Bedroom, Building, Interior Design, Materials, Project, Renovation
comments 12

The Harrogate Master Bedroom – (very nearly) Final Reveal

The Harrogate Master Suite

Hello everyone, how’s your August going? Today I’m sharing a (very nearly) final reveal of the master bedroom at the Harrogate project. It’s the last room to be completed after a four year long renovation of a large, five bedroom Edwardian property. I’ve learned and gained so much from working with Vanessa and Andy and it feels quite emotional knowing this will be one of the last rooms I share from their house on these pages.

Anyway, moving along…

First Floor Floor Plan – Before

The first floor is the one that had the biggest layout change, with only a few walls remaining where they once were.

The first floor layout as it is now.

As you can see, the first floor is where the Upper Brook Street Guest bedroom is, probably one of my most shared and liked projects to date, winning the best bedroom tour on Houzz in 2017 – that was really exciting!

Today’s master suite is across the landing at the back of the house in what was this space:

It was a hotchpotch of stud walls used to create two kids bedrooms and a dark and pokey corridor to a randomly positioned first floor lean-to style conservatory. The estate agent tried their best to showcase this room on the sales listing…

“Alan, get the wide angle lens, we really want to showcase the original Edwardian corrugated plastic roof!”

Estate agent photos make me laugh. The reality was something like this:

Life (and light) sucking corridor

Kids dungeon box room with an internal window looking into the play room.

Sleep well little one – don’t have nightmares…

I think you’ll agree, we could do better with these spaces and this was our plan…

The door to the old corridor remained where it was becoming the door to the new bedroom, as did the the old external wall (the thick black line behind the two chairs) well, because you need some in order for the house to remaining standing. Rather important.

Even though it was a large space (approx 6x6m), the remaining stone wall created a tricky L-Shape situation that we had to work around. Setting the position of the king sized bed was vital in order to fit the rest of the elements in. The wish list was for a large open plan master suite with:

  1. king sized bed and bedsides
  2. ensuite bathroom with free standing bath, double vanity and walk in shower
  3. built in wardrobes
  4. a small dressing area
  5. and seating area over looking the tree tops
  6. no curtains and blinds (don’t ask – will talk about that later)

The build for this room was all done as part of the kitchen/diner knock through, which you can read all about here.

January 2019

The wrap around glazing was done over two floors with the kitchen completed last summer.

Harrogate Kitchen

Understandably, Vanessa and Andy needed to save again in order to complete the master bedroom and ensuite, but we had to plan for first fix over a year in advance in order to position the plumbing and electrics whilst the builders were on site. Not ideal, but that’s how these projects go sometimes.

So let me show you how this space has turned out. There’s still some painting of skirtings and architraves to do, but I wanted to show you where we’ve got to as it’s 98% done and I think it’s a beaut!

May 2019

As you can see from the photo, where the original stone wall was taken down, a rather large nib remains, this supports a big beefy steel holding up the back of the house.

July 2020

I wanted this nib to disappear, so I suggested we built the birch ply wardrobes around it. It was then important to continue the rhythm of the doors (not to be confused with 90’s dance hit ‘Rhythm of the Night’) around the back of the bed to create the effect of a seamless full height headboard.

First fix wiring was done way before we even knew what was going here, I mean we had an inkling, but it’s never the best idea to attempt first fix without knowing what’s going in at second fix.

Birch Plywood Headboard Wall

Luckily it all worked out – Opal Disk Wall Light – HouseOf

Even though the room is big, the space for the bed isn’t massive. A simple platform bed was ideal, something with a limited footprint, only a smidge wider than the size of the mattress. Luckily these guys had just the thing, which had been waiting in another bedroom on the floor above for about three years. Remember this room?

Monochrome Bedroom with pops of yellow

Trumpet Bedroom

Yes, that’s the one. This room was always done on the understanding that eventually it would become a kid’s bedroom. The Heal’s Brunel bed and bedside tables were always destined for greatness, moving into what would eventually become the master bedroom.

The Brunel bed with the headboard whipped off

The unfinished (yes, they were left naked) birch plywood wardrobes and panelled wall came in at £5k for materials, labour and fitting. Not cheap, but I think is actually really good value for what it’s given this room in terms of practical, seamless storage and the aesthetic impact it’s had.

Always always always focus on cost versus value

Here are a few more before and afters for you:

During the knock through, taking the big, structural stone wall out

Wall down and all the spaces connected

Ikea KYREE black stool – creating a small dressing area

I would have quite liked to have added another wall light above the mirror here, like so:

This was one of the downsides about having to do first fix for the room over a year before we got to the finer details. Admittedly it won’t make or break the room. But ya know… I kinda like it with the light central to that top section of window frame.


