Before & After Part 1

In my very first post I mentioned that I was going to share more in future posts about how we got the Scandinavian look in our home. I have found a couple of ‘before’ photos, as I like to call them and decided that it was time to share more about our newly transformed home (the home behind Mono, if you haven’t gathered that yet).

These two photos are of the main bedroom before renovation took place:

Needless to say, it took quite a bit of imagination to envision what the final result would look like:

How we did it

We started by giving the walls a fresh coat (or three) of good quality white paint (no, they are not all the same – good quality wall paint gives a clean, silky finish and requires fewer coats than cheaper paints). The walls were already white, but they were old and dirty. You wouldn’t believe what a difference it made to the room – it immediately looked lighter and bigger.

The next step (and probably the single biggest change of all) was laying the floors. We went with engineered wood, which is a good compromise between laminated floors and hardwood. The beautiful colour that you see is ‘washed oak’. It is very difficult to get solid white wooden floors, unless you have old planks that you can paint (unfortunately, that was not the case for us).

The (awful) cupboards that you see in the first image are solid wood (something that you don’t really see anymore) so we decided not to replace them. Instead, we took a chance and painted them white. That orange ‘block’ that you see is bamboo – we painted over that too. We were extremely pleased to see the end result:

Painting the bamboo turned it into a stunning cream colour. We also love the delicate texture that it adds. As you can see above, we felt no need to add extra furniture to the open wall space between the cupboards; we simply added a coat hanger. This maximises space without looking cluttered. The idea was to get an open, airy space.

e simply replaced the old, floral-patterned porcelain knobs with new crystal ones, which would later complement the modern chandelier:

White skirting boards and dado rails complement the rough cast walls, and add some elegance, while the pallet-constructed bed tones everything down to a more comfortable look.

We wanted the bedroom to look simple and stripped-down, but still elegant, so keeping the bedroom furniture to a minimum was key to achieving this look. Another important thing to remember is that you have to combine your ‘rough’ elements (e.g. the pallet bed base) with fancier, more expensive elements (such as the chandelier) in order to get the balance right. The end result could be described as ‘shabby-chic’, but as far as I am concerned, it is completely unique.

For final touches, we added a simple sheepskin to the large open space next to the bed. Our Chequered Bed Spread complements the black and white tiles we chose for the bathroom, as does the chandelier.

We also added some ethnic elements such as the rug you see in the first ‘after’ image, as well as this antique chair and the Moroccan tray:

Because of the low ceiling at the window, a set of curtains would have looked old-fashioned and cluttered (and we weren’t quite prepared to leave the windows completely unobstructed in the main bedroom), so white shutters were the ideal choice. We also went with the same white shutters in the bathroom, which in my opinion, looks far better than the traditional sand-blasted windows.

The other side of the room (opposite the bed) looks like this:

We took a white trestle desk and paired it with a modern classic: A white Eames chair. We kept it simple by adding no more than two accessories to the desk, and added a black accent with framed black and white family photos. A desk is great for a bedroom, especially if you don’t have a separate home office. And as you can see, it doesn’t have to be a cluttered mess.

We’d love to hear what you think! You can leave your comments below or tell us what you think on our Facebook page (don’t forget to ‘like’ our page, if you haven’t already). There will be more before and after photos in the future!

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