Spliting up a large bedroom with Period trims

Katherine Shore
1 August, 2016

Hi all,

We are moving into a Large Georgian house with all it's period features intact. The house is gorgeous and while it needs alot of work to make it a modern home. It has a vast amount of potential.

One of the spaces i am struggling to design is the Master Bedroom. The Master Bedroom is 17' 3" x 16' 8" ( 5.26m x 5.08m ) with massive period ceilings. It has Coving, Picture Rail and Dado and ceiling Rose all of which are original features. Then in the middle of the back wall there is a feature fireplace.

The room feels massive, open and cold. It feels to big to be comfortable yet when you draw it out on paper you realise 17ft isnt that big, yes it's pretty big but now-where near as massive as it seems. I think the high ceilings have something to do with this and the fact that the previous owners only had a bed and a double wardrobe in the room.

So first question, the feature fireplace has a simple marble mantle and frontage (don't know if that's the right term' so it's all blocked off there is no fire in place nor place to fit one however the chimney breast does run up the outside wall from the living room past where this sits. So i suspect you could rip out the decorative mantle and put in a working fire if you wanted but im not sure i feel the need to get a fire in the bedroom working. . The fire in the lounge is currently electric so i suspect the chimney has been blocked off.

How much work is it to replace the downstairs fire will a log burner or similar and get the chimney working again? will it be possible?

Mostly im struggling with the space, we are on a tight budget so i can't go crazy but we have enough to make some modifications

i would love to install an ensuite but with the placement of the fire/windows/doors im not sure there is a place to fit one, also the period features all make it complicated. I can't just stick a stud wall up and hope for the best because it would cut into the picture rail and coving as it reached the ceiling and i don't want to de-value the house or ruin one of the features which drew me to it. (the coving is very ornate with beautiful plaster flowers on it)

So i think im going to have to rule out an ensuite but same goes for built in wardrobes, the ceilings are sooo high... the wardrobes they have now are the tall 2m high ones but they barely reach the picture rail and there is so much space above them it looks really odd and if anything it just draws your eye's to how high the ceiling is. it feels like all the furniture in there was stolen from a dolls house.

The room is for me and my husband i want it to be a cozy bedroom space, we spend alot of time in the bedroom as we often have an early night to watch a film and the bedroom is the only space thats 'ours' without kids in and out constantly. Also my husband is a big reader so i want it to be a relaxing quiet place where he can chill with a book.

Comments (4)

  • minnie101

    Do you have a picture of the room and a floor plan re ensuite/shower room? Without seeing it, I might open up the fire ( even if you don't use it, it will make a lovely feature with a grate in), does the surround need to go? Is it original? You can paint the ceiling a darker colour than the walls which will visibly reduce the ceiling height and take it down to the picture rail. Or Roman blinds fitted within the recess (if you can) also works if they're a darker shade. Baskets/vases/urns on top of wardrobes will make them feel taller. A pendant light hung lower than normal will also help. I'd definitely add a lovely chair in the corner next to the fire. A bed end stool might be nice at the end of the bed and make the bed more of a feature. I might spend some time creating an ideabook of styles you like as it sounds as if it can be an amazing room. Do you have a bed already? I've effectively got the same room as you and even though I don't have drapes, I've got a 4 poster which really creates a cosy feel, but particularly with drapes and the bed works well with high ceilings

  • PRO
    Create Perfect

    Hi Katherine,

    It sounds like a great space that can offer a real impact and still be a very cosy and relaxing space. It can be daunting to have such a large space to deal with at first, especially when there are features you don't want to touch.

    There are lots of different options for the space. I like the idea of opening up the fireplace as it would make a great feature for the room and a place to add a possible seating area for reading but I do agree that if down stairs is electric it is probably closed off. It is a bit of work and a messy job to get it changed. You shouldn't need to worry about planning but will obviously need to abide by building regulations.

    I think a lot of people place only a large bed and a select few piece of furniture in there types of rooms to draw attention and emphasis the gorgeous period features but there of course things we can do to add additional wardrobes in unobtrusive ways. I would agree to not adding a en-suit as it will unbalance the space. However, it is very hard to tell without any pictures?

    Would you be able to upload any? Alternatively you can forward some to enquiries@createperfect.co.uk and I will get back to you, or you can book a free consultation through our website and ill be happy to take a look.

    All the best, Gina

  • PRO


    We'd suggest you focus on furniture of the right scale. Large bed/bedside tables and a large period wardrobe. Often you can find good pieces very reasonably at auctions. If you don't like the all brown Victoriana, then period Continental might be better, birch/maple. Without seeing a plan of the house, we can't advise on the bathroom, but its usually best to keep the original proportions throughout, unless you can utilise a larder or storeroom.

  • Stephen Edwards

    I agree with Burchdaume, luckily huge period furniture is often quite reasonably priced as many people wouldn't have room for it. Also if it is really cheap because the veneer finish is damaged you don't have to feel guilty about painting it. With a room that size you could think about having a four-poster bed, or a really tall headboard to give a sense of proportion, also consider having armchairs adjacent to the fireplace, or by the window. If it's too much to open up the fireplace now, how about a decorative stove in front of it, either an electric one (there are some quite nice looking ones around) or a vintage multi-fuel, even if it's just for decoration at this stage. Floor length curtains will also help with the proportions and oversized artwork on the walls will warm it up as will a decent light fitting (If a chandelier is out, something like a large "drum" shade. If you like the period look have a look at some of the classic georgian colours, the darker shades would work well at warming up the look.

    Good luck with your project, it sounds fun.

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