How to create a sophisticated guestroom

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A dated guest bedroom is transformed into a calming space with a sophisticated palette of dark green and neutral taupe

In partnership with Fleetwood 


When the pandemic put a halt to global travel plans for a Cork-based couple, they decided to update the upstairs of their neat 1980s three-bedroom house. With the help of interior designer Sinéad Cassidy, they transformed their dated guest bedroom into an inviting sanctuary, cleverly using colour to give the room a whole new look and feel.
“This bedroom was north facing with a dull carpet tile surface and a flimsy built-in wardrobe structure which surrounded the bed. The water tank also took up a huge portion of the storage space in the wardrobe,” explains Sinéad.
“The clients’ brief was to have a boutique hotel bedroom-feel with some stylish elements. It’s a small room and actually only measures 3.5m x 3.7m. We looked to create a unique, colourful, warm and contemporary space.”

Dark side

While north facing rooms tend to be dark and cool, that doesn’t always mean you have to paint every wall in a bright white. In fact, Sinéad says it’s all about the undertone – don’t shy away from a little drama with colour choices, as long as the rest of the colour palette shapes up.
“Bedroom colour does not have to be a slave to aspect or light as most of our time spent there is for sleeping so it is a good opportunity to be brave with a dark colour. While north facing rooms do need warm undertones, I feel they are great places to go for the dramatic and darker colour with terrific colour rendering so that was the first step.” Sinéad says.
“The next step was to decide which dark colour to choose. The clients had mentioned deep green appealed to them so almost immediately we had full consensus on Electric Pickle from the Fleetwood Vogue range. Green as a colour is nature’s hallmark so I felt this shade would evoke a wonderfully calm and relaxing sense to the room.
“Electric Pickle is a dark colour and a real head turner but the success of introducing this colour to a small space is to combine it with a surprising array of other different hues and tones.”

Electric Pickle

Decadent details

To introduce these different tones, Sinéad opted for stylish furniture, keeping in mind the hotel-style in the brief. A luxurious velvet headboard sets the right vibe: “If you have a desire for a five-star bedroom, a bespoke upholstered headboard is such an inviting backdrop and an exciting way to create something decadent and unique for a bedroom,” Sinéad says.
“I selected neutral mink velvet with intrinsic vertical panels to provide a contrast with the lovely Electric Pickle. Hotel vibes continue with the two cylindrical bedside lockers that are a fun alternative to the usual generic bedside lockers. They have beautiful curves and are a good neat size for the available space.

“The ottoman was a late addition to the room as it was destined for the shed however I had it reupholstered and deep buttoned in a neutral linen mix fabric and it has a whole new purpose and appearance plus it hides the radiator too!”
When it comes to choosing the neutral pieces to offset the wall colour, Sinéad suggests mixing up the textures to add depth to the space: “We kept the core items of the headboard, roman blind and ottoman in a mink/taupe-coloured neutral, but they are three completely different textures; velvet, linen mix and a self-patterned cotton mix for the roman blind.
“Consistency is key for both the neutrals and the colour accents as by using tones and shades that are similar in each pattern, it will be successful. Choosing the right fabrics for the soft furnishings was done on site from my selection of fabric books to tailor to the room scheme perfectly. This is a fun process and really does complete the scheme.
“We mixed patterns and selected some lovely metallic textures, floral velvets and small geometric patterned fabrics for the scatters and throws. This adds such gorgeous colour and texture to the scheme and provides vibrancy in the colour accents.
“All of the fabrics and custom-made blinds, headboard, cushions and throws were ordered through Sinéad Cassidy Design. The carpet feels luxurious underfoot and was supplied and fitted from Carpets Direct in Cork.”


Finishing touches

For those final details, Sinéad introduced key accessories to really lift the room and bring it to that level of luxury the clients were after.
The matching lamps and lockers have rich metallic copper detail in just sufficient quantity to provide a contrasting material accent to the plentiful array of textiles. The copper lining detail in the pendant ceiling lamp marries the metallic detail in the lockers and the table lamps and keeps the lighting scheme consistent. The lamps were sourced from Raymie Ryan in Cashel and the pendant was sourced in Lightplan in Cork. The lighting was important to ensure a calming, soothing retreat but still provide ample reading light.
“The wall space available is minimal but still needed some personality. We did not want to clutter the space so we commissioned a pair of soft abstract acrylic on linen paintings from Cork artist Oonagh Hurley over the ottoman while a small white framed portrait in charcoal from artist Marie-Luise O’Byrne Brandl was added to the window wall. Both artworks make a bright and airy statement on the green neutral walls and keep it interesting.
“The mirrored sliderobes are sleek and unobtrusive, while the carpet provides warmth and lovely softness underfoot. And cushions are more than just cushions as the colour, texture and shape are exciting and punchy details required to pull the look from concept to completion.”

Happy result

While this project was a complete makeover, it clearly was a joy to work on for Sinéad: “I love that the clients were fearless in their quest to create a unique look for their guest room. I feel sure their guest will feel very comfortable and not want to leave!”
Client Grainne agrees: “I’m thrilled with how it all turned out. There is no comparison with the before and after, it’s an entirely different room. The old room was tired and dated whereas the new room is modern with an injection of colour.”

Sinéad Cassidy photographed by Claire Nash

To find your nearest Fleetwood Prestige stockist, visit Fleetwood Prestige can be mixed to any colour and is exclusive to the Vogue and Pantone Colour Collections.