One Room Challenge – Week 2 – Boys Bedroom Design Plan

One Room Challenge – Week 2 – Boys Bedroom Design Plan

I’m excited to be participating in the One Room Challenge this spring, and last week, I revealed that I will be doing a six-week makeover on my boys room.  This week, I am talking about the design plan and the inspiration behind it.

My boys have definite opinions on what they want their room to look like.  They both love color, so we have had lots of talks about using color in the appropriate amount, what the word “restraint” means when it comes to creating, and the benefits of learning how to “edit” oneself.  It’s funny too…how art imitates life.  My curly top mentioned how “sometimes people have to edit their words, too, just like in a room, Mom!”  So yeah, there are all sorts of life lessons you can give while designing a room.  🙂


When I asked the boys what colors they wanted in their room, they pretty much said “all of them”, though they eventually decided ‘blue’ and ‘green’ definitely needed to be prominent.  When I inquired about the ‘characteristics’ the boys wanted their room to represent, they stated the following words, in this order:

  • Colorful
  • Texture (cough, designer’s kids)
  • Imaginative
  • Artistic
  • Adventurous

Like I said in my last post, my boys are getting older, and I know “sleepover years” are coming, and I like the idea of each of them having room for a friend.  Plus all four of my children are still young enough that they love sleeping together in the same room sometimes.  Thus the idea of a bunk room setup was really appealing to me.

pamela jimenez designpamela jimenez design

bunk room - elle decorelle decor

Practically speaking, I also find the end-to-end bed situation really works well in a kids room.  It allows for a lot of play space and lends a more spacious feel to the room.  I feel kid spaces in general can start to feel real cluttered, real quick.  The more open play space, the better, usually.  There are several different setups you can choose from when you are going for the built-in bunk look.  For example, I love the ladder idea shown above, but we have enough space to do a set of stairs between the bunks, and I think it makes the beds easier to make.  Working around those ladders seems like a bit of a headache.  I’m thinking of late night, sick kid kind of stuff.

One thing I believe really takes a beating in a boys room are the walls.  I mean, seriously, those walls see quite a bit of scrubbing!  Therefore, addressing that problem was important to me.  I think doing a beautiful wainscoting three-quarters up the wall, painted in a high gloss paint, will be just what we need around here!  (easily wipeable!) Plus I think it will add some nice architecture in the space.

We were really inspired by this look.

markalunas architecture group

Figuring out how four bunks will work with the windows has been a bit of a challenge (see below), but I think I have a solid idea of what to do.

boys jumping on beds

Above the wainscoting, I wanted to do a fun wallpaper.  I scoured the world it seemed for the perfect pattern, and I think we found it in this Makelike Forest design.  It was a tough choice between the blue and the green.  (also, major props to Makelike for sending awesome huge samples!)

makelike blue vs green

The kids picked the blue, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.  It feels graphic and modern, and I think it is sophisticated enough to last us several years.

makelike zigzag wallpapermakelike zigzag wallpaper

I love an oversized gingham pattern, and I think it is so spot-on for a boys room, but I wanted to give it an artistic flair.  I envisioned a watercolor-influenced check pattern working so well with the wallpaper, and I thought it would be perfect as privacy curtains on the bunks.  After not being able to find what I was wanting in the colorway I needed, it dawned on me that this may be the perfect opportunity to collaborate with an artist whose work I have enjoyed (and used!) for years, Vivian Ducas, of C’EST LA VIV.  I talked with her, and she put together some samples of check patterns in a few different colors and varying scales.  I am excitedly waiting on the samples to get here!

watercolor ginghamc’est la viv

Reading lights are a fun quality of built-in bunks so I have been on the lookout for something interesting.  I was so pumped when I found just what I was looking for at Round Top a few weeks ago!  (you may have seen this on my Instagram) These antique shiplights have been turned into sconces, and they are so neat.  I plan on adding a switch to them for ease of use, but otherwise, they are pretty perfect!  I originally found these lights in the silver finish with the brass wingnuts, but then I found all brass so they all came home with me!  I will use the extras for clients or other projects, I am sure.

antique shiplight sconce

Something that will definitely check the “colorful” box is the rug I found for their room.  If you don’t follow Jennifer Harrison from Flea Market Fab on Instagram, you should!  Her sales are so amazing, and most of the time, I gasp over every item she lists!  Not only is she extra cool, she is also very kind.  She put this rug in her van and brought it to me in Round Top all the way from Cleveland.  It was SO fun to meet up and chat, and let me tell ya, she is just as awesome as you would imagine in real life.  I am so grateful, Jenn, thank you!

moroccan rug

Last but not least, art!

sister corita kent lithograph

I definitely want to include some inspiring art in this space, and judging by what my boys said they wanted in their room, I think it is important to them, too.  I found the Sister Corita Kent signed lithograph pictured above at a recent sale, and I knew it would fit in with the room design.  The boys were really pleased with it, and I enjoyed introducing them to a new artist.  I will probably change the frame.

