If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this little project I started at the end of March: Operation Pocket Springs, I called it. I am funny like that. And you may also have wondered how I sourced a copper bed for under £300 and a Berber-style rug for £50. Wanna know more? Read on and I will demonstrate how to revamp a guest room in under 15 days and with a budget of £800... Yes I do like a challenge like that.
By the way, this mission (impossible, but actually made possible by yours truly!) is part of a much bigger, larger scale, project but it's too long to get into in this post, so I will cover that in a separate one next week - please bear with me while I try to recover from this one first.
So, back to Operation Pocket Springs. We turned my little home office into a guest room, in, well, two weeks. The photographer has just left as I write this, and I am typing this from a little corner of my dining room as my beloved little home study, aka Stella + the Stars HQ, no longer exists. This is where the whole blogging story began... it's been an emotional week, trust me.
I thought I'd show you first what it looked like just two weeks ago. Because who doesn't love a little before/after post, right? Oh, actually I am showing you first what it looked like a year ago 'cos this one has even got 3 levels of makeover! Did I tell you I got bored easily?
The 'Before' Before
This is what my office looked like last year when I first decorated it. I thought it would be a fabulous idea to set up my desk against the window, as we overlook a park, and I could just look at the squirrels fighting for snacks and dog walkers and their pooches. That was in April. When summer came, the south facing, eye squinting sitch became unbearable and I was like a succulent in a green house on sunny days.
So I swapped everything around and...
The 'After' Before
This is what it looked like, after the swaparama session I did last summer. It just worked much better and this corner of the room was a total hit on instagram bizzarely and I got asked on a daily basis by people if they could repost it. I think might have something to do with that Prada Marfa sign...! And finally, for reasons I'll explain very soon, I promise, I transformed it into a guest room... Scroll down for the big reveal!
The 'After' After
Ta-da! Welcome to my new guest room. Shall I walk you through what I did? First: budget. £800. For a total of 16 items including a bed/mattress and a rug. Yep, it's slightly bonkers but, guess what? I DID IT! I had a low budget because, 1. I am not going to use the room myself so didn't want to invest in nice and expensive pieces, and 2. well, I am like the Sherlock of home decor bargains and I actually get a kick from finding gorgeous stuff that looks a million dollars but doesn't actually cost a million dollars.
Normally, when I work with a client on a room makeover, we discuss the needs of the people who are going to use the room; we talk about colours they like; I create a pinterest board with initial ideas, then we create a concept board to find a colour scheme and the right textures. Once that's all agreed, we narrow down some ideas and I put together a digital moodboard, and finally I come up with a shortlist of pieces, with various colour options, and provide a shopping list the client uses to, well, shop all the stuff needed.
For this project, because of time and budget constraints, I had to use a lot of existing stuff like the wall colour (Farrow & Ball Downpipe), wall shelves etc rather than starting from scratch. So I basically followed NONE OF THE STEPS ABOVE and just went freestyle... I know, cray-cray. And instead of casually browsing for stuff I liked, I had to select most of the stuff based on a. price, and b. delivery times. I sent about a hundred emails to various suppliers asking if they could get whatever item delivered to my pad in East London in less than 5 working days... If they couldn't, then I would then start again and source an alternative.
The only two items I knew I wanted, were a copper bed and a Berber rug. Don't ask me why, I have been obsessed with getting a copper bed every since I laid my eyes on this gorgeousness from Made.com. Between Alana and I, it was love at first sight... Unfortunately with a lead time of 4-6 weeks at the time I had to purchase it, the Made.com option was out and I was devastated. Thankfully, I found an alternative, and CHEAPER. Yep, cheaper than Made.com my friends. If that's not an achievement in itself I don't know what it. And the Berber rug? Well, I have had a thing for Beni Ourain rugs for a little while. Click here if you don't believe me.
What do you think of Blake, from Dreams.co.uk... It's got slightly more sharp angles than the curvey Alana but for under £300 it was a no brainer. I just made the rest work around that.
Slight hiccup is, as you can see on the photos, the bedside tables didn't get delivered on time for the photoshoot so I had nowhere the fabulous French bulldog copper table lamp I got and I had to use an existing floor lamp and a small side table I already had. But I am just going with the positive thinking that getting 14 items out of 16 in my crazy timeframe and within budget, can be considered a success even if said items are pretty key to the room makeover. And that rug... Well it kind of made up for the missing tables. You with me?!
My final shopping list
1. Double bed frame - £299 - from Dreams
2. Double mattress - £100 - from IKEA
3. Perspex table lamp, Bourgie style - £59 - from Cult Furniture
4. French bulldog lamp (in copper) - £20 - Iconic Lights
4. Berber Style rug - £49.95 - The Rug House [Use the code STELLA10 at checkout to get 10% off!]
5. Pillows - £14 (pack of 2) - Silentnight available from Sleepypeople.com
6. Duvet - £19 - from George at Asda
7. Cloudy blackout blind - £175 - from Blinds Boutique (they kindly had it custom made as our window is ridiculously wide so we couldn't use their standard width using that particular fabric)
8. Marble cushions - £35 each - from The Loft & Us
9. Side tables - £69 each from Zara Home
And these are the guys you can't see on the pics... Click on the images to see where they're from...
So... Whaddaya think?! Please let me know in the comments below. Even the hubby hasn't seen it so I haven't had any feedback yet...