Interiors: Winter nest: My bedroom for winter, completed!

November 28, 2014

...aaaaaand I've finally finished updating my bedroom for winter!

There's nothing quite as invigorating like a fresh lick of paint to bring some colour to your life or in my case remove the awful colour from my walls. The 'Malayan tapir' (half black, half white) wall in my bedroom that ocularly offended my eyeballs for the past four years has finally been whitewashed into a thing of pure, glacial beauty. Behold the frosty cleanliness Crown Breatheasy 'Brilliant White' has bestowed upon these walls in all its icy, matte splendour. You know me, I'm no minimalist---if my walls don't resemble an orgy in a crayon box than those colours aren't for me---but I think that in this instance I'm alright with all-white.  

Mirror, car boot sale (best £10 I ever spent!) / James Gillray, Fashionable Contrasts print framed in Virserum picture frame, IKEA

This cheeky image by 18th century illustrator James Gillray was used by Anya Hindmarch for their 'Earl' collection of handbags. I have the 'Earl Bottom Pinch' tote which features a rework of Gillray's 'A Duet'

'Grand chandelier' glo canvas, Nelly London / faux fur throw, TK Maxx / Mulig rail, IKEA / mint green & grey suede hangers, Primark

The brilliant white walls are the perfect backdrop for my endless rows of useless crap diverse collection of personal effects. The bookcases opposite my bed used to loom ominously over my sleeping self at night until I figured out that my 'sleep zone' should be as uncluttered as possible, or at least as uncluttered as a hoarded can be. I moved the bookcases to the entryway to my bedroom. In its place is a Nelly Duff chandelier canvas that I 'shopped' from the living room which suits the decor better and also my 'capsule wardrobe'. 

While my clothes have their own room, my seasonal staples hang on the clothing rail opposite my bed forming a capsule collection of my winter uniform. Three furs (one vintage fox, one vintage wolf, and one faux), one Karen Millen coat, one Valentino blazer, four knitwears (Elie Tahari, Zara, ASOS, Ralph Lauren), two camel trousers (American Apparel riding pant and Uniqlo jeggings), and two maxi skirts (grey and lilac). These few pieces in a pale palette of neutrals, greys, and mint is the entirety of my uniform from now until Chinese New Year (hello new clothes in red and gold!). I find that choosing my clothes from such a limited selection is so efficient and comforting! Sure, I'm not going to win any outfit of the day awards but the simplicity is so pleasing and that makes dressing for a special occasion from my full-sized wardrobe all the more rewarding and special. Maybe I can be a minimalist after all...

...what did I say about being a minimalist? One look at this wall and I realised it is an ambition never to be fulfilled. An extension of my capsule wardrobe, these bookcases host my favourite shoes and my handbags. The first two used to be where the clothing rail is now and the third bookcase was a recent acquisition, in fact I bought it from IKEA and assembled it only two days ago. 

Somehow, adding another bookcase in the right place has made the room look bigger and more 'open'. It's about positioning. Where the bookcases are used to be 'dead space' with furniture (the clothing rail, a trunk, a mirror and picture ledges to be delegated to the new Regimental Vintage shop) that took up a lot of space in the entryway to my bedroom and felt cluttered because of all the different depths of the furniture. The bookcases, measuring in at a shallow 28cm, provide heaps of vertical storage while taking up as little floorspace as possible. By a stroke of luck the edge of the last bookcase just about comes up to the door, and when the door is opened the bookcases almost looks like a gallery of built-in storage. This nice little coincidence makes the layout look deliberate and  purposeful.

Bookcases: Billy and Gersby, IKEA

I love how clean and colourless this shelf is. 

Louis Vuitton 'Alma' handbag / Polar bear prints, Louis Vuitton (gifted) framed in Ribba picture frame, IKEA / Issey Miyake Bao Bao tote and Prism clutch.

Books du jour: The Adventurer's Handbook, a present for Henry (signed by the author although I've never heard of him) brimming with advice like how to survive an anaconda attack (Me: "Do you just call Nicki Minaj for help?" Henry: "You're not funny at all"). I Am Malala. National Geographic Traveller: Romania, I bought it for my Romania trip and am disappointed by how outdated it is. And my favourite Eyewitness travel guides (I love the colourful illustrated layouts!) for my family trip to Russia.  

