The Revamp Restyle Reveal team have Revamped and Restyled our little blogger socks off, and now finally the big day has arrived. Take your seats folks: it’s the Reveal.
When the Revamp Restyle Reveal hosts got in touch all those months ago, I didn’t need to think too long before replying to their invitation with an emphatic “yaaaaas!”. The chance to work with some of the top UK interiors writers and stylists, some fantastic brands, and be part of an exciting makeover challenge? What self-respecting interiors blogger could pass that up?
The contract soon zoomed into my inbox, with its clearly specified terms and conditions about timescales and posting commitments. But the challenge sounded so much fun that I chose to ignore the niggles of doubt about my ability to juggle my multiple non-interior related commitments to fulfil the requirements of the project. I proudly announced my status as a Revamp Restyle Reveal blogger.
My problems started before we’d even launched. The deadline for posting a moodboard arrived before I’d even gotten near a paint chart. My design-indecisiveness was a mill-stone round my neck as I sweated out a room scheme for the guest room I’d chosen to feature into the wee hours. But eventually I was satisfied with my design, a little smug even, and reassured that when the pressure is on, I could deliver the goods.
But if I thought the hard work was over, I was kidding myself.
At first, the launch seemed too far in the distance to accord it priority. Then all of a sudden it was happening and I had another deadline: to shoot an introductory video. With a 20 minute window to get it down before guests arrived for the weekend, there was little room for error. But my sodding phone ran out of storage, then out of charge, plus the pressure of time kept making me fluff my words.
Finally I managed to get some coherent sentences out in as near to perfect a take as I was going to manage. But just as I was wrapping up my ‘intro to camera’ piece (in shuddery selfie mode; arm at nose height and full extension for maximum wrinkle/double chin minimisation effect), my guests announced their arrival with a ding dong on the door bell. Quickly calculating that there would be no chance to start again later, I managed to retain a dead pan face and without allowing myself a moment to angst over it, fired it off to the RRR hosts.
How I cringed later, checking out the Revamp Restyle Reveal YouTube channel and comparing my carry-on blogger effort to the thoroughly professional footage of my RRR colleagues, complete with logos, text overlays, fancy fade effects, and proper scripts.
At this point I consoled myself with what would become my personal Revamp Restyle Reveal mantra: it’s not a competition.
Before I could get started on the revamp, I had some furniture to shift from the room. This apparently straightforward task turned out to require Herculean effort. There was a complex matrix of furniture rearranging needed in the boys’ bedrooms, and the exhausting task of storing toys in volumes sufficient to populate the Argos Christmas catalogue. It didn’t look like I’d achieved much. But it had taken so much time and energy that I still hadn’t been able to choose all the items I wanted from our sponsors or even commit to paint colours. My anxiety only heightened when I reviewed the other RRR bloggers’ update videos. Paint on the walls, new furniture beautifully in situ, and artful styling. What?! (It’s not a competition.)
We were away unexpectedly for a long weekend. I had absolutely no progress to report. Yikes.
I committed to a weekend of non-stop decorating, which with predicable optimism bias, I assessed would have the entire affair nailed. Although by now I’d ordered tester pots from Earthborn paints, I hadn’t found time to paint samples. I took a leap of faith, went with my gut and the lovely people at Earthborn fast-tracked my order to arrive on the Saturday morning. Unfortunately for me the courier “mislaid” the emulsion and so I couldn’t get the walls done after all. Aaarghhh.
Against all decorating wisdom, I got the eggshell on the woodwork. The emulsion eventually appeared on Monday, after which ensued an excruciating week of painting after work in the evenings, once the boys were in bed, in the dark, with all the energy of sloths on morphine.
The final weekend before the reveal and we still had the wallpapering to do, a chandelier to hang, furniture to build and the entire room to style and photograph. Turns out I had set myself up to do the Great Interior Design challenge, except without a crack team of skilled tradespeople at my command. (It’s not a competition.)
In my design panic I had ordered two rolls of the sumptious Harlequin Makrana from Amara, without any real plan as to what I would do with them. I pondered panels, but the tall box-like proportions of the room didn’t seem to lend itself to that. I considered a feature wall but I couldn’t help but feel that this would look a little dated.
Finally I hit on a genius idea: I would paper a panel around the bottom of the walls, creating a dado effect, but without the rail. This, I reasoned would detract from the disproportionate height of the ceiling, and be a fresh take on the two-tone wall trend. Another advantage was my assumption that sticking the paper on horizontally would require a lesser degree of skill than traditional up and down hanging. Um, wrong assumption.
There was a certain irony in that it was on the twelfth anniversary of the day we met that the Houses Husband and I came closer to divorce than any DIY has ever brought us, as we endeavoured simultateously to line up a length of wallpaper along a skirting, around a radiator, and over two sockets. What an Insta story that would have made, if only I had an extra hand to hold my phone over and above the six that were needed properly to do the job.
It was at this point that I coined my second Revamp Restyle Reveal motto, which would see me through to the end of the project: it won’t show up in the photos.
Toughing out a serious case of PWSD (post wallpaper stress disorder) I somehow managed to throw the rest of the room together in true Changing Rooms fashion, leaving myself the tiniest time window for getting the pics. If it had been cloudy that morning, I’d have been arrested for crimes against reveals.
Despite gale force winds, happily, the sun appeared and I am delighted to be able to share with you (drum roll) my Revamp Restyle Reveal guest room makeover.
