Before and After: A Hand-Me-Down Bunk Bed Inspires a Whole-Room Redo in a Surprising Color Combo

published Jan 13, 2023
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About this before & after
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Before: a wooden bunk bed with toys on the bottom bunk and fans on the top
Credit: Brock Kryton

Some people have a gift with paint. In fact, there are patterned paint projects that look so similar to wallpaper that you’d never know the difference. Often, these projects are more cost-effective, less time-consuming, and more customizable than wallpaper — though of course, wallpaper is a pretty fantastic look, too.

Here’s perhaps the brightest and boldest wallpaper dupe we’ve seen yet: a set of yellow (Valspar’s Sweet Lemon) vertical stripes in a kid’s room with a bunk bed to match. Suzanne Kryton (@suzannekrytondesigns) got this bunk bed from a friend. “The previous room design had a color block detail painted on the walls but once the bunk bed was in there it didn’t really look right,” Suzanne says.

Plus, “we switched which child was in this bedroom, and she wanted a new color that reflected the things she liked,” Suzanne adds. Both factors inspired a redo of both the bed and the room that include favorites like bright yellow, lilacs, and light greens — not to mention, plenty of horses.

Credit: Brock Kryton

Suzanne created an angled ladder for the bunk bed, and added new artwork, new bedding, and a new rug. She also sewed a couple of purple polka dot throw pillows using leftover fabric her mom had and painted a ReStore file cabinet light purple (Valspar’s Dulcinea) to be a nightstand. On each level of the bed, she hung a couple new sconces that offer reading light for both bunks. Rather than hard-wiring them, Suzanne used wireless battery-powered lights inside each sconce. IKEA picture rails are the perfect base for a cozy book corner; on the opposite wall, Suzanne added a craft corner, too. But the biggest star of the (very star-packed) show is the striped wall treatment.

“The room looks like the real deal wallpaper even though it is just paint,” Suzanne says. She got the look with her Sweet Lemon can of paint, a roller, and a level. First, she painted the whole wall white (Valspar’s Du Jour) with a large roller. When that was dry, Suzanne taped out her stripes — about a 40 minute endeavor — and rolled over the taped wall in yellow with a smaller foam roller.

Credit: Brock Kryton

“The smaller roller helped cover the wall without damaging the fresh paint,” Suzanne says. One other supply tip from Suzanne? A laser level would have been easier in the long run than her old-school level. “If you want total accuracy for the lines, use a laser level, but if you’re ok with a little whimsy like I was, then a regular wall level is fine,” she says. The whole process took a couple days, Suzanne says: “I did it myself while my kids had a sleepover at Grandma’s.”

Credit: Brock Kryton

Suzanne’s cost for the entire room redo was about $600 — not bad considering the huge transformation she was able to make! The only thing she’d do differently? “Cover the whole room in this fun “faux” wallpaper pattern!” she says. “We are in love with the results! The color is so cheery and now it’s the happiest room in our house!”