I keep my costume jewellery in these versatile acrylic drawers from Muji. I just add more drawers and stack to build more storage for my ever-slow-growing (I don't wear much jewellery) accessories, like a Lego house. 

Acrylic drawers, MUJI / Glass box, Zara Home / Mimosa candle, Diptyque

I love this candle by H&M Home, not for the scent (which is nice enough) but for the marble effect. I have a story so typical of my lebih (Malay for excessive, over the top)-ness: I ordered two from the website just before I went back to Malaysia. Somehow figuring out that they'd soon be sold out in London, I went to the only H&M Home in K.L to buy more. Arran can testify that I summoned an Uber to take me from Bangsar to K.L (despite my car being parked outside Alexis, where we were having coffee) only to cancel it because I was impatient. Then I made Arran and Henry get in my car and we drove into the city, scaling Lot 10's extremely steep car park ramp (all four floors of it, like a hero!) just to park metres away from H&M Home to buy the last marble-print candle. Which I carefully packed in my suitcase to bring back to London. Aiyo. Herculean determination for the pettiest of pointless endeavours? Yeah, I'd make an excellent aunty (in the Malaysian Chinese sense). Makcik mode, activate!

Marble effect candles, H&M Home / Heyland & Whittle fragrance diffuser

How beautiful are these showstopping army tunics? These babies are mine and Henry's proudest acquisitions for Regimental Vintage to date. The red one, covered in Fleur de Lis is a Grenadier guardsman drummer which is the exact same one that Mick Jagger wore in the '60s. The black and purple one is extremely rare! It's worn by a Royal Army Chaplain Department priest and there are only 150 army priests at a time. I can't wait to photograph these for Regimental Vintage. I've got a very special location for a shoot and a special model in mind to do these justice. 

You all know my dressing table area from this previous blog post.

Mirror and large gold frame, vintage / Trunk, my great-grandfather's / Kartell Bougie-inspired lamp, Daisy West (sold out) / 'Bondage sex den' headline, from a newsagent (gifted) / console table, IKEA  / jewellery boxes, vintage / seat, Next Home

Bird cages, Kaison / Edgar Allan Crow, my pet stuffed bird from The Last Tuesday Society / last week's lilies wilting in the heat, from my  neighbourhood flower market on Columbia Road.

Vintage bell jar / Tiger cub skull cast, The Last Tuesday Society / Virserum photo frames, IKEA.

Just when I thought I could feel smug about completing a paint job after four years of being half-arsed about it, here's another paint job I never finished. This mirror used to be black. I bought a tester sized pot of gold paint and started painting the frame gold, from the bottom up. Halfway through the job I ran out of paint and my arms started to ache. Naturally I told myself 'I can't finish the job without more paint, so I'll get more tomorrow...or next week...or next year...decade'. Now I cover up my indolence and incompetence by insisting that 'It's not unfinished, I'm going for the black-gold ombre effect'. 

Want to hear about a rip off? A rip off is when you buy something in a market for three times more than what it costs in the museum shop. I'm talking about those crystals. I paid a king's ransom for them from this hippie lady on Brick Lane market (incidentally, the Sunday I met Henry) after listening to her spiel about how they would purify me, remove the dark energy of 'jealous haters', bring love into my life etc. Well I did meet Henry that day so maybe she had a point, but still...! I bought the same crystals at the Natural History Museum in London for much less. Well she saw me coming. The lapis lazuli box was a present and the jade box I found at a boot sale for next to nothing, so at least the cost of all the stones evened out. The vanilla macaron candle is from TK Maxx and is the most delicious smelling candle in the world, like...burnt caramel, creme brûlée, and warm honey.

Candles: Colonial Candle, TK Maxx, Voluspa, Ecoya / tray, Zara home / ashtrays: Fornasetti, vintage / lapis lazuli box, Kabul (gifted) / green stone box, vintage 

Mum and dad keeping a watchful eye over me, although it gets tiring turning them to face the wall whenever Henry and I engage behaviour. Maybe I'll move the photo to the living room.

