Whimsical Bedroom Makeover with Photowall
We moved in to our 1860’s cottage seven years ago and immediately painted everything white. If we were feeling so inclined, we managed a quick ‘feature wall’ in a neutral colour, just to add a bit of interest. Emergency decoration done, we relaxed into our new home, and over the years our eyes became accustomed to it.
Recently, we began to notice how tired everything was beginning to look. Our first big project was the kitchen, with pallet windowsills, passed-on-by-a-family-member cupboards, and a Rangemaster range cooker from Freecycle (Yes! It’s amazing what you can find on there).
Once the kitchen was completed, we were looking to start on another room. My taste has definitely changed over the years and I’ve re-found my love for quirky, colourful décor.
I’ve felt more settled in myself over the last year and want to embrace my own style, not what everybody else is doing. I felt that I could definitely make the room more of a reflection of our personalities, rather than the plain look that I’d been drawn to previously.
Hunting in charity shops and on freecycle/freegle is one of my favourite things to do, instead of buying new stuff. I have a few items I love that I felt would fit in a ‘chill out’ corner in the bedroom.
We’ve been thinking of redecorating our main bedroom for a while, so when Swedish company Photowall got in touch to see if I’d like to try out one of their products, it was a really fitting time. Both of us had always wanted a big, eye-catching wall – and that’s what we chose. I wanted to create a space to relax and chill out.
I was happy to see that Photowall are transparent about their environmental footprint – their printing ink is biodegradable with no solvents or hazardous chemicals, and they only print to order so there’s no warehouse space. Their waste material is recycled and they package in wholly or partially recycled material.
I was also impressed that together with Vi Agroforestry, Photowall plants 5000 trees a year around Lake Victoria in East Africa. I looked further into Vi Agroforestry and discovered that as well as planting trees, they advocate for gender equality and financial empowerment. They work with partners across Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. You can find out more here.
Photowall kindly gifted me a wall mural – I loved browsing through thousands of designs, and found myself trying not to be tempted by incredible psychedelic dinosaur print murals and directed myself towards something more grown up. However, the more colourful designs kept catching my eye.
I wanted a wall that was different, and like my husband said, not something we could just buy at a chain store. There was one design we kept coming back to, a lovely, whimsical jungle leopard mural that is definitely out of the ordinary. The inspiration photos featured beautiful playrooms, but I loved the leopard (I mean, look at his face) and decided it was perfect for our room, too!
We entered the wall dimensions and the website re-sized the image so we could see how it would fit into the space, and reposition it to select the area we wanted. It’s also possible to see how many sections or sheets the design will be divided into.
Late one night, we threw ‘sensible’ out of the window and ordered the amazing leopard! (Not dino-print. Maybe next time!) I was so excited!
A few days later, our mural arrived in cardboard packaging. The shipping was free, and our mural also came with free wallpaper paste that is biodegradable and made from natural raw materials. We were ready for our whimsical bedroom makeover…
We’d moved the bed a while ago but never got around to removing the lights that were no longer needed. Once they were gone, the holes were filled and sanded.
We then sanded the whole wall, wiped it down and put a layer of thin wallpaper paste straight onto the wall to prep it – this is recommended if there is new filler, as it tends to absorb all the moisture really quickly so it’s good to have an initial layer of paste.
My previous experience with wallpapering is the sum total of one sheet before I got ‘wallpaper rage’ and walked away. As you can imagine, I was a little apprehensive about how the experience was going to go.
I read the instructions about twenty times, watched a video on YouTube, then decided to begin! The wallpaper came on a roll, but each section was numbered with a guide to show where to cut. We pasted straight onto the wall then hung the paper.
Surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed doing it and it didn’t take long at all – a few hours for the entire wall. (And no wallpaper rage). We waited for it to dry for 24 hours and then I could create my little relaxing area!
I think it looks amazing – I absolutely love it and am really glad that we chose this design. I’ve just been sat in Mavis (my comfy chair!) enjoying our chill out area in the corner of the bedroom. It’s the perfect place to strum the guitar, listen to a record or just read a book. I’m so happy that it’s a unique colourful mural – I love the greens and the leopard (who we have named Muriel). I feel that this room is much more of a reflection of personality now rather than a plain wall. It looks great and I’m so glad we chose this design!
Photowall have kindly offered One Empty Shelf readers 25% off their entire range of wallpaper, murals, canvas prints & posters for the next month. Just enter the code oneemptyshelf2020 when you checkout and this will give you 25% off any product range.
Most of the items in the picture are charity shop finds – all blankets, Mavis the chair, my orange jacket, green cushion, white rug & tiny table are all from my local Oxfam. Wooden chest is from a flea market. Driftwood from the beach!
Observer’s Guides & Peak District book are from local 2nd hand bookshop and Oxfam. ‘Mood of Future Joys’ and ‘Thunder & Sunshine’ by Al Humphreys are from his website (amazing books!)
Record player (my brother’s!) & tenor recorder, both from eBay
Nest tables made by my husband’s grandad
Hourglass and sperm cushion from Ikea
‘If the wind won’t serve, take to the oars’ print by Chris Bourke
And of course, ‘Hidden Leopard’ wall mural from Photowall (gifted)