DIY tips to remake your kids’ room on a budget

The Boehmke boys, Blake, 10, and Grayson, 8, love hanging out in their bedroom. Their Lego creations are prominently displayed, and a desk and reading nook offer space for schoolwork or quiet time. Their mother, Lindsey, built the room in the spring of 2020 as a DIY project, tackling every job herself, from painting to building the bunk beds, to hanging the fan.

A lot of parents have been similarly busy. The do-it-yourself craze is more popular than ever, said Rebecca Celhar, whose blog Hello Central Avenue is dedicated to DIY projects on a budget.

“The majority of people who have kids now are millennials who grew up with DIY shows and are more comfortable trying those things,” Celhar said. “It’s also a way to save money, and we know kids cost a lot. And it’s easy. You just have to go to YouTube to find out how to do X, Y or Z. My parents lived with the same decor for 30 years, but now people want the newest trends, and that includes updating their kids’ rooms. ”

When designing her sons’ bedroom, Boehmke asked the boys what they felt was missing in their previous room. They wanted more space to play on the floor and, especially during virtual schooling, a usable desk area with space for school supplies. and a big bulletin board.

Getting your kids’ feedback is important, even it’s in the form of giving them choices, said Celhar, because it offers them a sense of responsibility and ownership.

“Maybe there’s a specific theme or a specific color they like,” said Boehmke, who lives in Sellersville, Bucks County. But that doesn’t mean the entire room has to revolve around that theme. “You can bring in the theme through accent pieces, bedding, or artwork. That way, as they grow and their tastes change, those things are easy to change. ”

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Celhar recommends making a design board to help you conceptualize a space to figure out what you need. Is it just painting the walls, or do you need to replace furniture? How will the room be used in addition to sleeping? What tools will you need to complete the job?

Once Boehmke made her plan, the biggest challenge was creating open shelving to manage her sons’ ever-growing Lego collection. She designed a functional but fun space with long, deep shelves, backed by a large painted circle. Though it looks like a difficult task, the design was easy, Boehmke said.

“You basically make a giant compass,” she said. “Mark the center of where you want your circle and nail in one end of a piece of string and tie the other end to a pencil based on how big you want your circle to be. Hold the string taut to draw out your own perfect circle, then go over it with your paint color and a very steady hand. ”

When choosing colors, she wanted a cozy look, opting for darker shades of blue for a more serene sleep environment. She created a space for reading or practicing music by the room’s only window and painted the shiplap wall by the window with white semigloss paint to reflect the natural light. The boys picked out their own bedding, a subtle green pinstripe.

“I especially love Ikea’s duvet covers because they’re soft, light, and especially for kids, easy to take off and clean whenever you need to,” she said.

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Boehmke doesn’t believe in shying away from a particular theme if that’s what your child loves. But instead of picking a bedspread with Frozen‘s Elsa on it, perhaps choose one in the teal, purple, or blue colors from that theme.

When the children’s room is large enough, exercise space has become a popular trend, including rock-climbing walls, rope swings, trampolines and small play gyms. Or, in smaller spaces, a foosball or an air hockey game, or mini basketball hoop. On Pinterest, searches for swing chairs were up 56% over the last year.

In all, Boehmke spent about $ 1,500 on the boys’ room, including the materials for the DIYs, light fixtures, and all of the decor elements. She chronicled that, and other projects, on her Hilltownhouse blog.

“I went slow in learning DIY projects, but I loved it, so I increased the difficulty of every project I did,” said Boehmke, who started doing her own projects about six years ago. “I went from a chalkboard to planters to our kitchen table and then said I think I have everything I need to build the bunk bed. You have to just trust yourself and always have a Plan B. ”

Have you solved a decorating, remodeling, or renovation challenge in your home? Tell us your story by email (and send a few digital photographs) to


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