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

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When decorating rooms for children, the tendency is to use bright colors. However, bathrooms and bedrooms do not necessarily need a garish décor or a gimmicky concept to reflect a fun, playful look.

A simple use of color combined with a range of classically-styled furniture can ensure a space remains versatile for many years to come.

In this bathroom, for example, interior designer Paul Barnett has opted for clean lines, mixing them with strong, vibrant color 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. For obvious reasons, we didn't want to carry this theme through to the children's wing.

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"So, for this bathroom we used a nautical theme that's inspired by the surrounding seascape and the boats found on the busy waterfront below," says Barnett.

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

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

Functionality is further emphasized 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-colored comforter with images of yachts on it is topped with red and yellow cushions for a further burst of color. Simply styled wooden cabinetry provides a no-nonsense, boyish approach and repeats the look of the cabinetry in the bathroom.

First published date: 24 April 2003

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Credit List

Interior designer Paul Barnett, King & Teppett
Wallpaper Designers Guild
Tiles Bisbal Blanco
Vanity cabinetry Jarrah hardwood, by King & Teppett
Handbasin Caroma