There was a time not very long ago when peach was the decor equivalent of the mullet hair cut: never truly stylish even when it was all the rage. Earlier this year I painted my shower room in a blush shade and angsted that it turned out to have a decidedly peachy hue.
But like all fashion taboos, peach was inevitably due a comeback. Earthborn have captured the emerging resurgance wonderfully in their newly launched “Peach Baby” colour way. Their Claypaint was a dream to paint with. It covered the unsightly green stripes on my magnolia wall in just two coats, and the beautiful matt finish ensured that the less than perfect period walls in my room looked the business.
The revelation though was the Earthborn Eggshell No. 17. Not generally a lover of water-based eggshells, this one won me over entirely. With a single coat of Earthborn primer the eggshell – I chose Rocky Horse – went on over my old oil-based gloss as easily as emulsion, but with a couple of coats, hardened to a silky-soft sheen.
The Harlequin Makrana wallpaper from Amara looked beautiful against the Peach Baby, and was totally worth the pain. The dado-effect styling may divide option (if my Mum-in-law’s enquiry as to whether I had run out of paper is anything to go by). But it’s definitely an approach worth considering if you’ve fallen out of love with feature walls but you’ve got your heart set on a paper that you couldn’t afford to use on all the walls.
The old solid oak bed frame was rehomed in one of the boys’ bedrooms. It was too chunky for my diminutive room. The replacement Victorian-style metal frame was a Gumtree bargain and helps increase the sense of space. The dressing table/desk has been pinched from my hall which was feeling a bit cluttered since it’s been housing my old coffee table (masquerading as a bench). The table, which was a vintage find, is much more usefully sited in the guest room, as it’s the perfect height for a dressing table, or a workstation.
The valet stand (above, behind the chair) was a new concept to me, but as soon as I saw it on the Maisons du Monde website I realised it was the perfect solution to my guest hanging space challenge. It also provides a neater way to present towels for guests than an unsightly pile on the bed.
The table also functions as a bedside surface, while on the other side of the bed, a vintage magazine rack which was lurking elsewhere in the house without proper purpose, squeezes in nicely.
All of the prints were existing favourites. I deliberately chose darker pieces to balance the pastel shades on the wall which otherwise would have been too insipid for my taste. I resisted the obvious over the bed placing, opting instead to group them in the furthest corner of the room. I hoped that this cunning move, by drawing the eye there, would create an optical illusion of a bedroom larger than an airing cupboard. That, plus it was all I had.
I still had a wall that was looking awfully bare to deal with, so I knocked up a couple of faux marble shelves (based on this clever DIY from Why Don’t You Make Me) and chose a couple of statement design pieces to display on them from the mouth-wateringly stunning range at Amara: the Normann Copenhagen Shorebird and the Serax Isa bowl.
I’ve included a couple of accessories in the room which are so good I may have to sleep in the spare room myself or else “borrow” them.
I am actually in love with my Roberts Revival Radio. Not just any radio, not only does it look gorgeous, but this thing does everything I could imagine wanting a music-playing device to do. (Within reason. Obviously it’s a bit much to expect your radio to run a bath, massage your feet and bring you a glass of Prosecco.) The best bit though is that it’s really easy to use. It must be, if I can master it. The extent of my tech-phobia is a source of hilarity in my house. I’m the only one of our family unable to operate the TV unassisted (in my defence: it’s a four remote enterprise). However, on this I was streaming Spotify from my phone straight out of the box (the app is built in)!
I’m also quite over the moon with my KitchenAid filter coffee maker. As well as looking sleek, glossy and, well, expensive, it has a built in timer, meaning that guests can awaken to the aroma of fresh coffee brewing. Also there’s a chance that its gentle steamy gurgles will drown out the noise of Netflix’s Mutant Busters belting out from downstairs. Plus, it makes a mean brew.
Usually when I revamp a room I take my time, building up the scheme one step at a time, battling design indecision all the way. Revamp Restyle Reveal, with its scary deadlines and upfront design requirements, was a real challenge for me.
Has it made me less happy with the outcome? Not a bit. I love how it turned out. Maybe my design confidence is growing. Or perhaps it was the inspiration and motivation I got from my hugely talented RRR colleagues and from all of our readers and followers who joined us in the challenge. Thanks so much for taking part.
A huge thanks too to the amazing brands who sponsored RRR, without whom my guest room would have been considerably less revamped and restyled.
This post is the final stop in the Revamp Reveal Restyle Blog Hop. We do hope you’ve enjoyed the challenge as much as we have, and thank you sooooo much for sharing the adventure with us. It wouldn’t have been half as much fun without you.
If you’ve joined the hop part way through, make sure you check out the earlier posts by following the links below.
And if you’ve seen the other RRR blogs and drooled over their fabulous reveals, please do me a favour: remember it’s not a competition.
Bianca Hall, French For Pineapple – Kitchen Revamp
Oliver Thomas, Oliver Thomas Interiors – Living Room Revamp
Kerry Lockwood, Kerry Lockwood In Detail – Girls Bedroom Revamp
Melanie Lissack, Melanie Lissack Interiors – Master Bedroom Revamp
Kate Young, Kate Young Design – Master Bedroom Revamp
Meera Pendred, Arty Home – Living Room Revamp
Dee Campling, Dee Campling Interiors – Boys Bedroom Revamp
Ruth Matthews, Design Soda – Hallway Revamp