The main bedroom, just after we moved in and our belongings arrived, in its undecorated state...

The main bedroom, just after we moved in and our belongings arrived, in its undecorated state…

Like every room in the house, the main bedroom had a mix of natural, untreated stone walls, bare plaster in places and some parts of the walls, already painted white. Pine floorboards were untreated, and ceiling beams were in the same state. They were actually quite lovely in their naked condition, but just felt a bit too country-cottagey. Window frames and shutters seemed to have been tackled but never finished and the door into the bedroom was unpainted too. For a few months, because the room is actually massive, we used it as an over-spill room, as well as a bedroom, until we could begin to work out where things would be accommodated in our new house. The actual bedroom furniture was also inherited from the previous owners, until we could replace what we’d decided to get rid of back in England. So, thankfully, the bedframe & drawers would soon be replaced…

Makeshift wardrobe, pre new furniture arriving...

Makeshift wardrobe, pre new furniture arriving…

Chairs & footstool from David Gavin Design, West Didsbury

Chairs & footstool from David Gavin Design, West Didsbury

New flatpack bedroom furniture...

New flatpack bedroom furniture…

We realised very quickly we had to get on with getting wardrobes etc as we needed to get organised. However, we’d only been in Istria about a month and were still finding our feet, not knowing where we could actually buy things from. We had been to IKEA in Zagreb, as we needed a bed in one of the other bedrooms, but we decided to find places closer to home to source some of the furnishings for the big room. We didn’t need to rush on a bed, as we had the inherited one, plus the new one in the other room, so we decided storage was the priority. Everything was flat pack and was delivered – and I’m not exaggerating whnen I say it took three days to assemble everything. Although when I say *everything*, it wasn’t quite everything, as one of the packages had no screws. The intention was always to take the package back and get a replacement, but things are never that simple in Istria. It never was replaced…

Assembling the flatpack...

Assembling the flatpack…

Three days, and just the odd argument here there & there, later...

Three days, and just the odd argument here & there, later…

Flat pack assembled, next task was to get the walls, and the soaring apex ceiling, sorted. It was decided very early on that all walls in the house had to be painted white initially, so that we could assess the space and get used to the light in the rooms, before making any kind of colour decision. Painting this room was a long, long job, even requiring the purchase of bigger extendable ladders so that we could get right up into the eaves. We still cannot get over the size of this room!

Starting the big white wash...

Starting the big white wash…

Rollering up into those eaves...

Rollering up into those eaves…

Once the walls and ceiling had been painted, the next thing we needed was a better bed. I’d been scouring Pinterest and had an idea of what I wanted…

Bed goals...

Bed goals…

I loved the idea of making a bed out of planks, but the reality was, we didn’t really know where to get them from and it would have taken forever to sand, plane, treat, stain etc so that splinters weren’t an issue, and so this was discounted. The new bed frame had to be the right size to accommodate our gorgeous Eve mattress, brought over from West Didsbury and so flat pack was again, the order of the day, knowing that we’d do something with it, to make it a bit different.

Flatpack bed...

Flatpack bed…

Once the walls were painted, the bed was built, the mattress was fitted, new bedding on and beautiful see-through (we’re not overlooked at all) curtains hung, the room was beginning to feel like *ours*.

Flat pack no longer...

Flat pack no longer…

The room definitely became more & more how we wanted it to be, but looking back, we were still a way off. The beams were still unpainted, as was the floor, and we still had “overspill” furniture in the room. However, a year on from moving in, it was definitely looking better!

On a trip back to England, we were very impressed with how my sister & her husband had treated their wooden floor – a beautiful walnut stain, with a sheen of high gloss varnish, and we felt that this would work perfectly in the big bedroom. And, it would mean we’d be rid finally of the pine floorboards. It did take a bit of work, as what we perceived to be “Walnut”, wasn’t walnut in the Istrian version of B&Q, so it took a fair few attempts to get it right!

Those pine coloured boards are actually supposed to be “walnut*. We realised almost immediately that the colour was so wrong, but had to continue staining the whole floor in the wrong colour, and then do again with a much, much darker stain, so that the colour was consistent.

Window frames still unpainted. Looks odd now to see them in the state they were, with faded greeny-blue undercoat, rather than in the gorgeous pale blue satinwood we’ve gone for. The beams above the windows have also been treated, caulked, undercoated and painted.

Finally finished! A number of coats of stain (of various colours, until we got it right) and a high gloss finish. A total transformation, from pine boards.

Staining the floor gave us the idea to do the same with the new bed frame. We’d bought this knowing it wasn’t exactly right, and knowing that at some point we’d do something with it – and voila! The inspiration being the image on the left.

Still not quite right, but the mahoosive light shades we’d bought in IKEA were fitted – but as great as they looked, only serving to highlight that we needed to do something with the beams…

And so we did. Apart from the main (newer) beam, which still needs to be done – it’s on our Spring 2019 list. The others were treated for woodworm as they are old, undercoated and painted in a very soft grey satinwood, giving the room an overall much more contemporary feel.

Beams...

Beams…

We’ve continued to chip away at making the bedroom the room we really want. Ideally, the stone walls, as nice as they are, will be insulated and a false facade created, so that the room is beautifully plastered and smooth. In the meantime though, we can live with white washed Istrian stone.

The white chairs are actually garden chairs, which we had to bring inside over the winter, so that they didn’t crack in the frosts. With faux fur throws and cushions they’ve worked well, but we’re thinking ahead to spring when they’ll go back outside and we need something to go in their place. We have a lime green 1970s Egg style chair, which will sit perfectly in that corner by the window, once the garden seats have gone. And that got us thinking about introducing some colour into the bedroom. And so, recently, we’ve introduced a green wall…

And this is where we are now. No doubt things will change and evolve, but two years on, we’re pretty happy with getting our heads down in this room at the end of a long day 🙂