One Room Challenge – Week 2 – Boys Bedroom Design Plan

one room challenge bedroom

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

29 Responses to “One Room Challenge – Week 2 – Boys Bedroom Design Plan”

  1. Jessica April 13, 2016 at 8:23 am #

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

    • Grace April 14, 2016 at 9:17 am #

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

  2. Lynn April 13, 2016 at 9:30 am #

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

    • Grace April 14, 2016 at 9:18 am #

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

  3. ann April 13, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    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 April 14, 2016 at 9:19 am #

      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. 🙂

  4. Sally April 13, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Lucky boys! I love how you incorporated them.

    • Grace April 14, 2016 at 9:19 am #

      Thanks Sally! xo

  5. liz cook April 13, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    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 April 14, 2016 at 9:20 am #

      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

  6. Emily April 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    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 April 14, 2016 at 9:21 am #

      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

  7. Andi April 13, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    Love everything thus far!

    • Grace April 14, 2016 at 9:21 am #

      Thank you Andi! So far, so good. 😉

  8. Anonymous April 13, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

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

    • Grace April 14, 2016 at 9:26 am #

      Thanks Anon! I appreciate you reading and commenting!

  9. Frances April 14, 2016 at 4:22 am #

    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 April 14, 2016 at 9:27 am #

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

  10. Kate Collins April 14, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    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 April 14, 2016 at 9:23 am #

      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

  11. marcie April 14, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    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 April 14, 2016 at 9:25 am #

      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

  12. viv April 14, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    love our color collaboration Grace ! so much fun!!

    • Grace April 15, 2016 at 5:40 am #

      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

  13. Laura Ingalls Gunn April 14, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    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 April 15, 2016 at 5:43 am #

      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

  14. jessica April 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

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

    • Grace May 1, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks so much Jessica! xo

  15. Justynn May 12, 2016 at 11:58 am #

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

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