‘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
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.
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.
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.’
‘WALL STICKERS ARE A GREAT WAY TO ADD IMPACT, PLUS THEY CAN EASILY BE REMOVED WITHOUT DAMAGING SURFACES IF YOUR TASTES CHANGE’
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’