has his own super cool platform bed suspended from ropes at differing levels, an individual wall light and artworks adorning their space. A colour palette of earthy grey looks wonderful teamed with natural wood and uplifting warm yellow. Every bed is identically dressed in crisp white linen and highlighted with a textural grey blanket and accented yellow cushion. Each child has an equal portion of the room so sharing should be a joy and not a trial. In fact, I can quite imagine these boys enjoying bed swapping every night! My top tips would be that when furnishing a small room, limit your of colours and materials – using too many will visually clutter a room and make it feel much smaller. The adage “less is more” is so true! Also, wall mounting furniture makes a room feel bigger – it’s all about being able to see under and around things that tricks the eye into thinking a space is bigger than it really is. Image Credit
Combining classical proportions and traditional furnishings with the informal elements of family life, this house in Cornwall has proved the perfect acquisition for its owners. Before moving in, they asked the interior designer, architectural historian and natural paint expert Edward Bulmer for his help. ‘Edward has a marvellous eye,’ says the owner. He has a great feel for colour and he is fantastic at arranging furniture and pictures.’ For his part, Edward says that these are delightful clients, and are unusually united on aesthetic decisions. Despite their very different backgrounds, they share a taste for the modest grandeur of English country-house style, for antique rugs, traditional chintz and books. The wall is painted in ‘Ochre’ from Edward Bulmer Natural Paints.
If floor space is limited but you have higher ceilings, consider adding a loft or platform for your sleeping area with storage or seating underneath. This isn’t an option for everyone, but for those who don’t mind literally climbing into bed, this layout can completely transform a space.
This compact children’s room is brightened up with soft pink walls, while the dark wooden beams add definition as well as providing natural shelving. White furniture is ideal for giving the impression of more space in a small scheme.
‘We loved the cool, pared-down style of a house belonging to a Swedish art collector, which we had seen in a magazine,’ say the owners of this west-London terrace home. Enter Hugh Leslie whose unmistakable style gradually evolved the house into a smart family home. At the front of the house on the first floor is the pretty, generously proportioned main bedroom. Its walls are lined with the same buff-pink linen (‘Prelle Toile Barbare’ fabric by Alton Brooke) as the pelmets and the curtains, which adds an extra touch of glamour to the room. Behind it is the en-suite bathroom, with simple panelling, hand-built units and a walk-in shower lined in teak, which feels a bit like entering a first-class compartment on a vintage train.
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