Same view during

May 2019

To read more about the window system used in this project, go back to the read about the kitchen project as it’s all in there.

July 2020 – still work to do here

There’s the skirting and rad pipes to paint, a rug to come, new coffee table, artwork etc… But let’s talk about that coffee table shall we? It should be called “Wally”. Because since moving to this house over four years ago, you probably could have spotted Wally at some point in every room, taking up temporary residence. Wally is a great reminder to everyone that you can always save up for those final pieces and it’s fine to make do for a little while.

“Where’s Wally?”

Seen here in the Drawing Room as the make-shift coffee table whilst we waited for the actual table to arrive. This was the very first room we worked on all the way back in 2016. See how long these renovations can take?

The Hiko pendant light from John Lewis is a wallet friendly nod to the Vertigo light that the homeowner has loved since I met her. I would have really liked to have gotten a larger light in here, but budget constraints meant that we had to cut back at this point. It does work beautifully with their artwork though doesn’t it?

So let’s talk about the lack of window coverings shall we? Simply put, they didn’t want any. I did mention that it might make sleeping a little difficult, what with all that wraparound glazing, but they were set on leaving it all open. Made my job easier as I hate sorting window coverings (what kind of interior designer am I?)

It was the lack of window coverings that made me suggest painting the sleeping area dark including the ceiling, in the hope that it would help lower the morning light levels for just a few more minutes.  I have it on good authority that it does, but not enough to actually sleep in during the summer. So the Harrogate master bedroom has officially been renamed “the winter bedroom”.

This before pic shows you where the ensuite bathroom went (in the pink bit), the OSB rectangle is the door into the room and the space to the left shows you where the bed now is.

So that’s pretty much the same view as before. You can see the woodwork still needs painting, but I wanted to show you just how far this space has come from the box room jigsaw it once was.

On the right, you can see the opening into the bathroom..

Plywood Headboard Wall

…which I will write about on the next blog. I’m struggling to get any more written today as Charlie is incessantly telling me Minecraft jokes. So while I go and lock him in a sound proof room with some juice and a packet of custard creams, I’ll leave you with a view from the ensuite bathroom into the bedroom framed by the black bathroom door frame.

I really hope you like today’s reveal. In fact if anyone likes it enough to buy it, then as much as it saddens me to write it, this five bedroom house is now on the market.

I know. These guys love a project. I get the easy job of coming up with the ideas and steering them in the right direction from time to time. But they do a lot of the work themselves and liaise with all the trades directly… and now this five bedroom house is finished (apart from the skirting boards, Andy!) they want to start all over again.

I know.

I know.

Right – must go and get those biscuits… BRB with the ensuite bathroom…


  1. Anna says

    Absolutely stunning. Might wander across town at the weekend and have a gander through the gates!!

  2. Jend says

    Oh you smashed it again Karen, what a thing to brighten up my first lunch break back at work! I’m a mega fan of ply, really want to go all out in loft conversion! You said it was baked, did you seal it with anything? And what colour is the wall!

    What a testament to you the sales ad is (although as always your pics are much nicer) hopefully get to see more of their next house!

    • Karen Knox says

      Ah thank you very much. And yes, hopefully the next house will be as much fun as this one! The birch ply was left naked (nothing on it at all, just sanded smooth and left as is). The lighter walls are Valspar Soft Wool, the darker colour is a colour match to the ensuite tiles. Don’t know the actual code for it I’m afraid….

  3. Hi Karen, this is genius as per usual, I am gobsmacked that the owners are not planning to live with all this beauty and design perfection, at least for a while! Selfishly though, I am glad there will be a new huge house to make over, and I hope they will hire you for every room again so that we continue to be able to see all of the gorgeousness.

    Do you know where the orange over hanging floor lamp (with the chairs and coffee table) comes from please? Thanks!

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks so much, really glad you like it! And I know what you mean… they decided they were moving before we even completed this room **cries**
      And the floor lamp is from Habitat 🙂

  4. Elaine says

    Can’t believe they’re selling, and not living with all this amazing design!

    What interests me is the amount of difference between your pix and the estate agent “landscape pix with wide-angle lens from 5’10” with all the lights on”. The Upper Brook St bedroom is what brought me to your blog, and it’s fascinating to see it treated like any other bedroom on a for sale site. It looks fine, but I bet anyone walking into that room will be stunned. No wonder the house is already sold.

    Hope they have you on retainer for their next space!

    • Karen Knox says

      Oh yeah, estate agent pics are (mostly) real bad. All the lights on, distorted angles, no attention to the details. I don’t like looking at the photos on the estate agent listing at all as they don’t look like the rooms I know and love. Anyway, what do I know?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.