Dé­cor dilemma

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THE PROB­LEM

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

CON­TACT shelly­bergh@gmail.com

THE SO­LU­TION

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The bed­room Dy­lan (left) and Dean share is 3 x 3m and their mom Crystal wants to max­imise the small space.

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