Cottage Bedroom Remodel #1 ~ Design & Inspo Process

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Rachel Stone

Hello friends! I’m particularly thrilled to be sharing part one of the English country cottage bedroom remodel Matt & I have been working! Today we’ll gather inspiration, look at the design process, then formulate a plan. Let’s get started!

Now the idea spurring this makeover is our need for a home office – as many of you may understand. This past year my office has been an afterthought in a rather dark & drab room along with exercise & filming equipment, teaching props, etc. Originally, this was the guest bedroom. 

Then we made over the study into a cottage style guest bedroom. This was a fun project and allowed me to learn a lot as I followed a design vision from start finish. Practically speaking, the glorious natural lighting in that room is ideal for working, filming etc., while the slightly larger, cozier bedroom better suits a guest bedroom. A room swap is in order!

This guest bedroom is a nicely sized bedroom with a window, small closet, paneling, & wainscoting.

What we’d like to update:

  • The cheap wood sheet “paneling” is dark and dated
  • The wainscoting is plastic
  • There is ceiling damage at the base of the fan
  • And the popcorn… a common feature in older homes ~ ours even comes with glitter!

On the ceiling we plan to remove the popcorn, add bead board for texture & classic cottage notes, then to cover the ceiling damage install a ceiling rose (or medallion as it’s sometimes called). We have a special plan for this feature that I’m terribly excited about & will share with you in a little bit…

To give the room a more layered, historic look we’ll add crown molding and replace the plastic wainscoting with real wood trim. By painting the cheap wood sheet panels we hope to give the feeling of shiplap, or true wood paneling.

The first consideration for a new space is function. How will the room be used & by whom? Once this is solved we can determine how we want the room to feel. We value cozy, comfortable, lived in old-fashioned spaces. Primarily we want people to feel at home, where they can kick off their shoes and settle in. We’ve seen that homey feeling infused in the classic English country cottage over & over. Often that feeling can be achieved with things of aged character and old-world charm. So fresh paint to set the backdrop, ceiling & wall trim to define the cottage style, and fantastically old thrifted treasures to round out a layered in country cottage bedroom.

A multifunctional room… office, filming & workout area, and the teaching set up. You can clearly see where the double French doors used to be on this wall.

The need for swapping the office and guest bedroom was evident over a year ago, but I had no set ideas for style or color palette until one fine day treasure hunting at the thrift store… at the back of the store, in the corner I spotted a gorgeous antique headboard in dark wood with a curved top and carving.

This piece set the tone and style for the new guest bedroom remodel. With this lovely English feeling headboard in mind I began pouring through my favorite English country style design books.

Choosing wallpaper was first as it would set the color palette. Softly muted, serene colors are relaxing in a bedroom and nothing is more quintessentially English than the cottage rose. I also wanted a wallpaper that looked old – something faded & worn over time.

I found a promising sample of wallpaper from a local paint store, then ordered a larger sample off Etsy for $5. From the sample I choose paint colors for the room.

I’ve always loved a warm mushroom brown – it’s one of those creamy, intellectual colors becoming a clever chameleon depending on the lighting. It can appear beige, grey, green, or brown as the sunlight travels through the day. I love this subtle, unexpected change through the day. As inspired by that French photograph we plan to paint the paneling and wainscoting, and the bookcase, or side table this mushroom brown, with the upper walls and ceiling a soft ivory.

For lighting we’ll install vintage looking wall lamps on either side of the head board. I found a style similar to what I liked from McGee & Co, but they were $250 each… A little browsing and up popped a lovely old looking wall lamps from Ikea for just $20 each – including English style pleated shades and charming pull chains! We have something fabulous planned for the main lighting so stay posted for that!

On this wall I’m picturing an English country cottage gallery wall that will be fitted around the furniture. Our current furniture includes the bed, French provincial dresser, and a lovely French settee. I’m hoping to find a small side table, or bookcase, to place on one side of the bed, and a small, cozy reading chair on the other side of the bed.

The closet in this room is a nice size with a full length mirror on the door. Matt will add shelving, then we’ll give it a coat of the ivory paint to brighten this space. I love the element of unexpected touches, so there are a few special ideas to add interest and charm to this little closet in the works…

Possibly on this side of the room I can work in a cozy reading nook!

I’m still considering what look to go with for curtains… At first, I thought a simple ivory, but many of the English cottage bedrooms I admire have layers of pattern. So, then I thought maybe an Indian handblocked print? This would definitely add an old-world flavor. Or possibly a solid color to reflect certain colors in the wallpaper and make more of a statement while framing the window… What are your thoughts? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thank you for joining me today as we explored the inspiration and design for this English country cottage bedroom remodel!

I’m excited to share the next stage where we install the millwork & paint everything!

Until next time,

take care,


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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

4 thoughts on “Cottage Bedroom Remodel #1 ~ Design & Inspo Process”

  1. What is the name of your wallpaper and where may I purchase some as well? It’s exactly what I’e been looking for to redecorate my English cottage master bedroom.

    • Miss Debra,
      I hope you were able to find the link for the wallpaper in the description box under the video. Your bedroom will look lovely with this wall paper!

  2. I love your choice of wallpaper. It really is perfect and just what I’ve been looking for. Would it be possible for you to share what it’s called and where you found it? I would love to use it in my master bedroom?

    • Good afternoon, Miss Debra!
      Thanks for reaching out! You will find a link for the Etsy shop selling the wallpaper in the description box under the video. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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