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Soft blush pink bedroom makeover – BEFORE

catesthill soft dusty pink bedroom makeover inspiration - Farrow & Ball Peignoir

Since moving in July, the kitchen and living room have seen complete makeovers, and now it’s time to turn our attention to the master bedroom. During the building works for downstairs, when walls were knocked down, chimney breasts removed and the kitchen replaced, this was our sanctuary away from all the dust and destruction in many ways. I don’t know if sanctuary is really the right word, because at times it felt far from peace and quiet… but for some weeks, without a working kitchen and heating, it was the only liveable room in the house.

We had everything in that room – two beds, the sofa, three chest of drawers, boxes and boxes, and all our worldly goods. Barely an inch of the floor could be seen and you had to climb over a sea of stuff to get to the bed. We tacked curtains to the window with nails and cooked meals from a small microwave in a strew of clutter for six weeks. It was horrible, but sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.

Fast forward to now and we have our bedroom back as a bedroom. Shortly after we had finished the kitchen and living room and could move everything out of the bedroom, we carpeted the floors upstairs in a lovely, deep, dark grey. We had a little breather while we re-gathered our energy from the renovations and for a time didn’t do any DIY. A few months later and the curtains were still tacked up with nails and that bright blue ‘feature wall’ in the bedroom (see below) was still staring me in the face. There were boxes still to be unpacked and the lack of any wardrobe in the house meant there was constantly clothes everywhere. Refreshed with creativity, and keen to crack on and get back to it, I let my mind turn to wall colours, room layouts and decoration.

catesthill soft dusty pink bedroom makeover inspiration - Farrow & Ball Peignoir

Light soft pinks and neutrals

Before

The bedroom before was uninspiring and lacking in any personality (except perhaps that wall…). It was a really bad lesson in the ‘feature wall’ – never pair a bold, bright colour with an expanse of white, it can just make a room look cold and chilly. The bold colour only used on the chimney breast also gave the illusion of it pushing even more into the space and making the room look smaller than it actually was.

The house had been used as a rental for years so needed a bit of TLC. We replaced the old, draughty windows with noise reduction ones from Hugo Carter, a big but essential purchase for us as the sound from the adjacent road was unbearable. The difference is incredible and the more traditional sash style suits the property much better. They feel more solid and contemporary silver hardware give a smart look.

I probably sound like a I’m a grumpy old woman, complaining about everything in this room, but there are lots of positives too! It’s a south-facing room so really lovely and bright. The two, big windows flood the space with light and it has relatively tall ceilings. It’s also a really decent size and a bit of a blank canvas (now I sound like an estate agent!).

BEFORE: Bright blue feature wall and cold white walls

BEFORE: Bright blue feature wall and cold white walls

The design process

I spent hours scouring Pinterest in search of inspiration and honed in on a light grey and pink colour scheme – a combination that is having a bit of a moment right now, especially when you add plants into the mix. I had used so much grey downstairs in the kitchen and living room, and was looking for a slightly fresher take on neutrals. I’m used to sticking to my comfort zone of white walls and pale grey, but decided to try something a little different and dabble in a bit of colour. I’m really not one for colour at all so this is about as far as I can go… I picked out Farrow & Ball’s Peignoir – a lovely, soft, grey-pink that isn’t too girly but still feminine. It’s one of their new colours from last year and is inspired by delicate chiffon gowns.

The next port of call was West Elm – you can book an appointment at their store and get a free design consultation with one of their home stylists. They’ll bounce off ideas, create room layouts, suggest products and generally leave you coming away a bit more inspired!

I met with Kinga at the Tottenham Court Road store. It was really helpful to walk through some of the products with her and see what could work together. A few days after our appointment she came back with a floor plan and two possible schemes with collages and moodboards, far quicker than I ever could. It was great to get a fresh perspective on the room and get some ideas that hadn’t even crossed my mind. West Elm are really good at curating vignettes in a room – a cosy corner with an armchair and plant stand, a console table to display art and objects – as well as creating coherent schemes as a whole with mix-and-match items. I was drawn to them because I thought their take on Scandinavian modernism and mid-century inspired furniture would suit this calm, relaxed, grown-up retreat of a bedroom I wished to create.

Bedroom makeover

The plan of the bedroom as created by home stylist Kinga at West Elm, London

I thought I’d show you a few ‘during’ shots. I painted three coats of Peignoir on the walls and freshened up the ceiling with white. I’m painting the woodwork in Farrow & Ball’s Ammonite, a very subtle light grey.

catesthill soft dusty pink bedroom makeover inspiration - Farrow & Ball Peignoir

After the first coat of paint

catesthill soft dusty pink bedroom makeover inspiration - Farrow & Ball Peignoir

Three coats of paint on the walls and woodwork still to do

I always like using Farrow & Ball paint, ever since using Blackened downstairs. I love the dense, matt, chalky look and feel of the paint. I’m so happy with the colour, I was worried it would be a little mauve but it isn’t at all. It changes in different lights, when it’s bright and sunny, the walls are a light pink, then when it gets darker, they take on a greyer tone.

catesthill soft dusty pink bedroom makeover inspiration - Farrow & Ball Peignoir

Peignoir completely transforms the space already, even without furniture and accessories

