Ask Alice: How do I liven up a bathroom?

Do you have an interiors dilemma? Consult our resident specialist
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The Independent Online

I have a plain white bathroom with standard fittings. I would love to give it a bit more life without spending a fortune. What do you suggest, please?

Nicky Thompson, by e-mail.

A bathroom is the perfect place for a bright and funky floor. Tarkett produces New Generation, a lovely range of sheet vinyl in brilliant patterns from retro florals to simple graphic squares, including the beautiful, leafy Hawaii. It's available in four colourways, my favourite being a blue and brown combination.

For a stunningly bright floor, you could choose Hekto, a pattern of large squares available in hot reds and oranges. Available in widths of up to 4m, from Allied Carpets, £13.97 per square metre plus fitting, these will breathe a tornado of new life into your bathroom. You can accessorise with towels, plastic flowers and ducks, and a mirror in a painted frame to match your chosen floor.

We recently bought a basement flat. The previous owners converted the vaults under the pavement to be used as either a spare room or office. We would like to turn it in to a spare room but due to the unusual size of the conversion, we would need a bed that is 170cm long. Does anyone make beds to measure or adjustable beds at a reasonable price? We would love something in a French style.

Amanda Bolton, West Kensington.

Redhouse (020-7987 8664; www.redhouseonline.com) produces a range of beds that can be adapted to suit your individual requirements. Wrought iron beds begin at around £400, with a surcharge of about £50 for making the bed to your required length.

They will also supply mattresses. Alternatively, you could commission a local carpenter (the Guild of Master Craftsmen, 01273 478449, should be able to recommend someone in your area) to produce a wooden bed to fit your space, in the style of your choice.

Norris Bedding Ltd (020-7274 5306; www.norrisbedding.co.uk) can then supply you with a beautiful, handmade pocket-sprung mattress to fit. A 90x170cm mattress will cost you £270.

We recently brought back a beautiful kelim [Oriental rug] from our holiday in Turkey, which the cat has taken a fancy to. We thought it would stand a better chance of surviving if we mounted it on the wall. Do you have any suggestions for wall mounting it? My research, in local shops and on the internet, has so far drawn a blank.

Linda Blackwell, Gloucestershire.

You need to approach a professional carpet-finishing company and ask them to attach a device to the top edge of your rug. Tags or a pipe made from jute webbing will be hand-stitched, very carefully, through the backing of the rug.

A simple metal rod curtain pole with plain ends or decorative finials can then be slid through this, ready to hang on to a pair of hooks in the wall.

e-mail: askalice@independent.co.uk

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