Nina Williams-Bruty, 32, who shares her décor ideas on Instagram @bruty.abode, and her husband, Ryan Bruty, 34, bought their 1960s, three-bedroom detached house in Bury St Edmunds because they fell in love with the location. ‘Living this side of town was such a good move for us,’ says Nina.
‘This house ticked a lot of boxes for our growing family.’ The previous owners had decorated the house from top to bottom in cream. ‘It was inoffensive, but every room looked the same,’ Nina explains.
Within months of moving in, the couple set to work painting the house in shades of grey. ‘It was supposed to be a temporary update, but we ended up living with the décor for five years,’ reveals Nina. ‘I was ready to start decorating again.’
In April 2020, not long after her baby boy, Arthur, was born, Nina decided to give her bedroom a much-needed facelift. ‘We were in lockdown and spending more time at home, and I started to notice that areas of our home were in need of decorating.
‘Our bedroom felt flat and didn’t reflect my evolving style,’ she says. ‘As my son was napping during the day, I decided to use that precious time to dig out my paintbrush.’
Nina wanted to move away from grey walls towards lighter tones. ‘The bare bones of the room were all in good condition so it was a matter of decorating and styling the space.’
She was determined to do as much as she could herself, fitting it around childcare for her young son. She moved all the furniture into the middle of the room and got to work painting the walls and woodwork, built-in wardrobes and the windows in off-white to revitalise the space.
‘Instantly my room felt fresher and brighter within a day!’
The bedroom had previously been filled with furniture from her previous home. ‘We had lots of mirrored pieces from our old house, but it wasn’t my vibe anymore,’ says Nina.
‘My style had changed to reflect our new home and it felt too modern.’ Close by her new house, Nina found a fabulous discount furniture store where she bought her oak bedside tables and chest of drawers.
‘I loved the rich tones of the wood finish, and how grown-up they made my bedroom look,’ she says. She moved the old furniture into the guest bedroom to make space for their new pieces.
‘My décor style evolved from ultra-modern to a vintage-inspired look, with warm woods and soft textures.’
Using masking tape and a spirit level, Nina marked out a geometric section on the wall that ran up and over onto the ceiling. ‘I watched loads of YouTube videos on colour-block painting.
The most difficult part was making sure my trusty Frog tape was applied properly. I discovered so many hacks, including using a credit card to score the edge of the tape.’ Nina chose a soft green-blue colour to complement the wooden furniture.
‘Lockdown was my colour-blocking phase,’ she jokes. ‘I’d done a few bits before in the rest of the house but nothing as brave as this! Making sure the lines were straight was a challenge.’
Nina was thrilled with the results. ‘It’s so light in here now and the panel of colour makes my ceiling look taller, too. It’s such a simple but effective trick.’
A shelf was then put up behind the bed to create a focal point, the curtain pole was replaced with white wooden slatted blinds and the carpet covered over with cosy rugs.
Next, Nina set to work styling her bedroom. A keen bargain-hunter, she scoured high street stores online for affordable homewares. Her best buy was her cane headboard, which she found on Facebook Marketplace for just £5.
‘I had to drive 40 minutes each way to go pick it up but it was worth it,’ she says. As a finishing touch.
Nina filled the space with faux and real plants to add leafy green colour to the space. It took her less than a week to transform her bedroom.
Nina loves nothing better than to relax in here now. ‘When all the decorating was done, I had this huge sense of achievement and pride in what I had created myself,’ she says. ‘This room feels very calm and tranquil. And I sleep so much better at night, too.’
Feature and stylist Maxine Brady. Photos Rachael Smith.