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The brief? To create a calm green bedroom to get better sleep. The challenges? Too many to mention. Have I delivered? Well, yes!
Discover the shocking Before & After pictures and read below for all the details and style tips of my bedroom makeover.
One room, one journey
This bedroom renovation has been my most ambitious project to date. With every design scheme comes a new learning curve — and it has been a steep one. You may remember my summer living room makeover. Now, looking back, I realise how easy that project was in comparison. No dust, no blisters and no blood! (There were tears, though.)
The challenges were frequent and I encountered many unforeseen obstacles along the way… however, the end result was worth it. I wrote on the blog about my plans for a relaxing bedroom. That’s when I realised I had to develop a design around the main function of the room: a better night’s sleep.
From plan to reality
There were ambitious plans for my green bedroom and most of those were realised. The glossy textured ceiling was removed, plug sockets were added (because one is not enough), a new radiator was installed and the grotty carpet is gone forever. Free tip: cream/white carpets are never a good idea unless you learn to levitate. Let me know how you do.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to remove the cheap coving as that would have meant re-plastering the whole room. Instead, I elevated it and made it look like the real deal. I used the same tactic for my basic uPVC windows with MDF window sills. I share all my “elevating” secrets below. And the style? Early in the design process, I wrote:
“The keywords of this bedroom design are stylish and elegant, with a subtle hint of mid-century modern. Well… it’s mainly mid-century modern.”
Before & After: my green bedroom makeover
The bedroom before
There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the way the previous owner of the house decorated the bedroom. However, the textured ceiling and the half-curtains/vertical blinds combo aged the space. The stained cream carpet didn’t help either. In fact, this room was the only no-go area for visitors. Until now…
The bedroom after
I have transformed the bedroom into a calm, elegant oasis. All the pieces of the scheme work together in harmony. Everything has a defined purpose, whether it’s aesthetic or functional. Beyond all these fancy words, it just feels good to be in this room. It’s comfortable, private and relaxing. Nap anyone?
A soothing colour scheme for a bedroom
To bring a sense of “under the tree canopy”, I went for an all-green colour scheme that minimises harsh contrasts. Little Greene was my manufacturer of choice. I’ve written about choosing eco-friendly paint with low VOCs before. Something vital in a bedroom. And the inspiration came from a hotel in Copenhagen (hue and split wall), another hotel in Detroit (window accents) and Little Greene’s paint catalogue (final tones).
For the walls, I used Aquamarine and Ambleside. Aquamarine is a green-blue and Ambleside is a darker green, both with cold undertones. On the ceiling, I used Aquamarine Pale. This creates an interesting optical illusion as the brain thinks it’s white, but the soft transition unifies the space. Finally, I painted the wooden floorboards in the obscenely rich Obsidian Green.
STYLE TIP: Here are five ways to make the ceiling seem higher:
1.- Remove texture or Artex as it creates visual distractions
2.- Choose paint with a matt finish to disguise surface imperfections
3.- Paint the ceiling in a lighter tint than the walls (e.g. white with a dollop of your wall paint)
4.- Draw attention upwards using vertical lines (tall curtains, slim tall furniture, etc.)
5.- Use uplighters and lamps with diffusers rather than ceiling spotlights
Room tour: a calm mid-century modern inspired green bedroom
After months of decorating and never-ending DIY sessions, here it is at last! The full room tour of my own Boreal Boudoir. I hope you enjoy it, whether you’re looking for green bedroom ideas and inspiration, or you’re just curious and want to have a nosey.
My existing furniture had to work with the colour scheme. The mid-century modern style bed and side tables have a warm reddish finish. The stained wood works well against the colder green walls and it acts as an indirect biophilic element. I opted for a timeless design, to ensure such investment can survive any decorating trends to come.
Small-space storage solutions
There had to be a special place for my beloved vintage Poul Cadovious’ Royal System shelving. I wrote a juicy blog post about this mid-century modern shelving unit previously. Modular furniture now seems like a given, but it all started with Poul Cadovious. Wall-mounted storage means the floor underneath is unobstructed. Making the room appear larger.
