Work with the bones of a period property to shape a chic and seductive sleep space
Houzz UK Contributor. Freelance journalist and interiors obsessive, renovating a… More
The bedrooms of a period property are crammed full of potential, but it’s sometimes difficult to translate décor ideas into decisive action. After all, original features such as fireplaces and large windows present challenges as well as rewards.
The first thing to do is to dedicate time to sussing out an optimum layout – one that allows free movement around the bed and access to your most-used areas. Secondly, prioritise storage, which is often lacking in Victorian homes. Finally, even if you’re on a tight budget, don’t skimp on window treatments, as they will upgrade the overall feel and finish of your scheme. Sheer blinds are marvellous at providing privacy, and can also be used to hide any unsympathetic modern elements.
Read on for more tips on how to transform your Victorian bedroom into the sleep space of your dreams.
Focus on period features
If your bedroom is bereft of original features, wall panelling (or mouldings) can easily be added to impart subtle depth and a sense of ‘history’.
In contrast, if you fear too many competing period features are spoiling the lines of your scheme, try painting the woodwork and walls in the same colour. As shown here, this tonal trick makes panelling and multiple doorways recede into the background, while creating a clean, colour-blocked effect.
Wait for your cue
Use a feature fireplace to give your colour palette a helpful prompt. This majestic midnight blue tiled surround has inspired an equally inky statement wall and matching mantelpiece. Built-in cupboards provide a visual barrier, allowing the contrasting pale grey paint to leave the rest of the room feeling lighter.
Ornate cornicing and pretty ceiling roses demand to be seen. Use a sculptural-style pendant to draw the eye, then uplight with a mixture of floor and table lamps to show off the detail.
Do your home work
Strike the right balance between form and function in a bedroom office by focusing on attractive architectural features. Here, the floating shelves and slim, midcentury-style desk utilise the chimney breast and alcoves as an unobtrusive study space.
Need more storage? See how to utilise your home’s architecture to achieve it
Be creative with corners
Make the most of a light-flooded alcove by fashioning a simple dressing table. This small, shelf-style beauty was made using walnut parquet flooring. Warm wooden touches are always welcome – here, they punctuate the powdery palette, bringing life to the glamorous scheme.
Choose period-style heating
Victorian-style column radiators are attractive enough to be highlighted rather than hidden. If yours sits beneath a single-glazed window, invest in a Roman blind, which is both pretty and practical. A blind sits more snugly against the window so, unlike curtains, it’s less likely to let heat escape. Wooden shutters are also an appealing option.
Maintain the clean lines of a classic Victorian bedroom by building wardrobes into the space. This bank of cabinets occupies one side of the room, providing streamlined, maximum storage. Continuing the cornice that runs around the tops of the walls adds a neat finishing touch.
Wasting space in the bedroom? Discover how to maximise every centimetre
Expand your canvas
Textured wallpaper creates a cosy, cocoon-like quality when used in a saturated shade, like this mocha hue. For organic softness, opt for sludgy shades of seagrass (as seen here), which will accentuate a high ceiling.
If you want to make a Victorian-inspired statement, you’ll be pleased to hear that Anaglypta is increasingly available. It was invented in 1887 – the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
Bag the best spot
Make the most of a big bay window and pop your favourite chair into it to enjoy prime people-watching or relaxed reading. A coordinating footstool is a must for regal reclining, as is a snuggly blanket and well-placed floor lamp.
How have you tackled period features – from any era – in your bedroom? Share your tips in the Comments below.