Before/After: boy’s bedroom on a budget

a boys bedroom. a NellieBellie exclusive


Perhaps you recall the before of Levi’s bedroom? You can have a reminder in this post…when Levi was pleading with Mandi from Vintage Revivals to come and make over his room?
Well, that plea for a makeover didn’t work for him. So, months and months later… I took pity on him. Kind of. It went something like this…”Levi, you finish your schoolwork early for the semester and you and I will have time to tackle that bedroom.” Whoa…3 days early. Well, golly gee…I guess I had to do something about his room. On a budget. A boy’s bedroom on a budget of…$150 or so.

The first trick was to agree on a paint color. He desperately wanted a bright blue. I desperately wanted neutral knowing full well that his tastes would change again. Compromise…neutral on 3 walls with a very cool focal wall in bright colors. It helped greatly that Dutch Boy paints have cool titles like Stone Arrowhead. Oh yeah baby…I could kiss Dutch Boy! On top of which…that stuff (Dutch Boy paint) covered those dark green/orange walls in 2 coats. 2 coats!

I knew I needed to get rid of the giant bunk bed that was eating up the space in the bedroom but hesitated on what to replace it with. When I asked him what he wanted, he said a pallet bed. ?!? Well, okay! I can spend $8.00 on a couple of pallets. Worse case scenario is I need to buy a proper bed later on. And, the pallet bed looks fabulous with the wood on the wall! And it’s friendly on the budget!

boys bedroom on a budget: from NellieBellie

Second trick was the budget. I had a bit of money in the blog budget, but not much. I needed to keep the costs under $150. So, we shopped the house and used as much as we could that was already in the room. We even used parts from the bunk bed. Creative lighting, inexpensive curtains, and creative storage ideas helped keep the budget at $120.00. I know…isn’t that great!

custom "fabric" curtains for a boys bedroom. from

Custom made curtains that cost…$25.00.  We used curtain rods and hardware we already had.

doodle on drop cloth's for custom curtains: from NellieBellie

Shopping the house found cubbies and various containers that fit in nicely into the squares . And that whale…oh golly, he’s cute!

boy's bedroom: from

The dresser needs new knobs…it will happen. But, if I don’t take pictures when I can,  the pictures might not happen! Do you see that ladder on the wall? It is a piece from the old bunk bed. Another repurpose! Eventually it will be filled with knick knacks. Did you ever notice that boy’s knicky knacky things are more rock and frog oriented then girl’s? When cleaning his room I would find a rock, or twig, or piece of leg. He repeatedly could tell me what it was from and why he needed it. Oh boy.

a boy's bedroom focal wall. from

The focal wall has the fabulous Fish Scale stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. It looks fabulous and gives Levi some color that he desperately wanted! Thanks to them for letting me try out their stencils! This girl is scared of stenciling! Like, pee my pants scared! I am the one that globs, or doesn’t keep it straight, or…something. With the level and sponge roller it was easy and looks great!!! I might have to change my mind about stenciling!

The wood behind the pallet bed…look closely!…it’s the slats from the bunk bed! Yep, I just rubbed some black stain on them to age them a bit and attached them to the wall. So cool! It gives the bed importance and keeps the room looking “manly”. Yes, “manliness” is important when you are a 10 year old boy’s bedroom!

closet turned reading nook. with a funnel lightshade. from NellieBellie

When I asked my readers what I should do with Levi’s bedroom I heard a few times…”a reading nook”. Other suggestions were a loft bed and storage. Well, we already discussed the reason for the pallet bed…budget. And the storage? What you don’t see is, along with this closet turned reading nook Levi has a full closet (which we use for toys) and a third closet we turned into the Nerf “bunker”. The closet you see above was being used for linens. He was more then happy to have those linens stored out of his room and the closet turned into something “proper” for a boy. I took the advice and turned it into a reading/DS nook.

The cushion in it is a dog bed. If you need a cushion for something, before you spend the big bucks …look in the pet section! I spent $20 on this versus the $40 they wanted for the same things in the “people” department. Best part…the cover is washable.
The light is made from a funnel I purchased and a tractor supply store and light kit from IKEA.
The blue stripes are from duct tape. Yes, I’m obsessed with the stuff.
And his tooth pillow rounds out the nook.

Thank you for the suggestion! He freaked out a bit when he saw this space…he loved it!

boy's bedroom: a NellieBellie exclusive

diy light. from NellieBellie.

I know I’m going to get a few questions about the bed lights. With good reason…they are fabulous! You can read all about them HERE. And each one cost about $12.00. Love that!

Levi is uber pleased with his room! He loves the colors, the bed, and mostly…the nook! Thank you for your suggestions and ideas…they helped make this space fun and practical!

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  1. Melissa says

    Love the slats on the wall…how clever! My boys loved the idea when I showed them :-) What size spools did you use and did you paint them in anyway?

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