Crystal Mauritz of Milnerton
writes My two boys, aged 11 and five, share a single bedroom in our small townhouse. They also share a three-quarter bed and they’d love to have bunk beds, as well as space for their own TV. The room is white with a blue focal wall against which the bed stands; the door opens towards the blue wall and there’s nothing else in the room at the moment besides their bed. How can we best use the space and create a more modern look? DIY contributor and stylist Shelly Bergh replies If space is limited, it’s important to use every available square inch wisely, including the floor and walls all the way up to the ceiling. Here are a few suggestions:
COLOUR AND DÉCOR A minimalist Scandinavian look with a simple white palette, pops of greyish-blue and natural wood will suit boys of all ages; this way, you don’t have to redecorate in a few years’ time! Add black elements in accessories such as the stools and lamps to give the room definition. Paint all the walls and ceiling white but create a focal wall in a light grey-blue such as Dulux Quartz Flint 3.
Also keep the bedding, wardrobe and blind white. You could add colour with their favourite characters in items such as scatter cushions, but I wouldn’t suggest a whole duvet set as too many bright colours will make the already small room feel even smaller and untidy.
STORAGE If possible, divide the 2m built-in wardrobe into 1m sections, allowing each boy to have their own space, and add two drawers to the bottom of each section to help keep things as neat as possible. Use storage boxes on the new wall shelves and under the bed. Add hooks behind the door and on the wall at the foot of the bed to keep towels, jackets and schoolbags off the floor.
FURNITURE PLACEMENT It’s a great idea to invest in bunk beds. I suggest placing them lengthways against the accent wall with the head against the wall with the window. Use black wall bands and brackets to install shelving on the wall space next to the door – install the wall bands all the way from the ceiling to the floor and five 30cm pine shelves across for storage and books.
One of the shelves (at about the halfway mark) should allow space for a flat-screen TV – position it in such a way that both boys can see it from their beds. The bottom shelf can be used as a desk and should be 60cm wide and about 76cm from the floor; use bigger brackets to allow for the extra weight.
We suggest you re-hang the door so it opens towards the wall instead of into the room, so the built-in desk and shelves don’t end up behind the door in a cramped little corner. Add desk lamps and two stools with no backs, so they fit under the desk and can be stored out of the way when not in use.
Add a rug in front of the bed to create a space for playing with toys on the floor. Replace the curtains with a simple white roller blind that fits in the recess of the window to make it less bulky.
The bedroom Dylan (left) and Dean share is 3 x 3m and their mom Crystal wants to maximise the small space.