Expert tips from the judges: The second bedroom

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Expert tips from the judges: The second bedroom (Image: Thinkstock)

The Block NZ's judge Stewart Harris shares his top five guest bedroom design and renovation tips.

Plus, he tells us what the contestants got right... and wrong, in their second bedrooms.

What are your top five tips for people renovating their second bedroom?

The second bedroom is often the guest bedroom in a home, so I would always recommend:

1. A split king bed, so you can make it up for friends/couples/kids as a king or two singles — or go for as big a bed as possible. You should treat your friends when they come to stay with a quality bed and some beautiful fresh linen, so their stay is memorable.

2. Somewhere to drop a suitcase where you don’t have to unpack necessarily. You don’t want your guests to stay too long though, so don’t overdo things.

3. Good blackout window treatments to keep the kids sleeping late, or your guests in bed as long as possible in the morning!

4. A place to sit comfortably, be it at a desk or in a bedroom chair. Sometimes guests and hosts need their own space.

5. Good lighting beside the bed, that’s a must for any bedroom. Maybe individual reading lights that don’t spill light over to the other person trying to sleep.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when renovating their second bedroom?

Generally not enough attention is paid to the flexibility of the space.

What did the contestants do well in this room?

Libby and Ben provided individual areas: a bed, a desk and a great bay window, good storage, shelving and the drama of the large bedhead. The angle poise lights were adapted to sit on top of the bedhead, giving good directional lighting, and they managed to create a good mix of contemporary, industrial design that was resolved and inviting.

What did the contestants do badly in this room?

The other contestants either tried too hard, creating a mix of looks and styles that didn’t mesh together, or played things too safe and didn’t give the room sufficient personality. With encouragement they all lifted the game the next week.

What areas should you spend more on when renovating this part of the house?

Spend an appropriate amount on a good quality bed and bed linen. Good well-planned storage is always money well spent, particularly in smaller homes, and set aside some money for a dramatic feature that will impress friends and family, be it some interest wallcovering, thick velvet drapes, arresting artwork, or magnificent gilt mirror.

Find out more about Stewart Harris and his company Martin Hughes Design.



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