Not Shabby But Chic?

Author: Lauren Coleman

Last year we painted our two spare rooms, laid fresh underlay and had new grey carpets fitted. That was nearly a year ago now and I’d love to say I’ve turned the back bedroom into a super glam dressing room and the front one into a gorgeous guest room. However I have done neither and they are both untouched despite my best efforts to get my bedroom decorating mojo back.

My parents stayed with me recently and even my dad remarked on the lack of decor. It would appear he would like a mirror and a few prints here and there. We’ve got an onslaught of guests arriving over the next few weeks so I’ve decided I better get a wriggle and you know, make the bed and put a few pictures up.

The Before Gallery

The guest room in question has a lot going for it. It’s bathed in light until early afternoon, has great proportions, an adorable cast iron fireplace and characterful wooden beams. It’s filled full of furniture from our last house; the cream metal bed, distressed chest of drawers, the tufted love seat and the glass fronted cupboard we used to have in our old bedroom. Reusing furniture has meant it’s cost pence to get us this far, however with all the cottage-appropriate greige decor I feel I’m teetering on the edge of ‘twee’ territory. Shabby-chic is very homely and restful but I’ve evolved my style over the last few years and this house has a very different vibe to the last. I’d like this space to feel a bit more contemporary.

When I lost my decorating mojo I encouraged anyone who was having similar feelings to remove everything from the room that wasn’t working for them. However in this case, I’ve got a meagre budget; there’s nothing left for new furniture so the evolution is going to have to come with a small price tag and be purely based on the accessories.

The Colour Scheme

As is hopefully glaringly obvious, I intend to go for a taupe, champagne and antique pink colour scheme in the room. I’m thinking the dusky blush shades will tie in nicely with the ivory of the bed and the mink of the love seat. I may move out the taupe glass fronted cabinet to the other bedroom but figure it will also gel with the new accents for now.


I have a heap of white and ivory bed linen from our old bedroom so rather than splash out on a whole new set, I’m going to bag myself a set of antique pink oxford pillowcases to bring in a new shade to the bed. Don’t laugh, but I’ve actually bought a few items from Lorraine Kelly’s favourite, JD Williams recently. I know you’re giggling but I bought a really decent sized jute rug from there for less than £25 the other day. Anyway back to pillowcases, I’m potentially thinking the JD Williams ones or maybe the John Lewis blush ones.
Following on from my rather unexpected online shopping stores, have you ever been in M&Co? No, me neither but they have some very luxurious velour cushions and a blush pink mongolian number if that’s your kind of thing.


I want to ditch the traditional bedside lamp and bring in a bare bulb or too. I bought two cut glass cage lights from George last year which I could rig up. As far as ceiling lights go, I’m pretty sure we’ve established by now that the current one isn’t allowed to stay. In terms of a replacement I’m not too sure to be honest – sometimes I wish we could do away with the ‘big light’ all together but I’m all ears if you have any suggestions?


I’m currently debating whether to paint the fireplace a lighter shade, however one thing I am sure of is the hexagon mirror I just bought from Home Sense. As they don’t have an online store I can’t link to it but Choice Furniture also sell it too and you’ll see it’s a dead ringer for the West Elm one that was around a while ago.

Finishing Touches

Brighton is a special place for my family and friends and the majority of people who’ll stay in this room have a connection to the place. I’m considering the Keri Bevan Brighton Carousel photo from King & McGaw and a selection of black and white prints I’ve accumulated.

  • King & McGaw Brighton Print
  • John Lewis Blush Pillow Case
  • Hexagon Mirror
  • George Pendant Light
  • M&Co Mongolian Cushion
  • M&Co Velour Cushion

As ever, I’ll keep you posted. Do let me know if you’re dealing with evolving decor too. How do you breathe new life into a room when you grow out of the original style?

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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17 thoughts on “Not Shabby But Chic?

