Preteen Boy’s Room: A Makeover

First of all, I almost sobbed typing the word “preteen” into this post’s title, because I had flashbacks to this. He seemed so. big.

Moving on, so I don’t watch that video again and start crying.

The thing about my son’s room in our last place was that it was…how do I put it…


It was teeny-tiny, with one teeny-tiny window (so it was effectively a teeny-tiny, dark box). It also had a hole in the ceiling – and sure, I patched it, but still. That place might’ve had a million-dollar view, but said view came with some serious drawbacks.

In our new place, his room is easily twice the size, and everything in it WORKS. The closet doors don’t fall off. The windows actually block out noise when they’re closed, and have functional screens for when they’re open. The lighting is even on a dimmer. Squee.

(This is what the room looked like when it was staged for sale. I added can lighting the day after escrow closed, just before we moved in.)

So given this blank slate to start from, I really wanted to make his room feel special, cozy, and like him. I also don’t have the funds to buy new furniture, so it’s not like a Perfect Pinterest Room – in a perfect world I’d have bought him a double bed, for example – but for him?

preteen boy room green wall

Etsy-sourced chair, Homegoods lamps, Delta Lindsey bed, freshly re-oiled and extremely old desk & side table pulled from other rooms in the house, old-school glamcamp (RIP) blanket, Verloop pom-pom pillow.

It actually is perfect, I think. I started with a half-green wall using Behr’s Sparkling Emerald paint (inspired by this Pinterest post). The next step was to fill it almost exclusively with super-personal touches (an antique bank from my own childhood bedroom, a blanket Erin and I sold on glamcamp, my son’s own artwork from over the years, a dreamcatcher I made for him when he was little) and small details to remind him of his great-grandparents – his middle name comes from his paternal great-grandfather. And, of course, a dog the size of a house. Because sure.

preteen boy room green wall

Self-portraits by Riv

preteen boy room green wall

My grandparents’ mola (they lived in Costa Rica for many years), my grandfather Henry’s Alfred Delp poster (my favorite thing in their house when I was growing up), antique magician bank from my own childhood bedroom

preteen boy room green wall


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