‘HIS room was a Cool project’

Vivi­enne, 53, and her son Charlie have jointly trans­formed a prob­lem­atic bed­room us­ing clever zon­ing and some in­no­va­tive dec­o­ra­tive touches

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Vivi­enne Ri­ley and her son Charlie have given his bed­room a New York City vibe

Vi­brant colours and a com­pact cabin bed may be suit­able for a lit­tle boy’s room, but with my 11-year-old son Charlie rapidly out­grow­ing both his fur­ni­ture and decor, I re­alised it was time for a change,’ says Vivi­enne.

‘The room it­self was in great con­di­tion, so I hoped a quick coat of paint and new fur­ni­ture would suf­fice. How­ever, Charlie had other ideas and after some ne­go­ti­a­tion – in­clud­ing be­ing bribed with the rather du­bi­ous prom­ise of him help­ing around the house – I agreed to a to­tal re­vamp.

Work­ing side by side

I wanted Charlie’s new-look room to re­flect his tastes, but also re­main in keep­ing with the rest of our home. So, hav­ing tasked him with re­search­ing ideas on­line, I was a lit­tle bit scep­ti­cal as to his choices. But I needn’t have wor­ried. He was in­spired by a re­cent trip to Amer­ica and favoured the loft-style look. I’ve al­ways liked the in­dus­trial trend, too, and was keen on Charlie’s pref­er­ence for a high bed, as it meant we could fit a desk un­der­neath. I did, how­ever, draw the line at the graf­fiti walls he wanted, and we set­tled on a brick-ef­fect wall­pa­per in­stead.

With the prob­lem of adding a desk area neatly re­solved, the awk­ward through-room lay­out no longer seemed such an is­sue. In fact, we now had space to spare. We de­cided to di­vide it into two zones, with a con­ven­tional bed­room, plus a small ad­join­ing space for Charlie’s new drum kit.

Find­ing in­spi­ra­tion

Be­fore work be­gan, we hit the high street to look for fur­nish­ings. On a trip to Ikea we found the per­fect bed, and I also stum­bled across the idea of a stor­age wall made from mod­u­lar units. It took a lot of work to achieve the smart, stream­line fin­ish I was after, but it was worth the ef­fort as it makes the best use of the avail­able space.

For a co­he­sive look, we went for pale grey walls and vinyl floor­ing to help open up the lay­out. We wall­pa­pered match­ing

feature walls in both zones, too, which draws your eye through the en­tire area – it also in­jected that loft-style feel Charlie was after. One of my favourite features is the dra­matic black wall. It was a last-minute ad­di­tion, and I love how much it tends to surprise peo­ple. We then spray-painted the shelves and unit to match.

Bar­gain hunt

As an ebay fan, I turned to the in­ter­net to source some bud­get buys and snapped up the in­dus­trial-style lights, an Em­pire State Building sticker and a set of New York-themed can­vases. How­ever, the retro metal lock­ers that hold Charlie’s sports gear orig­i­nally lived in the hall­way.

But my loss was def­i­nitely Charlie’s gain, as it meant there was money in the bud­get for him to choose some fun ac­ces­sories, in­clud­ing time-zone clocks and stor­age trunks. This space has been trans­formed into the per­fect pad for a grow­ing boy.’


firm choice ‘From the in­stant Charlie spot­ted this metal bed, he was adamant it was the one he wanted’ TO­TAL £1,010 Turn over for my SHOP­PING LIST

quick fix ‘I’m a fan of spray paint as it’s so easy to use – it took just hours to up­date this unit’

STYLE TIP ‘Pick durable vinyl floor­ing for a prac­ti­cal solution in kids’ rooms’

‘Choose brick-ef­fect wall­pa­per for an in­stant trans­for­ma­tion’ great idea big ap­ple style ‘Charlie picked some great ac­ces­sories with a New York vibe’

ur­ban flavour ‘I used in­ex­pen­sive mod­u­lar units to cre­ate the large stor­age wall’

no mess ‘Rather than dam­age the wall­pa­per, we de­cided on mag­nets’

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