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Add a touch of rustic charm; Using just a few coats of paint and some choice accessories, we took the feel of our rural retreat from granny's grotto to wildlife-inspired idyll. By making a few small and inexpensive changes, you can make your very own escape to the country - wherever you happen to live.

USING our own rustic cabin, this week's makeover shows how a lick of paint and the right accessories can change drab into fab without breaking the bank. Bedrooms should feel protective, escapist and personal, so why not create your own great escape? Wake your sleeping giant THE bed is the focal point so use it to suggest the look and create drama. We replaced the dated metal-framed bed with a comfortable divan from Ikea (ikea.com).

A second-hand headboard was sanded, primed and given a couple of coats of grey satinwood to match the colour used on the windows and skirting boards.

This provides uniformity and looks professional. It really is a case of how a small spend can make a big difference.

Lose the dated florals THE previous wallcovering featured a small floral pattern and was twee and dated but it was flat and in good condition.

We took a chance and painted over it, first with inexpensive white emulsion then with our pewter tone.

Painting first in white shows up any imperfections and allows you to repair holes and bubbles before you apply your more expensive colour. You'll use less paint, have a truer colour and save money - result!

Get the look with Urban Obsession from Dulux (www.dulux.co.uk).

All done with mirrors WEDGE-TYPE rooms like this can feel dark in the corners (especially away from windows) and can be difficult to dress as a central frame can look off-centre thanks to the wedge shape.

The solution is to hang mismatched antique-style mirrors.

This adds interest, bounces light into the darkest corners and just looks great.

The mirrors come from TK Maxx (tkmaxx.com).

Suggest history with furnishings WE PICKED the bedside tables for their beaten, rustic appeal - they really suggest the idea of family heirloom.

Either buy pieces like this - try the Sassy Boo Black Bedside Table, PS271 from Furnish (furnish.co.uk) - or hit the charity stores (The Salvation Army and British Heart Foundation carry great inventory) and create your own distressed look on a second-hand piece.

Sand first, clean and apply your black paint.

Leave to dry and then sand off corners and areas where you'd expect wear and tear to happen.

Clean and add a top coat of satin varnish.

Celebrate the great outdoors WE SCATTERED antler, doggy and deer cushions and topped the bed with a tartan/plaid throw to really hit home that this is a look inspired by nature and the great outdoors.

So pin down your passions, think about the mood you hope to create and accessorise accordingly.

Check out the antler-inspired home collection at Horny Beasts (hornybeasts.co.uk).

Orange wood is no good PINE cladding or panelling tends to warm up over the years, turning a not-so-glamorous shade of orange.

The simple remedy was to reach for the sander, remove the old varnish and then recolour.

We varnished over the sloping ceiling and the floor with grey finish (to neutralise) and in doing so added one of this year's coolest tones while still letting the natural wood shine through.

Have a go with Royal Interior Wood Finish - Slate Grey from Protek (protekwoodstain.co.uk).

Check out all that's new, fresh and fabulous in our world at www.colinandjustin.tv and on Twitter @colinjustin Painting first in white shows up imperfections before you add your more expensive colour

CAPTION(S):

| The dated bed, orange pine and twee floral wallpaper had to go too

| Subtle lighting, a cluster of mirrors and a tartan throw complete our stylish new look
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Apr 5, 2014
Words:591
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