Regular readers of Bianca’s blog French For Pineapple will already know that she doesn’t shy away from a decorating project (or three). For Bianca, her home is an ever-changing canvas which reflects her and her family’s current obsessions, loves and daily life. But even a decorating devotee sometimes falls into a bit of a rut, as was the case with Bianca’s two rooms on the top floor of her London home. Here, she explains what motivated her to give her spare bedroom a new lease of life and turn it into a functional space to use everyday, with the help of Summer Pecan 3.
What made you want to revamp your spare room?
The revamp came about as a knock-on effect from deciding to change the usage of both rooms on that floor of the house. We’d not been using the space effectively, so it was time to shake it up, and think about how we could change things to work better for the family as the kids grow up.
Sounds like a big project, where did you start? How did you gather inspiration?
I’m constantly absorbing ideas and inspiration everyday from different places, but I looked back at my Pinterest boards to see what had caught my eye over the last few years, and I definitely took inspiration from several of those images. The ‘Safari Chic’ look came about as a result of those inspiration images – especially the colour I chose. I looked at what I already had that would work in the room and what I could afford to buy on my limited budget, that would work with those things. I think you end up with a really unique look that’s very personal to you when you work that way – mixing things you already have, with a few new and vintage pieces, rather than starting from scratch.
Tell us about your choice of colour…
Initially I’d planned to use a bright pale coral colour, but decided that would not be a good idea considering how easily distracted I am! I needed a calm colour, that was also warm and inviting. Something that would make me want to be in the room, and encourage me to concentrate! I’ve been increasingly drawn to browns over the last year, and once coral was off the list, it was a no-brainer. Camel and caramel tones are my new favourites! However, finding the right one wasn’t straight forward – I find it very rarely is. I found that out of the five or so I tested, one was too orange, one was too yellow, one was too dark, and so on. That’s why it’s so important it is to get tester pots of your top few choices (whether they’ve been chosen from a screen or a colour card) and get the actual colour onto a wall (or preferably a few walls) in the room you’re painting. See how the colour looks and changes as the light changes – and if you like it in natural light and in artificial light. It’s important to consider when you use the room most, and if the colour works at that time. I do often go back for more testers (much to my husband’s despair!), but I always know instinctively when I’ve found ‘the one’! In this case, it was Summer Pecan 3, a lovely warm colour that I absolutely adore.
Did you repurpose existing furniture and accessories or did you invest in new things?
I tried not to spend much, but I also wanted the room to feel fresh, and not only use things I already had. I bought a new rug and desk lamp, and a vintage table from ebay to use as my desk. I also bought a few new plants and desk and decorative accessories. Then I borrowed lots of things that I already had from around the house like the decorative feather Juju hat, plants, a table lamp, pots for pens, and I gave an old chair frame a new lease of life by (finally) putting a seat base in it and reupholstering it using some fabric I resist-dyed with a mud cloth inspired pattern.
Which part of your makeover are you most proud of?
The whole thing! The fact that I have a workspace that’s practical and pretty is super satisfying after years of a studio that was beyond chaotic, and so unpleasant to be in. And I’m proud that I achieved the look I set out to achieve on my final mood board. It’s exactly what I’d envisioned.
How has revamping this room changed your day-to-day home life?
Even though it hasn’t been finished for long, it’s dramatically changed the way we use the house. Before, we barely used that whole floor of the house - I couldn’t bear to look at it! Now it’s used every day, and happily at that. It also means I’m not taking my computer down to the dining table and taking over the dining room, which is definitely a good thing!
Describe your new room in one sentence…
A serene, organised, and happy space that is practical, chic and inspiring.
Any tips for people considering a dramatic makeover?
Go for it! Making a moodboard, or collecting images that convey the look you’re after is very helpful. It will help you see what works and what doesn’t, and help you pull a look together. When choosing a colour, really think not only about what you like, but about how you want to feel in the room. It’s so important, and something that gets over-looked a lot.
Read Bianca's blog French for Pineapple to find out more about her home makeover.
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