Before and After: A $1,000 Kids’ Bedroom Makeover Adds Lots of Vertical Drama
Sharing a room is almost like a rite of passage for siblings — but there are certain rules (design-wise and otherwise) for shared bedrooms that can help make the experience much more pleasurable for the kiddos and parents alike: Bunk beds are a great solution for keeping sleep space compact and play space ample, easy toy storage (and clothing storage) is a must, and infusing each kid’s interests with cohesive design through lines throughout is a delicate-but-important balancing act.
In 2020, DIYer AnnMarie Woods (@amwoods_) and her family moved into a charming 1980s house in Southern California. During the initial renovation process, her three daughters began sharing a room, and they enjoyed it so much that the sunny front bedroom became theirs permanently. However, some changes had to be made before the girls could enjoy it to the fullest.
The family decided to turn it into an all-purpose kids’ bedroom as part of the One Room Challenge. “One of the pivotal objectives of this project was to create a multifunctional space for my daughters, where they could play, sleep, and store their clothes and toys efficiently,” AnnMarie says.
Secondhand finds keep the budget to $1,000.
The family started by swapping out a bulky dresser for a taller, slimmer one from Facebook Marketplace to best utilize vertical space (and the existing three-tier bunk beds do this, too). AnnMarie and her family managed to save money by sourcing many decor elements secondhand, from a disco ball to additional toy storage. These finds helped limit the project’s overall cost to around $1,000.
“These finds not only helped keep our renovation costs in check, but also allowed us to allocate our budget towards stylish decor elements,” she notes. (The non-secondhand goods in the room are unique finds that add personality and include a checkered rug from Urban Outfitters, IKEA bedding, and a unicorn lamp from Home Depot.)
Fresh paint adds drama.
One major design sticking point was the color scheme. When the Woods first moved in, the entire interior was painted a “bare” and “impersonal” pale blue, down to the doors and hinges, AnnMarie says. In order to liven up the kids’ bedroom, AnnMarie and her husband, Alfred, let their daughters pick out bold neutral tones instead: Sherwin-Williams’ Homburg Gray for the walls and Valspar’s dusty-pink English Elegance for the closet.
“One delightful surprise was how readily our girls embraced the opportunity to lend a hand in the painting process,” AnnMarie says. “It became a collaborative effort.”
A wood-clad ceiling is a major upgrade from the uneven one before.
Once that was out of the way, the family took on arguably the most ambitious part of their project: adding a stained wooden ceiling.
Because their older home has an uneven ceiling, the Woodses had to individually cut and stain tongue-and-groove boards and carefully join them together. With the help of plenty of YouTube videos and advice from home improvement bloggers, pulling off this ceiling DIY was the final step in creating their daughters’ revitalized dream bedroom.
“What once felt like a daunting endeavor gradually became a symbol of accomplishment and transformation,” AnnMarie says. “It now stands as a testament to our willingness to learn, adapt, and create something beautiful in our living space.” And the cherry on top is the disco ball where the light fixture once was — perfect for the pretty-meets-practical party that is this triple-decker bedroom.
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