As far as adventure goes, I am sure there will be plenty of that happening in this room 🙂 , but I am extra excited about a rather rare, large, vintage pair of Tonto and Lone Ranger prints I found on Ebay for next to nothing.  I want to mix in some of the boys personal art with these finds, and of course, allow for important things like lego storage and books.

It is only week 2, and I am feeling the pressure, but I feel like we are making progress.  The changes we are making to this room are pretty major, and they take time!   I decided to address the closet issue I talked about last week, which is a win-win for the kids AND me in more ways than one.  More on that next week.

Special thanks to House Beautiful for being the media sponsor of this season’s challenge, and to Linda from Calling It Home, for organizing it.

Written by Grace

  • Jessica
    Posted at 08:23h, 13 April Reply

    I love the inspiration for the boys’ room! The blue wallpaper is adorable and the color combos will look perfect together!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:17h, 14 April Reply

      Oh thank you Jessica! The wallpaper is one of my favorite aspects!

  • Lynn
    Posted at 09:30h, 13 April Reply

    I love seeing what you do! I’m amazed at how you put things together.

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:18h, 14 April Reply

      Thanks Lynn! It is going to be a race to the finish line for sure!

  • ann
    Posted at 09:31h, 13 April Reply

    I feel like kids rooms aren’t kids rooms anymore. Parents try to make them too sophisticated, but I think this will be the perfect mix!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:19h, 14 April Reply

      Hey Ann, I know what you mean. I think it’s a fine balance between what they want now and being cognizant of their changing likes. 🙂

  • Sally
    Posted at 10:16h, 13 April Reply

    Lucky boys! I love how you incorporated them.

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:19h, 14 April Reply

      Thanks Sally! xo

  • liz cook
    Posted at 11:32h, 13 April Reply

    As always, so inspiring Grace! Love the bright colors you’ve chosen and especially that rug! Will be anxious to see the finished room!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:20h, 14 April Reply

      Liz! You are so sweet! Thanks, it is a mess around here now that we have all of this going on, but the deadline is looking! Eek! 😉 xo

  • Emily
    Posted at 12:39h, 13 April Reply

    You find the most amazing vintage items and I’m always so excited to see how you use them in your rooms. That rug is such an unexpected choice for a boys’ room, but you always do the unexpected so well!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:21h, 14 April Reply

      Thanks Emily! I love for each room to have at least one amazing find! I really think it is the secret sauce in a room. Fingers crossed everything comes together! Thanks for the support. xo

  • Andi
    Posted at 13:42h, 13 April Reply

    Love everything thus far!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:21h, 14 April Reply

      Thank you Andi! So far, so good. 😉

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:48h, 13 April Reply

    Looks like an amazing plan! Can’t wait for the reveal!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:26h, 14 April Reply

      Thanks Anon! I appreciate you reading and commenting!

  • Frances
    Posted at 04:22h, 14 April Reply

    What a great plan! Those two boys are lucky to be designer’s kids. 😉 I would love to work with you to finish off some details in a fed rooms in my space. Love that you have such a knack for finding unexpected accessories that work so well in a room.

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:27h, 14 April Reply

      Awww thank you Frances! They definitely know a few things about design, which is funny and fun. 😉 xo

  • Kate Collins
    Posted at 06:55h, 14 April Reply

    Such a fun plan! The bunk beds will be amazing and your kids will love them. I hear ya on scouring the earth for wallpaper. It can such a tough decision but I love what you chose!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:23h, 14 April Reply

      Thank you, Kate! I LOVED the chair you posted yesterday, that fabric is one of my all-time faves! Thanks so much for reading. xo

  • marcie
    Posted at 09:14h, 14 April Reply

    Love this and how adorable are your two cuties who will love that room when it’s finished?? It’s so fun and colorful!

    • Grace
      Posted at 09:25h, 14 April Reply

      Hey Marcie! Thank you so much! They definitely requested colorful so I am working with that as best I can. 🙂 I appreciate you reading! xo

  • viv
    Posted at 11:21h, 14 April Reply

    love our color collaboration Grace ! so much fun!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 05:40h, 15 April Reply

      Yay! Me too! I have been watching the tracking on those samples, should be here today! Can’t wait! I am so excited to have some Viv magic in this space. 🙂 xoxo

  • Laura Ingalls Gunn
    Posted at 19:50h, 14 April Reply

    Grace I adore the direction that your room is headed towards! You did SO much better than I did in my room this week.

    Good luck in the upcoming week!

    • Grace
      Posted at 05:43h, 15 April Reply

      Oh my goodness, you will make it! I’m so sad I missed you at Round Top! Hope to see you in October. 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting, xo. G

  • jessica
    Posted at 21:23h, 18 April Reply

    I love your style and I look forward to seeing how you mesh all these patterns together.

    • Grace
      Posted at 10:11h, 01 May Reply

      Thanks so much Jessica! xo

  • Justynn
    Posted at 11:58h, 12 May Reply

    this whole project turned out so well. it’s very cool.

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