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Snake it up a bit; Making more of what you've got is key in budget-conscious times but second-hand doesn't have to mean second best. Use your imagination to turn trash into flash and boring into beautiful. This week, we transform a drab white sideboard into an exotic bedroom feature.

Get more from your space by combining sitting room with guest room thanks to these sofa beds. Stylish and simple to operate, guests can visit and be assured of a warm welcome without getting in the way.

SCRIMP: Beddinge sofa bed PS235 from Ikea, www.ikea.com Whip off the loose cover and fold the sofa flat to turn this modern two-seater into a double bed. The foam mattress is comfy enough for guest use and the optional extra of an under-mount storage box (PS20) will keep quilts etc, out of sight when not in use.

SPEND: House by John Lewis Smart large sofa beds PS299 from John Lewis, www.johnlewis.com This robust three-seater has a quilted foam and fibre filling, that's firm and friendly enough for all your seating and guest bed needs. Simply fold down for use. This one is big enough for the whole family to crash out on for movie night at home.

SPLURGE: Denver sofa bed PS399 from Dwell, http://dwell.co.uk New for spring 2013, this is another simple fold-down option in grey - the new beige. This one sports tapered, timber legs for a slightly retro, mid-century, modern look that's bang on-trend. Leggy and lovely - you'll sleep well here.

GIVING NEW LIFE You don't have to take things as they're given. Upcycling is big news this year so have a rummage around your own home - or trawl second-hand stores - for items to make over. Practise on a broken or discarded item before transferring your new skills to something you really care about transforming. That way, you can avoid any costly mistakes and have fun into the bargain.

BACK TO BLACK The white drawer unit was serviceable but boasted about as much appeal as Hannibal Lecter at a speed dating convention. To upcycle, we removed the handles (try them to one side) and painted the entire cabinet deepest satin black. Use a multi-surface primer, then, using a gloss roller, build up your colour, coat by coat.

Use furniture & cupboard paint, PS19.29 a tin, from International Paints, www.international-paints.co.uk A TOUCH OF THE EXOTIC Next, using border adhesive, we affixed snakeskin wallpaper panels to each of the drawer fronts, taking care to match up the pattern lines for each side-by-side drawer. Using snake or crocodile print wallpapers will give your furnishings an exotic quality and really make them stand out. Get the look with a roll of Galerie African Queen (423112) wallpaper, PS49, from www.selectwallpaper.co.uk STUD FINDER We left the snakeskin panels to dry and then attached metallic strip upholstery studs around each perimeter to add another texture and give our sideboard some sparkle and Rock of Ages chic.

Snakeskin and studs may sound like a Cher album but it can just as easily be the inspiration for a room style too. Pick up upholstery pin strips from Jackson's Upholstery Suppliers, Argyle Street, Glasgow 0141 221 0178.

TURN ON YOUR TV Just in case you're wondering - yes, that is a picture frame around the TV and doesn't it look amazing? As long as framing is lightweight and doesn't interfere with heat passage or controls, this is a clever way to visually integrate a basic appliance. Picture framing is light and perfect for this, so measure your TV dimensions carefully, pick a frame and let a framer, such as The Framing Workshop (www.framingscotland.co.uk), do the rest.

EXTRA DETAILING We took our design cues from the metallic studded detailing and used accessories that tied in with the steel metal look to bring out the very best in our sideboard. Sticking to one finish will give your project continuity and an overall identity, so it's well worth doing. Cox & Cox have great mercuried glass candle sticks that are perfect for this look, for PS33 a pair, from www.coxandcox.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 17, 2013
Words:643
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