Before and After: My Little Boy's Room Makeover

Little Boys Room Makeover

A little over a year ago we bought our home at an estate sale. We bought the house "as is." All the rooms in the house were about as bad and outdated as the above picture shows. This room had 40-year-old matted carpet, stained velvet damask wall paper, and an industrial sized burn-your-hand-off radiator...not to mention all sorts of other issues. Right when we bought the house we were in the process of adopting a 7-year-old boy, so we decided to focus "aesthetically" on the bedrooms and upstairs hallway. Most importantly our son needed a fun room in his forever home.    


Here is how the only finished room in my house turned out. My kiddo loves color so the decision to paint the walls white might seem odd, but the room must be able to transition. We have a long renovation list of painting, so needing to repaint in a couple of years really isn't wise. From a design perspective, I knew the white walls would give the mix of colors and patterns I planned to put in the room some balance. The room was inspired by the buffalo check curtains. I found the upholstery fabric at a fabric warehouse.


I was on a major budget since we were upgrading the bedroom windows, floors, drywall, and the overall house HVAC. I saved money by using what I already had for the larger pieces. My hoarding finally paid off. Our adoption took over a year, so I also had some time to patiently search for deals. The rug is a carpet tile rug from the same local carpet warehouse that I found the commercial grade tiles for this rug. I was originally looking for a black solid rug but I liked the lightness the small white texture added. I also liked the price and durability. It is a 9 X 15 for about $160 after I bought extra tiles if needed to switch them out. Patience is the key for good deals. If you know what you want early on you can be patient and purposeful in your purchases.

Little Boys Room Makeover

The loveseat was actually bought three years ago on Craigslist for $50. I had no place for it then, but I new it was a piece I could use for a long time and reupholster when needed. It is actually a sleeper loveseat which allows this room to become another room for guests or visiting cousins. 

Little Boys room makeover

Here is an overview of the entire room. The shelving system is an Ikea hack using their inexpensive Ivar shelving units. We bought only the side units and added our own shelves cut to size. Because of the large base trim, we wall mounted them and painted them the wall color. I love this storage because it can transition with the room. Imagine a full-sized bed where the sofa is, the twin bed replaced by a desk in the big opening. Perfect teenage room, right?  The light fixture is a vintage mid century light who was hiding at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. It was pretty "as is" in its wood and antique brass "vintageness" but felt busy when we hung it up. A can of white spray paint makes it a statement fixture that blends.

Little Boys Room Makeover

The mid century bed was found at an estate sale and the Ikea Rast next to it was the only dresser small enough depth wise to fit cohesively within the shelving unit. Inspired by all the Rast hacks, I painted it. 

Little Boys Room Makeover

The dresser is one we have had for a long time, found at a thrift store. My son loves to draw and color so I hung some clothesline to display all this masterpieces. The calendar has been a life saver for me as a mom. It not only helps him understand his months, dates and days of the week, but it has also helped him be a little more responsible as he sees our family schedule for the month.

Little Boys Room Makeover

Books and toys are the cheapest things to style with in kids room. They add color and are useable. The jar is what we call the "treasure" jar. He picks up "treasures" everywhere and to manage the stuff that comes home, I created a jar for it all. He can fill it to his hearts desire but when the jar gets full, he has to make room for new ones.


I love this little picture-ledge gallery wall because it is so transitional. Since the art and photos are not attached to the wall I can change it up as he grows.

Little Boys Makeover

I am kind of obsessed with this lhama print. My son and I both smile at it daily. The sunrise photo is a custom painting from a local artist. It was given to my son the day he moved into our home. It is a painting of the sunrise on the day he was adopted. It makes me tear up at times so the silly lhama provides comic relief.

I often find myself choosing to linger in his room and just look around. Mostly because I am thankful for him and our story, but also because I love how it turned out. What I love most about the design of this room is it is anchored in timeless "grown up" pieces, yet the color and texture of all things "little boy" gives it a since of whimsy. We all need a little bit of whimsy in our life...don't we?

If you loved this before and after you have to check out this living room makeover from Curbly. Are you on a budget like me? Here are my tips to finding things at estate sales. Have you renovated a room for a kiddo? Please tell us about your favorite elements in their room.


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Ashley on Oct 17, 2015:

wonderful story, wonderful mom, wonderful boy and wonderful room!

Jennifer Farley on Oct 15, 2015:

Thanks Tracey! I have a hard time knowing the difference between a Lhama and an Alpaca but I guess you might be right! I got the print at Hobby Lobby. I looked all over online to drop you a link but I couldn't find it. HL put all their inventory online so if you have one near you go and check the store. I do have the item # for you. This should help you if you need to call because you don't have one near you OR keep you from spending hours in the store looking for a needle in a haystack. Item #5669668.  I hope this helps.

Tracey on Oct 15, 2015:

Thanks for sharing!  Gotta know where that alpaca (not a llama) print came from as I've GOT TO HAVE IT.

Jennifer Farley on Oct 15, 2015:

Thank you Becky and Alicia!  I am glad you liked it.

Becky PS on Oct 13, 2015:

So much love and wonderfulness in one room! Great plan. Fabulous story.

alicia on Oct 13, 2015:

What a darling room!

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