Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wade's Room Tour {aka Decorating a Kid's Room for Cheap}

Wade's room came together rather quickly, mostly because I used a lot of things we already had.  {I know think I do that at least in part so I won't feel bad for wanting to re-do it so soon!} I wanted it to feel like a happy kid space, but one that I enjoyed seeing as well :)  His room is really small, which in some ways made things easier because there just wasn't as much space to take into consideration.  But of course being tight on space has its own challenges as well (not the least of which was taking these photos!).  All of that to say, both Wade and I like his room, so I'm calling it a win-win!

 Tip #1: It's probably no surprise that the number one way to save money when decorating is to re-use things you already own, especially furniture, which can quickly eat up your budget for your room!  All of the furniture in this room was repurposed.  Also, don't be afraid to think outside the box and use furniture that you may not have considered for a child's room.

I know Wade would want this angle shown--he loves his wall track!

The bed was mine as a child!  It served as a guest bed way back in the day before we had kids.  I think it's perfect for a little boy because its curves are tempered with some more masculine lines (like the headboard area).  Of course it could also work for a little girl too, should I change things up down the line (who me?).

My mom and I made the window treatment for Wade's old room back in Richmond.  It was actually a little too wide for that window, but it ended up being a perfect fit here!  Double bonus that the color and pattern worked with the new room too.

Wade's (pared down) old bedroom for our house listing.  I think you can kind of see what I mean about the window treatments being too wide in this space...

The bedside tables belonged to my grandparents.  They used them as porch furniture.  When I saw those midcentury beauties, my heart skipped a beat, and I just had to have them!  The tops were in rough shape when I got them, but nothing a little sanding and new paint couldn't fix.

I think they are great in this particular space because they don't take up a lot of visual weight in an already tight area.

I purchased the chest of drawers at an auction several years ago.  I like that it's low enough that Wade can reach his clothes himself!  Please don't look too closely or you will see evidence of many truck and car crashes.  The lamp and the chest top are really chipped and in need of a new paint job with a serious protective finish!

Tip #2: Shop at discounted stores like Target and Ikea.  Ok, I know this sounds obvious, but here's the thing--I think the key is to mix up your choices and be relatively picky.  So, while I probably wouldn't recommend grabbing all the coordinating pieces of a bedding set from the kid's aisle at a place like Target, I think it can totally work if you pick and choose.

For Wade's room, I knew he would think these sheets with the construction scenes were awesome.  But I wasn't really interested in buying the matching comforter :)  I think the best kid's rooms are the right mix of whimsy and kid, balanced by some classic, more sophisticated pieces.  If there happened to have been a matching lamp or something, you can bet I would have passed.  Too much matchy primary colored items, and you have quickly moved into a zone that rhymes with "slacky"  :)  (in my humble opinion!)

I paired the construction sheet set with a classic blue and white striped duvet, also from Target--but not part of their kid's line.  I love the bold stripes.  I think in a small room, such as Wade's, it makes a great impact.  I also love how the light green 'W' pillow is a nice relief from all the saturated, brighter colors in the room.

One caveat I should share--while I love the look of Wade's duvet, I actually really hate the material.  When Target tries to entice you by describing a material as "easy care," that's really a euphemism for nasty feeling-polyester-your down comforter will slide all around in it duvet cover.  Granted, it was only $25 for a full/queen size, but I seriously would have been better of with this one or this one.  I continue to wonder if I should just go ahead and buy one of those, but then what if we get to California and I decide I want to redo the whole look?  A bit of a dilemma it is.

I didn't think I needed a bedskirt with this particular bed, so I purchased a single fitted sheet from another section in Target to use as a cover for the box spring.  I chose a shade of blue that coordinated with the ones in the sheet set.

The lamps are from Ikea, and I thought the style worked in a masculine space, and I liked how the finish brought in a new color/texture to the room.  I also liked that their more streamlined, modern style was a nice counterpoint to the traditional bed.  They're also just really practical because Wade logs a lot of time reading books in his bed.

The stuffed animals are probably my favorite part.  They, along with the little toys (that of course I edited for the sake of these pictures :)  are what makes the room personal and unique to my boy.  It's fun and sentimental to think about when Wade got each one.

Tip #3:  Enlist your room's inhabitant to get in touch with their inner Picasso!  There is just nothing like little children's artwork!  So sincere, uninhibited, and personal.  In Wade's room, I felt like the space on either side of the window could use a little something to fill the vertical space.  I considered framing enlarged photographs, but this ended up being an even cheaper option, and I have to tell you, I'm kind of obsessed.

I simply purchased some small bottles of acrylic paint from Michaels in a palette of colors that was drawn from the fabrics I had already used.  I gave my little dude some brushes and some paper and let him go to town.

I'm no fine art connoisseur, but I think he did an awesome job!  Abstract and unique.  Inexpensive.  Made with love by my four-year old.  What's not to love?!  {As a side note, I should tell you I do have some ulterior parenting motives.  I need at least one of my kids to stay really interested in art so they can make beautiful things for me to hang on our walls.  I also need someone to take an interest in piano playing so I can justify having one in our home (and so we can enjoy the music of course)  This is all completely rational, right? }

Framed in inexpensive Ikea Ribba frames I already owned, the total cost of this project is hardly even worth calculating :)

Lastly, here is the closet area.

I maximized space in his small room by using a small bookshelf we already owned to hold books, extra toys, and shoes.  Please note the number of puzzles.  The child is a  whiz at puzzles! We'll go check on him before we go to bed ourselves and find that he's worked all of his puzzles before going to sleep. His floor is often covered with his completed puzzles :)

It only seems right that if we're going to talk about his room, then I should show you some pictures of the most important part--Wade!  Here are a few recent favorites.

He completed this new 100-piece puzzle all by himself!

Are you still with me?  Since I titled this "Decorating a Kid's Room for Cheap", I thought I'd include a cost breakdown of what I did.

Side Tables--inherited (cost to paint was minimal especially since I probably already owned the paint)
Lamps-$50 for the pair
Fitted Sheet (for covering the box spring)--about $12
Duvet Cover--$25
Stuffed Animals--gifts
"W" pillow--from Pottery Barn, given to us as a wedding gift (W for Worthington :)  but it works quite
                     well when your first name starts with a 'W' too!
Curtain--already owned
Frames for art--already owned ($40 total)
Art--maybe $10 total for supplies?
Chest--already owned (paid just under $100 I think?)
mirror--already owned ($30 at consignment shop)
yellow lamp--already owned (purchased circa 2006 from Target and later spray painted)
"W" statue--gift, I believe it's from Anthropologie
Custom sign hanging from mirror--made by a family friend and given as a baby gift
Framed cross-stitching--made by my mom, it used to hang in my brother's rooms as children!
Shelf in closet--already owned (purchased from Pier One circa 2004??? for who knows what)

Coming in at just over $120 total, I'd say I did a pretty good job of minimizing my costs!  Hopefully my banker (you know, my husband :)  will agree!

Linking up with:

Emily A. Clark

The Shabby Nest

Edie at Life in Grace:


  1. Love the room and the pertater! I just pulled out some of my boys' art to frame for their room. Love it! Xoxo

  2. Over from Emily's blog : ] I love this space! It's everything a kid's room should be. And I really dig the art, too ; ] Nice job!

  3. This room turned out great! I love all the different pieces. As for the duvet, we have the Ronan from Serena & Lily in my son's room and I love everything about it! While yours looks just like it, I am happy to hear that our splurge was worth the extra cost. :)

  4. Great job on the table - what a great find. Thanks for linking up!