Black snakeskin-style tissue box, I Wanna Go Home/ grey notebook, Christian Dior (gifted) / Forever 21 photo frame

Longchamp pliage, in red and black / antique travelling trunk, my great-grandfather's / fairy lights, IKEA / Homer Simpson bedroom slippers, Primark / Hampen pile rug, IKEA 

I found this old trunk, once belonging to my great-grandpapa, in my grandparents' house in Borneo, hidden under a huge table heaving with dusty antiques and ancient books, decomposing in the shadows and threatening to relinquish its existence to the decaying humidity of the tropics. The trunk's travelling days are well and over, indeed, the cracks and scars it bears including original cargo stickers have faded into and become one with the wood, rendering the trunk's functionality to a display piece of great sentimentality. Now I use it to store out-of-season handbags. 

Skull lamp, Nahoko Koyama for Mixko / screenprints, Pure Evil

Is it pantang (taboo, unlucky) to have 'Live East Die Young' hanging over my bed when I live in East London? Especially when I bought that screen print during my party animal days of living fast in East London. It became especially morbid when increasingly more and more of my peers were losing the plot because of a lifestyle of excess and debauchery. I know I shouldn't have tempted fate,'s been four years since I've had the screenprint, three years since I've given up that lifestyle and a whole year since I've stopped indulging whatsoever...yet I'm still here and I'll well enough to tell the tales. And maybe one day I will. But for now 'Live East Die Young' remains as a reminder that although I survived the London life it could have ended so differently for me, like the many who end up being chewed up and spat out by this unforgiving city with all its dangerous temptations and deadly excess.

Breakfast tray, House of Hackney. I gave Henry an empty jewellery box for him to store his odds and ends. Yes I know its tiny and seems like hardly a generous concession given that I have three bookcases devoted just to my favourite shoes but! I had two chest of drawers built in the hallway for his overnight clothes and I cleared out half my wardrobe to make way for Regimental Vintage stock. 

I am generous!

Bougie lamp, Kartell.

I'm still looking for the perfect marble-print bedding to compliment the stark whiteness of my bedroom. Apparently the Society 6 duvet covers just don't cut it in terms of quality and the H&M one isn't just refined enough. Why is so hard to find a high-street priced duvet cover that looks like it was designed by a Scandinavian post-modernist textiles designer dressed head-to-toe in white polo neck and palazzo pants? I don't think I'm asking for much. 

For now my vintage fox fur throw adds some much needed texture to my bed while keeping the colour palette clean and minimal.

And finally, a couple of before and after shots for comparison just to show how far my bedroom has come along in one short week---

Not a bad improvement, yes? Only I could buy more furniture and make a room look more spacious. And this is why I'll never embrace minimalism, I see a blank wall as a wasted opportunity.

Thank you for reading this lengthy blog post. It's been a privilege to share with you my most personal space and hopefully you'll have gleaned something from it even if its only 'Well, now I know that having too much crap in the bedroom is not for me'. Now that this project is done and dusted (for this year at least) I'm moving on to updating my living room and my artist studio. Stay tuned for more posts on how to cram as much things as possible into challengingly small living spaces. x


  1. Love the furs, just want to snuggle them!!! Do you have any tips on making furs look a bit better, my vintage fur looks a bit like it's been hanging at the back of a stuffed wardrobe for 6 months (which it has)....

    R xx

    1. I posed your query to Henry whose death with vintage furs in his work. His advice is to put in a bin bag, put it in the freezer for 24 hours (to kill any nasties ie. bugs, get rid of odours, and also to help the loose furs fall off), then hang it as usual. Good luck! And be sure to take before and after pics! x

    2. OOPS 'dealt' not 'death'. WTF subconscious mind why you so morbid :X

    3. Excellent - thanks! Will give it a go and let you know how I get on (or send you a bill for a frozen/melted coat haha!!) XX

  2. Where's a good place to find a gilt frame like the one you have your newspaper headline in?

    1. Antique shops, auctions, or car boot sales! x

  3. Can't wait to see the living room post!

  4. So much love for this post! Totally indulge in taking a peek into the living spaces of others (: I love interior design inspirations. Well done on the wall, lovey!

  5. Thank you! Although I'm sick of my bedroom already and want to completely redo it! x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

  6. A redo, yes indeed.
    Ms. Posh luv your theatrical flair.
    Although you many beautiful, odd objects, there's an overload in that room.
    BTW, thought furs belong in cold storage?