A neglected home office has been transformed into an enchanting child’s bedroom – and all it took was clever planning.

The brief

Homeowners Van Zyl and Isabel de Wet wanted to convert the outdated home office on their farm just outside Robertson into a bedroom for their two-year-old son Jaco. “Because the family was growing and there was the possibility that Jaco would get a brother or sister, I wanted to create a space suitable for a girl or a boy,” says designer Gera de Wet (right) who helped with the project.

To create the zig-zag mountain pattern behind the bed, Gera painted the entire wall with charcoal grey paint. She then used masking tape to form the ‘peaks’ and painted the ‘mountain area’ in green. A pine chest of drawers was painted and repurposed as a bedside table.

The budget

The budget was tight at about R22 000, so Gera had to work her magic. “Working with a small budget inspires you to think more creatively, and the end result is all the more rewarding,” she says. Her trick? Working with existing pieces and giving them a new lease on life. “You have to be clever about the transformation,” she says.

The project

“It’s a small room, so careful planning and measuring had to be done first,” says Gera, who got rid of some of the old built-in pressed wood cupboards to free up some space, keeping just the big corner unit for little Jaco’s clothes. Gera painted each cupboard door of the remaining unit a different shade, which she carefully selected to accentuate the wall colours, and repeated the wallpaper used on the focus wall on one of the cupboard panels. She also lifted the carpet to reveal a wooden floor underneath, but it was in a poor condition so she gave it a few coats of durable white roof paint to revive it. The brackets used to hang Jaco’s towels and jackets were placed at different heights to keep up with his growing body. “Eventually, Jaco will be able to use the top bracket and the top bookshelf,” Gera explains.

Gera incorporated an adult-sized desk from @home, complete with openings for a computer and internet cables, where Jaco can one day sit and do his homework.

Reading Nook

Because Jaco loves books, Gera created a little reading nook for him. “I designed the bookshelves so that Jaco can see the cover of each book; at his age the words on the spines mean nothing to him,” she says.

Gera also designed the Roman blind; she sourced the materials and Robertson Gordyne made them up for her.

Bespoke Look

To create a bespoke look, Gera designed some of the pieces for the room, including the small wooden storage boxes and bookshelves, and had them custom made by WoodPeckers. Everything was carefully positioned according to where it would work best.

Marquee Letter lights

The biggest DIY challenge was the marquee letter lights. “I cut out the letters as well as holes for the bulbs from hardboard. The borders around the letters were made from steel and I treated the letters with a heat-resistant spray paint. Then the cables were added and leads connected,” says Gera. The “J” stands for Jaco and the ampersand above the spare bed is for friends.


Referenced from Gallo images / Home Magazine

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