Ask Alex Decorating Q&A time
Finding the right piece to make a splash in any space – from kids’ rooms to bathrooms – is all about research and creative thinking, says Alex
We are currently updating our wee boy’s bedroom from baby friendly to a more grown-up space. I have a clear idea of what I want it to look like but I’m having trouble sourcing bunk beds. We’re after something stable and solid that can stand up to the rough and tumble of little boys but also looks stylish. Are you able to give us some options?
Naomi and Dave Dawson, Masterton
Like any furniture, you tend to get what you pay for and beds aren’t cheap, especially well-made ones. I have picked out some awesome models for kids’ rooms that I know stand the test of time and look good, which is what we want. An alternative to purchasing new would be to buy a secondhand bed and breathe life into it with a new mattress and fresh coat of paint. Depending on the cost, getting secondhand bunk beds professionally sprayed in a two-pot lacquer is a great option and you also get to choose a colour that will suit the space. Here are a few other considerations for bunks: > Ensure they meet New Zealand safety standards. > Think about the size difference between single and king single (which is actually a double).
> Consider the cost versus the amount of use you will get out of bunks – is there a younger sibling or family member to pass them down to when they are outgrown?
> Find a style that suits your budget, aesthetic and function.
> For something new, try the following:
1. Dream Cloud loft bed, AU$1595 plus shipping, from plyroom.com.au.
2. Saturn bunk bed, $1289, from Windmill Kids Furniture.
3. Bunkboy bunk, $3490, from Meluka.
We are planning a family bathroom renovation and thought it would be really fun to throw a bit of colour at this space. We mostly want it to be white but with pops of colour. Can you suggest how we could do this without it looking like an overthe-top rainbow?
The Garden family, Hawke’s Bay
Adding colour into a neutral space such as a bathroom is about balance and being clever with your colour palette. It’s also about planning ahead (which you are – big tick), deciding what your colours will be and sticking to a plan. Aim for three or four colours that sit right with you and let those be your guide.
Unfortunately, chrome is still the major player when it comes to tapware and bathroom accessories, but ask your local supplier what’s available as they often don’t hold colourful items in stock but can order them in. Coloured tapware, sinks and even toilets are making a comeback, which is refreshing and allows us to be a little more creative in our bathrooms. If there’s something that doesn’t come in the colour you are after, you could try to customise it. I have had heated towel rails, hooks and toilet-roll holders spray-painted to really great effect. If all that seems far too permanent, there’s always the good ol’ coloured towels and bathmat to fall back on! Try these suppliers to get your mitts on some colourful accessories:
> Heritage Hardware for coloured sinks.
> The Kitchen Hub for bright taps from Astra Walker.
> Tessuti for Missoni striped towels.
> Me and My Trend for wall hooks.
> Bolt of Cloth for hand towels.
sink, $1260.42, from Heritage Hardware. Missoni towel,
$125, from Tessuti.