If I described a piece of furniture as gothic, what would you imagine?

It might be because I watched the Beauty and the Beast remake recently (without Dame Angela, it could never have been quite as good) but I picture a magnificent, slightly scary room with heavy curtains and dim lighting. I have learnt, however, that there is a place for gothic, dark wood furniture in a modern home.


The image you’re looking at is my guest bedroom. The bed and side table were from Levenshulme antiques village in Manchester, which is excellent if you haven’t been there already (don’t forget to haggle). You could go to an auction, although beds don’t crop up as frequently as sideboards, wardrobes etc. This one required me to buy a ‘special’ mattress (translation ‘a mattress made for static caravans’) but it is SO pretty, it’s worth it. I love the carving in the wood and the toppers on the posts, which look a bit like pine cones.

For a while, I thought a fun feature wall with a bright pattern would look good behind it, but actually, I now think that simplicity is key. The bed is the feature of the room, and the things you choose to go with it should complement it but not steal its thunder. White, beige, cream – they’re all good bases for the walls and carpet. Then you can add some modern touches and splashes of colour to bring it up to date. The light is from Dunelm, the throw (my favourite) is from Home Sense, as are the tall vase and (faux) flowers.

We’re not quite finished with this room yet, but progress is progress. Next, we’ll be adding a mirror above the bed, a small Victorian mahogany desk and a matching chest of drawers (which we’re going to bid on at auction next week). Some quirky decorative cushions and an eye-catching light fitting will follow, and we’ll be pretty much there. A few candles and other decorative bits and pieces will complete the fresh, comfortable feel – and all without renaming this part of the house ‘the west wing’.