In Home Style Tips

My calm green bedroom makeover (Before & After)

Transparency notice: This blog post is an advertisement because it features a gifted radiator from Soak.com and discounted paint from Little Greene. Learn more.

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.

Timeless furniture

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.

Design-led lighting

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.

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Juan Sandiego

I'm a Cardiff-based award-winning blogger with a passion for interiors and biophilic design. I help people transform their spaces with style and their well-being in mind. In Boreal Abode, I share my best design tips and expert advice to make your home your happy place.

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36 Comments

  1. Susan Earlam
    3 weeks ago

    This is stunning! Those curtains add a hotel vibe, love it!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Susan! I’m so glad you like it. Most of the inspiration came from hotels. And they know how to create relaxing spaces.

      Reply
  2. Becs
    3 weeks ago

    Wow!!! Just looking at this bedroom makes me feel calm and relaxed 😴☺️

    What a super job…congrats Juan. Simply stunning xx

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Becs! I’m happy you like it. It has been a long project but in the end it was so worth it.

      Reply
  3. Mathilda
    3 weeks ago

    Wow Juan! It looks stunning, you did a great job! I love the colours you chose and your curtains are so luxurious, beautiful! 🌟

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Mathilde! So glad you like the colour scheme. It took me a while to get the colours right. But I’m so pleased with the outcome.

      Reply
  4. Jumi Awomosu
    3 weeks ago

    Wow what a relaxing space! You have seriously upgraded this rooms appeal. I love the use of both greens, the subtle hit of reflective surfaces and the spirit of calm you have embodied withing the space. I’m currently decorating my bedroom so thanks for providing some serious inspiration!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Jumi! You are going to work wonders with your bedroom decoration. And if my bedroom design has inspired you in any way it’d be an honour!

      Reply
  5. Sarah
    3 weeks ago

    You’ve done it again Juan! This is incredibly peaceful and calming while still channeling the mid-century Victorian mix that’s your style. It’s beautiful. I’m also fawning over your perfect crease-free bed linen 😍

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for your comment, Sarah! You made me laugh. The linen was ironed twice, and then once more in situ. Finally, I removed some distracting creases with photo editing software. Now you know my secret!

      Reply
  6. Kate
    3 weeks ago

    Oh wow, it’s lovely Juan! Love those sheer curtains and Midcentury inspired details, plus those green shades are beautiful and tranquil – perfect for a bedroom xx

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Kate! Mid-century is so versatile indeed. It’s simply effortless to decorate with that style. Glad you like it!

      Reply
  7. Fiona Mostyn
    3 weeks ago

    An amazing transformation! You’ve done a great job here creating a calm and relaxing space. I love the colours of the two tone walls and the choice of timeless furniture that is perfect for this space

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much, Fiona! So happy you like the room. There were many colour combinations that would look great, but I had to pick the one that made me feel calm.

      Reply
  8. Montse
    3 weeks ago

    Perfecta ho has tornat a fer però t’has superat, no se que serà la pròxima però si segueixes així serà tot un repta, Es una habitació tranquil.la amb uns detalls originals i tot el conjunt fa que no vulguis sortir d’aquesta habitació tant relaxant.

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      ¡Muchas gracias por el comentario, Montse! Me alegro que te guste la habitación. Tenéis que verla en persona.

      Reply
  9. Kimberly Duran
    3 weeks ago

    What a fabulous transformation! It’s definitely got those sexy hotel vibes but still feels so warm and comfortable. What a fantastic job although I reckon it must be very very hard to get out of bed in the morning 😉 xxx

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Kimberly! I’ll take those sexy hotel vibes, please. Glad you like it. It’s the exact relaxing feel I was after.

      Reply
  10. Abi | These Four Walls blog
    3 weeks ago

    It’s beautiful Juan! I love the soft greens and the two-colour walls. And perfect with the warm wood!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Abi! This means a lot as you’re soo good at subtle colour combinations. So glad you like it.

      Reply
  11. Lesley
    3 weeks ago

    I love it, very calming and restful, a touch of mascultinity soften with the textiles. I absolutely love the window treatment!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Lesley! So happy you like the window treatments. It’s where most of the resources have gone. But worth every penny because it will last.

      Reply
  12. Rachel Edmonds
    3 weeks ago

    It looks absolutely stunning, you must be soooo happy with it. I bed it’s a struggle to get out of bed in the morning! I wouldn’t want to leave it at all.

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Rachel! The bed is extra comfy and even though I didn’t change the mattress, I bought a super soft topper to give that hotel comfort.

      Reply
  13. Natasha
    3 weeks ago

    What a beautiful and calming space. It’s gorgeous!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Natasha! It is indeed my little sanctuary. Quite a contrast compared with what it looked like just a few months ago.

      Reply
  14. Cate
    3 weeks ago

    Yay for green! I’ve just used green in my bedroom makeover and LOVE it too, it’s so soothing and tranquil. Love the half wall with the two greens, it really adds a feature to the room. Cate x

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for your comment, Cate! I love your green bedroom makeover and how you kept it bright with neutral colours and minimal styling. Green is here to stay!

      Reply
  15. Pia
    3 weeks ago

    What a transformation! Pretty much love everything about it and great tips 👍🏼 I’d kill for that rug.. 😍
    Pia X

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Pia! Glad you like the room design. And there’s no need to get violent about the rug, I found it in the sales!

      Reply
  16. Vicki / Wheel Chic Home
    3 weeks ago

    Juan it’s a lovely room. Firstly I’m impressed by the lack of clothing and organisation! Well done! Also I love the wall of curtains, makes it plush! Did you consider an occasional chair in the corner by the window as you enter the room? The colour is lovely against the wood colour too. Well done 🙂

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for your comment, Vicki! I don’t have that many clothes. That’s why it was easy to go for an open wardrobe. I love the chair idea. Gotta think about it and maybe measure the space. Thanks!

      Reply
  17. Velvet Karatzas
    3 weeks ago

    It looks fantastic! Well poised, mature and well thought off design both in concept and execution. The two toned green walls is the real champion! Well done!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for your comment, Velvet! I’m glad you like the two-tone wall. It was tricky to execute but so happy with the result.

      Reply
  18. Christine
    2 weeks ago

    Your room is absolutely stunning – it’s so peaceful and stylish! I totally admit that I was sceptical about your colour choices when I first saw them over on Insta but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I want to paint everything green now! 😂

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      2 weeks ago

      Thank you very much for your comment, Christine! I also felt a bit strange the first time I opened the tin of green paint. But it’s such a bright room it makes the green softer. Looking forward to your green makeovers now!

      Reply

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