Thing 2’s Vintage Boy’s Bedroom Reveal (Pssst — there’s a secret space!)


It’s been quite a week! Don’t even get me started on the $1,500 recycled toilet paper fiasco.


(The Handsome Husband thought we should be even more environmentally conscious and brought home 6 rolls of recycled toilet paper. Word to the wise — if you have a septic system, NEVER use anything but the cheapy Scott tissue. 2 days without toilets and water, our backyard dug up, and sewage water in the basement — a septic backup is a VERY BAD THING).


Things are progressing with our Remuddle Remodel, but I thought I’d take a short break to share Thing 2’s bedroom makeover with you.


My Vintage Boy’s Bedroom Reveal


I actually finished Thing 2’s room last year when he turned 5, but I just never got around to posting it. To be honest, I decorated it over the course of an entire year. Slooooooowww going. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a plan! No, quite the contrary. I planned it out, leaving room for vintage finds in the size and look I wanted. But my plan guided my search and kept me from making “mistake buys.”


This kind of planning goes for decorating a WHOLE HOUSE as well, even if you’re only tackling one or two rooms at a time!

As I counsel my consultation clients individually, you should have a *general* plan in your head of how you want the entire house to map out decoratively — style, feel, color scheme (this can be flexible!), general pattern “look” — by room. That way, you know where you’re going to mix things up, introduce new colors, transition between colors, etc,. but your home won’t look like a hodgepodge!

Or, conversely, you’ll be able to avoid creating a home that’s so “safe” that it becomes BLAH.


All photos by Emily O’Brien Photography.


After today’s post and last week’s about my upcoming butler’s pantry/laundry room, y’all are gonna think that green is the only color in my house! But Thing 2’s room and the new butler’s pantry/laundry are separated by more than half the house, and I have small transitions in between, so things make sense.


I designed Thing 2’s room as a companion room to Thing 1’s room, something I love to do for sibling spaces. Thing 1’s room has sky blue seersucker stripe wallpaper with a green patchwork quilt and overlooks our pond. (You can see it through the open door in the above image.) Thing 2’s favorite color is green, I’ve used blue as a secondary color, and the space overlooks our row of maple trees and our big 150 year old maple by the front door.


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal


I really wanted a charming, slightly-vintage feel in this room, but I also didn’t want to be like a salvage shop. A mix of vintage, custom, and retail items keeps it up-to-date and livable but — I hope! — completely unique.


Nothing says turn-of-the-century New England charm to me more than small-scale wallpaper.  This wallpaper comes in 10 different colors and has a matching fabric! Thing 2 calls it his “little trees,” and it’s very like the reverse colorway of this much more expensive pattern. The set of deer antlers were a vintage find that I hoarded for 2 years!

similar lamp / custom bed


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal, wallpaper and vintage chair


SMALL SPACE TIP: Make some things blend/disappear to keep the eye moving! I had this vintage chair recovered in the matching fabric. The wood block print was also a vintage find that I had framed. The pouf is custom and the fabric is now discontinued in this color. 🙁

blue herringbone throwfloor lamp


For more on using matching wallpapers & fabrics, check out this post.


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal, navy desk with shelf bracket


I SCOURED the internet for a navy blue desk that just fit the space. I really wanted something vintage, and preferably kids’ rock maple furniture from the ’50s and ’60s. This one was already blue. (Thank goodness! I hate painting.) I found it at a Boston area consignment store and the HH drove 2 hours each way to pick it up. Good man.


I have a thing for bentwood furniture, and I’d had this chair for many years (the match is in Thing 1’s room). The wall shelves are my favorite cheapy floating shelves for books EVER. Know why? It’s the brackets that go above the shelf — i.e. no need for book ends!!! And no boy is ever going to use book ends, right?


wall brackets & shelves / similar chair / best little desk lamp (also comes in brass)


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal


The Squam Lake watercolor print is by a local artist, who started her Etsy shop as a senior project at Concord High School! Tons of lakes and islands and bays to choose from in 5 different shades of blue.

