One Room Challenge

Before and After: A $600 DIY Revamp Fills This Plain Bedroom with Color and Whimsy

published Oct 1, 2022
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About this before & after
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: White-walled room with house-shaped bed

One thing about kids and design? Their style changes a lot. (Also true for some adults!)

DIYer Tina’s (@tinadawnmarie) latest home project, a One Room Challenge endeavor, came about because her three-year-old decided “she did NOT like pink and wanted her room to be blue and rainbow,” Tina says. The good news is, there wasn’t any permanent pink in the space to begin with; the room was white with pink accents, so it was mostly a blank slate with all the furniture cleared.

And Tina took the clean canvas room to color-infused in about eight weeks. “I created a colorful design to incorporate all my daughter’s wishes and more,” she says. Because there are so many DIYs in the space, the final result only cost about $600.

First up was adding blue paint for an accent corner behind the bed (Tina chose Blue Castle by SICO for the color). She also added angled MDF slats to her blue accent wall to create the textured look.

Tina’s tip? “When doing accent walls, always nail in the slats using a brad nailer; DO NOT use liquid nails,” she says. “This way if down the road you want to remove, the removal and repair is manageable.” (And her advice is doubly important in a kid’s room, where, as she knows, they might change their mind down the line.)

Tina added even more MDF slats to the room in a vertical rainbow stripe corner. The wood slat walls are Tina’s favorite element of the new space. “Both came with challenges in the cuts to create the look that I wanted, but with trial and error, I was able to figure it out and create the walls how I imagined,” she says.

There are three other custom wood creations in the room. First are the cloud details on the upper perimeter the room, which Tina made by tracing the round edges of bowls onto hardboard and then cutting, sanding, priming, and painting. (You can’t see it here, but they also have colorful LED lights behind them for extra punch!) Second is a homemade wooden dollhouse, which she built out of pine using a template. And third is a thin rail bookshelf to display her daughter’s books.

Tina also hung a macrame swing in the corner and added new decor throughout, like the rattan mirror — which she made bigger using long bamboo skewers in yet another DIY project for the room — woven rug, the sheepskin rug, and new bedding. (She had the dresser from before.)

Tina’s best decorating advice: “Have fun! Add a SIGN!!! Use bright rainbow colors!” she says. She followed through on her own words of wisdom — and more — in this now wonderfully whimsical, definitely blue and rainbow infused-space, just as her daughter requested.

This project was completed for the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.