Interior Design Project Boys Bedroom
Designing a room for my 10 year old son Freddie was like working for a client. If I had my way I would pull up the carpet, restore the floor boards and have a highly decorative feature wall, obviously Freddie was having none of this. I like pattern and colour, but Freddie needs to grow with this room, so I am aware that I need to keep it simple. I knew that I needed to get this right, as he will be changing a lot from this age, it also had to be all Freddie’s choice, yet I needed to have some control.
I started by making Freddie some mood board options, making sure that everything on these boards I liked and that everything was affordable. Initially Freddie wanted a very dark blue or even black. room, he was very sure of this, so I got out my large selection of blue sample pots and helped him see that his initial colour was just way too dark. We also compromised and agreed that only 2 walls would be blue. He went for Stiffkey by Farrow and Ball and Blackened for the white walls. He wanted a wooden bed and the room to have an animal theme. He loved picking from my boards and surprised me with some of his rejections and relieved me with others.
Moving from London was initially really hard for Freddie, we made the choice, not Fred. He had a very strong, established friendship network in London and had attended the same school, living in the same area for 10 years.
Then add starting a new school and Covid to the mix. It was hard not being able to have visitors and for Freddie to not have playdates with his new friends. Decorating his room was an important way of making him feel better about the changes. This had to be his choice of design. Now it’s finished I am pleased to say he loves it and it has helped him settle and feel more at home. He has a very special space.
The first thing I needed to do in this room was to strip the wallpaper off. This revealed some terrible damage around the window walls. I tried filling these myself, but soon concluded that I needed to get a plasterer in to skim the whole room. so far there is not one room in this house that is a simple paint job.
I got in 3 plasterers to quote to skim his room and plaster the ceiling in the dining room. I am learning a lot about trades. Some think because this is a big house that we are loaded, so add a couple of grand onto the quote. When in fact we are working to a very non existent monthly budget. I picked one and he was so busy, we had to book him in for 6 weeks later. This would obviously delay everything. Then when the time had passed, he cancelled the day before. Luckily our plumber could recommend us someone and they came the following week. He ended up to be amazing, so sometimes things are just meant to happen. We are starting to have a bank of very good tradesmen now, but it has been a really difficult journey getting there. Vinnie the plasterer spent a day preparing the walls, coating with pva, and filling the holes and cracks. The skimming was a further 2 days work. As soon as he was done, I could not wait to get painting. The room is actually much bigger than I thought, the ceiling stretches down the sides of the walls, so took a lot more paint than I had estimated. The plaster also soaked up the undercoat.
Painting 2 walls a dark colour and two walls white also has its challenges. I had to wait for the white to fully dry before doing the blue and tape off the edges to cut the darker colour in. I used frog tape, this did pull off some of the white paint, so needed some touching up. Thankfully this room only has one window and lower skirtings, so the woodwork didn’t take too long. The room has one very old radiator, this had to be removed by a plumber and the old thick pipes replaced with copper ones and new valves added. Costs we have learnt to include in every room in this house now. We also had to have an old ceiling light removed by an electrician and I had a ball light shade that I found in Heals years earlier, now perfect for this room. I knew there was a reason why I keep these things for years. We added a elexsa bulb, that changes colour. Freddie’s room is at the top of the house, so from the garden it looks like the moon.
Furniture sourcing and styling
Putting the furniture in and styling the room has to be my favourite part of a decorating project, its when everything comes together and all the hard work is rewarded. At the end of a project I find myself popping in there for no reason otherthan to take another look. Does anyone else do that?
Fred picked an oak bed from Dreams
We initially wanted blue metal lockers for his bedside tables, but these were too expensive, so found some oak ones on Ebay and added metal black cat handles. The original lockers I found were from Mustard
The peg board, we already had round bedside lamps, curtains and some new blue storage boxes from Ikea. His fake grass rug from Matalan. I up-cycled an old antique unit the same colour as the walls and polished up the handles. Freddie wanted an industrial style and didn’t like the idea of a wardrobe (thankfully as they cost a fortune). We found the curtain pole and clothes rail from PipeDreams
I found the desk search the biggest challenge. There is so many rubbish desks out there and they also have a hefty price tag. We didn’t want to go down the Ikea route, we preferably wanted something antique, something that will last and not end up in the skip when he’s 15. After a lot of searching we bid on a double school desk from eBay. Freddie wanted something quite different, but I managed to make him see that it was better to spend more money on the new computer and save money on the table for it. On collection we soon discovered that the desk is too low. Note to self, always check the measurements. It was a bargain at just £30 and can still go in his room, we just might have to get a small work station for his computer now thats all.
Freddie chose a lovely graphic lettering print from Lorna Freytag
His jungle bedding and leopard cushions were from Matalan
I love Quail wall vases and loved it when Freddie asked for the leopard one. eBay has lots of them, loads cheaper than online shops.
Freddie asked for lots of plants, I have loads, so just had to get some nice white pots. I found some in Lidl and Dunelm. I also found a huge cheese plant in B&Q reduced from £35 to £14, just because it had a brown leaf and needed up potting. Finding a big enough plant pot for this was not so easy, I ended up getting a basket from Dunelm. I am happy, as it goes well with the wood furniture.
I really enjoyed putting this room together and Freddie absolutely loves the space.
Here are some before and after pictures: