Monday, 29 July 2013

Shared Room Makeover

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may recall a few photos I posted of a bit of a spray-painting fest that was happening around these parts way back in April.

Well, I'm delighted to announce that this project- a makeover of my middle two boys' bedroom- is finally done!

These two (seven and four) have been sharing a room for the last 20 months. When Hamish moved in, Liam already had a Dinosaur themed room. We still love dinosaurs, and have kept most of those elements, but their interests are diversifying and I wanted a room that will easily grow with them (AKA easy to change when dinosaur bedrooms are no longer cool).
I started on my journey toward spray-paint-addiction when I decided to paint their beds. 

The beds they have used to be my brother's bunks. We inherited them when my eldest turned nine and they are still going strong! However, I found the plain timber look just too boring and that orange pine starting to annoy me. Enter the spray can!  Here's the before...

I used Dulux Spraypak in Wildfire Red. They needed two cans each and two quick coats within half an hour and they were done!  I am absolutely thrilled with the result and am so glad I took the plunge.  Here's the after...

While the beds were drying, we gave the bed room a fresh coat of paint (Dulux White on White) - which makes SO much of a difference I'm desperate to do the whole house now! All the other walls look so dirty and old in comparison.

You may recall that while waiting for the walls to dry, we had a fun time indoor camping!

Then it was time to do some decorating. I'd been pinning things for a while and decided to create a mood board to really cement my ideas and get both the boys and their father to help make some decisions about which artwork to choose.

Lauren at Handmade Happenstance made the most amazing mood board in Photoshop when planning her boys' room. 

I've never used Photoshop, so I pasted a few of my favourite things from Pinterest into Word and added some photos I'd taken of the things that had to stay.
   After printing I did some old fashioned pen on paper scribbling all over it.

There were a few things I couldn't change. The carpet (for now), the curtains, the built-in wardrobe and the drawers.  The (reversible) dinosaur bedding was still working well, so we've kept that too.

I tried rearranging the beds, but they close off the room too much in any other position than pictured above.  (I'm standing in the door way to snap this) And those massive windows limit furniture placement too.

We used to have a chest of drawers between the beds.  I was able to remove a built in desk that was attached to the wardrobe and put the chest of drawers in its place.  This has made a heap of difference to the openness of the room and makes dusting, vacuuming and looking for lost toys so much easier too!

The main feature I wanted for decoration was a gallery wall. Since the advent of Command strips and hangers, gallery walls no longer mean exact planning and copious holes in the walls, thankfully.

Of course, more spray painting happened for this!  This time, a few frames to tie the colour scheme together.

I took me a good week of playing around before I was happy with the arrangement.

Then they got attached to the wall. Here's the end result...

After deciding which art to choose, I tried my best to find the originals online. When I couldn't find the source, or they were no longer available, I recreated them myself in Word. 

I also used this site to make watercolour prints of where each of these two sons was born- Brisbane and Darwin- and added the corresponding latitude and longitude in Word before printing.


I combined these with our dinosaur pictures, their names and some cork board I'd framed. They can use the cork-board to hold any artwork or awards they bring home from school.
The leftover frame from the cork board turned out to be the perfect size to mount Liam's Star Wars poster onto. Score!

The remaining prints ended up of the chest of drawers- under the Star Wars poster- along with this gorgeous lamp from IKEA that my wonderful sister in law lugged up in her suitcase. It's a very heavy lamp!  Thanks again, Mel. xx

Liam's side of the gallery has his name, watercolour, cork-board, dinosaurs, Troy Polomalu and a quote I thought was a really important message.  It says- "If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be" and the lower one - which ties in with my final project - says "You can't buy happiness but you can buy books and that's kind of the same thing"...

Hamish's side has the same elements with two quotes we loved- "Don't follow your dreams, chase them" and "Being a brother is even better than being a Superhero"...

Next up were some cushions. I ordered these from The Blue Birds shop on Etsy and had my talented Mum applique their initials on.

She also sewed up the kit of the absolutely amazing vintage globe floor cushion from Salt Labs on Etsy. I love, love, love this cushion!

The final project required a little more- you guessed it- spray paint!  This time on some IKEA spice racks, which have been used to make a special reading corner that both myself and the kids just adore!

The boys are so happy with the result and have been great at making their beds every morning to keep it looking amazing (and to keep getting pocket money!) and I smile every time I walk past the door!

So, I'm done.  Well, maybe not!  I need your advice...  

The chest of drawers you saw above (and below) was an IKEA cheapy that we bought to keep in the wardrobe of our house in Brisbane and never be seen.  However, it is now being seen - daily!- and I'm thinking about more paint!

Should I keep it white, like the toy box at the end of Liam's bed...

...or add a bit of an ombre look (like Jen's amazing pink version here) in order to tie it, the toy box and the blue built-in wardrobe together?

What do you think?


  1. Stopping by from the I Heart link up. Our twins turn 3 in October and we are doing their "big kid" rooms for their birthday. We bought a bed almost identical to yours for my daughter from Craigslist. I have been debating how to paint it, but seeing your post makes me thinking spray painting is the best way to go. I also love the IKEA spice rack-bookshelf trick. We just did that in our family room -- it is the best!

    1. Hi Kristin, Thanks so much for stopping by! Painting them is the best thing I could've done. I'm so happy with how they've turned out. All the best with yours and yay for ikea!

  2. I stopped by from I Heart as well. I bought almost the same beds as you off of craigslist and was thinking about spray painting them too. I have held off for now just because I am busy, but plan to as some point. I love the way it turned out! Question for you, for the life of me I can not figure out how to reply to people's comments on my blog? Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Amy, Appologies for the late reply!
      I think your beds would look great painted. Would you go white to match those awesome frames above the beds?
      As for replying, I can just hit reply. I've always wondered if people ever get my replies or if there's an option to be emailed about follow up comments. Must look into it! I'm so new to this and know very little!!

  3. hi, I found via Fox in Flats (your video was featured). I think you could paint that white drawer set red as well...gotta love the red spray can! For the floor you could get a huge play mat to go over the carpet in kids colours or themes. Love the spice rack book holder!!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!
      Red would look great too. Great idea.
      I'm saving up for new day!
      Book racks have been a huge hit.


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