€100 doesn’t sound like much but it can make a hell of a difference if you spend it wisely. We’ve – ok I’ve – just done up our bedroom for less than that and it is like a different room altogether. Whereas before it was mismatched and dated, it is now bright and airy and, in my humble opinion, lovely. I actually look forward to snuggling down to sleep each night and have been known over the past few weeks to pop upstairs for the sole purpose of peeping in at it.
For several months The Bavarian and I has been humming and hawing about getting a new bed. Our bed is big, which is great. Our room is small, which is not. We looked up beds of all kinds online and couldn’t agree on one. We thought about building one or maybe sawing off the headboard and foot end of the bed to make it seem to take up less space. No matter where we looked, we found nothing we both liked.
A couple of weeks ago The Bavarian had to go away for work. He was to be gone for five days. As I sat in the office at work the day he left it suddenly struck me that I could attack the bedroom and give it a makeover of my own choosing. While the cat’s away, the mice will play, and I felt like being a mouse. Once I got home from work I set about putting my plan into action. With a little help from the boys we took all the furniture except the bed frame and the wardrobe out of the room. The curtains came down. The lockers were taken out. The pictures were taken off the walls. Within an hour the room was bare.
A couple of hours later the room had been hoovered thoroughly and the bed wiped down and painted with a coat of Annie Sloan Old White paint that I had leftover from the bathroom makeover. The following night the bed got a second coat of white plus a coat of Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue on the metalwork. The next night I gave the whole bed a final coat of white, this time using Bondex Vintage Colour in Chalk White because I ran out of Annie Sloan and can’t get it locally.
Once all the paint was applied I sanded down the whole bed with a very fine sand paper to give the paint a nice, smooth, velvety finish. I gave the metalwork and the wooden bedposts a shabby, vintage look with a rougher sand paper, allowing the metal and the Duck Egg Blue to show through in places. The final step was to wax the bed but before moving on to that I dusted the whole bed down with a soft cloth and hoovered the whole room to remove the dust from sanding.
If you haven’t used Annie Sloan soft wax before, note this. Using wax gives a beautiful matt finish to the furniture you use it on but you need to use a lot of elbow grease to rub it in properly. I actually had muscle pain the day after waxing the bed, but it was worth it for the smooth finish and overall look.
So there I was with a bed as good as new and looking a lot brighter and smarter than it had done a few days previously. All it had cost me was €10 for a couple of sheets of sand paper and a small tin of Bondex paint. A new bed would have cost significantly more than that, leaving me with a nice budget for bedclothes, curtains and possibly accessories. Feeling brave, I took myself and the children off on the Saturday afternoon into Karlsruhe to T.K. Maxx. I love the place. It is damn near impossible to come out empty-handed as their homewares are such good value and quality.
I had in mind to go with a pale grey and white look for the room, leaving the pale green feature wall as the only bit of colour in the room. In under half an hour in T.K. Maxx I had sorted out bedsheets (€14) and the perfect curtains (€45). Sadly there were no king size bedlinen sets left but I did manage to find an incredibly soft, grey and cream knit throw for the end of the bed (€30). Happy with my purchases I headed home to begin best part of any makeover – the pulling a look together bit.
One thing I love about having an eclectic collection of homewares, linens and furniture is that I can quite easily mix and match it around the house. Back home with my T.K. Maxx haul unpacked, I went for a wander round the house and came back to the bedroom with the rest of what I needed for the makeover. A shabby cream chair from the bathroom, grey goose pillow cases I sewed last year, a string of lights brought back from Hema on our Holland holiday and a quilted, grey and white throw my mother bought me in France years ago.
The bedside lamps we had came back to their spots on either side of the bed. The Ikea unit we already had remained on one side of the bed while on the other side the mid-century kidney table got replaced by the cream chair. With those small changes, the new curtains and the bed made up with the combination of new and existing bedlinen, the room looked calm and restful compared to the chaos and clutter previously.
For a final touch and to add a bit of lightness to the side of the room opposite the window, I made a captain’s mirror from an old belt I had and a bathroom mirror I salvaged a few years ago. I’d been waiting for inspiration to hit me with that mirror and finally it did. I might, some day, even get round to posting a tutorial on making a captain’s mirror.
Looking round the room now I can hardly believe we spent so long wondering about buying a new bed. For €94 plus paint, wax and accessories we already had I was able to change a room we both disliked into a place we really like and feel comfortable in. The power of a budget bedroom makeover, eh?