Saturday, 22 December 2007

My Sanctuary...My bedroom

It is true that you need to spend more money to decorate THE room (in your house) where you spend most of your time in it. For me, THE room will be our bedroom. In fact we finished to redecorate our bedroom the last after all the other room. I spend quite a bit of time looking at stacks of magazine, Laura Ashley catalogue (doesn't mean I am buying from them), ebay, etc too look for ideas and estimated how much it will cost.

Since we decide to adopt "French" look for our house, I couldn't look too much in IKEA, Argos, Next or Habitat because they are mainly into modern-contemporary-retro looks. So my list of look-out store become Laura Ashley, Ampthill antiques shop and Marshall and Stewart. They are all an expensive store, a sofa from Laura ashley can range from 1000-3000 pound easily. I said to myself "Nah, it's gotta be a cheaper alternative".

So here is my checklist before decorating my bedroom.

1. Color patch.
I always match ALL of my furniture, carpets, wallpapers, paint to the main color theme. For my bedroom we choose, Gold, pale dusty pink, and gold brown shade. It make it easier to decide what to buy and not to buy. Remember, that color scheme is very important, don't buy a piece of furniture or wallpaper just because you like it if the color doesn't match the scheme.

2. The wallpaper and paint
Wallpaper playing important role in adding "ambience" in your bedroom. In fact most hotels, bed&breakfast, know this tricks. You must put on wallpaper even when the wallpaper is plain. Is there any difference with painted wall then? Yes, it is. That's what makes our house looks less cozy than those bed&breakfast. Wallpaper tends to add rich texture and hide uneven wall plaster which add "personality" to your room. However, I have to warn you that there is an art in putting it up.

We chose "magnolia" in natural from Laura Ashley. Refuse to pay hefty 25 pound a roll for this wallpaper I decide to buy from ebay! Yeah, I have to be thankful for half of my house come from it. Another tricks it wait until the sale (which Laura Ashley holds every now and then). Due to vertical pattern repeat, we decide to panel our room before adding the wallpaper. The result is this. Another wall we place a gold checks wallpaper which Laura Ashley discontinued (so we get it for 1.5 pound a roll!!!). However we decide to paint one of the wall with dark brown color. Because the color is dark, there is no point putting on wallpaper as you can't tell the difference until you touch it. We thought it will be too "loud" if we have all 4 walls to be panelled.

3. The carpet
Fortunately, our bedroom comes with carpet that matches the color of our patches. So one less heachache to be think off.

4. The bed
The main item in the bedroom, the bed... what kind of bed? My first choice land on Marshall and Stewart bedframe called Bouquet. However, this bed doesn't have any slat-base. And I have to fork another 300 pound for it. Which I think a bit silly (to get only bed base, not even mattresses). So my second choice come from cantori, called Pascia in glittery silver leaf. I waited until they have a great sale before buying it, trust me, it's worthed. In fact, we've posed quite a lot with it. Click here for one of the snaps.

5. Decide a focal point
It is important to have a focal point in a room. For our living room (and most of others) it's commonly the fireplace and over-mantle mirror on the top of it. We had decide to put our bed as the focal point. So we place it right on the centre of the room.

6. Dresser table, chest cabinet and armoire.
As I say, I decide to go for french themed-home. I decide to buy heavily carved cream furniture. First time I saw what I eye for in Milton Keynes, MK:centre. But, it was like 900 pound for a wardrobe??!! Can't believe that. So I went home and venture on ebay, and found exactly the same one for 350 pound. And then the story goes. (Ebay tips, when you buy a bunch of furniture from the same seller you bound to get better bargain if you ask for it, plus you save on delivery!). Another alternative is this, TRADE SECRETS. It's one of my biggest finding while surfing the net. You can get Laura Ashley, House of Fraser and John Lewis furniture for a fraction of its price (which means less than 50% of the real price). There is hardly any fault on it, because all these high-stress vendor can not resell a customer return goods, which lead to this warehouse at the end of the day.

7. Lighting.
All the while eversince I stepped my feet in England, I feel in love with french chandeliers. They are beautiful and elegant, glitters with crystal droplets and worn-look gold paint. I don't want my bedroom to be too bright, instead I wanted it too look dimm and elegant. So I choose a 3 arm chandelier (even though to brighten up my bedroom it needs at least 5 arm chandelier), and many other corner lamps/standing lamps from wilkinson. The result is this tranquil look. Beware of choosing the bulb or otherwise you'll end up with white-flash-light look room.

8. Window covering
Nothing much I can say about this, as my wallpaper is stand out as the main wall feature, I couldn't choose a fancy design for my curtain and roman blinds. I choose mostly plain for slight textured fabric to add the room ambience. I would suggest to use silk or taffeta material to add a richness of plain colour fabrics.

9. Last touch.
You can add rugs, it's a great way to cover empty spaces without have to spend much on furniture. An antique painting or print out picture is a great ideas to add things on plain walls. Adding flower bouquet or orchid is another thing that I wanted to do (but still have no time to do it yet!).

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