Taking on a DIY project or entire room makeover can often be a daunting process when you start adding up the cost of all the different things you'd like to include. However, a makeover doesn't have to cost a fortune, and with the right planning, and repurposing, rearranging, repainting and using clever storage solutions, you can breathe whole new life into a space. Here's how we achieved it with our son's bedroom makeover...
The reveal of this project is long overdue. We actually tackled this bedroom makeover back in November, right after we'd finished our daughter's bedroom. However, we still had a few things to finish it off and fix up, so with our renovation, thinking I'd misplaced all the photos, and just the general 'passing of time', I completely forgot to share it with you! Today I'll be showing you the current progress shots - I figure a project doesn't have to be perfect to share. We'll be tackling the last stages of this bedroom when we move back into our house and are putting final touches on all the spaces.
In terms of cost, this was a relatively low-budget project, which is what we planned for. We really didn't want to purchase any new pieces, and instead aimed to work with the exisiting pieces, and make a few updates with accessories and decorative items. Having a clear plan for how we wanted to tackle the space before we launched in was key to finishing the project without spending a lot.
Here is what we originally started with in this room, which used to be our master bedroom. Our boy had moved out of the nursery and into this room 3 years ago, which was when we gave it it's first makeover. We painted the back feature wall and added the photo wall and some of his artwork next to it.
A few years later, when it was time to switch out our daughter's cot with the junior bed, we brought in the 'big boy' single bed (pictured below). This was a hand-me-down that we intended on giving a refresh to. We did a bit of a furniture switcheroo at this point, moving the bed to the left wall-side, and transferring the bedside table and bookcase to the back wall.
The wall directly facing the bedroom door has a large window which basically takes up an entire wall, making it difficult to configure the room. For a long time, this toy storage unit was below it. This furniture lay-out gave the room a lot of floor-space, but to me it still looked cluttered. Playing around with furniture is one great way to give a room a new feel without breaking the bank, but sometimes it can take quite a few go's to get right!
So eventually, we decided to take the plunge on a project we'd be talking about for quite a while, which was to take this double wardrobe in our son's bedroom...
And close off the left side so that both our kids would have a built-in wardrobe in their rooms, (you can see how my husband tackled that project here). This was a big project, but having Damian was able to do it all, so we only had to spend on framing, plaster-board and skim-coat. This made a huge difference to both rooms, and was totally worth it.
It was also the perfect time to take on one of the easiest ways to completely transform a space - give it a new coat of paint! Not everyone's favourite pastime, I know, but a new paint colour can give a room a completely new look and feel without breaking the bank. Plus you'll save a lot of money if you do it yourself (see my top painting tips here). For this room, we went with Antique White USA, which is a nice fresh colour that we're continuing throughout the whole house.
The rest of the furniture in the room was pushed into the middle and covered so we could paint all the walls, leaving the back mural wall untouched. In hindsight, we really should have just cleared the room completely, but because we were trying to tackle both the kids' bedrooms at once, we were a little short on storage space. It did make it a little tricky to paint the other walls, but we managed to get around it!
I always find the transforming power of paint amazing - these windows were first a creamy yellow colour, but just looked so much fresher in white. The windows are a real feature of our house, which was built in the late 50's, and I like how unique they are... but I'll admit they are a massive pain to paint! Worth it in the end though.
We took down the wooden venetian blinds, and replaced the existing curtains with some more modern floor-length curtains. This immediately gave the room a much nicer feel - the blinds were quite heavy and felt a bit imposing on this space.
These curtain ties blended well with the colours on the mural wall, and help to reveal more of the nice garden view.
We'll be adding some sheer curtains in here so there's a bit of added privacy, but it's nice to be able to take in all the greenery of the front garden. A really easy room update is to change up your window fixtures - it can make a huge change to a room and ready-made curtains are a worthwhile investment.
So, once this room was fully painted, cleared and cleaned, it was time to bring the big pieces of furniture in to play around with some different configurations. This included the bed, bookcase, bedside table and toy storage unit. For any room, playing around with the layout of the furniture is a great way to get a 'new' room... plus it's completely free!
For us, we had to try out quite a few different configurations to achieve a layout we were happy with (for now!). We ended up attaching the bookcase to the top of the toy storage unit. Making it one piece rather than two separate ones meant that it took up less floor space, and also kept all the toys and books contained in one spot. Being on the far left wall, it meant these things aren't visible when walking down the hallway. I like having that visual clutter a bit more tucked away!
We keep the toys in fabric storage boxes - I like that they are nice and light to pull in and out, and sturdy enough to hold lots of items. Admittedly, some but some have lost their shape a bit over the years, but for an overall cost of around $6 per box, they've really proved their worth as great storage pieces over the last 4 years.
PSST... Get your free checklist of the best storage pieces for a child's bedroom on the button below!
Here are the storage boxes inside the toy storage unit - I did end up grabbing two more boxes to go on the far right to match the others, but these were a temporary solution. We put the art cork-board on the left of this unit, which filled up the space nicely.
My father-in-law's car collection was placed on the top of the unit - I think it's important to display those special pieces you've been given rather than hiding them away. An assortment of knick-knacks and small photo albums went on the next shelf, and the books below.
We moved the photo gallery to the wall where the other wardrobe used to be. It looks a lot better away from the artwork display as everything now has breathing space. We'll be updating some of those cream-coloured frames to match the white ones. We repurposed this toy chest to hold a large collection of dress-ups. Repurposing items from other areas of the home is another great (free!) way to find new storage solutions.
Our boy's bed is now front and centre in the room - it does leave less floor space to play, but we're going with it because we like the configuration of the other pieces.
My husband has since made a new bed, here's a sneak peek at my son trying it out!
I'll give you more updated photos of this room once we clean it all up again - you can see it's current [rather messy!] state in this video, and I'm again kicking myself that we didn't do a better job of packing things up to make our job at the other end easier! A shame to have given this room a complete makeover and then have it reduced to this shabby state! In the entire house refresh that will be happening over the next month as the renovation winds up, we'll be carpeting this room, changing the bedding, adding sheer curtains and perhaps changing up the artwork display... There's always more to do even when you think you're finished, amiright?
I hope I've been able to give you some tips on how to transform a room without breaking the bank. It definitely can be achieved with some otuside-the-box thinking and reconfiguring the furniture layout. The right storage pieces can also make a huge difference, so click the button below to get your free checklist of the best storage pieces for a child's bedroom...