Bringing The Old Into The New With A Patchwork Quilt

See how to incorporate old belongings with new ideas to give your room the ultimate makeover... read more

The lovely Fionnuala from Three Sons Later talks us through how she has used her handmade patchwork quilt as the main inspiration for her new, guest bedroom makeover.

Patchwork is something I used to be very passionate about. Self-taught, I spent months and months working on hand-stitching a quilt for my bed.  I began by cutting out hexagons and painstakingly sticking them onto templates before assembling them into a floral pattern.  Just as I was beginning to think I had begun an endless task I discovered Laura Ashley pre-cut patchwork squares. A revelation! They were so quick to stitch together compared to the hexagons and before I knew it I had my quilt made.

1 That was back in the mid-nineties when patchwork was trendy. Over the years patchwork has faded from fashion but has kept its homey feel. When we decided to makeover our guest room recently, I decided to use my old patchwork quilt as the central element to pull the room together. Pinks, greens and florals were what I wanted to go for. With white walls and a white bed already in the room, I felt I could mix and match colours and styles without the room seeming chaotic.

8 Given the history of my quilt, turning to Laura Ashley for the bits and bobs I needed to give the guest room a fresh look was the obvious choice. After a browse through their online shop, I soon had several items chosen which would fit in well with my concept for the room.

5 Like many families, we haven’t the space to have one room given over solely to housing overnight guests. While, having emigrated, we do get quite a flow of house guests throughout the year, ninety percent of the time the room is used for other purposes, predominantly for my art and craft supplies and projects.

As a result, it has come to resemble an atelier more than a guest room. What it needed, as well as fresh look, was for a few touches to be added to make our guests more a home. When staying away from home you don’t just want a spot to rest your head. You need a set of towels, somewhere to hang up your clothes, and a mirror to check how bad your bed head is before venturing out of the room.

11 With my quilt on the bed, against pale pillows and walls, the room looks simple and comfy. There’s a salvaged vintage coat stand in the room that has been made all the more useful with the addition of a set of pink padded hangers for guests’ clothes. A matching set of towels adds an extra bit of comfort and ties in with the pale pink hangers. Since there are only skylights in the room, giving it a proper airing isn’t all that easy. In case the air gets a little stale, I have left a bottle of delicately scented room spray in there too. To keep the room from veering into country cottage territory, I’ve added in some metal and glass in the form of a brass-edged hexagonal mirror. This both brings the room up to date and adds light by reflecting the natural light from the skylights opposite.

10 Once all the comfort and functionality had been taken care of, I turned my mind to luxury. On the rare occasions, I am away, I love to have a scented candle and a bottle of something fizzy, if only mineral water, waiting for me on my arrival. With the room all freshened up, I added that welcoming touch with a scented candle in a glass holder set next to coasters and glasses on the desk. I can pop a bottle of something appropriate into the room before my guests arrive.

3 Determined to keep the guest room as pleasant for future guests as it is for our next visitors, I added a mini diffuser and scented candle gift set to my Laura Ashley order. That way I can have a brand new scent for each new guest.

4 What are your guest room essentials for creating a home away from home?

How gorgeous is this patchwork quilt? Have you got something handmade that you have worked into your home decor? Let us know what this special object is below or @LauraAshleyUK



Could you please advise me on the purchase of pre-cut patchwork squares to make a quilt?

Shame about the pre cut L A patchwork fabric not being available , with patchwork still popular it would be great if you produced these again, I would buy them to make a quilt.

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