Before and After: This Cottagecore Bedroom Makeover Has English Countryside Vibes

published Oct 27, 2023
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Whether you’re planning an immediate reno or not, there’s certainly value in moodboarding or manifesting your dream bedroom. Someday, even if it’s years from now, those inspo images might come in handy for helping you create a space that feels authentically you. 

“I’d waited a long time to create our dream bedroom and had collected ideas and inspiration for years (cut pictures out of magazines, set up pinterest boards, created scrap books),” homeowner Hayley Blythe (@bricks.and.ivory) says of her own bedroom. 

In January 2023, a couple of years after Hayley moved into her Cambridgeshire, England home, she finally got the chance to create the perfect bedroom, but it took a lot of heavy lifting. The home “needed an awful lot of work,” Hayley told Apartment Therapy in her house tour. “[It] was completely outdated, everything was stained from the previous owner’s smoking habit.” And this included the primary bedroom, which was last updated 30 years prior. 

Before, the bedroom was faded, dated, and stained. 

“The color was a nice neutral color to my taste but was old and had damaged areas and damp patches,” Hayley says.” It had an old insulating polystyrene layer under the wallpaper which showed every dent.” The room had old faded and stained carpet, heavy red curtains, and a tiny cupboard built into the chimney breast. “It was not a relaxing space; it felt dark and dated,” she says. 

She envisioned a much more relaxing space. Her inspiration? The Cotswolds, a region in England that she and her husband, Luke, love to visit. “I always feel so happy and calm when I’m in the Cotswold countryside, so I wanted to create that feeling in our bedroom.”

The walls had to be replastered. 

The first step toward creating Hayley and Luke’s design vision was ripping up the carpeting and the old wallpaper, and when they did this, they realized that plaster was crumbling from the wall. “My husband chipped every wall back to brick, which took several days,” Hayley says. “It was back-breaking work. This was the hardest part. We then had the walls boarded and replastered.”

The new walls are painted Lick’s Beige 03.

Shiplap elongates the room.

But before the walls were painted, Luke added vertical shiplap-style paneling to the back wall. “This was challenging, as our ceiling slopes, so some difficult cuts needed to be made,” Hayley explains. But the textured wall is one of her favorite details in the space — and it certainly adds the Cotswold cottage vibes Hayley was after.

Smaller details add vintage charm.

A few other little details that add vintage (or vintage-inspired) charm? The new window treatments, the new lighting, and the rejuvenated sliding doors. Hayley says painting the door frames black instead of replacing them saved a lot of money. “It now has that English country feel, which is a continuation of our garden through the sliding doors,” Hayley says. 

Now the doors have a vintage vibe that matches the cast iron details in the space: Luke built in a cast iron fireplace sourced from Facebook Marketplace, and they also had the old radiators moved and replaced with reclaimed and restored cast iron radiators. “I love the radiators,” Hayley says. “They really add charm and character to the space. [And] moving the radiator allowed us to place our gorgeous chest of drawers in a more functional position, making best use of the space.”

All the details come together to create a cozy, cottagecore bedroom that rivals the Cotswolds. Who needs a vacation when you can have a staycation in your very own bedroom?