Some of our greatest treasures are the storytellers, musicians and designers who have never lost their childhood imagination. Their ability to automatically connect to the whimsy and adventure of a child's world brings enchantment that would otherwise be lost. When asked to decorate kids' rooms, I learned long ago that the best results came from interviewing the child rather than the parent. Their flair for colour and quirky design ideas is fresh and exciting.
A company called xo-inmyroom has tapped into this special niche. While their goal is to show us the pleasure of decorating a child's room with beautiful things, the furniture they create exceeds this. The pieces are all handcrafted from reclaimed lumber, the designs are simple, rustic and fantastic. Shown here is Lili's room, featuring a child's desk I would like to have the pleasure of sitting at in my own home. You can imagine filling the drawers with school supplies, sharpened pencils, rulers, notebooks and your own hidden treasures. Along the back is a flower garden carved from wood and brought to life with paint. Trestle legs give it the aspect of a simple work table, strong and ready to serve. Check out their website and you'll think a little more outside the box when you start your next project.
Dear Debbie: My bathroom is fairly large and has a fan that is inadequate for the space. I rent the house and the landlord is not interested in putting in a larger fan. Unfortunately, I have a major problem with recurring mould. I've scrubbed but the stains still show. What would you advise?
Dear Trudy: This is a two-step answer. First you have to get rid of the existing mould, and then take steps so that you don't get mould building up on a continuing basis. Try scrubbing the spots with liquid bleach. Wipe it on, let it stand for a few minutes, then wipe it off and clean with soap and water. Allow the walls to dry for several hours. Then apply a high-hide primer that is designed to cover stains so that they won't bleed through your new paint job. Finally, paint the walls with a medium or semi-gloss sheen. The higher the sheen, the more resistant the paint will be to moisture. If you have a few specific areas that are always mouldy, then it's worth taking a few minutes to hand dry them after you have showered. Also, if privacy is not an issue, leave the bathroom door open when showering. This will greatly reduce any steam and thus curb the growth of mould and mildew.
Dear Debbie: I recently had my master bedroom painted, but didn't paint the adjoining bath due to work being done in it. Is there anything that can be added to the remaining paint to make it suitable to use on the bathroom walls?
Dear Sandra: I do not know of any product you can add to your existing paint to make it suitable for a bathroom. Whether you need it or not, depends on the sheen of the paint in the bedroom. Usually this would be matte or flat, which is not good for a bathroom as it absorbs water. You can match up colours in a higher sheen of regular paint, or buy bathroom paint, which is designed to resist moisture.
Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to email@example.com. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit Debbie's new website, www.debbietravis.com.