Bedroom revamp for teens with taste

A promise made to my pre-teen to revamp her whole bedroom was an interior challenge I knew I was going to really enjoy. As a child I loved nothing more of a weekend than re-arranging  my room so it felt like a completely different space – not sure my folks loved the constant scraping of furniture above their heads – but it kept me busy!

My daughter has had a vintage /shabby chic style room ‘Foreverrrrrrrr’ (shabby chic- thats code for messy, right?) so it was time for action. She also has some pretty strong ideas about what she does and doesn’t like so obviously there was going to be some negotiation involved!

Coinciding with her starting senior school and needing a proper desk, it was the perfect opportunity to redecorate.  The thing is with pre-teens is they turn into teenagers and teenagers can be notoriously fussy and fickle, so this had to be future-proof AND funky. Tough gig.

Here are some before pics of the room – it’s quite large and has a big bay window which throws in loads of light. Problem is, she is a light sleeper, so we needed it to be dark at the right times. She is also fabulously messy so storage was still key.

I should mention that I did not have the luxury of time on my side so no trawling over websites or antiques markets to find that special ‘piece’. Once you start a kid’s room, you need to crack on as they need access to all their ‘stuff’ so it was all systems GO.

Firstly, the carpet had to go, it was the most revolting shade of dusky pink interspersed with green stains from fun times with glow-slime /silly putty (thanks Granny).  We opted for white floor paint on the floorboards and a rug. There are already experiments in bath-bomb making, forays into make-up (and no doubt illicit hair colouring soon) so it seemed sensible.

Onto the walls – Honor picked the paper herself and I loved her choice – this is Nordic Tree print from Next who have a genuinely on-point range of great quality papers. I have used them before in our basement and found them good to work with.  Its modern and cool but I don’t think it will date PLUS its black and white so a fab backdrop to all the colour that exists with her ‘stuff’ (mess).

I chose the paint which I kept a surprise from Honor until the final reveal and used Mineral (again from Next as the delivery was the next day and I didn’t have to lug paint around).   It’s an uplifting shade and I think works perfectly in conjunction with the paper. It’s not too feminine and not too bold but not insipid either. Bland was definitely not on the brief!

The bed was cabin style with a desk underneath for homework and a chair for reading, playing her guitar and chilling out. I styled it up with throws and cushions and it handily converts to a single bed so it’s great for sleepovers too.

The pictures are from Ikea with some white frames from Next which are very reasonably priced – she loves the theme of travel and this was a good way of introducing it without being too gimmicky.

To continue the travel fun, I added a globe and made her a gallery wall where we hung lots of trinkets and souvenirs from places we have visited (my word this girl loves a gift shop!) 

The sink was here when we moved in and we were going to remove it but as she is getting older its proving very useful, so the boys don’t have to queue for the kids’ bathroom when she is faffing.  I added some accessories from the bathroom section at Next in a dark teal which I think look great against the white and mineral colour wall.

The curtains have an amazing blackout lining and really do the job of keeping it dark.  There were a few colours to choose from in different drops and widths.  I think they are a pretty neutral shade so would look great in anyone’s bedroom, so you aren’t tied to one room with these.

What I have tried to achieve is a look which can be changed as she gets her own style and tastes as she grows up. The accessories are what bring the colour to the scheme and these can be switched up without any major hassle. The Next paper and paint offer some longevity and that’s the key to the compromise – she loves it and I do too.  What are the chances of her keeping it tidy?

GIFTED : In association with Next. Click links to shop.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

The Hoxton Holborn

London hotels are plentiful, this we know (though not all can guarantee to fulfil their claims of stylish, friendly and still come with a capital price-tage). One of my main criteria for hotel selection is the interior inspiration available (no prizes for guessing that one). If we are getting away from the little handbrakes for a night or the weekend then I am going wring every last drop of enjoyment out of the time away!

Friendly and stylish check-in, good start ( Image @ Enismore)

Levels of inspo run high at ALL the Hoxton hotels and top of my wishlist for next year would be their latest opening in Portland (though I would settle for Paris or Amsterdam, I’m good like that).

Closer to home, the Holborn and Shoreditch open-house style hotels are certainly worth a visit if, like me, time away is not always just about somewhere to crash. Downtime in your average Hoxton means a feast for the eyes as well as the appetite.

There is an excellent selection of room types at Hoxton Holborn; for solo travellers, couples, small families and even an apartment (six rooms to choose from, plus a communal pantry kitchen that flips to a bar of an evening). The Apartment has room for 250 revellers which is presumably ideal for a relaxed wedding or fancy 40th type occasion.

So, to the interiors. The ‘open-house’ style makes for a relaxing vibe and there are sofas and breakout spaces to loll with the papers and a coffee. Or the super cool Hubbard & Bell bar for a cold beer or a pretty decent negroni and some all day dining. There is a Brooklyn/NYC feel to the public spaces (lots of wood, leather and metal accents) which I love. Just a nod though, a theme hotel this is not. You can hang with locals and global citizens alike, everyone is welcome and enjoying the offering.

Elsewhere in the hotel there are great interior touches too. You know I love a well-designed loo (what? It says a LOT about a venue). ThereforeI am happy to report the Holborn doesn’t disappoint. A great, industrial, roughed-up-luxe scheme and some super monochrome flooring.

Monochrome makes its way up to the bathroom too – our en-suite was a fab black & white tile fest. Compact but not claustrophobic, the shower was powerful (a must for any hotel-stay) and the towels were fluffy (also essential). Great-smelling, wall-mounted toiletries (extra Styleopoints for not using horrid tiny plastic bottles) also add to the feel of a upscale but not stuffy stay.

Our bedroom was styled with retro / mid-century touches and the circular wall mirror almost filled the wall. Outside there was a row of super-cool cinema seats and some wall lights which could have been vintage, possibly from a super stylish, communist-era military facility. Awesome.

Local illustrators designed the bespoke wallpaper (scenes from Dickens novels I’ll have you know!) and Central St Martins students created the art for the bedrooms. Local stuff is clever stuff. Larger rooms have space for a kid’s bed or cot and the Hoxton Holborn accepts your furry friend too. I am referring to a dog, not those people that like to dress up as animals (though am sure no-one would bat an eyelid at them either).

Whatever size room you select, you can expect the same ‘Hox Perks’. That’s free wi-fi, an hour’s free international calls, and a light breakfast bag delivered to your door each morning. The fridge comes stocked with fresh milk and free water ( in a recyclable tetra pak – huzzah) and you can fill it yourself with beers, wines or softs sold at totally reasonable prices at the front desk. There is also a full breakfast menu available down in the easy-going, open plan area with an excellent selection of seating (large social refectory-style tables, banquettes, bar and circular settings for two).

 Holborn Hoxton has got hipster coffee, snacks and late night cocktails down (and the Chicken Shop in the basement is great for interior instagrammers AND for lunch or dinner).

The hotel is really well -located for transport links and relaxed walks around the city. A stone’s throw from Covent Garden, Oxford Street, Bloomsbury and Farringdon, in Holborn, you’re never far from anything. Plenty of bars and restaurants to check out nearby. We went out for the evening to see a band and walked back to the hotel for drinks, where a super-cool crowd had ditched the laptops and newspapers and were now getting all social in the super stylish bar.

The relaxed vibe, central location, excellent service plus destination restaurant and bar, means The Hoxton, Holborn is one of my favourites. Work, rest and play like a (hip) local. Rates from £130. Sign up for special offers.

199-206 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7BD
www.thehoxton.com