Before and After – All about Ayden Boys’ Room

Posted in BEDROOMS, DECOR, DIY
on May 10, 2013

I’m so excited to be able to finally share Ayden’s, my favorite six-year-old, new room! It seems like this project has been going on forever – because it has – but the outcome is so worth the time and effort put in. So, without further ado.. let’s take a little walk down memory lane. Shall we?

Ayden’s original room needed some love. As he is the youngest of five, there has been little time to focus on his room the past few years, and it showed. There was plenty of mismatched furniture with beat-up finishes. The room had a cramped layout, leaving little room for play, and there was a lack of storage for toys or books. A generic paint color nothing to add interest. I love, love the color red but there was just far too much in this room. There was too much of such a bold color, and a poor  use of contrast.

Shay and I had made Ayden’s bed, using a design from Ana White and we love it, but without a headboard, the bed failed to be a focal point. As a matter of fact, the room was seriously in need of a focal point over all!

Most importantly, the room just didn’t scream “Ayden!”. Ayden has some very distinct interests, few of which were represented in his room at all. I wanted to create a space for him that he would love – a wanted a place he would to want to spend time in, and I wanted to surround him with the things that he loves.



We started with the walls. We decided on a light blue, with a wide stripe wall to act as a focal point. This color scheme was masculine, and allowed for a lot of flexibility over the next few years. The stripes had the added effect of making the room appear larger and wider. I was so nervous to apply the stripes, as I had never painted stripes before, but I did some research and decided to just go for it. I measured and taped off the stripes, applied a coat of the light blue over the tape lines and let it dry completely. This sealed the tape lines with the original color and eliminated the darker running through. I then applied two coats of the stripe color, in this case darker blue, within my tape lines and removed the tape when the paint was still wet. This gave me a near perfect line, I couldn’t believe it! The few minor areas that were smudged I touched up with a small brush by hand. We used Glidden Duo in an Eggshell finish. The base color was Martha Stewart Living Frost (MSL143) and the stripe color was Martha Stewart Living Thistle (MSL160). We completed the walls by adding crown moulding – Thanks so much, Shay!

Once the walls were completed, we started on layout and storage. Moving the bed against the focal point wall, and adding shallow bookshelves, gave us more floor space for playing (and walking!) and gave us some much more attractive storage for toys, books, and knick-knacks. We purchased inexpensive basic bookcases from Target, that we plan to trim out at some point, using this tutorial, which is the same method we used earlier on Kyla’s bookcases. We chose Espresso for the finish to match Ayden’s bed, and to compliment the other furniture to be refinished.

Ayden is a big reader, and he also loves, loves, loves to check out the window in the mornings. There wasn’t enough room for a window seat, as his closet door swings out over the window, but we were able to use this chair that Ayden already had to serve as both a nice little cushy seat for the window, while at the same time, creating a small little reading nook. We were lucky to receive the chair as a gift a few years back, but it can still be purchased from Pottery Barn Kids here.

With exception of the new bookcases, we were able to utilize nearly all of Ayden’s existing furniture (except for the ugly wire shelving – too bad!) and only added other pieces that we already had, such as his headboard. This significantly reduced the cost of this DIY project. Ayden’s dressers, side table, and a headboard we were able to salvage from Kyla’s Bedroom Redo, were all painted and glazed using Behr Satin in Black Suede and Valspar Clear Satin Glaze. You can see additional details of the dresser refinish here.

With the walls painted, and the furniture refinished and placed more appropriately, it was time to move on to wall art and accessories. My favorite!

The bedding was existing – the duvet cover was from Ikea many, many moons ago, the sheets, Pottery Barn Kids. The throw pillows all came from Target – the monkey pillow I found in the dollar bins! I added finials for the headboard, as it had none originally. I found them at Bed Bath and Beyond – they are drapery rod finials in a bronze finish. For curtains, I wanted something light, but I also wanted to be able to open and close them. I opted for a single curtain on the outside of each window, which I really like, as it opened up the wall, but still allowed for privacy – I found a heavier or fuller drape too overwhelming in the small room. The bold chevron design was hand-painted using this tutorial, and the curtains were hand made by me. The rods and drapery clips were inexpensive rods found at Walmart.

The rest of the wall art and other accessories all speak to something that Ayden loves. The train plaque above Ayden’s bed was modelled after these sea animal plaques at Pottery Barn Kids. It was made out of pine 1×3 slats and 1×1 furring strips.

Given the extended length of the dresser, I wanted to divide the area. I still however, wanted the areas to flow in to one another. I crafted the Ahoy There Matey Mirrors for one side not long ago. You can see details here.

On the other side of the dresser , I decided on a gallery wall, which incidentally does flow in to the mirrored side quite nicely. Both the ceramic wall A and the elephant were existing. Both were thrift store finds made over. The Rainbow Farm print was created by me on my computer, using free farm animal prints from here, that I manipulated in a graphics program. The Dr. Suess quote was inspired by a free printable made by Allison at All for the boys. I loved the font and layout she used, but I wanted a little more color, so I recreated her print on a red background. I lucked out and found a Super Hero themed scrapbook pad at Michaels that I mounted both prints on, with the pages giving them both a little bit more color and cohesion with the rest of the room.

The bookcase accessories were mostly made up of lucky finds and Ayden’s many books. The metal circus sign was found browsing at a local antique store.

The giraffe and No Fear metal sign can be purchased at Hobby Lobby, along with the metal steam engine.

The Superman piggy bank can be purchased from Walmart, as well as the large Spiderman print, which is actually a wall decal applied to a floating poster frame.

 And finally, the smaller Spiderman plaques atop of the bookcases were purchased at TJ Maxx.

I am always amazed by how a little bit of paint, and rearranging of furniture and accents can completely change a room.

I love how this room turned out and, but most importantly, as you can see, Ayden LOVES his new room.. that is what really matters!

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3 Comments

  • Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art

    I love those bold blue stripes on the feature wall. What a great boy's room!!

    May 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm Reply
  • Michelle LaDuke

    I just happened onto your blog and I enjoyed scoping out some of the details of the room. Great job on the room and I think painting the furniture black really gave it a "big boy" look.

    May 30, 2013 at 2:09 am Reply
  • miraz echo

    I love those bold blue fetare for us
    thank you
    Fire !!!

    November 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm Reply
  • Leave a Reply

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