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Makeover - Boy's room

I should have shared the makeovers we had around our current house, so you will definitely see more of these in the coming weeks. We moved to our current house in 2014 and have done most of the work early on, but guess what, I keep changing things around and repainting when I have some free time. Today I have a boys room makeover to share! My son's room was the first one to have ready when we moved in, but at the same time, it's the one that is changed more often as he grows up! Here's his bedroom marked in blue.

The bedroom is facing north but has a very large - almost wall to wall - window, so it gets lots of natural light. When we moved in, there was brown carpet in the room (in fact across all the first floor), purple/blue walls and a ceiling fan. This is an actual photo of the room that we received from the Estate Agent, although when we looked at the house, it was completely empty of furniture. A blank (make that purple) canvas.



When we moved in 2014, our son was just turning 5. He was - and still is - a whirling little dervish who loves making Lego structures and who reads lots of books. He is also moving a lot in his sleep. So here were the thinks to consider (and let's see how the room transforms into what it looks like today).

1/ Practicality - Kids spend a lot of time in their bedroom. So if you would like a bed with two side tables, I would say, think again. They need to have a big enough area in their room for play (and keep the mess in, unless you prefer the mess in the living room?) and they need to be safe from rolling off the bed (although you can put safety barriers on the bed to avoid that). So the bed had to be tacked against a wall.

2/ Comfort - While you want to create something that channels your toddler's wild imagination, you also want the room to feel like a relaxing place to be to ensure a good night's sleep. Too many bright colours or murals of woods with elves and witches can turn night time into a nightmare.

3/ Ease of cleaning - I love cream berber carpets in bedrooms but they get dirty easily and toddlers are prone to accidents. I was not ready to deal with orange juice or other weird accidents on cream carpets. So we opted for wooden floor and added an area rug for him to comfortably sit on while playing. Some area rugs can easily be washed too!

Mood board


Make a mood board of colours, schemes, designs that inspire you, to see if they go well together. Based on my considerations above, I was looking to have the bed tacked against a wall, have lots of soothing blue in the room, add some fun elements and retain some space for toys and the endless books.

Wallpaper in a kids room


This could be a serious miss, and I would never dare this. Kids are notorious for changing their mind all the time about the things they like. Why risk painting a mural of their favourite cartoon character, when they could start liking someone else in 6 months time. The same goes for wallpaper which is kind of permanent (too much trouble to remove). If you like wallpaper, stripes are always a great option, as are removable stickers with dots, triangles or clouds. If they grow out of them, you just peel them off! Here are some options for wallpaper that will grow with your kid. The first four are all by Cole & Son, the horses by Barneby Gates and the stripes by Designers Guild.

Makeover stages


The first thing to do was to remove the artex from the ceiling. That creates some serious mess on the floor and you could have a few bits of plaster flying to walls. As I was going to replace the carpet with wooden flooring, I decided to leave the carpet in while the plasterer worked his magic on the ceiling. Here's the ideal order of tasks.

  • Remove ceiling lights and any railings/nails from the walls.

  • Skim over artex (takes 1 day to complete a room and 4 days to completely dry out depending on conditions. You can speed this up by turning on the heat or having a small radiator face the ceiling).

  • Paint the ceiling (you may have spillage on the floor, so always protect the floor with old bed sheets or plastic covers)

  • Paint the walls

  • Remove the carpet and lay new flooring while walls dry out.

In our case because we were in so much of a hurry, as soon as skimming was completed and while the plaster dried we went in and painted the room then installed the new floor. When the ceiling was dry, we painted that as well.

Right: Using you mom as free labour is totally acceptable if she's been pestering you earlier for wanting to get involved. Mine accepts payment in extra spicy thai food and lots of hugs and kisses from Junior. That definitely did not break the bank!

The colours we used were Dulux Steel Symphony 1 for the theme wall and Steel Symphony 6 for the remainder room as I did not want a high contrast (which I would have gotten with white). We also went for a low sheen instead of matt paint as it is easier to clean too.

Needless to say I ordered Dulux Trade as I have found it more enduring over time. As decorator Dean Stansfield told me once: stay away from tins of paint with fluffy dogs. Get the plain tins (trade) as they do the job much better. 'Tis true. Want to know what else gets the job done better? Hiring professionals! Oh yes!

The reveal


The end result was a room filled with colour but in moderation . I added some grown up art on his wall and laid his bookcase on the long side so he could reach all his books. When he grows, we can turn it upside to make more space for a desk. By the way, I opted out of having a desk in there at the moment as we do most of the reading/work in my office. No point having furniture that take up time and don't get used! In fact, part of my long IKEA MICKE desk is Junior's and will be going back to his room in a couple years!

Personalised 'Fun This Way' Illuminated Canvas, works with batteries,; Lego Head box; Robot poster, IKEA; NBM Noor chair, A Splash of Colour. Colour coordinating the bookcase is a hapless task and they just go and mix the books within a days time. I give up.

The bedspread is from ZARA Junior. The yellow throw is from TK MAXX. The area rug is handmade in Greece and is reversible (different colours on the other side). It cost around Eur40. Only. The side table is an Ebay find which I painted white to match the bed and added colour on the knobs.

Choose a low pile rug for your kids room as it makes it easier to hoover and your kid can find all their little Lego pieces on it. With shaggy rugs Lego pieces get lost easily!

This shade is the Benedict Lawn from HOKOLO London. I already had a perspex base available so just added the yellow shade which gives a fantastic glow when lit. The cotton ball lights are from Cotton Ball Lights UK, in style: Circus. The bog blue cushions are also from ZARA home. I also used the Mini Robotica curtains from John Lewis which are in a similar colour way (indigo). They are also black out which is perfect for kids rooms!

As my son grows up, I will be able to replace his curtains , the robot print, the cotton ball lights and the knobs on his side table to give it a more grown up feel. Investing in a bed that will see them through their early teens as opposed to a really low and smaller bed is also a money saving option in the long term. So, what do you think!?

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