Boys Bedroom: A Bit of Progress

This isn't going to be pretty. I'm warning you now.
But I mentioned a little bit ago that I've been working on my son's bedroom, like painting those racecar stripes on his dresser. Here are some "before" shots. It's quite the awkward space to say the least. You can't tell how old the kid is who lives here. And it looks like he has no mother. My poor child.
View from the doorway:
This place is scary. I didn't even have the energy to clean it up for the "before" photos. (Which will significantly hurt my chances for Blogger of the Year. Rats. I was thisclose.) Legos strewn everywhere, bed not made, desk overflowing with junk, legos legos and did I say more legos.
A look at the wall to the left of the door. Can we say Ikea overload?
Here's his bedroom closet. No, your eyes do not deceive you. He has only one closet door. And the last time that thing was even closed was...well...a long time ago. The built-in closet organization system is awesome (it was here when we moved in), it really is a great closet design, but we've never utilized it to its full potential.
Annnnd his main wall. These pics make me sad that he goes to bed every night in this space, uncomplaining. (And, if I'm being honest, totally oblivious. Because he's a boy and he's 8 years old and he'd rather be - you guessed it - playing legos or reading.)
So. Now that we're all good and depressed and shocked and awed, let's do an about-face and see what a little paint and some bedroom furniture layout forethought can do, shall we? Even though we're only about 60% finished with the space.
New(er) view from the doorway:

(Still to do here: turn the blinds into roman shades, remove the curtain rod, frame his beloved PvZ poster, add artwork, add in a rug; I'm thinking Ikea cowhide but we'll see.)

Carson's favorite color is red. I did a quick upholstered headboard and attached it to his bed here so he could have a soft place to lean against while he reads in bed. Covered the exposed box spring in a red fitted sheet.

 (Still to do here: add large framed world map above the bed, spray paint floor lamp, decopauge smallish map bits onto the bottom blue stripe of the bed to lessen the jarring primary color-ness.)

Left & right sides of the wall shelf above his bed, full of his treasures. I'd love to change many of these out, but Carson's not ready to let them go quite yet. And so they'll stay:

Carson thinks he's not any good at art and sometimes struggles to enjoy doing it. However, all on his own, he painted a self-portrait on this round rock a bit ago and was extremely proud of it. So here it sits, for all the world (well, basically, him) to see.
Same thing here, on his bedside table. He painstakingly searched for a perfectly shaped rock and then painted his boxer dog Charlie on it. (I'm sure you could tell exactly what it was... :) ) We had to put Charlie to sleep last year, which was a hard time for our family. So this simple little slice rests here where Carson sees it every morning and every night.

My son is a hugely avid reader, so we brought in a comfy rocking swivel chair that I reupholstered last year in this great herringbone and set up a reading spot for him in the corner of his room.

(Still to do here: hang some shelves from the wall so he can have easy access to multiple books in his reading corner.)

His favorite thing of all is his "new" racecar stripe dresser. It used to be the all-white Ikea Hemnes (you saw it in the "before" photos at the beginning of this post). He's so proud of it, and now the girls want me to paint out theirs (they have the same dresser in their room). You know what they say about imitation = flattery.

A view of his newly reorganized closet. We got rid of some unnecessary stuff and moved other things around and really considered what Carson's needs were in his room. His #1 need: a place (other than the floor) to store his carefully constructed lego things. So we devoted three shelves to his creations, and one more to store the lego pieces in boxes. Hopefully this will keep his floor (and, consequently, the sensitive soles of our bare feet) lego-free.

 (Still to do here: reattach the other closet door...annnnd do laundry.)

(On an unrelated note: Is it normal for 8-yr-old boys to hang up their clean clothes this way? Sighhhh...)

Bookshelf fits just perfectly sideways in the closet (one of my favorite closet organizing tricks whenever possible), leaving space for his hanging clothes and shoe bin.

Despite feeling non-artistic, the kid is creative and loves a project. I'm trying to balance his having a room that looks nice (to me) but that he has ownership in as well and reflects his handiwork and his interests and his style. This is embarrassingly hard for me to do. Case-in-point: These coffee filter stars that he decorated and attached the ceiling somehow managed to stay. Don't ask me how.

So, there you have it. To this point, anyway. What are your guys' tendencies when it comes to decorating your kids' rooms? Is there a point that you just let them have it their way, or do you kind of take over a little bit? I really am interested.

{shared: A Jennuine Life, Parlo & Logi, Somewhat Simple, What-About}
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  1. I love his closet! That's what my son needs, but he doesn't have room for a dresser in the room so it's in the closet....I used to try to keep them from putting their own stuff on the walls, but I don't want them taking down the stuff I put up either. They get to put things up right by their beds (have bunk beds) and no where else because they share with siblings. I'm waiting for the day to see your beautiful house in a magazine!

    1. Haha...don't hold your breath, Ali (about my house in a mag). But I'm glad to hear that you try to balance them + you in decor, too. The last thing my kids need is some kind of complex from room decorating! :)

  2. Looking good!! I love your honesty in your pictures by the way!
    Selene @

    1. "Honesty" is a nicer way of saying "laziness." I'm afraid they're about equivalent in this case...

  3. Looks so much more user friendly (: I pretty much take over whenever we do a re-do or clean sweep. But after a couple of hours, they will go back into their room and re-arrange treasures, add stuff to bulletin boards, and generally mark their space. I think they love their rooms and I try to let them have a big say in arranging stuff. But it has to make sense and be workable. I want them to be in charge of day-to-day stuff, like putting up their laundry...

    1. "I try to let them have a big say in arranging stuff, but it has to make sense and be workable." Well said! I totally agree.

  4. Looking good! I love the closet lego space. And I don't think it's normal for 8 year old boys to hang their clothes up at all ;)

  5. I got a good laugh seeing your son's clothes hanging technique as it looks strikingly familiar to my sons' (9 and 8 yrs). Can't wait to see how the room turns out. So far so good!

    1. Yes, I don't think boys this age can be bothered. I'm just lucky when the clean clothes stay on the hangers and don't fall into the laundry hamper...then I'm doing double laundry! :)

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