Observing our ramshackle before shot, you’ll witness the horrors with which we were faced. We hate the idea of lost opportunity — rooms, after all, are way too valuable to be treated like this — so we settled at our drawing board to bring the harrowing scene alive. Essentially a garden room/trash zone before work began, we saw past the mess and dreamed of potential. Working this mammoth job to its happy conclusion, we created a valuable extra sleep zone, and, in doing so, freed up the need for siblings to share bedrooms on the floor above.
Finish off Rooms
If you have a basement, like this one, complete (or rather incomplete) with bare beams and unfinished walls, don’t be despondent; there is hope. Trust us. As long as it has code-satisfying services and ample headroom, then it’s actually relatively easy, with a little jiggery pokery, to work a minor miracle. Modern construction wall board and metal framing is relatively easy to install — if you have the relevant skill set — and results can be taped out and plastered to achieve a smooth finish. But don’t cut corners; do it properly. It’s worth investing in insulation to line the cavities you form, as this will keep heat bills down and increase soundproofing.
If in any way unsure about the process, bring in a contractor to assist. Doing a job is one thing, but ensuring that your work is built to code is another; there are fire safety regulations to be met and electrical considerations to which you must adhere.
Being that this is a basement room, we were somewhat apprehensive to specify wood — or carpet, for that matter — due to the worry of moisture ingress further down the line. As a serviceable alternative, we employed a glossy porcelain tile and topped this with a deep pile rug that can be removed for easy cleaning as and when required.
Create a Focal Point
When revisioning a modern project that lacks inherent features, it’s good to create a focal wall to distract the eye from any elements that may be missing. In a bedroom, ideally, the focal wall should be the one behind the bed, normally the largest “unbroken” area. To kick things off, we painted using affordable Benjamin Moore matt white before adding a huge panel of atmospheric matt black for drama. This done, and with proper drying time allowed between coats, we applied extra detailing with wall graphic stickers. These add a little whimsy and can be easily removed when its time for a new look. Try www.whatisblik.com for an incredible array of decals featuring both naive and sophisticated lines.
Visit Different Stores To Create Your Own Style
Catalogue shopping is all very well, but avoid favouring one store or you’ll end up creating a look that’s more about the shop than it is you. It’s far seemlier to mix and match from different destinations. Here, a no-frills Ikea bed in white is teamed with houndstooth night stands from The Bay, and the look is friendly, yet sophisticated.
Keep Window Dressings Simple
We replaced the old rickety doors with a new set from Home Depot and added new locks for extra security. This done, we adorned the glazed areas with plain black roller blinds. When dressing modern french doors, don’t be tempted to overdo window treatments or your billowing curtains may impede the ability of doors to freely open. Our actions allow the glazed areas to be covered without anything obstructing passage. Think about all the practicals before you shop and you’ll make fewer mistakes.
Beautiful rooms should also be practical rooms, so make sure you provide ample storage in your design. We created a useful wall of cupboards by building stud partition drywall casements around basic buy Ikea wardrobe carcasses. Doing this seamlessly integrated the system into the room, creating, as it did, a streamlined modern look that wasn’t at all expensive. Our doors come from Ikea and are built to allow wallpaper sections to be inserted as decorative detailing into their unique double walled cavity.
Mix Plain and Pattern
As much as we adore decorating using the monochrome scale, we’re aware that, poorly conceived, it can look austere. To avoid sterile results, mix different textures and patterns; doing this will add interest. To keep everything clean, leave lots of white “breathing space” between layers and your finished results will seem spacious and cool. While we kept our vision significantly black and white, it’s also worth considering that a third colour (such as vibrant Miami yellow or zesty lime), will add pop; a few toss pillows, for example, or a snappy toned artwork could spin the project to the next level. Remember that our looks are merely “serving suggestions” -personalization is key, so add your own flair to bring everything to life.
Crisp white linens, the perfect “underpin” for a bedroom scheme like this, provide optimum flexibility further down the line. Just imagine how easy it would be to seasonally adjust; green or the aforementioned yellow would work particularly well during summer, while red, hunter green, or even shimmering gold would imbue your room with a cozier feel during colder climes. To amplify drama, add more black detailing around your third colour choice and, conversely, to restrain proceedings, opt for accessories such as lamps, frames and rugs in snowy white. And for accessories? In Canada, hit Winners, Marshalls or Homesense, in America dash into Home Goods or TJ Maxx and in Britain pop by TK Maxx or Homesense - not just for the C&J Home line (all of which is obviously gorgeous!) but for a masterful all round inventory of affordable luxuries. The treasure hunt begins here!
General Tips When Using Monochrome
Explore architecture: While you can successfully remodel your project by removing — or adding — walls, so can you also play with furniture “structure” to add unexpected results. Complex, edgy pieces will give your monochrome interior a kick, so think about playing round topped tables in rooms with otherwise square lines, and explore options such as hexagonal drum tables or perhaps a wedge-shaped chaise like the one we specified here.
Opt for flexible lighting: A surefire way to change the feel of your work is to employ clever illumination. You can easily switch moods with differently coloured bulbs, or, if you’d like to go a step further, search out lamps that have a sequential colour 'pattern'. Options like these are now surprisingly affordable and a great way of “painting” your room at the flick of a switch.
Texture: To add depth, play around with textures and patterns where finishing and upholstery are concerned; experimenting with various tactile elements is a great way in which to enliven décor. Consider leather trimmed throws, open weave blankets or snugly finishes like chenille or silk.