30 Jan, 2010

Interiors: Tales of the unexpected

Posted by: admin In: Guardian

Fancy an armchair in your bathroom or a bath in your bedroom? Then just do it – you’d be surprised at how well furniture works out of its usual context

Armchair in a bathroom

Armchairs don’t usually furnish bathrooms – dampness issues aside, few of us have a large-enough space. But size is no ­problem for owner Catherine Conway. “It’s huge – the same size as the kitchen,” she says of her bathroom. “Also, it’s the warmest room in the house, so I spend a lot of time in here. This is my gran’s armchair, and I often sit in it with a magazine when I get out of the bath. Friends sometimes sit in it, too, while I’m in the bath and chat. Is that a bit weird?”

Kitchen cabinet in a bedroom

Cabinets left over from a kitchen ­refit? If they’re as charming as these 50s English Rose models, use them in a retro-themed child’s ­bedroom – here, they serve as a sideboard. And they’re strangely ­resistant to the scuffs and spillages of a small person’s life, too. Try eBay, salvo.co.uk or source-antiques.co.uk for similar units. Salvage units come in a variety of colours ­including off-white, pistachio and pink, and vary in price depending on condition.

Bath in a day-bedroom

Designer Gill Richardson did not think twice about what to do with the small anteroom at the top of the “old, squeaky staircase” in her Grade II-listed Bristol Georgian townhouse. She has turned it into a “girlie ­relaxation space”, complete with bath tub (from victorianbathrooms4u.com), plush day-bed and hexagonal-­textured wardrobe built by a ­carpenter friend. “I love the ­juxtaposition of utilitarian tub and elegant chaise,” she says. “A tub in a bathroom is just a tub. But in a sort of bedroom, it’s more exciting.”

Office furniture in a bedroom

This boy’s bedroom sits on an open-plan ­mezzanine within a cosy, wood-beamed converted church hall on the Isle of Wight. Its owner, Helen Cunningham, explains the thinking behind it: “We wanted to furnish the space in a more ­masculine way, to give it a different feel from the rest of the cottage,” she says. So she turned to an ­industrial steel sideboard from Ikea (PS cabinet, £65, 0845 358 3364, ikea.com) of the sort ­normally found in home offices. “Its clean lines work well in this small ­bedroom,” says Cunningham. “It is the only thing in the cottage that is not vintage.”

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