"Big Boy Room" Transformation Reveal

Boys' Bedroom Transformation

Well, today is the day! I finally get to share the fruits of my labor with you. Today, I am revealing the “Big Boy Room” transformation. Just to recap: This room was a baby room for our youngest son, and our oldest son was sleeping in a toddler bed in the guest bedroom. That arrangement simply didn’t function well for us anymore, so it was time to transition them to a shared “big boy room,” and that’s just what we’ve done. Not only did I make over the room, but I did it under serious time constraints (2 weeks!) while being filmed for a series of short segments on HLN. Update: You can check out the HLN TV segments here. To read all about that experience, check out Day 1 and Day 2 of filming. Warning: This post contains a zillion photos.

To refresh your memory, here is the room “Before.”

Boy's Room

And here it is After.

Boys' Bedroom After

Boy's Room After

Here’s a rundown of everything I did in this room:

  • Painted and glazed the dresser and night stand, both found on Craigslist. (Sidenote: I have to give a ginormous shout-out and thank you to Sarah Macklem of The Yellow Cape Cod for inspiring the paint treatment on the furniture in this room. I knew I wanted to go with a navy/lime color scheme, and when I saw the lime green dresser on her blog I knew it would be perfect for this room. I also used her tutorial to assist with making the curtains. I knew I wanted to add “no-sew” stripes but wasn’t sure what to do about the raw edge. Her technique worked out perfectly. Thanks Sarah!)
  • Added stripes to the curtain panels
  • Designed and made headboards (Tutorial here.)
  • Built toddler bed (Tutorial here.)
  • Made pillows
  • Spray painted lamps and added ribbon trim to shades
  • Re-covered a thrift store chair
  • Spray painted a magazine holder to use for books
  • Added a new navy border to this Quatrefoil Photo Art that used to hang in our office.
  • Spray painted thrift store frames and mounted these cardboard letters inside them on the wall.
  • Designed a printable featuring a Marc Brown quote and framed it for the wall.

Tutorials for some of these projects will be coming soon!

The boys even made their own artwork for the room.

Kids' Art

Jake loves playing in here so much, I couldn’t even finish taking photos before he made himself right at home.

Boys' Room After


Boys' Room After

Here are a few more shots (sans kiddo):

Boys' Room After


Boys' Room After
Boys' Room After


Boys' Room

The boys seem to really love their new room, so my hard work paid off. I stepped out of my comfort zone big time with this room makeover, but luckily it worked out. Looking back, it was pretty crazy to attempt building, using power tools, etc., basically for the first time, all while a camera crew looked on. I built a bed – from scratch! And designed and built headboards for both beds. They’re not flawless, but I’m glad I pushed myself to go above and beyond with this project. The smiles on the boys’ faces when they saw their room for the first time made it all worth it.

Boys' Bedroom Collage
I didn’t have plans to build a bed, or even to make two headboards. I had originally planned to make a headboard for Aiden’s twin bed, but to use Aiden’s old toddler bed for Jake. A few days before filming the reveal, I decided I’d really love to have a mini-version of the headboard for Jake’s little toddler bed. Unfortunately the toddler bed we own already has a headboard attached that can’t be removed, so the day before the reveal, I randomly whipped together a new toddler bed from scratch and attached the new headboard to it. No big deal. Ok yes it is a big deal, for me anyway. I’ve never done anything like that before! But now I know that I can.

I’d like to thank John (the producer) and Dave (the camera man) from HLN for being so wonderful to work with and for being so great with my kiddos. They made us all feel so comfortable and at ease, and they were just such nice guys. I will actually miss having them around! But I won’t miss working my tail off every day.

Filming for HLNAs for the HLN series, my segments will be shown during Evening Express at 5pm on Fridays starting March 15. (If that changes, I’ll let you know.) They are super short – like, 2 minutes long. So if you blink you’ll miss it, but it will run in a 3 part series over a 3 week period and will repeat over the weekends.

And here is a side by side Before & After, for comparison:

Boys' Bedroom Before & After
Although throwing a deadline into the mix certainly added some pressure, it was actually a good thing to have that type of motivation. Otherwise, who knows if this room would’ve ever gotten finished! I’m not a professional designer or carpenter (obviously), but I feel like we are all capable of more than we think we are. If I can do this, then so can you. Trust me. I walked away from this project kind of thinking, “Wow, I didn’t even know I had it in me to throw something like this together.” But it’s always a good feeling to set a goal and accomplish it. The fact that the boys love their room as much as I do is just the icing on the cake. (Of course that was the ultimate goal anyway!)

