One Room Challenge

Before and After: A “Boring and Plain” Kid’s Room Is Anything but After a Colorful Redo

published Jan 26, 2024
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About this before & after
Home Type
House
Project Type
Bedroom
Children's Room & Nursery
Style
Bohemian
Colorful
Skill Level
DIY
Rental Friendly
No

Featuring bold stripes, floral wallpapers, fun characters, and favorite colors, kids’ rooms are some of the most color- and pattern-filled spaces out there. As DIYer and mom Kendra Ling (@KendraElizabethHome) puts it, a kids’ room is a “special space to create and play!”

That’s the vision she had for her 6-year-old’s room, which was once very lackluster, or “pretty boring and plain,” Kendra says. “The walls were white, and the carpet was a dark gray. I didn’t like that the room was so basic.”

In an approximately $1,115 makeover, during the Fall 2023 One Room Challenge, Kendra turned it into a fun, colorful, and creative space for her daughter to grow — featuring a statement light fixture, new accessories, and some pretty cool DIY furniture.

Credit: Kendra Ling
Credit: Kendra Ling

A loft bed makes a cool kid hangout space.

“The biggest part of the makeover was framing out the loft bed,” Kendra says. “This was the biggest DIY project I’ve ever done.” Not to mention the room feels physically so much bigger with the addition of the loft, Kendra adds.

Kendra and her husband had to build a faux wall to support the loft, in addition to screwing the framework into the surrounding wall studs. The bed features beadboard paneling, a plumbing pipe railing spray-painted gold, and a ladder. “To be honest, the hardest part was deciding which type of ladder to build,” Kendra says. “My husband and I debated for weeks, but in the end just decided a simple angled ladder was perfect.” 

Underneath the bed is a boho-style swing from Amazon — the perfect spot for Kendra’s daughter to read books and play, she says.

Credit: Kendra Ling
Credit: Kendra Ling

The pink paint is custom-matched to the wallpaper.

Kendra used a rosy reddish pink Glidden paint which makes the room feel much more warm and vibrant than the white before. The color was custom-mixed to match the cactus wallpaper on the back walls and nook beside the bed. Kendra says the wallpaper “add[s] dimension to the room.”

In the little nook by the foot of the bed, there’s another pop of color: a painted green desk.

Credit: Kendra Ling
Credit: Kendra Ling

The desk is a painted family hand-me-down. 

“The desk I refinished was a 40-year-old desk that was my brother’s when he was a kid,” Kendra says. “My parents just had it sitting around in their basement. I knew it was just waiting for me to refinish it. I sanded it down and painted it a cool green color.”

Kendra says that this saved her money, too, as all the green desks she had on her vision board were out of her budget — and they weren’t solid wood like her brother’s desk is.

The lesson to be learned here is that there’s always value (be it monetary or just knowledge gained) in DIY. “Just go for it! DIY is all about learning,” Kendra says. “You mess up, but you learn from it … this is why I love DIY so much!”

This project was completed for the Fall 2023 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.