A FUNctional Affordable Room Makeover

room-makeoverWhen we moved into our new house, little did we know that what we thought would be a simple kids’ room would end up being a labor of love that would bring us closer together, unleash latent talents, and create an inspiring space in which our children can grow.

We originally thought we’d slap some cool “Adriatic Sea” blue paint on the walls, accentuated by a few car and truck decals, buy a new big boy bed and call it a day. However, when our son fell in love with the other bedroom in the house, solely because it was pink, we had to readjust our plans. Mind you, we have no problem whatsoever with our son wanting a pink room, but the particular Pepto-Bismol shade that it was…well, let’s just say that was harder to stomach. (I bet you didn’t expect awesome humor like that in a room makeover post, huh?)

We let him enjoy his pink room while we worked on the rest of the house. Over time he started asking when we were going to finish his room, which temporarily had basic bookshelves, a dresser, and a mattress on the floor. With seemingly no organization, it had quickly become a disaster area. He fluctuated between different color choices (bright red, rainbow, stripes) until finally settling on blue and green. It ended up being a good thing that we waited, because in less than a year’s time our little boy grew up fast. We were no longer afraid to put our roly-poly sleeper in the bunk beds we knew we always wanted. We were also able to imagine some pretty cool and creative designs that will easily grow with him over time. 

Another added bonus was that in that time, my husband found he possesses some decent woodworking skills. I was able to put my Pinterest searching prowess and bossiness leadership skills to good use. Together we dreamed up a pretty cool room that our son loves and incorporates so many space-saving and organizational features…he has more space than we know what to do with now! We were also able to do it for less than $300 total!!!

Here are some of our favorite elements:

1. The Loft Bed

Loft beds offer so much versatility and practicality. We can easily place a bed underneath when the time comes to move our other son into the bedroom with him. In the meantime, he has an awesome space to hang sheets to create a fort, a spot for a comfy chair/book nook, and a place for a desk to do his schoolwork. (Design instructions here.) Materials ~$100 for lumber.

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2.  The Stairs

I have always loved bunk beds that have staircases rather than a ladder, both for storage and safety purposes. My husband built this awesome staircase, and each step lifts to reveal even more storage underneath! There are also secret cubbies below on the side. He even added another bookshelf so that our little man could have the books he is currently reading close at hand when in bed. Materials ~$40 for hardware and wood.

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3. The Murphy Desk

Until I wrote this post, I thought my husband bought this. It turns out he built it himself! We painted the front in chalkboard paint so little man can create endless chalk designs. It opens to reveal storage shelves in which he stores his school and art supplies and creates writing/working desk space. (Design instructions here.)  Materials ~$30 for wood and hardware.

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4.  The Nook and Superhero Home

The area below the loft houses so much potential! Currently, it holds a reading chair, his imaginary camping supplies, the murphy desk and his action figure house. To create the action figure home (aka manly dollhouse) we painted an old bookshelf from Target that we’ve had for at least 15 years, added a divider shelf in between, and attached themed scrapbook paper to the back with Mod Podge. (Side note, I am so glad I didn’t invest in expensive decals. He loves to move these around and create new scenes!) Materials ~$5 for wood and scrapbook paper.

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5. The Climbing Wall

The pièce de résistance is the climbing wall! You should have seen his face light up when he saw it! We bought the rock wall pieces on Amazon and attached them to painted plywood. Materials ~$40.

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I created the artwork on the wall too 🙂

6. The Maximized Closet Space

Since the majority of his clothes fit in his dresser, we created a learning space in his closet. We added a long shelf across the entire closet that he uses as a desk to do his work, his morning calendar routine and to create random “inventions” that he likes to work on. Underneath is plenty of storage to hold socks, swimsuits, and other miscellaneous clothing items that won’t fit in the dresser. (We do have a few clothes hanging on the other side as well.) Materials ~$15.

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7.  The Lego Table/Desk

One of his favorite pieces in the room is the Lego table. I’m sure that as birthdays and Christmases come and go, his collection will continue to grow and these drawers will be full. We use one drawer to hold his Lego Magazines, instruction manuals, and idea inspiration. Even better, the top of the table flips over to a smooth side so he will have a full size desk when he is ready for it. I love seeing his daily creations! Materials ~$50 for Lego Plates and Walmart storage drawers.

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8.  The Dresser

I feel it is worth mentioning the value we have gotten out of the dresser to the right of the Lego table. My husband found it for free in his frat house in college. Then he donated it to me for my first apartment. It made several moves with us and remained an ugly dark cherry wood with chips in it until this room makeover! We painted it and it fits into his room perfectly! (Not pictured, a shelf above holds trophies, knick-knacks, etc.)  Materials ~Free!!! (With the addition of the paint, which was ~$60 for all of the walls and every item we painted.)

Second only to the joy and pride he has in his new room, is the fact of how easy it is to clean and maintain! It doesn’t look like it, but he has quite a lot of books, toys, games, puzzles, and stuffed animals packed into this room. He knows where everything goes and actually enjoys putting it all away so that he has a big area to practice his ninja moves or have impromptu dance parties. 🙂

I love that every element of his room was planned out for him specifically, and that he will always have these special pieces that his Daddy built.

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