He’s A Big Kid Now: A Boy’s Room Grows Up

I’m so happy to share that our house is free of another popcorn ceiling and ugly ceiling fan. We finally got around to working on our son’s room. He turns 10 in a few months and he’s had this glowing orange room since he was 4. Besides doing the ceiling, our other motivation was getting Josh a bigger, nicer bed. He’s gonna be a tall guy and the twin bed with a hard foot board won’t be comfortable for him when his feet are hanging off the end. Here is what his room looked like before.

Josh's Room Before

I will confess this picture was from quite a while ago and his room wasn’t nearly as neat when we started working on it. My other confession is that this project was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I tried to include Josh’s input in the decision making process and I had no idea working with a 9 year old would be so difficult. Turns out my little man is quite opinionated and our styles don’t really jive.

I was thinking I’d like his room to look like this or this, but for the longest time he didn’t want to change the wall color in his room. I wasn’t about to paint it the same color, again. Since we were taking down the popcorn ceiling, it was the perfect time to repair the walls and freshen up the room. It took some cajoling to get the dude to agree to a neutral color for three walls. I had to promise some color and stripes for the fourth. Here is where we are, so far.

Josh's Room After

I thought he’d go for an orange wall, but he had blue on his brain. At first, he picked out a much lighter, baby blue. I steered him toward a darker color, Adriatic Sea by Sherwin Williams, by reminding him that he had a baby blue room when he was a toddler. Man, I totally played him to get a more stylish and mature color. Bad mom, but at least I didn’t tell him his first choice was babyish. The three neutral walls are Kilim Beige and the ceiling is Moderate White, both by Sherwin Williams. We haven’t gotten to the stripes yet, because I have to move on to another project for a while. We also still have curtains to put up and a little more organizing to do. Here is what the display wall on the left side looks like.

Display Wall

At first I thought I’d make him a custom sized cork board, but I found this 3 ft. x 4ft. bulletin board on Amazon for about $40, which is half the price you’d pay at Staples. We reused the wall shelves in a new configuration that he can actually reach himself. Josh is a collector and likes to display his favorite things.

Collage One

It didn’t take long to fill up the shelves, so his rock collection ended up on his desk.

Collage Two

We picked out the new lamp together at Target. Even that got a little dramatic because he wanted a patterned shade. We compromised with silver.

Blue Wall

His desk and bookshelf still tend to get cluttered, so we’ll be working on that. I think I’ll get some wall hooks or pegs to hang his medals and I might do a DIY pendant light for over his desk, something like Mary Claire’s project from a while back. I’m also on the lookout for new bedding, but I’m not in a big hurry. For the time being we’re using his twin size quilt and full size sheets we already had.

Before I finish, I have to tell you about the art project we did. I found these old frames I had that were the perfect color to coordinate with the mahogany finish of the bed. We ended up hanging the frames on each side of the window.

Josh's Room After

My idea was to find some stencils of his favorite things, like anything Lego, Minecraft, Tae Kwon Do, or Mario Brothers and trace the shapes and paint them in the orange and blue colors of his room. That idea was a big fat no for Josh because apparently this Minecraft guy can’t be any color other than what he’s suppose to be. Josh wasn’t buying my “artistic interpretation” line, so I let him run with what he wanted.

So, that is how Josh’s room looks right now. I’m thinking of painting an orange stripe at the top of all of the walls, almost like crown moulding, something like this. We’ll get the stripes on the blue wall done and maybe I’ll think up a way to customize the plain white curtains I purchased from IKEA.

How have you gotten through decorating with/for your kids? I think I’ve found out why nurseries always look so much more decorated than older kid rooms. I really think most youth rooms on Houzz are so unrealistic. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw what this mom did for her son’s room. It looks like a real kid lives there and it made me feel a lot better about the direction we’re going with Josh’s room. What do you think about the difference between what we expect for kid rooms and how kids really live?


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