Saturday, 20 March 2010

Spare Bedroom

My aim for this room is to make a comfortable spare bedroom for guests and a useful space the rest of the time with plenty of bookshelves and storage. I planned to make it bright and cheerful by using my retro 1960s and 1970s fabrics and ceramics to add some colour. I want to keep the costs low and reuse and recycle items rather than buying new ones. 

The walls were painted lilac and looked very tatty, with many holes from shelving and even more from taking the curtain pole down. I filled all the holes and painted the room white. I bought one tub of paint, which wasn't quite enough but thanks to an old tin in the garage I managed to get the second coat finished. It is now a lovely bright clean room, and the white works well with the dark wood work.

As well as being the spare bedroom this room provides a home for a lot of my books. I have reused some bookcases we already had that I was planning on getting rid of. They are cheap pine bookcases that all match, I didn't like the pine so have painted them in white gloss paint. I am very plased with the results. I have arranged all the paperbacks on the shelves in almost rainbow colour order. The room looks really cheerful now. I got the inspiration for this from the recent copy of Elle Decoration (white shelves with brightly coloured books and objects) and the Laundromat Cafe in Copenhagen (see picture below). I am very happy that the bookcases fitted so well as it has saved a lot of money and saved me the trouble of having to get rid of the bookcases. 

For more interest I have put some brightly coloured collectables on the top shelves, colour co-ordinated with the books of course! These are mainly pieces of 1960s and 1970s pottery from makers such as Midwinter, Carlton Ware, and Portmerion. I also have lots of retro fabrics, mostly charity shop purchases of bedding that can be cut up and made into other things. I have made two large fabric frames to show off some of the fabric, these are hanging above the bed.

I have made some curtains to fit inside the window opening. They dont take up any extra wallspace, but allow for privacy. I have some bedding that I wont cut up that can be used on the bed, at some point I will make a patchwork quilt from scraps. 

To save more money have borrowed a bed from my parents. It is high enough that I can put storage boxes underneath to keep spare bedding and other lesser used items. We already have lots of things stored in plastic crates, these crates fit under the bed very nicely. 

I have been able to fit my basket chair just inside the door and my plastic cabinet by the bed. We have a fantastic coat rack that will eventually go on the wall and provide a hanging space for guests.

I love this room, I am so pleased with how it has turned out, especially as I did it all myself.


  1. I love the concept of colour coordinating the books and ornaments, it's like your room is a rainbow quilt! I would be soooo happy to be a guest, I love it when you stay with someone and they have books in their spare room!

  2. Thanks Paula, I love your fabrics so it feels great for you to say you like something of mine!