Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Six-Month Project--Little Boys' Room

 My little boys' new room is finally finished. Six months this room took.

Ben left home six and a half months ago to serve a mission in Peru. When he left, I told the little boys that they could move into his room after we fixed a few things. I didn't take any great before shots of the room, which makes me mad. This was Ben's last night at home. Notice how the headboard was navy and the walls were a light khaki color. I thought I would love that wall color, and I hated it from the second I saw it on the walls, but it was too late then.
 Also notice the seat and shelves around the window. When we built the house, I thought this would be a good idea. It really wasn't. The headboards were attached to the wall, so we could never move the beds, and the window seat was a junk collector, not a cozy place to read.
The closet had always been way too small for two boys to share, so plans were to remove the window seat and shelves, patch the carpet with remnants I had in the basement,  and extend the closet.

 The boys got to help remove the debris and knock a few holes in the walls and stuff. Very manly activities for two little guys. Here is the window with the seat removed. Taking that out instantly made the room feel twice the size.
 And here is the the original closet wall coming down.
The construction and painting were done pretty quickly, but it took me FOREVER to get everything in place and done.

I wanted this room to be a place where the boys were surrounded by things that mean something to them and things that will inspire them. Here's the after:
This room is one of my all-time favorites. After painting the walls and trim white and the old headboards green (the color they could agree on), I was free to mix in all the colors and textures of little boys. The dressers were originally Tucker's and Ben's--auction finds that I repainted in navy and updated with hardware.

I love the boat print curtains. I wanted something with a little pattern that wasn't too overwhelming, and when I saw these boat-print toile shower curtains (yes, I said shower curtains) at Ikea, I knew they would be perfect. I had to buy three panels because they were too short, but I added a band of grosgrain ribbon to cover the seam (about even with the top of the dresser), and they work perfectly.

Some of the details that make this room special and individual:

There was a lot of wall space to cover in this room. I found flags online for pretty cheap. I think this 4'x6' American flag was less than $30--and it covered the entire wall. The little chair I found at an auction and had recovered. It's the perfect place for me to sit every night while I read to the boys.

I've fought having toys in kids' rooms since my oldest were little, but moving the legos into their room was a good idea, we've discovered. They play with them more frequently now, and they are pretty good about keeping them picked up, because stepping on legos in the night when you're headed to the bathroom is painful, no matter the size of your feet. The table is from Ikea, with grey lego plates glued to the top. The shelf underneath is perfect to store all of the pieces they're not using.
Heidi made the glass mosaic of Nemo for Micah when she was in high school, and Hyrum painted the dragon at art camp last year. The addition of the boat surprised me.
Over Spring Break, I took all four of the kids to TJMaxx/HomeGoods for a little adventure. Micah and Hyrum both begged me to buy this boat for their room, instead of a toy. I was all over that request.

The lamp in the corner is one of my favorite creations EVER.
Micah spent weeks designing and working on that string art sculpture. It's huge, and it sat on their dresser for a while, but I was always worried it would get broken and he would be upset. I realized it would make a great lamp, so I bought an art kit and shade at Ikea, and my brother-in-law attached them for me. It was a great surprise Christmas present for Micah.
And when the light is on at night, the copper lining of the shade gives the room a really cool vibe. I attached a dimmer switch to it, and they use it every night on low as a night light. Art and light--what could be better?

I wanted this room to inspire them. Both of them have decided they want to be creators--Hyrum still wants to be an artist, while Micah is determined that he will be an inventor and engineer. I found this light bulb canvas on art.com, and it's perfect in between their beds. The distressed metal letters are from West Elm. They were on clearance for about $15, if I remember right. They each placed their own treasures across the headboards' shelves--similar but different.
The bedspreads and shams are from HomeGoods, and the stacked trunks were an auction find.
I'm sure Robert Mazet had no idea when he was labeling his military trunks that they would end up as the night stand for two little boys. Micah usually has this spot stacked with toppling books. How he can read 5-10 at a time, I'll never understand.

Each boy keeps his baptism quilt made by Grandma Tucker across the foot of his bed:
Hyrum's is a twin-size version of his baby quilt--roads and trucks, and Micah's has rows and rows of books.

While still not huge, the closet has become much more functional. This side of the closet didn't change at all, which saved on construction costs--no new shelves or rods needed.
The closet was only extended about 24", which didn't change the feel of the room at all, but those 24" made it possible to walk into the closet and added a second place for shoes, laundry, and a rod. Huge difference--much easier to keep clean.
Hyrum added his own creation to the back of the door--bet you can't guess what it is.
Duh. It's a basketball hoop constructed of a grocery bag and straws and tape. What? It works!

My boys love license plates. I'm trying to decide if we want to try and collect all 50 or just ones that mean something to them. We bought the PA plate on our Summer Grand Adventure three years ago, and the two AZ plates came from a car and trailer we owned. The ID plate I brought back from a trip to visit Heidi. There's room for many more, but it works at this size as well.

 The dresser under the window is a great place to keep their favorite robot battle game . . .

. . . and I found this giant fake light bulb at a salvage market in Phoenix. Brad and Hyrum made the base for me. The ribbon on the curtain just adds detail, and most people would never even notice it.
The wall along Micah's bed is the biggest in the room, and I didn't want to spend a ton of money covering it. They're boys and they break a lot of stuff (although that glass light bulb is still on Hyrum's dresser, knock on wood!).

One of my dreams is that each of my sons will serve missions. (For more information on missionary service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, click here.) I decided I would turn this wall into the missionary wall. Each of the five members of our immediate family who have served or are currently serving (Brad's stepdad, Brad, Sam, Tucker, and Ben), are represented on this wall.

Across the top left to right: Greg served in Mexico, Tucker in New York, Sam in Spain. Second row: Ben is in Peru, and Brad served in Japan. Each of these flags (2'x3') cost less than $5 and I simply used a staple gun to hang them.
In the center, I added a poster that says, "Who is your hero?" and pictures of each of these men on their missions. (It was hard to get a photo with all of the glass glare.)
I love it. They love it. It is pretty easy for them to keep clean, and it inspires them to create, work hard, and prepare to serve.
Everything I had hoped it would be.

Time for the next project, right?


  1. LOVE the missionary wall idea!! I might have to steal that idea.

  2. This room is beautiful. What a great room for boys. I thought my boys room was very cute, but these days it just resembles a pig stye.

  3. I especially like the fun, bright (but not crazy) colors and the space allowed for their personal things.

  4. Love the room! It looks like a space where dreams can be cultivated and memories made! It's exactly what I hope to accomplish for my boys who are 2 and 3. I'm currently painting beds and sewing quilts. I love the missionary wall! I'm a long time reader who grew up in rexburg and lived in Twin Falls for a short time as well so it's been fun to follow along on your journey!

  5. You are so good at this kind of thing. I love the room!