THE RUSTIC RETREAT
OUR CLIENT needed a space of her own where she could relax in the evenings. She had large attic room in her house that had been used as a kids playroom and later a games room. It’s part time use meant that it was also a magnet for unwanted household items and old furniture. Our client wanted to reclaim this wonderful room, make it beautiful and give it a new useful purpose. But she didn’t know where to start.
She contacted us and at the initial meeting it was clear that our client needed a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere in which to spend time. The challenges were that, with an attic ceiling and a dormer window there were lots of sharp angles and reduced head height to deal with as well as an awkward window to dress. The room also needed to house a couple of pieces of family furniture, remain usable as a games room but in a more discrete way. Our Client was unsure how to plan the space and lacked confidence in her ability to make something of the room. She wasn’t sure whether she should keep or get rid of a large item of furniture that she had owned for a long time.
QUARTERS carried out an initial measuring survey on the room, an architectural plan and presented a mood board and various space-planning options to our Client, explaining why certain layouts worked and didn’t work and how the layout and furniture choices would affect the kind of atmosphere she was seeking for the room. Our client loved the mood board and once she had chosen a layout she felt much more confident in her ability to progress the project, so she decided to take it on herself with further coaching meetings. Quarters advised her on the process she could follow to avoid problems, suggested useful resources for planning and various suppliers that might be of interest. Three further meet ups were held at which we discussed colour schemes, creating paint effects, furniture painting, fabrics and soft furnishings, furniture choices for the scheme and how to source these. We also helped to find some of the items she bought for the room.
Thanks to our Client’s dedication and hard work the end result was an amazing and relaxing space, which integrates the important pieces of the clients own furniture and makes sense of the room’s space. A new TV stand meant the Playstation could be disguised and the handsets were hidden inside pretty lidded baskets. The mountain mural helped the TV set to blend into the wall behind and also provided a fun backdrop for the gamers when they’re using the room.
OUR CLIENT SAID: "I wanted to convert a very dull and crowded spare room/playroom into a relaxing 'sanctuary' for myself and guests; Mandy immediately saw where I was coming from and was in on the project from the start.
With an eye for details and a real feel for the person, she carefully put together two different scenarios of environments where I've felt most relaxed - a beach theme and a mountain theme. The mood boards she created were beautiful and I found it difficult to choose between the two themes, though the mountain room she envisaged gave me the restfulness coupled with the cosiness that I wanted.
Mandy then measured up and carefully observed how the natural light fell, as well as coming up with clever suggestions on how to deal with elements of the room that couldn't be changed - e.g. the dormer window and the sloping ceilings. From here she worked up a floor plan with soft shapes and functional, but relaxing furnishing ideas.
Never forcing her thoughts on me, I had plenty of free range to add my own touches and she showed me how to use colours and the way they can work together. I was much more adventurous than I have been before! It felt like we really worked together as a team to achieve the finished results.
So, my 'sanctuary' includes a bed (so we can still welcome guests), a seating/TV/gaming area (where the big kids can still relax, but their paraphernalia is low key/hidden), a reading area with a comfortable chair and footstool, and coffee table (reclaimed and painted). There's a variety of textures and soft colours using mainly greys and dusky pinks and other natural colours. My favourite part is the main wall featuring a mural of a mountain range in silhouette in soft dawn tones. I absolutely love it - as do my guests and kids!"