I’ve been holding off on this post for a good couple of months, because I was eagerly awaiting the release of my first official decor piece, which I wrote for Living & Loving magazine and featured none other than Beanie’s brand-new big boy bedroom!
I have a secret passion for home interiors and I could spend hours paging through home decor magazines or browsing Pinterest looking for ideas and inspiration, so I was thrilled when I was commissioned to write this piece. It was featured in the March 2018 issue of Living & Loving magazine, and I shared all my budget-friendly tips for transforming your nursery into a ‘big boy’ or ‘big girl’ bedroom.
As much as I adore home decor and am constantly on the look out for home inspo, I don’t always have the budget to bring my dream interiors to life. That said, I tried hard with Beanie’s bedroom… and I think I did quite well, considering that I didn’t spend more than about R1 200 in total (on a new rug and new bedding, in case you’re wondering). The rest of the pieces were all hand-me-downs or repurposed items from other spaces in our home – we simply added a lick of paint, and they were good as new! The result is a bright, airy, and colourful ‘big boy’ bedroom that both Beanie and I absolutely adore. It’s easily my favourite room in our new house!
I love a bright and airy monochromatic kids room as much as the next Instagram mom, but after giving it some thought, I soon realised that a minimal, Scandi-inspired bedroom was just not realistic for my Superhero-obsessed son. He didn’t like any of the bedding options I had saved on my wish lists, and his only wish for his room was a superhero duvet. It was pretty tough for me to set aside my personal wishes for Beanie’s bedroom, but I soon realised that it was his bedroom and that he was old enough to express his own preferences, so it was time for me to let go of the reigns a little. It is his bedroom and I want him to enjoy spending time in his own space, after all!
As much as I love the minimalist, monochromatic look, I’ve come to the realisation that it’s a tad unrealistic for a child’s bedroom. Children need colour and books and blocks and toys – and let’s face it: very few of those come in shades of grey! I also wanted Beanie to feel at home in his bedroom and I wanted to give him the freedom to pull out his books and toys and make a bit of a mess, without fear of messing up his mom’s impeccable styling or breaking that expensive ornament.
Not to mention the fact that I would need to invest in all the storage options available to mankind in an effort to get a handle on all the bright books, colouring pencils, soft toys, and Lego blocks that Beanie has amassed over the past five years – and it would probably require a lot of constant tidying (and hiding) in order to keep the minimalist room looking… well… minimal. So it was decided: I’d borrow some elements from the minimalist, Scandi-aesthetic, but I’d set aside my unrealistic expectations and allow Beanie to have a say, too…
Given that I was also on a tight budget (make that no budget), I had to make do with items we already owned so I made a mental note of all the furniture we already had (a pine single bed that we painted white) and all the pieces we needed (in a nutshell? Lots of storage options). I scrounged around the house to find pieces from elsewhere that could work well in Bean’s bedroom, and managed to find a white shelf that The Husband originally bought for Bean’s nursery but that I had since claimed for my office. I decided to return it to Bean’s bedroom to be used as a book shelf and to display some of his favourite toys. My sister-in-law was in the process of decluttering and was about to throw out an old chest that had seen better days, so I snapped it up and got The Husband to give it a coat or two of – you guessed it! – white paint. It’s since been turned into a super-handy toy box that stores all of Beanie’s soft toys and some of his extra bedding.
I decided to paint all the walls and the furniture white because I wanted a neutral base that would grow with Bean, and that would allow me to easily (and inexpensively) change things up when the mood strikes. I also opted for white curtains (these were in my office in our previous house, so I saved some more pennies here), and I found this gorgeous monochromatic rug for sale on Superbalist (it cost just R899). It’s the perfect size for Beanie’s bedroom and I think it adds a nice, homely touch – while bringing in an element of that Scandi style I love so much!
We spent hours at various home stores looking at all the bedding on offer, but soon settled on a fun superhero-inspired set that I found – on sale, yet again! – over on Superbalist. (This post is not sponsored by Superbalist, by the way – their Sixth Floor range just really has the most incredible items at really great prices!) I’m so thrilled with this find because Beanie absolutely adores it, but it’s not the in-your-face, Spiderman-emblazoned bedding that I was expecting (and dreading!)
As an English literature graduate (and total book hoarder), books can be found everywhere in our home – and Bean’s bedroom is no exception. I even have a few of my favourite books that I’ve saved from childhood and kept aside for my children, plus a few vintage finds that I found while browsing second-hand book shops and flea markets while I was pregnant with Bean. I keep these organised in a basket on his bookshelf, while some of his favourite current reads are displayed on the shelf where he’s able to pick and choose books as the mood strikes. (The rest of his books are packed away in one of the built-in cupboards, and I reshuffle his books every couple of weeks so we have fresh reading material to choose from on a regular basis).
Here’s a closer look at the second-hand book shelf that The Husband sanded and repainted for Bean’s bedroom. As you can see, the bottom two shelves are reserved for books, while the rest are filled up by some of Beanie’s most-played-with toys, his latest Lego builds, and some of his art projects.
I’m really happy with how Beanie’s big boy bedroom turned out in the end: I think it’s a good mix of stylish and functional, while still reflecting Bean’s own personality and personal tastes. I also love how a simple change of bedding transforms the room in an instant, and that many of the pieces (such as the rug, the white chest, and the bed) can all grow with Bean and will be equally functional in a ten year old’s bedroom as it is now, in a five-year old’s bedroom. It’s definitely my favourite room in the house, and it’s the one room that I’m most proud of.