So now for the big question: Would YOU put yourself out there and try new things and face new challenges (on purpose) all while a camera crew documented it? Or am I the only crazy one? Do tell.

If you like this room makeover, I’d love it if you would Pin it or share it!

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Linking this post to:
Home Stories A to Z
Serenity Now


  1. Pinning!!! Love this!

  2. Erin! It turned out amazing! I love it! All in two weeks is a huge accomplishment and with a camera crew in tow. I bet it was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to see you on HLN! :-)

  3. Fantastic transformation. I am sure your two boys will have a lot of fun in their new room. Love how the green, navy and white go together, so fresh:)

  4. It looks GREAT! I love the green and blue combo!

  5. Great colors!! But where are all the toys, books, etc.??? My son’s room will never look that pulled together! LOL! ;-)

  6. Beautiful!

  7. Looks wonderful! Great job!

  8. Sorry to comment as “Anonymous” but it is the only way I can get it to go thru. First, WOW! You did a great job on every single piece. Secondly, I love your color combination! I clicked on the tutorial for painting the dresser & night stand. Just wondering—did you use the same color “Lime Ricky” on your pieces??

  9. What a beautiful room transformation. The headboards are amazing and I love the color combo. What a perfect space for little boys.

  10. I love their room! The color combinations and simple decor is beautiful and very functional. Erin you are a great inspiration in decorating. I love your ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  11. What a great room! Pinning.

  12. You are a rock-star in my book!!! It looks amazing!!! Incredible pictures too! The toddler bed is perfection! So proud of you! Pinning!!!

  13. It came out SO great, Erin! The colors are incredible, and the little details totally tie everything together. I’m feeling super inspired to tackle my big boys’ bedroom now! :)

  14. Erin, I love your boy’s room! What a fantastic redo, congrats on it all. I have to read up on the filming part, someone mentioned that Sat. at our meetup. How exciting for you!

  15. It looks amazing! I just started following you a few weeks back and I love your blog. I have two boys and need to re-do their room soon! This is very inspiring!! Thank you!

  16. It turned out so cute, Erin! Great color combination and I love the dresser. (Your boys’ photo art looks perfect in this room, too.) And congratulations on the start of your t.v. career!

    • Thanks so much! Ha – and as for the tv career, this might be the beginning AND the end! It’s pretty stressful! Don’t think I could handle it all the time. But it was a fun experience.

  17. This is amazing!!! Love the color palette! and can’t wait to see you on the big screen!

  18. It looks really great. I especially love the headboards and the quatrefoil picture. Too cute. As a fellow mom of 2 boys – who recently moved my boys to the same room too – this post made me smile!

  19. Love it! The dresser turned out beautifully (I just picked up one in a similar style that I need to paint, so I’m on the lookout for old chunky dresser makeovers right now), and I love the framed brothers quote. Nice job! and congratulations on the TV spots! (we’re neighbors, btw; I’m in Roswell :))

  20. Soooo cute, Erin! Good for you — I applaud your bravery/craziness!
    xo heidi

  21. Love how the bedroom turned out! Beautiful details my friend!

  22. The room turned out beautifully and all your hard work shows in the details!! Bravo!! :)

  23. What a wonderful transformation! It is very adorable but not too little boyish. It seems like it would last for awhile as they grow. Great makeover.

    • Thank you Angela. That was one of my goals – to create a room that they could “grow into.” Not too babyish, but something that works for them at their current age as well as for the next few years.

  24. Erin, I am in awe!! The room is adorable and amazing!! Those headboard – wow. Can you make one for me?? Love that they match and love the finish! The matching framed initials over the bed – make the room! And the green dresser and chair rail. Ok, yes I love it ALL!

    SO EXCITED for your opportunity too. Will be watching your blog for specific airing details and will definitely tune in. :)

    and yes, I would totally do it. I thrive under time pressure – LOL! Drive everyone around me crazy, but I get a ton done :)

    • Thanks so much for your sweet words, Christina! I appreciate it. And I work best under pressure too! That’s something that I definitely learned about myself throughout this process.

