A fresh lick of paint, upgrading bedroom basics and clever upcycling hacks were just some of the simple steps Ruth Melton made to transform her space into a calm, relaxing retreat.


Here, she tells us all about her bedroom makeover experience...

My bedroom makeover

We bought the house in September 2019 and set about renovating straight away. Just as we got around to starting on the bedroom, Covid struck so it became our lockdown project.

coastal bedroom makeover
Ruth's bedroom before the makeover

I wanted a room that felt spacious and clean with a calm, coastal theme but I didn’t want the standard blue nautical look.

coastal bedroom makeover

Over the years I’ve collected lots of junk buys that I thought would fit in with the rustic, weathered scheme and Ben is really good at DIY so I was confident we would be able to give the room a new lease of life on a budget.

Welcome to my home...

A bit about me I’m Ruth Melton, 34, and I work for the ambulance service. I live with my husband, Ben, a firefighter, and our daughter, Erin, who’s six and, when he’s back from university, Ben’s son, Rylee, 19. We live in Saltdean, Brighton. 

My problem bedroom The room had very little character. It has a lovely bay window, but with outdated metal blinds installed, I wasn’t making the most of the light. Generally, it felt cold and uninviting and was in need of some personality and warmth.

coastal bedroom makeover

We removed the old alcove units, sanded the floor, which we repainted white, and stripped the walls.

coastal bedroom makeover
Ruth wanted her bedroom to have a rustic, coastal feel, but she also wanted it to feel soft and feminine; a place where she could escape and cosy up after a busy shift, so pretty accessories were a must

We used Jasmine White from the new Dulux Simply Refresh range, as it’s designed to only need one coat, which was perfect for getting the job done quickly and it gave the room a lovely bright feel.

A bit more about my home...

How I made it work I removed the fitted cabinets, created a rustic feature wall and made more of the window by adding a dressing table and new roller blinds. I painted the room white for a fresh look and added warmth with blush-coloured throws and bedding. 

My favourite part I love the ladder above my bed. It adds character but it’s also a really cheap way of creating shelving and hanging bedside lights. My old, weathered dressing table was a bargain second-hand buy and the soft pink really makes the room feel welcoming.

coastal bedroom makeover

I wanted to use the bay window for a dressing table, so I swapped the old metal blinds for a more stylish design by Clarissa Hulse at Blinds 2go.

coastal bedroom makeover
‘I now have a room that’s welcoming, relaxing and a space I can escape to at the end of the day’ says Ruth

I had planned to only use greens and blues but I went off plan a bit as I started to introduce different accessories in soft pinks, which I love, and I think it still works.

I now have a room that’s welcoming, relaxing and a space I can escape to at the end of the day.

Style advice

Try cladding

‘I wanted a feature wall but didn’t want to use wallpaper or paint. We had some old planks of wood left over from a previous project, so we trimmed it into thinner pieces before cutting to size and attaching to the wall with extra strong wood glue and then painted it white to match the other walls.

coastal bedroom makeover

‘It was such a quick project, and the results look amazing. As time goes by the wood moves and cracks, which only adds to the rustic weathered look that I love.’

Clear out your clothes

To increase the sense of space and create an uncluttered, calm feel, Ruth got rid of her built-in wardrobes and went for this free-standing rail from Cox & Cox instead. It fits snugly into the alcove and, with a rack on the top and bottom, there’s plenty of room to keep shoes and other accessories.

coastal bedroom makeover

‘I use the spare room to store the majority of my clothes,’ Ruth explains. ‘I tend to get out the clothes I’m wearing for the week, so I only have a few on show at any one time.’

Repurpose furniture

‘I found the ladder at a reclamation yard and was going to use it in the garden to hang flowerpots, but I decided to hang it above the bed instead. It’s the ideal place to hang my lights and frees up space on the bedside table.

coastal bedroom makeover

‘The sides are wide enough to use as a shelf space and I like to display some of my plants here. We treated it with a lick of varnish to keep its aged effect and Ben used brackets to keep it in place. It also cost a fraction of the price of shelving and looks amazing against the cladding on this wall.’

More like this

Feature and styling Zoe Bishop. Photos Lizzie Orme.

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