Before and After: A Blank Builder-Grade Bedroom Gets a Kid-Friendly Yet Clutter-Free Revamp

published Jan 7, 2023
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Children's Room & Nursery
Closets & Storage
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: a gray bed in a blue room
Credit: June Cruz

Because they often double as playrooms and craft zones, it’s easy for kids’ rooms to become messy quickly. (And if you’re a parent or guardian who can relate, check out this guide for keeping kids’ bedrooms clean and organized.)

This kid room, in the home of June Cruz (@enamour_home), wasn’t messy before — just empty — but it sure does have some great ideas for keeping a space spick and span, whether you’re an adult or a kid.

Credit: June Cruz

When the Cruz family moved houses, June’s daughter finally got a space of her own after sharing with her little brother. “With such a big transition for our daughter — moving to a new town, starting a new school, and being in a new home — we knew the first room we wanted to make feel like home was hers,” June says. “Before the transformation, it was just a space my daughter slept in, it didn’t function for her day-to-day needs or provide her a space to feel like she could have friends over to play.”

Credit: June Cruz

June’s task during the eight-week One Room Challenge was to liven up the space and make it work for her daughter’s routine. The first piece of the project was revamping the closet, which was outfitted with just one measly rack for hanging clothes. June took out that wire shelf, then added stacked shelving to maximize vertical space. She also added durable plastic drawers labeled with the day of the week so her daughter can help plan her own outfits.

Credit: June Cruz

Another big change in the space was the addition of color. June writes on her blog that her daughter wanted a mix of gray and blush tones, so June kept the existing gray on the walls and added a blueish pop of color for the closet doors. The decor leans heavily into the blush tones.

Credit: June Cruz

To give her daughter a practical work space, June painted an old beige desk she had from before — a DIY first for her — because as-is, “it blended into the wall and was very ‘blah’ looking,” June writes on Instagram. “Painting furniture is very different than painting walls, in my opinion,” June says. “Eliminating brush strokes was the hardest part, but I do love how it turned out.”

June’s biggest takeaway from the project is that prep and planning are key. With her paint and furniture selections, she thought about what would be most functional, storage-packed (note the drawers in the desk and the chest at the foot of the bed), durable, and adaptable as her daughter’s interests and tastes change.

June included her daughter in some steps of the revamp, too. Her daughter picked her own bedding, helped pick out the family photos that would go in the frames, and she and June worked on filling a lamp for the desk with sparkly gems — a fun Do-It-Together craft. (More Do-It-Together ideas this way!)

Credit: June Cruz

“Once all the furniture was in, we decided to add in the wall sconces, and instead of adding electrical hookups, used remote control puck lights,” June says. She also replaced the ceiling fan with a more contemporary light fixture, and added in the rest of the art and decor.

June still plans to add a wood accent wall behind the chair in the reading corner, and after that, she plans to tackle her son’s room. But her biggest win for now? Feeling like her daughter has a completed space that’s 100 percent her own. “I had never looked at a space and completely added everything to it, all the furniture, decor, hardware, and lighting,” June says. “I’m proud that I completed the room, and made it work for all the things my daughter wanted, and the things she needed too. It was an awesome experience.”

Credit: June Cruz

Even better: June’s daughter’s room “is always clean at the end of the day because everything has a space and place,” June says. “She has a comfortable reading area and a homework area that works for her, she has space to play with her friends when they come over. Her room is one she spends so much time in now.”

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