  25. I definitely would do something like this! Hahaha I have been encouraging my dad to see if he can get on Renovation Realities because he plans on adding space to his closet in the master bedroom. He has built buildings, garages, and the shed out back so I know that he can do it no problem, but it would be hilarious to see his episode back to back with tons of other people who don’t know what they’re doing. I watch a lot of DIY, plus I’ve helped my dad out a lot, so I would personally love to be on one of those shows, even though I’m not really talkative (in real life) and I’m pretty shy. You did a great job, and I look forward to seeing your hard work on television!

  26. Erin, the colors you chose, and the way you decorated this room, is just perfect for two growing boys! I look forward to the tutorials you’ll be sharing for several of these projects too! Congratulations on HLN filming too – how cool is that? Very!

  27. Erin, congrats on a fabulous makeover! Your room is adorable! Thanks for the shout out, I’m glad my tutorials came in handy. I look forward to seeing these projects featured on HLN! Very exciting:)

    Best, Sarah

  28. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Yes, I think you’re nuts to try it all with a camera crew, but it is “nuts” that paid off, big time! Congrats on a job beautifully done!!

  29. This is such an amazing makeover! I love that green nightstand! It adds statement to the room. Great job Erin!

  30. The room is stunning, Erin- you did a fantastic job! I hope you’ll post a reminder on facebook of when your segments air!

  31. What a great room – I love the navy and lime colours you used and the striped curtains.

  32. Hello Erin ! I LOVE this room, I could totally see my little boy in there !! I love the green accent and the headboards. I also like your curtains. I’ve just done the same thing using 2 Ikea curtains. Here’s the link if you’re interested : http://frenchhappynest.blogspot.fr/2013/02/diy-ikea-striped-curtains.html. Thanks for sharing this, very inspirational !

  33. This room is darling – love all the colors!

  34. LOVE it! You did an AWESOME job! Now that you pulled it all together in that “last minute” crunch time…you can RELAX! The colors are fantastic and I LOVE the boy’s initials above the beds!

  35. I love the color combination. The paint on the dressers is just perfect and those headboards are so rich looking! Great job, Erin!

  36. I really love the green and you gave me a great idea for the chair. We have a chair similar to the one you found at the thrift store and new fabric would really give it a boost. I have some time before we start to build the deck and play area in the backyard and the chair would look much better if I reupholstered it.

  37. I love the room and I am wondering what color is on the walls? Seems like a great color to go with anything.

    • Thanks Tricia! Good question actually. :) These walls were already painted this color when we moved in so I don’t know the color or brand, but I would describe it as a khaki color. Sorry I am no help!

  38. What a great job, the bedroom looks beautiful. I like the green mixed with the navy and white – a great colour combo!! I’ve got this linked to my post on boys rooms too today!

  39. THis turned out great Erin! I am getting ready to redo my sons room into a big boy room as I type this, so this is great inspiration! Did you end up finding a coordinating duvet cover for the duvets?

    • Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says:

      Thanks Allyson! No, we ended up liking the look of the plain white with the striped pattern that these comforters have, so as of now I haven’t covered them. They wash up easily so for now they will just stay as they are. Can’t wait to see what you do with your son’s room!

  40. Love the color scheme. we were going to go with aqua and lime for our boys’ room, but I love this combo so much more. Wondering where you bought the fabric to make the pillows?


    • Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says:

      Hi Lauren, of course that would be great! Thank you! I’m totally fine with one photo and a linkback. Thanks for asking!

  42. I reached your website by the share of this post on apartment therapy. You people are really good at these stuff, really loved the combinations and the bed. The bedsides are really pretty and you have a good concept of the smaller and the bigger bed :) hope the guys are going to have fun together! :) xoxox

  43. I am so totally pinning this! First boy’s room transformation I saw on Pinterest…and I am in love! It’s my ultimate favorite from everything I have seen, and I absolutely love the navy and green combo!!! Wonderful, wonderful job! Thanks for sharing this! ;)

  44. I love the lime green…I was looking for inspiration this morning for some bamboo chairs..think I found it!!! This is the cutest boys room. Those curtains and all of it- classic & fresh!

    • Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says:

      Thank you, Melanie! Their room at our new house is much bigger than their old room, so I’m trying to figure out what else to do. Right now we have all of the same stuff in there but there is still some space to fill. I still love the navy and lime green though!


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