Bedroom makeover: ‘I’m so glad I embraced colour’

By using clever, space-saving tricks and being brave with colour, Sophie Groves has turned an uninspiring white box into a bedroom that’s both beautiful and functional

Before moving here, we were living a couple of streets away in a Victorian terrace. But I was pregnant with Mabel and didn’t want to spend our spare time and money on the upkeep of a period property. So, we decided to buy a new-build, for ease of maintenance, and the community we’d get from a small estate.

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A bit about me

I’m Sophie Groves (@the.groves.abode) and I’m a senior care worker. 

I live with my husband Tom, a postman, and our two daughters, Ava, five and Mabel, two.  

My problem bedroom

When we moved in it wasn’t a case of just needing an update; the room was completely bare, with only white-painted walls and it didn’t even have flooring down. It’s quite a long, narrow room so we had to think carefully about how to best use the space  without it looking like a corridor.

How I made it work

We put down a neutral grey carpet and then embraced the long space by book-ending it with a wardrobe on one side and a dressing table on the other. We painted all the walls a gorgeous bold pink and then added more colour and easy texture by dressing the room using throws, cushions and plants. 

My favourite part

I love the fact that we managed to fit a dressing table in here while actually using up very little space. We’ve made the room a place I enjoy being in now, rather than just a place to sleep in.

I spend way too long on Instagram, but I find it so inspiring, and it helped me realise the look I was after.

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Style idea! A low-hanging, mesh lampshade adds extra interest to a room

I saw Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink used in a living room and knew I wanted it in here, but it’s an expensive brand, so I looked for a colour matching service, which saved us a fortune.

To be honest, I used to be a colour-phobe and was scared this was too bold, so it was only meant as a feature wall. But once it was on, I loved it so much that we did another wall, then another, until the whole room was painted.

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‘I wanted to create a romantic haven that we could relax in’

We then looked at the option of built-in, floor-to-ceiling wardrobes, but the room is quite small so we decided to go for IKEA’s mirrored Pax wardrobe, which was the perfect fit. It actually makes the room feel bigger and has space on top for extra storage.

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Ladders are often used in bathrooms as towel rails, but Sophie was inspired to use this extendable rack, from Umbra, to hang her bags and scarves. It’s a simple solution for extra storage that doubles as a decorative feature

I’m lucky that Tom’s really hands-on and he was the one who spent time getting the symmetry and height of the bedside tables exactly right – a harder job than you might imagine.

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These floating side tables, from Urbansize, are sleek, stylish and discreet, maximising floor space to keep it uncluttered. Perfect for small spaces!

Once that was done and the bed was slotted in, I started on the fun bit: dressing the room. It’s never complete, though, as I’m always coming up with another little idea that I want to incorporate into the space!

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Sophie’s main objective was to be brave, inject colour and create a relaxing room. But it also had to be hardworking in terms of function and storage, so every inch has been meticulously planned to be useful as well as good-looking

Three styling tips inspired by Sophie’s makeover

Choose compact furniture

This space isn’t massive, but with clever planning, Sophie has managed to include all the elements a larger room might offer. The dressing table is created simply by attaching a cheap and cheerful white shelf onto IKEA brackets. It’s a real space saver, which allows room for a stool, and combining it with a mirror means it provides all the functionality of a traditional dressing table.

Add sleep-inducing greenery

Plants are a big style trend at the moment, but they also purify the air and can help to relieve stress and anxiety, which encourage good sleep. But aim to choose low-maintenance plants; dead plants don’t look good anywhere! Sophie has chosen a variety of trailing plants and greenery potted in macramé hangers to break up the pace of the room.

Style with confidence

Colour and texture can make or break a room, and Sophie has carefully chosen a bold palette that combines blush pinks with complementary golds and yellows, grounded with black accents. This scheme gives the room a playful feel, but by layering it with luxe velvets, abstract patterns and monochrome textures, she’s managed to create a relaxed look. The flowing bed drapes add the finishing touch.

Sophie’s shopping list

Pink wall colour match paint, from £13.99, Decorating Centre Online. Pax wardrobe with Vikedal mirror, from £120; kingsize Gjöra bed frame, £250; Hilja curtains, £13 for a pair; white Bergshult shelf, £15; Ekby Valter brackets, £2 each; white Langesund mirror, £20, all IKEA. Floating bedside table with double draw, £130 each, Urbansize. Umbra Hub ladder rack in Black/Walnut, £80, Beaumonde. Afaw Berber-style rug, £74.25; for a similar pendant, try the Mita wired metal pendant shade, £40, both La Redoute. Rattan wall shelf, £8, Flying Tiger. Maka whitewash rattan stool, £97, Iamfy.