This week we have a guest post from Briony of anywaytostayathome.com who talks about how to make your work from home environment no matter if it’s your bedroom or spare room a bit more appealing to work in.
How to Create a Shabby Chic Bedroom For Less
Creating a shabby chic bedroom was a dream of mine but I needed new furniture, new curtains,new bed sheets, well new everything so I always thought it was going to be out of my reach.When we moved house I was presented with a blank canvas so decided to go for it and it turns out that with a bit of research, a little bit of work and patience it is easily achievable and something I wish I had done years ago.
As I was lucky enough to be starting with a blank canvas so decorating was my first job, I really wanted a pretty wallpaper I had seen but to save costs we only papered one feature wall and painted the rest, this is really easy thing to do to save on costs and it looks really effective which is probably why it’s such a fashionable thing to do at the moment.
One of the joys of shabby chic is that things don’t have to match perfectly, in fact they look better if they don’t, so your overall effect can be created over time, as and when you see the perfect item or find something on sale. This is what we have done with a lot of our items, I found some beautiful rose hooks in the Debenhams sale one year, a cute set of hanging heart frames in Wilkos sale a few months later, an amazing vase from Next that I added artificial flowers to as this saves me buying new ones all the time and has given me something to hang my little owls from!
The biggest purchases for us and for many people was the furniture but this doesn’t have to be a huge outlay, I wanted a cast iron bed frame but found a replica from Argos that set us back the grand sum of £20. It looks just as good, is really sturdy and is mainly covered in bedding so you can only see the bars at the foot and at the head of the bed, so what’s the point in spending a fortune.
The other furniture was a bit harder to find but what many people don’t know is that nearly every single furniture store out there has an outlet store, many if which are on eBay. With a bit of research we found a store whose warehouse was close to us, we then phoned them and arranged to visit the warehouse directly, this meant we got to see everything first hand and view for ourselves the reasons these items of furniture had been returned in the first place. Some of the defects were so minor I still struggle to see them, others were a bit more obvious but we could decide what would be a deal breaker for us.
Because we went to the warehouse direct and saved them the bother of listing the items on eBay and built a rapport with the warehouse manager we were able to no to not only pick exactly what we wanted but they actually changed items around for us so we got the best possible pieces, they did us an even better deal on the price, all this because we put in some effort and were prepared to accept some minor defects. In the end we got over £2500 worth of furniture for only £900. I appreciate this is still lot of money but we now have solid oak furniture that will last us a lifetime. Just think if those were the savings we made on some big ticket items imagine what you could do on some cheaper things.
Of course you always have the ultimate shabby chic option, upcycling. It’s my new favourite hobby and all it takes is some time. You can get whatever furniture you fancy from a charity store, market or boot sale and with some sanding, a lick of paint and some wax have your own brand new item, this is even cheaper than finding an outlet store but it will require a lot more time. I’m currently on week 3 of upcycling a bureau and really enjoying it, the painting is done, just some handles, decopatch and waxing to be done. This has cost me next to nothing, is truly personal and the completely what shabby chic is all about. I would never have been able to do this for all our bedroom furniture though, as we had none and couldn’t afford to wait.
Bedding was another key item but I found this easy to source and for very little money, I ended up going for two different sets, one with little birds and one all printed patchwork, both are really cute and cost about £17.00 for each full set, this was just a case of searching on the internet for a bargain. Nether set matches any one thing in my room, they are at complete odds to the wallpaper and paint and do not match the curtains or cushions, but together they pull together well. I do this by selecting one key colour for my soft furnishings that I pull together across each item. So in my case I’ve gone for pink. There are loads of different shades and colours within all my soft furnishings but by having that one common colour they do not clash and they blend well with my blue/grey walls that stop the whole look from becoming too much.
By making my own curtains I saved a bundle, I went for simple tie tops as these are easier then stitching in the hook tape and I wouldn’t know where to start with eyelets or anything fancy like that. I simply hemmed my white lining along the bottom, hemmed my curtain fabric along the bottom then pinned them both together inside out, along the top I pinned in two thin hemmed strips of curtain fabric at regular intervals for the ties and then simply joined it all together on the sewing machine. You just need really good scissors, to be sure the lining is shorter than the curtain and make sure you’ve added an adequate amount of ties, it took me two days, but I love them!
It is the lack of uniformity and the mixing of different styles that go towards capturing that ideal look, you won’t go far wrong if you pick items you love, they will come together to create a room you won’t want to leave. I’ve got family pictures, artwork I’ve collected and little ornaments to make my room all mine and the overall look is what I had always imagined.
My Top Five Tips For Creating your Room for less
1. Research, a little research can go a long way, go into shops find the things you want then go home and see if you can find them cheaper, check for outlet stores of factory seconds, you’ll be amazed at the savings you can find.
2. Shabby Chic isn’t supposed to match, just find pretty things you love and try to keep one common colour amongst all the patterns, that way you know nothing will clash.
3. If you can make it yourself then go for it, you’ll have a one of a kind piece to be proud of, don’t worry if you can’t, you might be able to rope a friend into doing it for you.
4. Group buying sites, discount shops and second hand stores are your friends. Check them regularly to see if they have what you want.
5. Bedding and curtains will be key to your look, followed by pictures, decorations and lastly furniture. You don’t have to have it all, a great bed spread and some cushions will really freshen up a room anything else is just a bonus.
My name is Briony and I’m a parenting and lifestyle blogger at anywaytostayathome.com, I write about a wide variety of topics, from crafting, parenting issues, money saving tips and product reviews. My goal is to give up the day job and be a stay at home, work at home mum, I would really love to turn my writing hobby into a business. My small family consists of my husband, a toddler and a very fat cat, they are my inspiration and my drive to succeed, we live in Norfolk and enjoy making the most of our fabulous coast and all the great family activities available to us, if I’m not busy writing you’ll find me crafting something, playing with my boy or outside walking.