When I first entered homeownership, I found myself afraid to take risks – choosing to recreate favorite catalog photos instead of following my own heart and style. In the beginning, my house was beige with overbearing pops of color that didn’t tie the rooms together.
I questioned each design choice I made. Or, maybe, others questioned my design choices.
Are you sure you want to paint the hall this color? It looks a bit like poop.
Isn’t white furniture more for girls than boys?
Won’t a white fireplace just look cheesy?
That bold, brown hallway? Its now the most complimented aspect of my house. The white furniture? It looks as masculine as can be. The white fireplace? Changed the brightness and airiness of the entire first floor.
I’ve put together a list of the best decorating takeaways from my son’s new tween boy bedroom. Truth be told, he is seven…yet, it is a tween bedroom all the way.
Love Color? Apply Strategically
I love how playful a pop of color can make the room. However, I learned that a pop of color should be just that – a pop. Don’t blanket the whole room in your accent color.
One place in our house that the pop of color works is in the kids’ office. We layered a bright blue into the room with a gorgeous rug and a painted 70’s chandelier.
Dark Walls, Light Furniture
I was obsessed with the idea of painting my older son’s room a deep, stormy gray. I thought the color was masculine and would take him into his teen years. I also thought the dark walls would pop against the white trim. With a reasonable amount of light shining in the room, I was willing to take the chance.
Now, I was limited in design by four large white bookshelves that needed a home in his room. One of the best ways to get kids to read is to surround them with books – and, well, because of space constraints, surround him we did.
His desk is his favorite part of his room. Every night before he goes to bed he chooses to spend a half hour to an hour writing nonfiction (he likes writing biographies) or working on math workbooks. He stole my favorite little metal and wood stool from my craft room, but it fits his room so nicely, I cannot take it back. However, I am on the hunt for a new one! This beauty was a Target find a few years ago.
He has a reading nook, complete with a furry bean bag chair that he loves.
Along the wall where the beanbag is resting, is a soccer decal. I have been working with Pro World this year to showcase some of the ways regular moms and dads can use vinyl to decorate their homes and make clothes for the kids. When they sent over some white FDC Removable Matte vinyl, I knew I wanted to make some decals for the kids’ rooms.
This decal was made and applied in less than 10 minutes using a split soccer ball from the Silhouette design store. Adding his name in the red sprinkled throughout the room gave the design some punch on the gray walls.
My son is a HUGE Redskins fan, so he has little tributes to his team throughout the room.
The white furniture works in this boy’s room, as it looks beachy and modern, but is stark against the dark walls.
Work with the Light (or Lack of Light) of the Room
I love rooms best when they look open and bright, while still maintaining the warmth of a home. I don’t want to live in a museum or have a room that is a blank slate – and stays a blank slate. However, in some rooms changing the color of the wall to something that absorbs light is a major win. Take our new playroom that I shared a few weeks ago. A coat of paint on the fireplace and a bright rug brought the room from dark and dreary to sunny and fun.
Anything (Well Almost Anything) Can Be Masculine
With the exception of most florals (prove me wrong!), I think most patterns and colors are fairly neutral. Since I live with all boys, I try to keep their design tastes in mind when I decorate. White comforter? Go for it. Pinks, purples, and golds? Use in small doses.
Don’t Overdo a Theme
When I first started decorating for the boys, I was all about the theme. Mo Willems bedroom, Truck bedroom, Beach bedroom …
Now I know better. I choose simple colors for the bedding, walls, and lighting and layer on the boys’ interests…making it interchangeable. Murphy’s Law says that as soon as you finish the Superhero room for your son, he’ll move on to Star Wars. Make it easy for yourself…keep the base layers, and add extras such as fun prints, themed toys, and removable wall decals to add personality to the room.