Master Bedroom from Drab to Fab

You spend a lot of time in your bedroom over a lifetime, it needs to be somewhere you can relax and switch off from the world. And that’s what I set out to achieve.

We moved into our house over eight years ago, we were only 23 when we bought it. So as you can imagine we didn’t have our life’s savings behind us. Everything was done on a budget and we were happy that way as we had our own house, independence and we were standing on our own two feet (more like four feet). Over the last number of years we’ve got engaged and married, had two beautiful kids and all the other things that come with owning a house and running two cars to contend with. Now was the time to spend a little money on us and start to update the house room by room. Over the next few posts I will show you what we’ve done and hopefully give you some tips. But for now let’s start with the master bedroom.

First to go was the old, worn, stinky carpet. From those of you that have kids you will know how often you are on your hands and knees cleaning up mess from the carpets after little people. Spilt drinks, baby puke, toddler puke, big child puke, too much puke. It was time to go. Grey was my colour of choice and as you will see from the pics of the rest of my house, this colour carried through. I love it, it’s neutral but has depth and warmth, depending on the tone of grey you choose. I like to go with the greys with a hint of purple in them, makes it warmer. The carpet I chose was carried into all three bedrooms and on the stairs and landing so that there would be a continuous flow throughout the first floor. I bought it from Denis McGinley’s carpets in Portlaoise. He’s on the Mountrath road and can be found on Facebook. He is very reasonably priced and I have bought all my carpets from him since moving in to our own house and my Mam has bought all her carpets from him as long as I can remember.

But before the carpet could go in I wanted to get paneling done on my bedroom walls. I just love how it changes the look of a room or hallway. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune but when finished it looks expensive. I approached a childhood friend of mine who is a carpenter to see if he would do the job. Alan Kirwan Carpentry Ltd (he can also be found on Facebook). He sent one of his guys into do the job. I’m quite handy with a measuring tape so already knew what timber I needed to get, but for those of you who wouldn’t know where to start your carpenter is the one to ask. I ordered sheets of MDF in two different thicknesses to create the box paneled effect and I also ordered beading to finish off the edges of each box. I tried to find a dado to finish off the top but I couldn’t find any I liked, so the carpenter, “Murty” suggested using the cut offs of MDF and rounding the edges on them, creating a layered effect.

The headboard was also designed from the MDF using the box panel effect, I wanted it to look grand so decided to bring it up very high on the wall and I used a large dado to finish the top of it, giving it a wide flat top. And to finish the room off nicely I asked him to make me a radiator cover. I just bought a sheet of patterned wooden MDF trellis and he inserted it into a frame. The top was then left open so as not to block the heat in the room. This was all messy work as there was a lot of sawing and trimming causing a lot of sawdust and mess. And then it had to be painted. Oh the drama. 

First I bought an oil based undercoat and gloss which was a nightmare to apply. Three coats later I couldn’t see the finish line. I called the hardware and explained the trouble I was having and they suggested a water based satin wood. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this in the first place. I had to buy another undercoat, which was to counteract the oil base and then the water based top coat. I forgot to mention that before I started to paint I also had to fill all the nail holes and joins in the timber, sand it down and refill again where necessary. Although all of this sounds like tedious work, it was worth it in the end and the finished product looks amazing.

I chose a grey colour for the walls in the room, I thought with the white paneling a crispy grey would be nice. It was Dulux “Moderism”. It turned out really well and I was able to get the two coats done in a few hours as there was very little wall left in the room. The carpet was now safe to go in, no more messy work to do, only accessorizing. All the furniture was brought downstairs from the three bedrooms and when I got home from work the carpets were finished. A thorough Hoover and it was time to enjoy the sponginess under my feet. We want this carpet to last a good few years so made sure we chose a good thick underlay to help it last and give the feel of luxury as you walk on it.

To add some character to the room I painted a cut off of the MDF in the same colour as the wall and stuck a wall decal to it. It is an inspirational quote reminding us to take the good with the bad. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, It’s about learning to Dance in the Rain”. I bought a cheap extendable curtain rail from Heaton’s which I mounted at the top of the wall and from this I draped four white voile curtains from Ikea. Such good value and they look voluptuous. I added some icicle battery operated lights to each side to create some mood lighting. I also bought these in Heaton’s in the New Year sale. A bargain at €4.00 per set.