  1. Well this is a rather lovely colour scheme. I am in a bit of a rut with every room at the moment. They don’t necessarily need redoing but I’m just a bit bored as they have been like it for years. I wanted to change up our bedroom a bit but have quite mid century style furniture so not really sure what works other than brights! I was wondering about some peach tones with white bedding and maybe a bit of dark blue. No idea though really! Also, it’s so blimmin expensive to change accessories. First up I need to decide on a new shade for the lounge walls (which I’ve been deciding on for about 6 months so far)!! xx

    1. I think we need to do you a post Lottie and let the readers help you plan your colour scheme 😉 x

  2. It sounds like you have it covered! All your ideas seem like good ones and I love the touch of blush everywhere. For me a room without art in it, has no personality so artwork and personal touches are always key for me to bring a room to life. That Brighton print looks perfect and will bring in the blush again. And yes…you have to change the lampshade! Why not make your own? I’ve done all mine in the house in contemporary shapes, like a nice wide drum. The ones in our bedroom are just plain black linen but they look great and very modern. I get my lampshade kits from Very reasonable they are too and super easy to make. Can’t wait to see some after photos of your room!

  3. Love your colour scheme! What a fantastic idea- I love how your concept is skirting the edges of decadent but NOT girly! You’re so talented…I have a rather boring guest room with a cream metal bed frame….and nothing else! It’s a new build, with coffee coloured carpets throughout….so it’s tough to create a bit of personality and a really strong theme.

    1. Hello lovely Lauren! Hope you’re well.
      Would the same colour scheme not work in your pad? It sounds like a lovely blank canvas x

      1. Really well thanks Lauren! I was looking at it again tonight and I really think it would…what a beautiful colour scheme…I even bought some incredible silk peonies on Ebay that are in that room and they’re a champagne-y colour. I’ve been looking at them thinking, ‘What if I use those peonies as my inspiration.’ Seeing what you’ve done has really made me see how I could bring it to life.

        Thank you so much! LOVE reading your blogs Lauren- they’re my absolute favourite. xxxx

  4. Aw. I used to have a lovely pink shaggy Mongolian cushion just like the one in the pic, but then the boy turned up and it was a step too far for him, so it got upcycled to another friend. 10 years in for us now, though, so maybe I could reintroduce another one? He knows I like him now, right?

  5. Oh this is gorgeous! You have a true talent for making small tweaks to a space and turning it into something wonderful! I love the fireplace – I wouldn’t paint that! I love the inspo pictures above which carry a few black accents here and there. Even with the cream bed I think a few black accents here and there would look lovely, especially if teamed with gold and/ or brass accesories – and the black and white prints you mention! I think an exposed bulb side lamp would look lovely – I bought the Aldi one doing the rounds on Instagram a while back – I think something like that together with the MADE Tangle lamp for the ceiling – then really soft sumptuous textures in the pale creams, pinks and taupes you mention – loads of layers! Then if I could move in please that would be wonderful! 😉 xx

    1. Hi Kate, that was my thinking too. I do think black always grounds a scheme too and stops it from becoming too feminine!
      It’s funny you should mention the Made light as I’m looking at a similar style for the main bedroom. Agree – it could work really well in here! Good on your for getting the Aldi light 🙂

  6. Cheeky guests commenting on the lack of photos! But i suppose what are parents for? I do really like the inspiration phitos, and i am keen to see how this developes as it is a similar setup to my own bedroom which has the fireplace with black iron facing, and two recessed areas to the side of it. I need to refinish the little dresser i have but funny enough i wanted it to look like yours anyhow. Hm!

  7. Great post Lauren.

    I too had become bored of our open plan sitting/dining room and over the last few months have been changing it (slowly so as not to annoy my husband too much) and this weekend we changed the ikea large canvas handing behind the sofa to two picture ledges with various prints. Has made the room more modern and I am loving the scandi feel prints from Desenio!
    Next up is changing our lighting…….

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