Coming of Age: Teen Boy’s Bedroom Before & After Reveal

I seem to be doing a lot of boys’ bedrooms lately! Case in point, as a part of our recent #HGDBowBeautiful project (which included the master suite), our client wanted to overhaul the bedroom belonging to her oldest son, who would be a new high school freshman in the fall.

Sadly, as is so often the case, his room had not been redecorated since he was a toddler — it was definitely time for an update!

teen boy bedroom blue plaid before after

The son had three requirements:

  • The room had to be blue.
  • The windows had to have total, complete blackout capabilities.
  • The bed had to stay exactly where it was. He liked being in the corner. 🙂

His mom had a few requests, too:

  • Use his current full-size bed.
  • Desk for homework.
  • Bookcase for storage.
  • Chest of drawers.
  • No overhead lighting, but increased lighting plan.
  • Use vintage race car art that the client’s father had obtained in France.

Here are the “befores.”

2017-02-23 15.23.22_preview 22017-02-23 15.23.16_preview 22017-02-23 15.23.18

The room is 10′ x 12′ — not minuscule, but not large either. To save space, I thought we could use a desk/shelves combo.

I came up with the below floor plan (sorry, it’s in my old floor plan software, which didn’t show much detail beyond layout).Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.33.43 PM

The new plan included a sconce light by the door, a sconce or lamp at the bedside table, and a floor or task lamp at the desk. Three lights for a small room, allowing her son to vary his degree of brightness.

I absolutely loved starting this room from the vintage art my client had!

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.41.25 PM

The grays, reds, and yellows — not to mention that great checkerboard pattern — gave me tons to work with. I feel some plaid coming on!

patterns fabrics blue boy bedroom

From the beginning, I really wanted to find a desk with bookshelves above that would coordinate with the bed. However, I find that it’s really hard to find any decent desk/shelves combos these days that I like. We were lucky to score this vintage teak secretary on eBay.

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 11.37.08 AM

Secretaries typically have drawers beneath the desk, but I particularly liked that this model had tambour doors beneath the pull-out desk, revealing MORE SHELVES!

Here was our original mood board.

teen boy blue bedroom mood board plaid

Isn’t it funny how people sense color differently? My client felt that the color I’d chosen, while nice, was actually green not blue. She’s right — I had specified a blue with a yellow undertone, making it greenish blue. And her son really wanted a blue blue.

So we changed it to this.

Benjamin Moore CSP-650 Cable Knit Sweater
Benjamin Moore CSP-650 Cable Knit Sweater

Also, the son nixed the fringed trim for the drapes. I don’t know why — don’t boys like fringe? 😉 I knew it was a long shot, but I had to try. It’s just so fun.

Here are the “afters!” I have provided some retail links where they are available. Note that Home Glow Design clients enjoy access to my trade vendors and prices.

All photography by Sabrina Cole Quinn Photography.

teen boy blue bedroom plaid chair rug striped wool blanket natural shades drapes

As with lots of kids’ rooms, I tried to balance cost by using some lower cost finds, some of them from retail sources.

teen boy blue bedroom plaid chair rug striped wool blanket natural shades drapes

Isn’t the vintage secretary absolutely fabulous!?!?!?! There are those sliding doors below. Something similar here, here, and here. The desk chair is from PB Teen.

Don’t miss that little red floor lamp peeking out from behind!

Because the desk part would often be closed up, we couldn’t do a typical task lamp. The Land of Nod Bright Idea Lamp is a go-to of mine for tight spaces — it is the perfect height for a desk or reading lamp (you know how so many of them are actually too high, and the bulb shines in your eyes?), is adjustable, comes in wonderful colors (though I think the red is now discontinued), and is only $79! I just bought my second one (green this time) for another boy’s room I’m working on.

teen boy blue bedroom plaid chair rug striped wool blanket natural shades drapes

The striped wool blanket was one of my favorite companies for this sort of thing, Faribault Woolen Mills. The company has a great story, and unlike some other more well-known wool blanket makers, Faribault is still on American soil.

I absolutely loved these sheets from Target. The clock is also from Target. The down-filled decorative pillows were a lucky find from Home Goods, and the custom linen duvet is from one of my trade-only vendors, Legacy Linens.

teen boy blue bedroom plaid chair rug striped wool blanket natural shades drapes

There’s that awesome painting! I love the way the red floor lamp and mustard table lamp pick up the race car colors. More decor from Target — globe and rope sphere sculpture. The drapes are in this Robert Allen linen.

teen boy blue bedroom plaid chair rug striped wool blanket natural shades drapes

I had fun mixing scales of plaid with this Charles Stewart chair in a Robert Allen wool blend on the front (there is a ribbed Duralee fabric on the sides and back) and the gray wool flat weave rug. The lumbar pillow is in this fabric. That amazing metal-wrapped dresser is, unfortunately, discontinued now.

teen boy blue bedroom plaid chair rug striped wool blanket

The race car art was also already in the son’s collection. The poster of different military helicopters had been a gift from his mother (my client!) some time before. She pulled it out, and we had my framers frame it in a zinc wrapped frame. The size and colors could not have been more perfect, IMO! The mustard lamp with a gray shade is from another of my vendors.

And there you have it!



It’s been a really rough week and I’m off to bed! See you next week!




8 thoughts on “Coming of Age: Teen Boy’s Bedroom Before & After Reveal”

  1. Room looks great! Love the all the elements, desk, chair, dresser, fabrics. Are the blinds blackout? What was your source?

    1. Oops! I missed that one. Yes, the natural shades were blackout lined, outside mounted, and the drapes ensured that not one little crack of light came through.

      I have a few vendors, but these shades came from Smith & Noble. The particular pattern was in the clearance section (being discontinued), but since we only needed 2 shades, there was enough material to complete the job.

  2. What a great space Amy, I love the paint color and I think the window treatments are my favorite. I second you on the Target sheets. My college girls have them at school and RAVE about how much they love them – which makes me feel silly for some of the more expensive ones I have bought. Here’s to next week being less eventful.

  3. Great room–you did a wonderful job here! I love the way you used the artwork as a jumping off point for the blue/gray color palette, and added the energy of red and yellow.
    Thank you for the specifics on the sources–much appreciated!

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