Georgia Barton-Hague bought her top-floor flat in Brighton just over 18 months ago. ‘The flat was one of the last I viewed, and I fell in love with it instantly,’ recalls Georgia. ‘It had amazing sea views from the kitchen window, and was in close proximity to the shops, seafront and beach. I could really see myself living here’.


Georgia had been searching for about six months and wanted to make use of the financial support her family was providing to buy something that would be a good first step on the property ladder.

‘I’ve lived in the area all my life and this place just felt right. It’s also a good investment for the future. But, although the flat was structurally perfect, it really needed an interior update. My bedroom was a priority, as I love to relax!’

Not only does linen fabric add an elegant finish to the reupholstered bed, but by doing it herself Georgia kept the cost relatively low. She also gave the bed itself a textured paint finish for an antique look

Step inside...

Who lives here? I’m Georgia Barton-Hague, 24. I’m studying Sport and Exercise Science at university. I live in my top-floor, one-bedroom flat in Brighton. I bought the flat in 2020. This is my first home.

What was updated? I decorated my bedroom to make it a welcoming space to relax at the end of a day studying.

Why the change? The décor was bland and neutral, and the room lacked personality, which was a shame for a character property in Brighton. I wanted to give it a fresh feel and add colour.

How long did it take? It took about six weeks to get it done from start to finish, as I stripped back some of the furniture and doors.

The project

The bedroom had magnolia walls and felt cold and unwelcoming. ‘There was a cute little fireplace that was decorative but needed some love and attention, and the carpet was moth-ridden and threadbare,’ explains Georgia. So, she decided to strip the whole room back to basics and start with a clean slate to create the bedroom of her dreams.

‘I wanted it to feel calm and inviting, without costing the earth, and to give it a vintage feel while keeping it modern,’ she says.

Brighton is a treasure-trove of vintage shops, so Georgia was able to fill her room with second-hand finds for a characterful scheme

However, on closer inspection the plumber found that the tray in the en suite shower room was leaking and she’d need to fit a new one.

So, she decided to renovate both rooms at the same time, and tie the two schemes together. ‘This wasn’t in my plan, but I thought, while I was doing the room I may as well get it all done,’ says Georgia.

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What I did...

Georgia chose some colourful bed linen from Fy! as the starting point for her scheme. ‘I love its punchy floral design,’ she says. She got to work painting the walls and window frames in white to freshen up the space.

To make her bed feel super cosy, Georgia has layered up textured and tasselled cushions, going for a mix of whites and neutrals for a bright, fresh look

‘I could do most of the work myself, so it took a little longer than getting a decorator in, but the satisfaction I felt once I’d done everything was amazing,’ she says. Once the walls were painted, she found a gorgeous neutral carpet, which made all the difference to the room.

As renovating the shower room was an unexpected spend, Georgia saved on furniture with second-hand revamps. ‘I’m quite crafty, so I decided I’d try a few upcycling projects to cut down on costs, which were being spent on re-fitting the shower room,’ she says.

The chest of drawers was left by the flat’s previous owner and provided useful storage, so Georgia decided to keep them and sand them down

As a nod to her coastal location, she stripped back the wood on the bedroom door for a distressed finish, then decided to do the same on an old chest of drawers.

Highs & Lows

The leaky shower tray wasn’t in Georgia’s decorating plan, and getting a new shower meant new tiles and flooring were needed, too. However, she found an affordable corner shower cubicle and tiles that were in the sale, and she also found an off-cut of vinyl flooring, which cost £20 from the fitter who laid the bedroom carpet, so she managed to do it on a budget.

Georgia has added rustic details to the en suite shower room to tie in with the main bedroom. She brought warmth to her all-white scheme with a copper towel rail she found on eBay

‘My best buy, though, was the bed,’ says Georgia, ‘I found it at a local reclamation yard for £200 – there are so many in Brighton that it’s easy to barter on price.’

The original upholstery was falling apart, so she watched a few online tutorials and reupholstered it herself with new padding and some plain linen fabric.

‘Once I got going and found my stride it was actually really satisfying,’ she explains. ‘It was just about remembering to keep the fabric taut so it wouldn’t be wrinkly before stapling it in place.

Looking at the finished bed, I’m so proud that I did it myself and it cost half the price of buying a brand new one,’ she says.

Georgia added a small corner shelf as a bedside table. ‘There isn’t much space at the side of the bed, but I like to have an area to leave my Kindle and this little shelf was perfect,’ she says

The final details

Georgia was thrilled that she’d kept the room neutral as it let her really think about adding colour. ‘The bed linen I started out with looked amazing, and I was able to layer up with some colourful coral throws, which made my bed the main attraction.’

She fitted an old curtain rail and hung lighting above the bed and, although the room is relatively small, she had enough space to squeeze a bedside table in on one side. ‘I even found some fabulous patterned towels for the bathroom, which almost match the bed linen,’ she says. Georgia finished the scheme with leafy plants, rattan accessories and blush artwork.

The rustic wall mirror complements the stripped-back doors, found at a local reclamation yard: ‘I rubbed them down and repainted them but had a company treat them to keep woodworm at bay’

Now she planning ways to bring the rest of her flat up to the same standard. ‘I’m so glad I did this room first as it’s given me the confidence to try other projects,’ she says. ‘I love relaxing in here at the end of a busy day, as it feels so bright and fresh.’

SHOPPING LIST Lorelei Double Duvet set in Blush, £28, FY!. Malabar Ribbed Muesli carpet, from £30 per sq m, Cormar. Leoni fabric in Natural, 7903/04, £62 per m, Romo. Walls painted in Linen Wash Absolute Matt Emulsion, £48.50 per 2.5L, Little Greene. Hanging macrame with faux plant, £18; Coral towels, from £1.20, both Dunelm. Cushions, from £8 each, George Home. Scent of Roses print, £9.95; Peonies and Roses print, from £3.37; copper frames, from £9.95 each, all Desenio. Clarity Corner shower enclosure, £139; Mira Coda shower, £265; Wall-hung Corner sink, £44.99; Grohe tap, £50, all Victoria Plum. Accents linen Roman blind, from £45.15, Blinds 2go.

Photos by Lizzie Orme


Zoe Bishop is an interior stylist & writer, crafter & travel writer.