The bedside lockers are from Homestore and More. I had my heart set on French boutique lockers and was searching Done Deal for a set I could upscale. I couldn’t believe my luck when Sean and I came across the ones in the pictures attached in Homestore and More. They were exactly what I wanted and weren’t too expensive at €70.00 each. After securing that find we went into Homebase for a noisy. They had a sale on in their lighting department upstairs and we were thrilled to come across bedside lamps. The base and the lampshades were separate but I think they make a good combination together. The bases are really heavy and the glass globe helps disperse the light around the room. The lamp shade on the ceiling was bought in Dunnes Stores for €20.00 and blends in with the grey and white colour scheme. The bed linen was also bought in Dunnes Stores. I chose a light purple duvet and matching pillow cases to add some contrast to the room and then a deeper purple sheet and matching pillow cases for underneath. 

I recently picked up the heart shaped mirror in Homestore and More reduced to €4.99 and the small grey heart shaped clips used to tie back the voile curtains are also from there at €4.00 each. It’s the small touches that give the room character. These heart shaped clips are hung up on the wall using command strip hooks, no holes, no screws and easy to move if you ever change your design. 

You might also notice the shutters in our room at the windows, these were made for us years ago by a very talented carpenter friend of ours, Brian. I told him what I wanted, gave him a quick design brief and I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. These block all the light from the room, you can sleep in pitch darkness. They are sealed all around the edges, which keeps the heat in the room, which was the main reason for getting them. There are two latches on one door on the inside, securing it at the top and bottom and then a lock on the outside to keep them closed. They actually help retain so much heat in the room that we usually sleep with ours open, as I said in a previous post I am always warm. They proved really beneficial in the boys rooms and eliminated any draughts you might get from the windows. They are made from solid pine and have been varnished once to maintain them. They were reasonably priced but asthe  MasterCard ads would say the benefits were “Priceless”.

Moving onto the wardrobes. I’m a divil for trying to optimize storage. In a small three bed house there are not too many opportune places to steel a bit of storage but I was all over it in our bedroom. There was a chimney breast in the centre of the back wall dividing two alcoves. Originally when we bought our house there was a small double door wardrobe in one of the alcoves that barely held all my clothes. Poor Sean had to go to another room to get his. When we saved up a few pound we decided to up scale. We contacted John from Robe Design in Kildare and he designed the finished piece. We asked if he could incorporate the tv into the unit somehow and he definitely did not disappoint. The chimney breast was covered in white timber and the tv was then mounted to it. The distance from the tv to the doors was carefully calculated to allow the sliding doors pass safely. We bought got double height hanging room, a selection of drawers and shelves and I even got a long area for dresses and two pull out shoe shelves. Very fancy pancy! It was amazing to have all that wardrobe space and sean was allowed bring his clothes back into our room 😂. The colors I chose a few years back for the doors would probably not be what I would pick now but they are neutral enough to get away with it and I won’t be rushing out in the morning to change them for aesthetic reasons.

Finally, to the famous “Wall of Love”. This was something I was really passionate about doing. The bedroom is Sean’s and my room and our relationship should be celebrated. I think sometimes we got lost in the small things, bickering and fighting and we don’t look at the bigger picture. With these pictures of the happiest moments in our relationship displayed on the wall, at least every morning we wake up and every night we go to bed we get reminded of these times together and it grounds you and reminds you of the love we both share ❤️. Corny I know, but with all that is going on in our lives it’s nice to have something just for us. I bought the frames in dealz for €1.49 each. I arranged them on the floor first, getting the sizes right and the layout I wanted and then I stuck them onto the wall using Velcro Command Strips. I carefully chose the best pictures from our wedding day and made sure to include our 21st kisses to each other. How nice is it to say we are together that long and we were both each other’s 21st kiss. Seems so long ago now, but it was very important back then. 

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures and detail put into our bedroom and maybe it might spark some DIY or Interior Design desires in some of you. I have posted some videos and pics to Snapchat @dawnheavey, Facebook @Insidemammysworld, Instagram @insidemammysword and on Twitter @insidemamaswrld.

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