This Guest Bedroom is Like Your Deepest, Darkest Wallpaper Fantasies Come True

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(Image credit: Karen Knox)

Project by: Karen Knox of Making Spaces
Location: Harrogate, Yorkshire

We’ve seen Karen work her magic on this Edwardian home before and this go-round is just as stunning as the last. Continuing with the rich colors of the living room, this guest bed refresh is dark and dramatic with an unexpected wallpaper choice thrown into the mix. A few carefully selected furniture pieces play up the “grand design” of the space, filling it with romantic drama.

(Image credit: Karen Knox)

From Karen: It’s difficult to believe this is the same room when you look back at the before photos. This bedroom had walls built where they shouldn’t have been by the previous owner, a built in wardrobe blocking a beautiful stained glass window and a general lack of love and time invested in it.

Despite being the master bedroom, this room was to become a guest room with en suite bath. As the room was large and required few pieces of furniture, it needed something grand design wise — worthy of the bay window, original cast iron fireplace and high ceilings. A large-scale mural was in the cards, as was a large, statement bed. The rest of the room we could pare right back. No wardrobe or chest of drawers required.

(Image credit: Karen Knox)

Little Greene’s Upper Brook St wallpaper hadn’t even been released when we saw it and decided that was “the one.” Despite it being a mural, I designed the space so it wrapped around the whole room, not just against one wall. This did eat up a large part of the budget with the 10 rolls required to paper the room. So we needed to pull back the budget somehow, meaning the carpet the homeowners originally wanted was out of the question. Instead the original floor boards were repaired and painted black with Ronseal Satin Black floor paint. Seeing the floorboards go black made a huge difference, helping showcase the Edwardian cast iron fire surround.

The skirting board, picture rail and cornicing were also painted in Little Greene’s Jack Black to frame the beautiful dark gray, ombre wallpaper. The ceiling and bay window were finished in Little Greene’s Shallows, tying in perfectly with the lighter end of the wallpaper as it faded towards the top. The whole room graduates from dark to light with the black, period detailing punctuating the space.

Keeping the rest of the room on budget required some bargain hunting. But we couldn’t let this affect the overall look. The large black four poster bed from Maisons du Monde framed the wallpaper perfectly without covering up the beautiful detailing. Despite the bed frame being minimal in terms of its line and design, the sheer size of it gave the room the feature bed it needed.

The rug, bedside tables and floor standing mirror from IKEA provided some much needed affordable decor, the bedsides which we updated slightly using brass drawer pulls from Dowsing & Reynolds. Which is also where we got the Vita Eos Feather Pendant and bespoke porcelain pendant set with silver twisted cable was from. The pendant light was rigged so it hangs central to the fireplace, like a cloud above the flowers and grasses in the wallpaper.

A simple black hanging rail from La Redoute was added to an alcove where we hung some brass coat hangers for guests. Originally it came with wooden feet which we painted gold metallic paint for a touch more glam. Black and blonde wood = Scandi/Industrial. Black and Metallic = Glam. Funny how such a small detail can make a huge difference.

(Image credit: Karen Knox)

A family member made the curtains for the large bay window from heavy velvet fabric sourced from eBay. These would have cost well over £1k if we’d had to have them made, but we managed to dress the window for less than £400.

The last pieces of the puzzle to arrive were the two Frame armchairs from MADE. In grass green velvet, very much in line with Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery. I was careful to get this green right, it couldn’t be too rich or emerald in tone. This yellow based green along with the brass frame gave us the perfect lounge chair for this room, so much so we added two, along with a small black and brass footed side table from Beut.

Coral was the other color we picked up and dashes were added throughout; on the Charleston bedspread from MADE, a few accessories, and painted inside the doorframe for a cheeky flash of color against the black woodwork which leads us into the ensuite. I didn’t design the bathroom, but I did help them to tie the two spaces together. Little Greene Shallows was used on the walls to follow on from the bedroom ceiling and bay window. I commissioned a piece of art by Andy Welland. A one off print of one of his new pieces, EPHEMERA 01 (No. 5) but in a bespoke color way, color matching Little Greene’s ‘Shallows’, ‘Air Force Blue’, the coral accent and black detailing. This worked perfectly to link the two spaces together and provided the bathroom some color and personality.

(Image credit: Karen Knox)

I knew this room was going to be good, but walking in for the first time and seeing all the pieces come together with that wallpaper as the backdrop for everything, it blew me away. It really is such a special space with a really magical feel to it. Am very proud to have this as part of my portfolio.

Thanks, Karen Knox!

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