This is a sponsored post produced in collaboration with a brand I genuinely love, Habitat.
If you also follow me on Instagram you’re likely to have seen snippets of my bedroom over the years. The bedside table perhaps, or the side of the bed and vague hint of a window. It’s a tricky room, not just to photograph but to really do too much with. Small and badly designed; the bed can only possibly go in one position, it receives no direct sunlight, the only plug socket is in a useless position and an ugly radiator restricts what furniture can even be brought in.
You might not be aware but I rent the flat that features throughout the blog. Because of this the only changes I can ever really make are superficial ones. Sadly I’m not in a position to be moving around electrics and eradicating radiators. I decided late last year it was about time I took a fresh look at the room however, hoping to not only improve the way it works as a room but to try and give it a little bit of style. Up until now it’s been the most minimal room in the flat. I moved in, painted it white, hung a mirror and a few frames and then climbed into bed.
With a little help from Habitat’s Small Spaces campaign I’ve been trying to address some of the issues that are fixable. It’s very much still a work in process and there’ll be more content to follow as I make more changes, but the bare bones of defining how it works as a room are definitely now in place. I’d love to offer up some huge reveal with drastic changes warranting gasps and shocked face emojis but unfortunately that’s not going to be happening here. Whilst there are some stylistic changes, the real focus here is simply making things work better for me and to make the most of the space that is actually useable. Style is all good and well but a room has to actually work for you.
So, what did I do?
Invested in storage.
Storage is a very real issue for me in this flat. I’m a minimalist who also likes things. It’s a conundrum. The flat has no built in storage anywhere – no useful cupboard or handy nooks. Nadda. The chest of drawers I used to have in place were subjected to a very strong level of hatred for several years. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I’m a big fan of the Swedish house of blue and yellow, what I am not a fan of however is the fact every single piece of furniture from there that contains a drawer will inevitably have its bottom fall out. It blows my mind that they still haven’t solved this problem.
The first thing I needed to do was to update the drawers. The previous drawers were rather heavy looking, with only a small gap between them and the floor. That means a big oak piece of furniture went straight on an oak floor, making everything feel heavy and clunky. After much deliberation I opted for the Franklin chest of drawers from Habitat. They’re actually larger and longer in size than what was previously in the room but their elevation off the floor due makes it appear much lighter. They’re also a very, very good quality piece of furniture.
Over time I’ve been slowly working my way round my flat, updating pieces of furniture I bought when money was more of an issue with solid, quality pieces of furniture that will last. Sometimes they’ve been amazing eBay finds and sometimes they’ve been things I’ve saved up for. I firmly believe that furniture you actually use should be where you invest your money. A wardrobe, a chest of drawers, a chair you’re going to sit in regularly… If you can save money on smaller items that see little wear and tear, then by all means do! In the case of drawers however, I open and close each of those drawers at least twice a day. They need to withstand some use.
I used the opportunity of working with Habitat to select a piece of furniture I absolutely know I’ll have for life, but more importantly that I’m confident will actually last!
The piece comes with beautiful turned oak handles but I couldn’t bring myself to part with the black and white ceramic handles I found a few years back, so I did give it a little bit of an update there. The original handles are going to be making their way to another piece of furniture very soon…
Doubled the light.
The tiny mirror I’d hung beside my bed when I first moved in was never really all that practical. What working with Habitat made me realise is that I was missing a huge trick in not using a mirror to bounce what light there is back around the room!
The room gets absolutely no direct sunlight other than in the evening at the height of summer, so for the most part it can feel quite flat. The only window is positioned on the back wall, parallel to where the chest of drawers sit. Placing the large Patsy mirror above the chest of drawers not only creates a dual purpose piece of furniture (hello nice dressing table set up) but it effectively gives the room a second window. It’s such a simple trick I’m quite disappointed in myself for not having done it earlier but we’ll try to dwell on my own stupidity. Whatever light does come in is now bounced back to the other side of the room. If there’s one change I’ve made that’s made the biggest difference, this is it. Patsy has worked wonders.
I went for the large gold version and couldn’t recommend it enough. Again if you’re familiar with my flat, you’ll know I have a bit of a thing for round mirrors. Four out of the six rooms feature a huge one. I’m quite fine being a one trick pony.
Only useful furniture allowed.
If I (weirdly) had to rate my furniture on its popularity, my bedside table would be Prom Queen. Never have I received more messages about something in my flat. I love it, you love it, but is it practical? No. Storage wise it was almost useless. It offered nothing more than a tiny drawer in which to keep my handcream. In a future home where storage isn’t quite such an issue it will come into its own. For now it has gone into the spare bedroom to greet my many guests, most of whom don’t come with storage needs.
In its place now sit two large metal trunks. They’re not conventional as a bedside table I know, but the storage they offer is invaluable. The drawers house my clothes, the chests house all those other things you forget will take up so much space. Bedsheets, towels, the vast selection of winter scarves you seem to have amassed throughout the years. Stacking the two on top of each other brings it to the ideal height to place your cup of tea and a book on.
A bedside lamp could easily be positioned on the trunks but instead I’ve gone for a wall mounted fitting, kindly gifted by the lovely people at Original BTC. (There’ll be more on those and the additional changes I’m planning on making in the next bedroom blog!)
Beneath the bed a series of striped fabric covered boxes now house everything from unread books to shampoo that makes my head itch but was too expensive to just get rid of. An altogether more attractive set of storage than the cardboard boxes that had been there previously.
I’ve temporarily hung some frames and the beautiful Elle Hookwood plate a friend bought my for my birthday, but I’m still yet to get to the bottom of how I want the room to look. Ultimately I want to update the bed to something wooden with fine spindles. Perhaps there’ll be a picture ledge above it, I can’t decide. For now at least the room is actually functional.
You can shop all of the pieces featured here from Habitat via the links throughout the blog post. Just to note, these are affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything but just provides me with a small commission should you go on to purchase anything featured here!
If you’re trying to work out exactly what to do with your own small space, you’re in luck. Habitat have created a handy hub of ideas and inspiration. Visit the Small Space Living feature here.