I have a small second spare guest room that is languishing at the top of the house, and one that tended to get used as a dumping ground for all the things I mean to sort out one day, but never get around to doing. I needed to make it dual purpose as both a room with a piano for my daughter to practice in, (thanks to my godaughter who has lent us one…) and also as a workable spare room.
The room is in the eaves of the house, so it has an angled ceiling and walls, and a dormer window. It has always been a cream and pale blue scheme, with patterned sisal carpet. There is a cunning daybed which opens out either into 2 x singles or into a double, (and this is only used at Christmas and Easter when relatives overflow, as we have another larger guest room for visitors to use throughout the year).
The shelves made it really cluttered to add a piano into the mix, so I had a serious purge and cleared them all out and removed the shelves. I then worked around the existing carpet, bed, artwork and chest of drawers to come up with a new scheme that was fresher and more spacious. I wanted to keep the paintings which are by family members, they already have a blue theme in their colours, plus beautiful maple and gilded frames.
To spend as little as possible on raw materials, and to refresh the room using whatever I had lying around the house. I did a rough moodboard to keep my mind focused.
I found a great wallpaper called ‘Charlotte‘ to use on the back wall where the shelves once stood. It is a light blue paisley on white and cost only £18 a roll from B&Q, plus it is paste the wall paper which is amazing, (first time I have used paste the wall paper and it is SO easy). It took less than an hour to whack it up and I only needed one roll. I then repainted the remaining walls in First Dawn by Dulux, which is pretty much an exact match for the pale blue used in the wallpaper. The woodwork was all repainted in Farrow and Ball’s Wimborne White, which is quite a bright white for them. The room instantly looked fresher, brighter and bigger.
Total cost: £56.41
The room is akwardly shaped, with one long wall, a long window wall and two shorter end walls with niches and protruding cupboards and chimney stacks. The piano and bed could only fit against the longer walls. We moved the furniture around to try new spaces, but realistically everything had to stay pretty much where it started out. I also learnt that my bed is really heavy when it lands on ones foot. So after a lot of shifting we got nowhere new!
I bought some new and very simple curtains in faux slub silk ivory for a bargain £38 to replace the very ancient Laura Ashley ones that were there before. They puddle on the floor which I much prefer to short ones, and I finally got to use my wonderful leather tie backs I bought in Marrakesh this year to hold them back.
I have a few pieces of blue and white Chinese porcelain that were dotted around the house that I grouped together. My mother gave me the wonderful chinese lamp base, and I had a spare fresh shade languishing in a cupboard that fitted.
I have two painted antique corner chairs that have been separated for ages, so reunited them together with slub silk cushion seats, turning it into a mini-sofa. The embroidered cushion covers were sent to me from China by my godmother a couple of years ago, and had been awaiting a use.
A little butlers table was placed next to the day bed for guests to use:
So there is lots more space now for both piano playing and an audience, plus overnight guests. On the rare occasions that they come, the piano can be shifted to the end of the room when the double bed needs opening up. I am still umming and ahhing about what to put on the wallpapered wall, I am feeling that it needs something large and white framed like a mirror, so my hunt starts now…