I think the light pink and dark grey of the flooring really complement each other. Dark stained wood furniture for the bed and dressing table will pop out and give a bit of warmth and texture. I’ll be keeping it all light and contemporary with minimal, white bedside tables and light grey pendant lights either side of the bed. I’ll add some softness with a speckled rug with fringed edges and hand dyed Ikat cushions to match the pale greys in the room. I want it to be a really calm, relaxed room to escape to.

catesthill soft dusty pink bedroom makeover inspiration

The inspiration for a soft dusty pink bedroom makeover – 1: Farrow & Ball (L-R) Peignoir, Ammonite and Down Pipe, 2: KRUSNING pendant lamp shade, IKEA, £9, 3: Gallery frames, white, West Elm, £19.95 – £24.95, 4: MENU Bollard versatile lamp, Clippings, £79.95, 5: Mid-century bed, acorn, West Elm, 6: Mid-century bedside table, West Elm, £299, 7: Tweed Flatweave Dhurrie Rug, West Elm, £299 8: Parker Slipper Chair, West Elm, £299, 9: (L-R) Andrew Molleur vases, West Elm, £14.95, Art Pottery vases, West Elm, £19.00, 10: Penelope Mini Desk, West Elm, £399, 11: Mid-century upholstered stool, West Elm, £169, 12: Silk Ikat Striated cushion in platinum, West Elm, £19.95, 13: Tufted dining bench, West Elm, £211. Image credits – grey bedroom: styling by team Evalotta Sundling, Sarah Widman, Elin Kicken, photographed by Cimek for Alvhem Makleri, via Decordots, light pink bedroom: Avenue Lifestyle

So this is where we are now, what a difference a lick of paint makes! I would love to get rid of that ugly air vent but for now we’ll keep it. Just getting rid of that bright blue makes all the difference, the space already feels lighter and more welcoming. When Olivier walked in and saw it, he said ‘wow, it looks like a proper room!’. And it is evolving into a proper room step by step, one that we can soon really enjoy spending time in – I’ll be back in a few weeks when all the furniture is in place and the finishing touches made, to show you the finished result!

BEFORE & DURING: The feature wall is gone and replaced by a lovely, soft Peignoir by Farrow & Ball

BEFORE & DURING: The feature wall is gone and replaced by a lovely, soft Peignoir by Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball's Peignoir, a light dusty pink shade

Farrow & Ball’s Peignoir, a light dusty pink shade

Until then, if these soft, feminine hues appeal to you, why not check out my ‘Blush Pink Bedroom’ Pinterest board for more inspiration, below:

Thank you to my collaborators West Elm and Farrow & Ball for supporting this project and making it possible

25 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! You had me at blush! This is sooooo beautiful Cate! I absolutely adore it! You have such an eye! x

  2. Emma says

    Hi! This looks very lovely. I have a DIY question! Did you paint with your new carpet already laid? I have to paint my landing with the carpet laid and I wondered if you have any tips for doing that so you don’t end up with painted carpets… thank you. Have a lovely weekend ✨

    • Yes the carpets were already laid! You can get plastic or canvas protective sheets from Robert Dyas or B&Q, I then tapes them right up to the edges with masking tape (the strong, green one, it’s either called Gorilla tape or Frog tape) hope that helps! X

        • Yes, it’s stronger than normal masking tape so will hold firmly and paint hopefully won’t leak underneath it! Hope it goes well X

  3. I painted a wall in my bedroom in a blush pink – but it is far too pink I think and too girly. I might have to paint over it after reading this. I can’t believe how much you have done to your home. Big pat on the back!

  4. Siobhan says

    Gosh all the colours ypu ause are the ones I use! I’ve just painted the stairs in peignor as needed to get away from the grey! But I love grey, Also used ammonite on the wood work! Blackened on my kitchen units!! I love your sitting room and will watch with interest how your bedroom shapes up!

    • Great minds think alike, they’re such lovely colours! Bet your stairs in Peignoir look fab and Blackened kitchen units sound dreamy! x

  5. This is going to look dreamy!! It’s rather similar to my space but you’ve got much higher ceiling s you lucky thing

    • Oh yes I just had a look, I love the name of yours, fairys tutu! It’s a lovely calming shade for a bedroom xx

  6. I just know this is going to look divine when its finished ! Can’t beat a bit of Pinterest for inspiration. xx

  7. What a stunning colour! It’s going to be such an amazing room when it’s finished.

    • Thank you, it’s such a beautiful, soft shade of pink. I can’t wait to relax in this space once it’s done! x

    • It’s such a beautiful colour! I love that it’s not too girly pink or sickly (I didn’t want it to look like a kids room!) the grey-pink shade is just perfect. It will be so nice when it’s all done, but it all takes so long!! I’ll be happy when I don’t have to pick up a paint brush again 😉 xx

  8. I’m so looking forward to seeing this room come together Cate – that soft pink on the walls is divine and I’m loving all the inspirations on your Pinterest board too xx

    • Thank you Kate, it’s looking so much better already! Hoping for a grown-up take on what everyone seems to be calling millenial pink at the moment, I never really thought I followed trends but somehow this pink has got me! x

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