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Steve's room

Steve's room once totally lacked lustre. It was actually the very first room to be completed - a week into the renovation. The total cost, which includes blinds, floor treatments and lighting, adds up to no more than fifteen hundred. From bland beginnings, the room's evolved into a suave and sophisticated space.

Kirsten:I chose the theme 'Gentlemen's Den' for Steve's room as a good contrast to the other two bedrooms. The grey-blue stripe identifies with a smart masculine feel, and the cream is the warm base for the entire house. Silver, in the stencil adds a modern touch.

Stripes personalise a room and add unlimited creativity and the chance to individualise. They add pattern that can be either modern or traditional and are usually a cheaper option to using wallpaper.

A few simple rules to follow when doing stripes:
- Stripes will elongate the direction they follow. 
- Vertical stripes will make a room seem taller and narrower. 
- Horizontal stripes can make a room seem shorter and wider.

Process and tips:
- Choose your starting point carefully
- Measure the distances consistency carefully 
- A spirit level will save a lot of time  
- Mark lines lightly with a sharp knife (as a lead pencil mark will be hard to cover or erase) 
- For most efficient striping choose a painting tool a similar size to the stripe width.

- Draw desired pattern on a quartered triangle of paper 
- Cut out a prototype on paper to check the effect 
- Use this positive to cut a negative stencil out of a thin plastic sheet 
- When painting do a test first 
- Use removable adhesive on the underside of stencil to eliminate movement 
- Spray at a right angle for a sharper line

Suede bedhead
A bedhead helps structure a bedroom by giving vertical strength to the room's most dominant piece of furniture. I chose this modern and simplistic version for Steve's room so that it doesn't fight the strength of pattern in the stripe & stencil. The dark blue suede fabric is a rich tonal match to the grey-blue, and the olive bed linen is a subtle but luxurious contrast. 

So you need two lengths of a sturdy material like pine. I used a 25 x 60mm piece, almost as long as the width of the bedhead (approx 1400mm - queen bedhead = 1500mm), then cut a 45 degree mitre across the length of both. You fix one length to the wall with the angle coming up and out toward you and the other on the back of the bedhead with the angle upside-down, so when you slide the bedhead down the angles meet and friction holds them tight!

Hearth, tile - paint effect
When the existing hearth is uninteresting you can either tile or decorate with an effect. In our case the timber surround is in good condition and matches the mantle so is worth keeping, but tiling would mean having to raise the surround to match the height of the tiles.  A tile effect with paint will create similar impact to tiling but may be easier, quicker and less expensive.

Strip mantle
To reveal the original timber of the mantle we painted on paint stripper and scraped the old paint off. Always read the instructions well as paint stripper is dangerous and should be used carefully. Always wear heavy-duty gloves and avoid skin contact or breathing too many fumes. Ventilate the room well if you are unable to do the stripping outside, and wear a mask and safety glasses.