The Boys’ Room

Oh em gee has New York winter finally ended?! We made it to mid-January before winter really hit us, so for a while there was that feeling of “Yay, this isn’t so bad.” Yeah. That didn’t last long. haha However, at the risk of bringing back Elsa and her eternal winter – I will say that it seems spring is finally right around the corner! ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway. I recently had several requests to update the house tour. It’s been on my blog post list for a while, but when one reader told me that my house “looks pretty high end,” I giggled and knew I needed to get to work on this – stat! Spoiler alert: your house can be whatever you want it to be, and it doesn’t have to take a lot of money, just a little creativity! (And maybe a strong set of arms to cart home all the garage sale purchases. bwahaha

Living with little kids in a little house, things tend to move around a lot. All 3 kids have switched from room to room at least a couple times each, and every time, tweaks were made to the rooms to make the switch easier for the kids to enjoy.

Because I am awesomely on top of things, the last photos I have for the shared kids room are these:



…which were taken in January 2013, when it was still just Mikey in there. Since then, we switched Ellie in, moved Lucas into the nursery, and now recently switched Ellie out and moved Lucas in. Are you following all this? Don’t worry, I barely can. Lots of movement this year while we figured out what setup works best for each child. All of that leading up to – here is the current Boys’ Room:



You guys, does it look so high end? Here’s where you say yes. Say it! Thank you. ๐Ÿ˜› Now let me break it down and show you how we did it.

Bureau: this is the IKEA “malm.” I believe it’s $80 new, but as I’m sure you know, IKEA bureaus show up on CraigsList every other minute, so we got this one for a pricey $15. Hubby painted the drawer fronts with leftover white paint he had, and added handles. Ta da – cute, cheap-but-not-as-cheap-looking bureau. (The top drawer holds all Mikey’s clothes, middle drawer holds Lucas’, and bottom drawer holds diapers, wipes and baby blankets.)


Storage: If you buy nothing else in the course of your parenting, buy this. That is all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, though, this is the IKEA Kallax, and this we did buy new, although the older version of this same thing (Expedit is the name) are probably easy to find used. Worth every cent. The baskets are from Walmart, they have a variety of sizes, and hello – they COME WITH chalkboard labels. You know I had to get them. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Shelves: These are IKEA “lack” shelves, also a CraigsList find, but inexpensive even new. The canvas of Lucas is the same one from the nursery (a Groupon deal), the “M” was from Michael’s during Christmas clearance, and the other things are gifts, or garage sale finds.



Chair: the same one from the nursery, and this is about as high end as it gets in here. This was my big splurge from last year. It’s a fake, not a real, but still gorgeous! The black pillow was a present from Hubby. Because, obviously – “take a picture.” It’s kind of my life motto, guys.


Curtains: from Urban Outfitters. Originally $40/each, but I didn’t love them $40/each worth, so the windows went bare for quite some time until UO decided to agree with me and put the curtains on sale for 50% off. #winning #neverpayfullprice


Rug: from Rugs USA during one of the 8 trillion sales they have each year. After all the crazy coupons, sales, etc. I paid $35 for it. #seeprevioushashtag


Tip of the day: spray paint everything in sight. The curtain rods are these, spray painted Rustoleum bronze. The box on the Kallax shelf is a wooden craft box from Michael’s (5.99) – spray painted. The jars for the matchbox cars are plastic dollar store ones – spray painted. The frames on the wall are Ikea ones from a garage sale. Guess what happened to those? I hope you guessed spray paint. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The point is – you can make anything look new, different, funky – just use paint! ๐Ÿ˜€

Organization: Target sells long, narrow underbed boxes that fit perfectly length-wise under Mikey’s bed. One holds his costumes, the other one holds art paper. All their other art supplies are downstairs, but I don’t have a good place to keep the paper or paint, so those stay in here. Don’t mind the tiny foot photobomb. haha


Toys, etc.: As I’ve mentioned on here before, we look at toys as a quality over quantity thing. Mikey has been building his wooden Thomas train collection for a while now. Some he has earned with exceptional behavior or by reaching long-term goals, and the rest he was gifted. (Legos are another collection, but those are kept downstairs in the living room with the majority of the toys.) Stuffed animals are kept to a minimum, favorites only, and is the primary type of toy that gets regularly rotated/donated. They go in the large basket, another garage sale find, and if they run out of room, it means it’s time for someone to move out. The kids push the limits on this rule. I just pretend not to notice, because I kind of love when all the stuffed friends come out to play with the babies. ๐Ÿ˜‰





Books: Books are one thing we put no limits on, and we have a little library in each kid area of the house. We tend to borrow from our local library a few times a month for school theme units, seasonal books, and just for fun; and the kids have been gifted many beautiful books from family and friends. The way we see it, books are one of those gifts that just keep on giving.