Hardy Boys Collectionwatermark maps



Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal


I love giving kids rooms to grow into. In my opinion, not many teenage guys want full-length mirrors in their rooms. But a mirror above the dresser to give a quick glance … that’s more like it. Obviously, Thing 2 can’t see into this mirror yet, but someday he will. My boys love maps, and this tactile globe lets Thing 2 compare the mountains of New Hampshire to the Himalayas. 🙂

similar mirror / tactile globe


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal, campaign dresser


I really wanted campaign furniture in Thing 2’s room. There is just something so boyish about the style. The dresser and the nightstand I found are vintage Drexel Heritage. Super heavyweight, but not fine antiques by any means. The tops are actually laminated — great for bedtime glasses of water.


Interior Design Floor Plan Tips Tricks Measurements



See this post for my favorite Etsy sources for campaign style furniture.


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal


I got these little paintings from Daily Paintworks. The top is titled “Lake Time with Daddy” and the second is “Beach Boy,” perfect for my little NH lake and Maine coast water baby boy.


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal


Simple linen Roman shades with a blue trim. I had these made by my drapery workroom, but this Etsy shop also makes impeccable window treatments. Great source for inexpensive trim.


Thing 2’s bedroom is pretty darn small. However, I always like to encourage kids to read, and having a bookshelf in a kid’s bedroom is a *must* in my book. Wanna see where the bookshelves are? Keep scrolling!


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal


By custom making this hardwood-construction bed, I was able to dictate the height of the slats — making ample room below for….


Boy's Green & Vintage Bedroom Reveal


Tah-DAHHHHHH! Thing 2’s “Secret Library.”


I used inexpensive Target shelves, placed them on their side, for ample book space. The other side of the bed has pull out drawers for all of Thing 2’s thousands of tchotchkes (I swear, he is going to be a hoarder.) but I don’t have to get stressed out seeing them.


Let’s see that side-by-side.

Vintage Boy Bedroom with Secret Small Space Library Under Bed, custom navy storage bed


To learn about how we made accessing that library a whole lot easier, read this post about small bedroom storage tricks.


This room wasn’t expensive overall, but I did make some concerted choices where I thought detail was worth the extra spend to get the character and quality I wanted. Thing 2 loves his room, and I love being in it!


But it is NOT easy to design for yourself! I’d love to hear what your biggest challenges are in decorating your own homes so I can help you best. Are you confused how to start? Overwhelmed by the amount of choices? Are you having trouble figuring out your style? Is figuring out your budget a problem? (If so, have you downloaded my Realistic FOREVER HOME Decorating budgets?) Is creating a plan getting you stuck? Are you looking for sources?


Drop a line in the comments. I’d really like to know how I can help. Hope you enjoyed Thing 2’s little room redo! See you next week!




Insider's Guide to Space Planning


8 thoughts on “Thing 2’s Vintage Boy’s Bedroom Reveal (Pssst — there’s a secret space!)”

  1. The focus of a child’s room should feature the thing that is valued and encouraged. For our family, literacy and learning tops the list. You will never spoil a child with too many books! Instead of hiding books away in a secret under bed storage area, promote a love of books by putting these on display. Make books a feature! The under bed storage could be used for something else.

    1. Hi Noeleen. Thank you for your perspective. In the case of Thing 2, a secret space makes reading all the more fun.

  2. What a perfect boys room. I love the vintage furniture pieces, wallpaper/fabric and colorscheme. I am a rock maple boy mama too, classic. It looks so good to see thru the doorframe of the second bedroom and have the repetition of color and even Americana style with the braided rug. The hidden storage is brilliant! I’m passing that on to my daughter who’s son has a gazillion books. BTW we were on septics for years and only used single ply Scotts! Everything else was posed problems, even now my husband insists on it even though we’re on sewers. How awful for you.

    1. Thank you so much, Pamela! Each bedroom is pretty simple (neither is going to blow up Pinterest!), but they work well together, and fit our house’s architectural style while being comfy!

      I’m glad if my ideas can help in any way. Happy to have them passed on! And yes, I’ll never buy anything but Scott again. 5 days later, no new backups.

  3. Thing 2's Grandma

    This bedroom is uncluttered, comfy, and so charming! And Thing 2 loves his secret library! He often goes into his stash of treasures, from the drawers on the other side of the bed, to show me something special. I think that your creative ideas are perfect for this clever, imaginative little boy.

  4. This is so beautiful! I would put my daughter in it in a minute (or myself at 10 years old, to be perfectly honest)!

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