It’s Always Summer In The Bedroom

Living near the sea, we get woken by the dawn squawk of seagulls and early morning sunshine through the windows of our East-facing house. Those were literally the starting points for the bedroom décor – that even in winter, we wanted to wake up feeling relaxed, as if we were on vacation, just for a few minutes.

The bedroom had been wallpapered in cheapo pink floral wallpaper in a smudgey pattern that was probably supposed to look Impressionist, but wasn’t. Hand-stripping it, revealed the original Edwardian horsehair plaster, with a fair amount of dinks in the walls. We found a number in old-fashioned copperplate handwriting, pencilled on a wall which may have been a paint colour.

On the wall facing the Eastern windows, we found a large patch of the original dark sandy cream emulsion. The closest colour that we could find in the Farrow and Ball Estate Emulsion range was Dorset Cream 

This was also used for the window wall. Concerned that the dark cream could make the bedroom feel smaller, we chose a lighter shade for the longer walls.

The big DIY stores have their place, but all too often, you find yourself asking for advice from the part-time Saturday guy or girl. That’s when having access to a store which supplies paint to painters and decorators, is invaluable.

Our local branch of  Brewers  has helped us in-store and by phone and the website is really good too. Not only did the staff advise us on paint compatible with the Edwardian horsehair plaster, they suggested their British Standards range.

British Standards paint may be given a variety of names by paint manufacturers. But the number eg BS4800/5252 range 10 C 31 will remain the same, because everything bearing that 10 C 31 designation is made to the exact same recipe. It has to be, because the professional painters don’t want to be intermixing different batches to get a uniform colour.

Trade paint is a staple paint but not all trade paint is a British Standard paint. A colour chart is really useful British Standards colour charts

Creams and dinked walls suggested simplicity to me. I found a small Nineties wine jug from the ‘Camargue’ tableware range from Boots, with a cream background and a combination of russet, brown and blue flowers.


Wine jug and candy dish, Boots ‘Camargue’ range. Copyright 2018 Théroigne S B G Russell

Summer. The South of France and a gîte-inspired look of simplicity and mismatched furniture with (hopefully) a dose of Gallic charm. It also had the advantage of being gender-neutral, which pleased The Husband.

Luckily, both of us had spent time in the South of France, before we met, so we knew what we were looking for.






  • TIPS:
    If the house/apartment isn’t a new-build, its’ history may throw up some ideas.
    Your personal space should reflect YOUR past. present and future.
    Objets, photographs and memories can throw up ideas for a room and be really helpful for colour schemes.
    In the UK, using a British Standards paint will save you money and it won’t be discontinued in six months time.


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