Thursday, 1 January 2015

Borrowed from Bloomsbury

"Bloomsbury" bedroom and quilt inspired by Charlestone House

With a few extra days off over Christmas, I came over all Blue Peter to revamp the wardrobe and cupboards in my Bloomsbury-themed bedroom. Not quite sticky-backed plastic, although sticky-backed double-sided Sellotape played a big part. For the wardrobe and bedside cabinets, I removed the wooden panels, covered them in two colourways of a linen fabric from Sanderson's Bloomsbury range then replaced them, held in place with a few tacks. The built-in cupboard needed a different tactic, as the panels were rendered immovable with numerous layers of paint, so I simply covered some thick card, which I stuck on with Blu-Tack. Simple.

Wardrobe panels covered in "Angelica" fabric by Sanderson
(left-hand top panel to be completed!)

Like all my best ideas, I stole it (thanks Diana). The bedroom itself, of course, is a total rip-off from Charlestone House, the now restored home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and any passing intellectuals, from Vanessa's sister Virginia Woolf to TS Eliot to Maynard Keynes, who dropped in for a sneer at the lower orders and some bedhopping. I'm sure an evening in their company must have been pretty ghastly, but I would have put up with it for the sake of the wonderful, gorgeous, jaw-dropping house, every inch decorated with murals, painted furniture, needlepoint cushions, rag rugs, mismatched curtains, handmade pottery, stencilled wallpaper, broken flowerpots and mosaic paths. All of it slightly shabby and slapdash, which gives me the excuse to see my own dusty shelves, piles of books and fading curtains as bohemian rather than slatternly.

Bedside cabinet and cupboard with fabric panels in two
colourways from the Bloomsbury collection by Sanderson

The bedroom has evolved over many years, starting with a painting. Which inspired a quilt that took 18 months to make (excluding the quilting - I sent it to be long-arm quilted long before I bought The Beast) and which now, about a decade since I finished it, is somewhat faded - but in a very bohemian way of course.


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