Bedroom makeover: ‘I get the best night’s sleep now’

A calming colour scheme means Marilena Margarito can finally rest well in her warm and cosy bedroom

Bedroom makeover: 'I get the best night’s sleep now'

When Marilena Margarito, 53, a PA, moved into her three-bedroom house in South Woodford, London, with her daughter, Alberta, 19, and son, Jamie, 21, she knew she’d have a lot on her plate in the decorating department.

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‘The whole house needed so much work, so we spent the first few years going from room to room. Inevitably, my own bedroom was last on the list.’

A wall-mounted shelf doubles up as a dressing table and is surrounded with shelves for all of Marilena’s trinkets, while the brick-effect wallpaper adds texture and detail
A wall-mounted shelf doubles up as a dressing table and is surrounded with shelves for all of Marilena’s trinkets, while the brick-effect wallpaper adds texture and detail

Eventually, though, Marilena got around to revamping her bedroom and her brief was to make it super-comfy, with a pastel colour scheme.

‘The room is quite small, so I had to pull out all the tricks to fit everything in and not look cramped.’ Equipped with lots of ideas saved from magazines and online, Marilena was excited to put together a new scheme that makes the most of the petite space.

Marilena has created a tranquil space to retreat to after a busy day. Her bedroom is small but now perfectly formed, with practical storage, a calming pastel palette and lots of soft-texture furnishings
Marilena has created a tranquil space to retreat to after a busy day. Her bedroom is small but now perfectly formed, with practical storage, a calming pastel palette and lots of soft-texture furnishings

Marilena’s existing bedroom décor was not conducive to a good night’s sleep, so finding ways to improve this was a priority for her, as well as making use of every inch of the room’s compact space.

‘Not only was my bed ancient and uncomfortable, the thin curtains at the window didn’t block the sunlight, so I was waking up so early.’

As the room isn’t huge, Marilena used the vertical space to inject her personal style – wall hangings and trailing plants create an eclectic, boho feel
As the room isn’t huge, Marilena used the vertical space to inject her personal style – wall hangings and trailing plants create an eclectic, boho feel

With her room measurements in hand, Marilena went on the IKEA website and looked at what she could squeeze in. ‘I wanted a new comfy bed, lots of storage and a dressing table area.’

Marilena also wanted to accentuate the lovely sash window and high ceilings, too. After much debate, she opted for the small double bed to give her more space to move around. ‘It’s only 15cm narrower than a standard double, which actually makes a difference in this tight space.’

Green houseplants breathe life into the pink and white scheme
Green houseplants breathe life into the pink and white scheme

Once she’d found a bed to fit the space, Marilena considered how wardrobes would fit in with the layout of the room, and decided to position them along one wall out of the way. ‘Having sliding doors means I won’t be bumping into them the whole time when the doors are open, and opting for a mirrored finish is an extra bonus as it makes the room feel more spacious.’

This placement also meant Marilena had enough space for a wall-mounted dressing table area with shelving above it, and so ordered these in white to match the wardrobe for a streamlined, co-ordinated scheme.

Now that a black-out blind has been fitted, Marilena can make the most of weekend lie-ins, and the pompom-trimmed curtain panel adds a pretty touch
Now that a black-out blind has been fitted, Marilena can make the most of weekend lie-ins, and the pompom-trimmed curtain panel adds a pretty touch

Before installing the furniture, Marilena decided to paint a feature wall. ‘Recently, I’ve been really inspired by colour-blocking on walls and have been looking at different patterns to paint.’

A fan of geometric shapes, Marilena got busy with a long steel ruler and masking tape. ‘I drew some stripes and triangles and chose dusky pink and mid-grey shades, along with white. Having some pattern on the wall adds so much character. I love how dramatic it is.’

Good idea! A black-out blind will block out the sunlight and ensure you get to enjoy a lie-in at the weekend. Make the look more cosy with a stylish curtain panel
Good idea! A black-out blind will block out the sunlight and ensure you get to enjoy a lie-in at the weekend. Make the look more cosy with a stylish curtain panel

Brick-effect wallpaper lines the opposite wall, adding to the contemporary feel. With the walls freshly painted and wallpapered, however, the floor started to look a bit shabby. Marilena had called in carpet samples but changed her mind at the last minute, choosing a fresh, painted finish instead.

‘I was so relieved when the decorator suggested painting the floorboards white to brighten up the room. The room really feels flooded with light now.’

'I get the best night’s sleep now' says Marilena
‘I get the best night’s sleep now’ says Marilena

Choosing the right window treatment was important to prevent the sunlight from streaming inside the room, ensuring a good night’s sleep. Looking online, Marilena found Blinds 2go, a company offering made-to-measure blinds.

‘They had a special offer of a free black-out lining, which was perfect timing, and I chose a pale grey linen-look fabric to tie in with the walls.’

Good idea! Marilena got creative with some leftover pots of paint to create a geometric design for a feature wall on a budget
Good idea! Marilena got creative with some leftover pots of paint to create a geometric design for a feature wall on a budget

To soften the look, she hung a pompom-trimmed curtain panel that she found in the sale at Anthropologie. Always looking for space-saving solutions, Marilena also added an extended radiator cabinet, which doubles as a headboard and provides a handy surface for pretty knick-knacks. Now a calming, comfortable place designed for a good night’s sleep, Marilena is proud of her transformed room – ‘and I ordered it all online during lockdown!’

Shop the look

Urbane Grey, Pink Slip, and Loft White Absolute matt emulsion, £47 per 2.5l; Urbane Grey and Pink Slip intelligent eggshell, £66 per 2.5l; Loft White flat oil eggshell, £69 per 2.5l; Loft White floor paint, £71 per 2.5l, all Little Greene. Arcus Snow roman blind, £105.30, Blinds 2go. Queen Bee tieback, £32; pompom curtain, now discontinued but similar to Mindra curtain, £88, Anthropologie. Shaker peg rail, £22, Great Little Trading Company. Made-to-measure contemporary flush radiator cover in Grey, £447, Jali. EKBY ALEX shelf with drawers, £35; LACK wall shelf, £9; LACK wall shelf unit, £50; PAX, MEHAMN and AULI wardrobe combination, £420; BALESTRAND small double bed, £229, all IKEA. Battersea brick wall-effect wallpaper, £16 per roll, I Love Wallpaper. Mauricette light grey chair, £87, Maisons Du Monde. Jessie tassel cushion, £38.99; macramé light shade, £57, both eBay. Macramé plant hanger, £20, Macramé Emma. Geometric double bedding set, £35; artificial succulent, £5, both Marks & Spencer. Pompom cushion, £14; pompom throw, £40; trailing plant in pot, £20; hanging woven pot, £15; hanging woven mirror, £28; fabric wall hanging, £40; artificial fern in pot, £30; eyelash trinket pot, £10; plastic wicker trays, £14 for three; trinket dishes, £12 for three, all Next. Eyelashes poster, £7.95; white picture frame, £9.95; Blah Blah Blah poster, £9.95; white picture frame, £14.95; Candy Cactus poster, £8.95; white picture frame, £9.95; & poster, £4.95; white picture frame, £4.95; Amazing Things poster, £9.95; white picture frame, £14.95; Good Vibes poster, £8.95; white frame, £9.95, all Desenio. Brick Lane alarm clock, £25, Newgate. Dresser mirror, £38.99; sheepskin rug, £58.99, both Wayfair. White monkey table lamp, £43.99, Robert Dyas.

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This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Your Home magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?