DIY magnetic chalkboard: I’m sure you can buy something like this ready-made, but I already had chalkboard paint, so Hubby picked me up a metal sheet, I painted it,, and onto the wall it went. The bucket is a Target dollar spot find, and the hook is… um… a hook? haha


Still on my to-do list:

1. photos of the boys to go in the frames (Am I the only one who takes way too long to actually print the photos for frames? I mean, come on, Anna, get it together. haha)

2. fresh paint on the walls (Ellie Bear did a number on these walls while she was in here haha, so this is a must-do. I kind of love the idea of plain white. Am I crazy?)

3. Black & white print for the wall above the Kallax. I’m envisioning a cartoonish NYC one.

Aaaand that wraps up our tour for today! I love how we were able to let this room evolve over the last 3 years into a space that the kids feel comfortable in, and really enjoy. Best part – Mikey walked in as I was hanging the curtains a few weeks ago, and goes, “Wow, Mommy. This is just spectacklar. You are a spectacklar room maker.”

My mommy praise for the month. ๐Ÿ˜›

What “spectacklar” diys or homemaking tidbits have you done lately? I would love to know!

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  1. Thanks for doing this home tour and sharing where you got everything! I LOVE Ikea and Craigslist, so put them together and I’m in crazy-good-deal heaven. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your boys’ room looks so put together and organized, and it’s refreshing to see it done on a budget. And I totally agree and love it that you don’t limit books!

    1. Thanks, Brittany! Yeah, getting things gently used has made a huge difference, especially when it comes to things like furniture. And honestly, nobody beats Ikea for making furniture that does the job without taking up tons of unnecessary space. haha

      1. So true!! I know a lot of people say/think that Ikea furniture isn’t made to last, but I beg to differ. It can stand up to so much stress! I think I’ve moved my Ikea bedroom furniture in and out of 5 different apartments and it still looks brand new!

  2. I love this room! Both for how good it looks and how well it’s set up for real life. I am on the fewer-clothes wagon too.
    Can’t wait to see more of your house!

    1. Yaaay fewer clothes! haha Thank you – yeah it was a lot of fun putting this room together bit by bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the kitchen will be the next update. Stay tuned. bwahaha

  3. Oh my gosh – I LOVE IT! So functional and easy! Thanks for being so honest about all your steals! It’s so neat to see how people are able to find such steals and reinvent them with just a little spray paint or creativity! I’m also intersted in knowing what paint you used if you don’t mind sharing!

    1. Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, it definitely takes a little extra time and patience, waiting for the right things to show up at the right time haha, but in the end it always seems worth it! Bottom paint is color matched to Benjamin Moore ” metropolitan, ” & the top gray is color matched to Benjamin Moore ” gray owl. ” love them both!

  4. so. so. cute!! love everything. curtains – was thinking you could create a similar look w/ a triangle sponge + white sheets… if they never went on sale. but of course, everything goes on sale ๐Ÿ™‚ i JUST spied those walmart baskets on sale for $10 each and was wondering if they fit the kallax series shelf!!!! good to know! love the refreshed look on the malm too. and my favorite part is one drawer for each kid’s clothes. i can’t stand having too many clothes. i do laundry every day so we only need a couple days’ worth. can’t wait to see more of your extremely high-end house.

    1. Ooo, I didn’t even think of that for the curtains, but that’s an amazing idea! Yeah, one drawer each and then their church/hanging clothes are in the closet. Makes life and laundry so much raiser easier. Haha The bottom paint is color matched to Benjamin Moore “metropolitan, ” & the top gray is color matched to Benjamin Moore “gray owl.” We started off with a lot of beige, too, but once we went gray and white we saw how it opened up the rooms and just loved it. I’m thrilled you like the room. So fun to share with other girls who are into it. Haha

      1. thanks! gotta write those somewhere. they are GRAYT shades. (#badpun)
        um p.s. i have a gallery wall with 17 frames and 2 are empty. it took me 3 months to get all but those two filled and now it’s been 4 more months… whoops. kinda growing fond of the frame models though. meant to ask earlier – how’d you mount the sheet metal? a wall hanging flannel/felt board has been on my list and now i’m envisioning it next to a sheetmetal chalkboard… [my husband is groaning somewhere] ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Iiiiiii totally did not hang the sheet bwahaha, so I asked Hubby and he said all it is is 4 screws and then washers to hold them in place. Hasn’t budged since he hung it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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