A “Mismatched” Bedroom Gets a Dark, Dramatic (and Cohesive!) New Look

published May 8, 2024
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Bunk bed in child's room before renovation.

Perhaps it’s fair to argue that kid’s rooms are the places to take design risks. Whether it’s transforming a storage loft into a nursery or painting a colorful mural, making bold style choices epitomizes the adventure that is childhood.

So, when professional DIYer Nicole Pankopp (@simplyalignedhome) was designing a bedroom for her youngest son, she wanted to infuse it with his venturesome personality. 

Initially, the room was shared by Nicole’s two sons and included a menagerie of “mismatched furniture” and a bunk bed. “I wanted the room to feel like it was special and reflected his adventurous personality,” Nicole. “Now, each of my boys has a special place of their own.” 

Even though Nicole’s son is a little too young to be involved in the full design process, she still sought his approval on changes, namely, the paint color. Her favorite spaces seamlessly combine dark paint with light wood tones, and she wanted to incorporate that into her son’s bedroom. However, she had to get his sign-off first. 

“I know that painting a room dark is a big decision, and I just wanted to be sure that he loved it,” she explains. “The color was a huge success, with all my boys loving it and now asking me to paint all of their rooms the same.”

After getting her son’s approval, it was time to start transforming the room, which was an entire DIY project. “I love not only saving money but designing and building my own spaces,” Nicole shares. Her projects are a labor of love, but the changes make a big difference.

Up first was figuring out what to do with the wall’s original stipple texture and the popcorn ceiling. Nicole installed shiplap paneling on the walls and hung planks from a previous basement project onto the ceiling (after getting it tested for asbestos). Once the new walls and ceiling were installed, Nicole painted the room in Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore. “It’s my favorite charcoal color that I’ve used in several rooms of this and our previous home,” she writes.

And while the walls are essentially black, the space doesn’t feel cold because of the inclusion of wood accents and furniture like the fun hammock chair (which is actually all of her sons’ favorite place to hang out). To ensure her son’s adventurous spirit was captured in the room, she created a DIY artwork inspired by the mountains with leftover wood scraps and mounted it above his bed. 

“I just love how warm and cozy the room is! The room gets a lot of sunlight in the warmer months, so the darker color helps to make it feel cooler inside,” Nicole shares. “I really enjoy cuddling up with my son in his hammock or on the bed to read a book.”

This post originally ran on Cubby. See it there: Before and After: See How This Boys’ Bedroom Got a Dramatic Dark Makeover