Sleeping beauty: Transforming FHM readers’ hovels into palaces for just over £1000…

Dear FHM,
“I’ve lived in my house for three years now, but it’s still in a bit of a state. I’d love it if you could redesign my bedroom. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”
Al Savory


1/ The problem
Who: Al Savory
What: Carpenter
Where: London

2/ The solution
The moment FHM’s interiors overlord Adam Dawe of saw Al’s bedroom, he figured out exactly what had to be done. “There was nowhere to store Al’s clothes, the bed was propped up against a ’50s fireplace and the side lighting was too intense for a room where he’s supposed to be sleeping,” our expert says.

3/ The big shop
So Adam hit Habitat and Ikea. First up was the storage issue. “I decided to place a large white wardrobe opposite the bed to make the room look bigger and brighter. I also wanted the theme of the room to be brown – for a relaxing effect – so I bought a small chest of drawers to stand alongside the right-hand wall” Then came the lighting. “Al had a row of spotlights on the ceiling, which was far too harsh. So I decided to dangle lights into space-saving circular bedside tables to give this really cool effect instead.” Adam also recalled his time staying at one of design guru Philippe Starck’s hotels in London for inspiration. “Nearly every room has these transparent white curtains that stretch along the far side wall, and over the window, which dim the natural light. Al’s original blinds are still dangling behind, but the room now looks more inviting for a snooze.”

4/ Design problems
The biggest quandary Adam faced was that ’50s fireplace. “To cover it up, I built my own suede headboard using thick plywood and stuffing foam I bought from a local foam shop. So I just got a sheet of brown suede, which was larger than our plywood, and stretched it round the back, before stuffing it. That way, it gave the room a further ‘style-boutique’ feel, which we then topped off by placing a fluorescent-tube light behind it. It just opens up the room more, and makes whoever’s sitting on the bed want to doze off.”

“Before I built this, I decided to ask a few girl friends of mine whether they’d be more likely to sleep with a guy whose headboard was suede or leather. They said suede, as too much leather in a man’s bedroom reminds women of bad porn movies.”

“This image was one of the reasons I went with the brown feel for the room. I wanted to keep the picture on the wall as it’s quite calming to look at, then I designed around it.”

“Al has a divan mattress. So we decided that in order to keep the cost down – but still make the bed look expensive – we’d stick strips of the same suede we attached to the large headboard along the side of it. That way, the bed matches the rest of the room.”

What We Used: The damage to your wallet…

‘Pax Malm’ wardrobe with white sliding doors £253 by IKEA, ‘Malm’ drawers £100 each by IKEA and ‘Tam Tam’ bedside tables £10 each by Habitat.

Headboard (12mm MDF boards, foam, wadding and suede fabric) and bed base (owner’s own, with fabric-covered MDF side panels) £450 all in. Fabric: ‘Colorado Slate’ suede-effect £21 per metre from Sunbury. Foam padding from CutFoam.

80cm fluorescent light fittings behind headboard £20 each by Ryness, ‘Waist’ pendant shade £25 by Habitat, ‘Helix’ touch-lamp £30 by Habitat, ‘Taper’ table lamp shade £20 by Habitat, dimmable remote-control socket adaptors £30 by Wireless

‘Ceder’ white double-duvet set (inc. four pillow cases) £30 by IKEA, ‘Jules’ cushions £40 each and ‘Jukes’ velvet cushions £20 each by Habitat, ‘Vivan’ curtains £7 each by IKEA, curtain wire and hooks £12 by Habitat, ‘Tupplur’ blinds £12 each by IKEA and ‘Mink stripe’ throw £100 by Habitat. All other accessories by Habitat.

Where it’s at;