Bedroom Transformation: Like a phoenix from the flames, raze your room then raise it to resurrected glory without the costs...

Dear FHM, I’ve moved into a new flat to find the previous owners have left the bedroom yellow. Worse, there’s no storage space and the ugly water boiler’s visible. Aside from moving again, what can I do? Nick Bell


1/ The problem
Who: Nick Bell
What: NHS admin
Where: London

2/ The nightmare
There’s clutter… and then there’s Nick’s old bedroom, a place that makes Basra look smart. “He had built-in wardrobes which can be a good thing – but they were in the wrong place,” says FHM interiors know-all, Adam Dawe of “They dominated the room and meant that the only place for the bed was against the window – never a good idea.” It got worse: “Too much stuff… ugly boiler cupboard… no redeeming feature,” muttered Adam, as he paced the room like a Pentonville lifer. But two hours and one tape measure later, a sweaty Adam was holding in his head the foundations for greatness.

3/ Clean sweep
Adam decreed that Nick’s bed was rather splendid, so he kept that – and binned everything else. “The shelving and built-in wardrobes had to come out,” says Adam. “That gave us a bit of a blank canvas.” With the fitted wardrobe now taking up place in a neighbour’s skip, Adam could move the bed to a more sensible spot. Next, and to ensure that no crud need ever be on display again, Adam bossed his crew into building… a brand new wardrobe! A wall-to-wall behemoth, no less. “We went for sliding doors as they don’t need space to open out into,” Adam explains. “And the doors are white panels to help it all blend in. Mirrored ones are naff.”

4/ The magic room
“Incorporated within the wardrobe is the boiler, space for all his clothes, and also a desk area – all built-in,” says Adam. Computers aren’t something you want to see in a bedroom, so a hinged desk that folds into the wardrobe was built. There’s even a little stool that fits the ensemble, as does Nick’s old TV. And when the internet/Top Gear beckon, one slide of the door and Nick’s in business. “Hiding stuff away with wardrobes can be a brilliant way of tidying a place up,” says Adam. “And everything here is totally DIY-able. Most of it is from Ikea; the only bespoke stuff was the table, and that was easy to do.”

What we used: And the damage…

Feature wall: ‘Wicklow Mountains’ Colourmix matt emulsion by Dulux Walls and ceiling: Pure Brilliant White matt emulsion by Dulux Silver fringe curtain (145x300cm): £45 each by Habitat furniture ‘Pax Malm’ wardrobe with white sliding doors, 3 units, 6 shelves and 4 rails £431 by IKEA, cube lamp bedside tables £65 each by Muji, ‘Allegro’ CD rack £39 and ‘Tam Tam’ white stool £10 both by Habitat.

‘Auckland Old Gold’ bedside lamps £20 each, vases £7 each and ‘Talk’ alarm clock £9 by Habitat. Dark green ‘Septim’ shade £10.49, ‘Bonett’ mirror £14.99 and ‘Kassett’ storage boxes plants, pots and candle-holders all by IKEA.

“Bedrooms have to be restful and clutter-free,” says Adam. Clearly pleased with the wardrobe that hides Nick’s untold evils, Adam also points out that what lies beyond the doors doesn’t matter in the slightest. “It’s simple,” he says, “if you’ve got somewhere to store things away, your bedroom will always look better.”


‘Percale’ pillows, double duvet and fitted sheet £78, bedspread £199, ‘Jules Old Gold’ cushions £40 each, ‘Jukes Haricot’ cushions £20 each and curtain track £12 all by Habitat. ‘Tupplur’ curtains £10.99 by IKEA.

You don’t want one bare light bulb hanging down above the bed – unless your hidden camera dictates that sort of illumination. “Mood lighting and bedside lighting are very important when you’re trying to wind down,” Adam says. “My tip is to aim for a ‘boutique hotel’ feel.”


“We’ve not gone mad with the olive green we’ve used on the wall,” says Adam. “It goes with the throw-cushions, and in front of it is this silver thing from Habitat, which is a bit like a fringe. They do them in black, white, red and silver, and I thought it would give a little texture to the wall. Behind it, this mirror helps give the impression of depth and space.”

“Bedrooms should be calm places where you can sleep and relax,” says Adam, who chose a tranquil mixture of silvers, charcoal greys and a deep green olive for this boudoir’s miracle transformation. “It’s a restful combination,” Adam reckons.

“Combined with his wooden floor and bed, grey bedding works a treat, especially with this satin throw.” Job done, finishing touches added, Adam leaves us with this advice. “Deep, rich colours are very masculine so avoid pinks, yellows or pale blues. What we’ve got now is the kind of place that the ladies would be happy to come back to.”

Where it’s at:;