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Interior Transformations- notes from living in and restoring an historical house and garden- The Dressing Room

I have been meaning to share this for sometime, here is a peek at another room we almost completed.

It really didn't have much of an identity, a room next to our bathroom and bedroom, it serves as a dressing room, laundry dumping ground and was in much need of some love!

Part of our philosophy is in taking references from past and present, nature, layering personal pieces, found, collected and often repurposed or restored is part of our way of designing.  We may spend more time and consideration, invest in things like good natural quality paint but balance costs by not buying everything from new.  This sustainable and creative way of working also connects us with our environment more deeply and brings joy as we engage in the process and we have more appreciation in the results.

Spaces we inhabit have the power to calm or excite, with this space I wanted to create a space which bridges our master bedroom, and the bathroom. I wanted it to act as cocoon or sanctuary, a place to transition from the dream state, before fully waking and refreshing the body and mind in the morning or reversely to relax and unwind before sleep in the evening.

Various design elements act together to create this feeling. Both the colour and choice to paint the walls, skirtings and ceiling giving a wrap around, warm embracing, effect.  For the paint, I choose, Mr Soane, from Lakeland paints, it is both earthy and elegant, described as a dark salmon, it changes with the light, the base is a soft brown with hints of rosy, pink, sandstone, and in some lights, I see violet undertones. Only the window and deep windowsill was painted in a contrasting light paint, Scapula, pinkish grey, white (Lakeland paints) and the fire surround in black which anchors the room.

Taking things back, the prep work before the fun of getting the new paint colour on the wall takes time but is important, layers come off before filling, sanding and painting. A labour of love!

The large dressing mirror moved to reflect more light from the outside across the other side of the room, along with the large, framed vintage map which also works to reflect the light. Beneath the map we used a vintage trunk as storage.

Vignettes- I love to create areas that are both practical and pleasing to the eye. I took the opportunity to do this higher up on top of the wardrobe and put together a vignette of hat boxes, leather and printed, floral and striped and a treasured vintage shell bag gifted to me by my mother. I love the contrast of patterns and texture this creates.

The mantle above the fireplace I layered with a jewellery stand, framed personal photos, glass vases, this brings in more chances to add pops of colour and textures in small doses.

The windowsill is deep,(as are the walls of the house), we placed red stone hand carved busts made by a talented lady who lived near us, it creates a gallery like effect, a perfect place to view these pieces.

Walls- On the wall I have a framed hand drawn calligraphy, which my godmother gave me, and another one on the opposite wall, the text has special meaning and this is the perfect space for me to read and reflect on these words, the because of the intricacy there is always something more to discover.

Inherited -The chair is from my Norwegian grandmother’s house, along with the wall light, new off-white half shades were added. Still to be installed is a chandelier which is also from my Mormor, ideally done before decoration but it only just came out of my flat in London, I can’t wait to see in it in place, this will catch and reflect more light into the room and around the walls.

Flooring - the carpet was fairly new so I did not want to replace, I am still on the hunt for a rug, I have faith that the right one will appear, for now a have a small brown and white sheepskin for cosiness.

The wardrobe was given a darker stain and wax, next to it sits woven laundry baskets and to one side there is a place to tuck the ironing board away and inside hide the iron and my husband’s shirts and jumpers. A chest of draws came from my daughter’s room, which use to be mine, I never liked the draws in there, they were too dark and heavy but work well in the new location and better suited for my husbands clothing, which thankfully he doesn’t have much of!

The two gold frames with green mounts I repurposed, by taking out the pictures that were faded and not so appealing to me, I replaced the images with two hand drawn scenes, figures with trees and fruit, found on one of my many trips to India.  The style is special, quite illustrative, the outlines are a black ink, the colours are soft as is the paper texture they are drawn on.

The window treatment previously the window pole was just above the window, I change it for a longer one and lifted it higher to give the room the illusion of more height. I also wanted to be able to draw the curtains both to the right side as the bathroom door opens on the left side and there is a radiator, I didn’t want to block either.  I am still playing with the idea of adding a plain contrasting hem to the bottom of the curtain.

The pole and finials were from B&Q which was given a with a dark stain and wax treatment to age the look of the wood. I swapped the curtain rings which came with the pole for a dark metal ring in the same size.

Found- The curtains were originally short but again I wanted more length to create both height and more opulence. I found these in our store of fabrics and immediately loved the eastern influence pattern and colours, the linen weight is suitable to work unlined and as it is not a bedroom not necessary to be full backout either.

The Colour scheme I designed for the room, I worked with the main paint and pulled out colours from the curtains, there is a range of warm mid tones, underpinned by rich darker shades of wood, highlights of terracotta, teals, greens, small amounts of soft sand, and delicate shell tones, gold gilt frames, black lacquer elements on the free standing mirror and chair bring elegance to the otherwise earthy palette.


These are some of the essential signature foundations I use in creating a tranquil, timeless, comforting home, combing the use of calming and harmonious colours, textiles, pattern, lighting, decorative, hand crafted, collected and personal elements

Colour is something that can transform, along with rearranging furniture, as you may have seen in my previous post on the guest room.

I work with trend companies, collaborations with brands who share my values and private clients, email me to find out how I can help you today.

Astrid x


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