In the other alcove, I put an A-frame open wardrobe. It was meant to be a temporary solution until the right piece appeared. Time passed, and I realised this simple bamboo wardrobe with its handy boxes was both functional and minimal. All my clothes fit neatly. It lets the light go through it and doesn’t look bulky in this shallow alcove.
Luxury window treatments
Sometimes you have to splurge and that’s what I did to elevate my three basic windows. I painted a faux frame around them in off-white (Wood Ash) and installed DIY solid wood shutters of a similar colour. This creates the illusion of built-in shutters seen in many grand period homes. Plus solid shutters block the light more efficiently at night.
STYLE TIP: Get yourself a copy of The Little Book of Colour by Little Greene. If you’re serious about decorating, it will help you come up with stunning colour schemes that always work. And you won’t have to buy dozens of sample pots as it’s easier to narrow your choices.
So, the night-time blackout situation was solved. But what about daytime privacy? That’s where the curtains come in. I ordered made-to-measure curtains to cover the entire length of the wall. The natural mesh fabric lets plenty of light in whilst providing privacy. I can now see the sky through my curtains and the neighbours can’t see me in my undies — or can they?
A classic-style radiator
The old radiator wasn’t a design crime. But it was too weak, and the bedroom was always cold. When buying a radiator it’s easy to focus only on style and size. Instead, start with the heat output (measured in BTU). I used an online tool to calculate the BTU required to heat my bedroom. Tip: I shared the ideal indoor temperature in this sustainability blog post.
The traditional Colosseum radiator from Soak.com not only looks fancy, but it heats the room efficiently. I don’t feel the need to hide it as it complements the window treatments and adds to their period vibe.
The white EOS feather lampshade by Vita Copenhagen takes centre stage in the room. It’s a Japanese-style paper shade with goose feathers attached to it. The feathers filter the light producing a subtle warm glow. Ideal for a bedroom.
On the bedside tables, you can see something rather unusual. Enter my latest vintage discovery: a pair of funky metal lamps with reflectors — from the 70s, of course! They were made in Germany by Böhmer. The pamela hats pivot on the bulbs to direct the light as needed.
Textiles and textures
A rug under the bed was always part of the plan. And a king-sized bed needs an area rug almost as large as the room, in typical Victorian fashion. This medium-pile rug in warm grey features a textured geometric motif. This adds a touch of pattern to an otherwise pattern-less scheme.
STYLE TIP: When choosing a rug to place under your bed, err on the large side. It should be big enough so you can step on it as you walk around the bed from one bedside table to the other.
Investing in natural bedding was a good choice. The cool light green colour is the perfect backdrop for the forest green velvet cushion. They almost mirror the colours of the walls. And a casually placed white throw brings more texture without being distracting.
Adding interest to the walls
With one entire wall covered by curtains, the remaining walls need breathing space to let the eyes rest. After all, a calm relaxing bedroom was the essence of the design brief. Negative space is prominent elsewhere, and it helps frame the artwork above the bed.
Bristol-based artist Joshua is the man behind this playful watercolour diptych. “Play” and “Time” were commissioned for this project. That’s why the colours complement the green bedroom scheme. I love the detailed organic shapes and the sense of orderly chaos.
Final styling touches
Confession: bling is not my thing. But I knew the space needed a hint of metal. Brushed brass seemed like the perfect compromise. Not too blingy, yet still shiny. The oversized mirror, door hook and two trays all satisfy the need for metallic accents.
For the Royal System shelving unit and bedside tables, I chose a minimalist approach to styling. Two vases in contrasting shapes and finishes, a few books, a framed picture, an old piece of coral and a tray here and there. As mentioned above, negative space works its magic to bring balance and visual interest with only a few items.
What do you think of my green bedroom?
Thanks to everyone who followed my bedroom renovation over the last few months. From the original blog post with the idea/mood board to my silly Instagram Stories doing DIY. I appreciate every comment and emoji reaction. You made it fun!
I hope you have enjoyed the full tour of the makeover. You have seen the space evolve from the beginning. What’s your favourite part of my green bedroom now that is finished? Please, leave your comment below and let me know.Want more? Don't miss the subscriber-only articles in the newsletter Join the mailing list