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This child's bathroom is bright and functional but not babyish


When decorating children's living spaces, the natural tendency is to use bright colours. However, bathrooms and bedrooms do not necessarily need a garish décor or a gimmicky concept to reflect a fun, playful look.

In this bathroom, for example, interior designer Paul Barnett has opted for clean lines, mixing them with strong, vibrant colour and simple patterned fabrics. Forming part of a waterfront apartment, the bathroom is part of the children's area which accommodates the owner's seven-year-old son when he comes to visit.

"The overall décor throughout the home is relatively traditional, and is designed to evoke the feeling of a serious gentleman's club. So for this bathroom we used a nautical theme that's inspired by the surrounding seascape and the boats found on the busy wharf below," says Barnett.

A jarrah vanity features latticework on the cabinet fronts to resemble duckboards found on yachts. For continuity, the large mirror above the sink has been detailed in the same way.

White tiles on the floor and splashback, plus a wicker chair painted in white provide crisp contrast to the rich tones of the wood. Light-textured drapes with blue horizontal stripes add privacy while filtering sunlight. A series of small windows can be opened for ventilation.


Functionality is further emphasised by a chrome heated towel rail, and roomy cabinets with shelves and drawers underneath the vanity. A shower cubicle at the opposite end of the room and a toilet complete the space.

The nautical theme has been continued into the adjoining bedroom. Here, vertically striped wallpaper in two shades of blue adds a sense of vibrancy to the room. A multi-coloured duvet with images of yachts on it is topped with red and yellow cushions for a further burst of colour. Simply styled wooden cabinetry provides a no-nonsense, boyish approach and repeats the look of the cabinetry in the bathroom.

First published date: 02 July 2003

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Credit List

Interior designer Paul Barnett, King & Teppett (Palmerston North)
Wallpaper Designers Guild
Tiles Bisbal Blanco from Tile Warehouse Palmerston North
Vanity cabinetry King & Teppett
Handbasin Caroma