Welcome to my bedroom. This is where the magic happens. Actually, not very much interiors magic has ever happened in here – it’s always been one of the worst rooms in the flat, and possibly the world. Let me break it down for you: firstly, the shape. It’s a sort of squat rectangle, with a strange corridor section coming off it. Because of the door placement, there’s no logical place for a double bed to go – it’s either where it is now, with one person sleeping next to the wall, or at the other end and you can’t open the door. There are the boxed-in water pipes that have needed repairing and rodding so many times that they eventually just took out the box and put in awful MDF panels for easy access. You’ll note some strange angles, too many corners, and you might even see a couple of water marks where our drains leaked through our electrics. And there’s no storage. But there is a strange vent to the outside that we don’t seem to be able to close. So I was starting from the back of the pack with this redesign, and knew I needed to make the room work much harder. Luckily, the world is full of grey things that I love.

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A close-up on a magazine under a small oval tray holding earrings and handcream

The Big Idea

Honestly, I didn’t have one. I just sort of started looking for products that fit the functionality we needed, and this is where we ended up. I knew I wanted it soft and minimal, with light wood and a touch of Japandi, and it needed to feel a bit different to the rest of the flat, then from there it sort of took on a life of its own (does this happen to anybody else?). The mirror end of the room is opposite the bed, so it needed to look nice, we needed more storage, better light and a some actual decorative cohesion. Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about? I don’t, I promise.

A large mirror stands on a black shelf, with a tan leather stool in front of it. Next to the mirror is a couple of shelves with lots of lovely things in shades of bacl and brown

The Crap

See that black ledge? It used to be painted bright white, like the rest of the walls, which really served to emphasise the old screws and panels hiding the water pipes. So, I did what any everyday hero would do and painted it black, using leftover paint from the kitchen cupboards, for a durable finish. I cannot tell you how much better this has made the room feel. More polished, more put-together, less like you want to burn it down with a flaming torch.

A black framed mirror sits on a black shelf and in the reflection you can see a grey bed with dark grey and white bed linen

The Lighting

Because The Crap Flat was designed by people who hate me, the only light sources we have are some overhead spotlights made to accentuate eye bags, and some big green windows. The one pendant we do have in the bedroom is at just the right height for a head-bang when you’re crossing from door to wardrobe corridor, so the shade needed to be compact, but sculptural, and ideally grey; maybe shaped like a small artichoke… Enter the small Petale Shade, which was a gift from Iconic Lights . It arrives in a little folder and you put it together yourself, which I did in bed one morning (it was oddly therapeutic), and now it’s up it softly diffuses the light so I don’t squint like a troll every time I pass underneath it. Then there was an endless search for bedside lights that don’t require wiring-in or wall-mounting, that you could turn off without having to unplug. Long story short: I didn’t find any, but I DID find the Menu Bollard lamps, which were a very kind gift from Utility Design, who I love with my whole heart. They’ve since sold out, but you can see more Menu lighting here. I’m thinking of adding a Carrie lamp to the shelves later, because it’s wireless and beautiful and we belong together. Now then. The technical bit. The Bollard lamp is plug-in, but to get to the plugs we’d have to reach down behind the bed, which is a struggle. So I put Mr Crap Flat to good use popping in a couple of in-line switches from Creative Cables, and we suspended them from the ceiling using the most minimal hooks in the world. Mr Crap Flat used to be an electrician, so he knew what he was doing – I’d always recommend getting professional advice before messing with electrics.

A dark grey light on a trailing wire hangs above a black wall shelf with sand coloured leather straps hanging under it
A close-up on an in-line switch

The Storage

Guys, I cannot tell you how long I’ve spent rearranging Stuff Under the Bed so it doesn’t poke out into normal view. But no more. Because sent me the Besley Ottoman Bed and I am born anew in its brilliance. You just lift up the slats and mattress portion (which is on hydraulics, so even my puny arms can handle it) and underneath is enough storage for everything we had under there before, and more. PLUS, it has made the biggest difference to how comfy the bed is. We kept our old mattress, but the Besley has sprung slats, which help to minimise bounce and maintain support. Can you tell I used to sell beds for a living? Bore off, Emma. I’ve already spilled coffee on the light grey fabric, and it came straight off, it looks neat as all heck, and is the perfect place to put things you don’t want on display. 10/10 from me.

A grey fabric bed sits in a room with white walls. On the wall is some minimal circle art, and above the bed is a grey lightshade shaped like a minimal artichoke
A grey fabric bed sits in a room with white walls. On the wall is some minimal circle art, and above the bed is a grey lightshade shaped like a minimal artichoke
A grey fabric bed with the ottoman top lifted sits in a room with white walls. On the wall is some minimal circle art, and above the bed is a grey lightshade shaped like a minimal artichoke

Then we added some hooks. I’ll level with you: Mr Crap Flat and I are not people who put our clothes away every night before bed. Instead, we chuck them on a stool or wang them over the door. Now, thanks to these Ikea Kubbis Hooks we have a place to put them. And, apparently, store our lonely pieces of ribbon. I also grabbed a new chest of drawers in pale wood, and replaced the handles with some super-minimal ones from Etsy.

A close-up on some white hooks, with a piece of ribbon hanging off one. In the background you can see a T-shirt and cap hanging
A set of white hooks on a white wall, with handbags, hats and a navy T-shirt hanging on them

Working with a Small Space

As I mentioned, our bedroom is a weird, weird shape, which means we have to find new ways to make it functional. So, instead of bedside tables, like any other home, we’ve gone for shelves. And not just any shelves, but the Lisa from Swedish brand By Crea. You can choose any number of colour combinations, but I went for a matte black top and frame, with pale sand straps, made from vegan leather. After having lived with standard shelves for about three years, these have been a revelation – we now have enough room to store a glass of water and our books, and now step on things in the night a lot less. They’re fitted to the wall, so we’ll just fill the holes in when we leave – the perfect bedside solution for a small space!

The corner of a bedroom. You can see the head of a grey fabric bed and above the bed are two balack shelves with sand coloured leather straps underneath, holding books
The corner of a bedroom. You can see the head of a grey fabric bed and above the bed are two balack shelves with sand coloured leather straps underneath, holding books

The Fun Stuff

You all know I love a good faff. Shelves? Yes please. Blanket arrangements? Gimme gimme. So obviously I was going to need somewhere I could endlessly style up beige vases for fun. Instead of going for something super-minimal and metal, which is my usual go-to, I wanted to soften up the feel of the room with some curves and wood (oi oi), so I got a couple of Lisabo shelves from Ikea, which you can hang either way up. And I styled them with pieces I already had in the flat, like the Shape Studies collection from West Elm. The textiles are all from Piglet in Bed, who have 20% off bedding at the moment. The duvet set is my absolute favourite right now – I’m a full top sheet convert – and I’ve shared that beautiful oatmeal throw on Instagram before, but it deserves its own shout-out, because it is absolutely excellent. And the only things that stayed from the bedroom before? My wonderful rug from Catalog Interiors, who have been some of my number one best people on Instagram since the very beginning. It’s by Linie Design, and I need to move it further out from under the bed so we can enjoy more of it. And my DIY circles, which you can learn how to do yourself, here. Oh, and the stool, which I bought ages ago with no use for it because I loved it, and is now really coming into its own.

An array of black, white and tan objects sit on a couple of pale wood shelves
A beige linen blanket and cushion sit on top of grey bed linen
A close up on one end of an ash wood shelf with a cream ceramic vase and a small ceramic jug with a sprig of dried eucalyptus in it
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