Gender-Neutral Kids’ Room Reveal!!!

The kids’ room is FINALLY done!  I won’t get into why I’m late again because maybe you already know but hey!  The kids’ room is a real kids’ room now – not a small brown box of a space.  It’s happy and fun and so, so cute.  And I can’t wait to show you but first, let’s trot down recollection ave because you can’t really appreciate where it is now without seeing where it was.  :)

When we moved into this house, we tried something new – we moved all four kids into one room together.  It’s by no means a big room (maybe 11’ x 11’) but, with them all in one room, all of their toys could then be tossed into the other spare bedroom in the house and get labeled “playroom”.  So, squeezing beds and a couple of dressers in wasn’t a big deal in a small room since toys didn’t have to fight for the space too.  Bunk beds were a crucial component but I’ll get to those later.

Here’s what their room looked like before we moved in:IMG_6834It was dark and ultra brown, just like every other room in the house.  This room doesn’t get a ton of light, especially in summer with the higher sun plus a tree stands almost right in front of the window and blocks a lot of light.  It’s great for sleeping though.  #halffull

After we moved in, those darker curtains went and the kids slept on an air mattress until we could build them some bunk beds (you can read more about those plans here).  A month in, we still hadn’t built those beds (le sigh for a busy life) but we were given a set from some good friends.  With that set plus a toddler mattress slipped underneath as a trundle for Sebastian and Gianna’s crib in the corner, the kids slept soundly for months.  Or did they?  Welllllll…kind of.  The thing about that bunk we were given was that it was big and awesome but there was only one side rail up top and it was low and the girls were afraid to even go up much less sleep up there lest they roll over and out.  So they shared the bottom twin.  Sound sleeping?  Questionable. 

khouse (1)

(In the above pic, we had taken the rail off the top and not added the ladder so the adventerous two-year old didn’t go on a climbing spree as she’s highly apt to do.)

But then we got the deal of a lifetime (slight exaggeration…but only slight) on a new pair of bunks and finally, everybody had a bed.khouse (8)

That fact was fantastic, fine and dandy except our kids were still sleeping in a boring room and it didn’t have to be that way.  I wanted them to have a space that felt fun and that they loved retreating to.


after kids

TA DA!!!  We made it fun!

I’m not sure where to start with details so we’ll just go from wall to wall since that’s how I makeover rooms anyway – one wall at a time.

During week three of the One Room Challenge, I debuted the watercolor wall. after kids rm (11) 

after kids rm (6)
It’s a really easy and really cheap way to inject some fun into a space and you should go check out the tutorial.  That “thing” I’ve been waiting on for the past month that never arrived and made me late for the big ORC reveal is on that shade on the ceiling fan.  Those stripes are strips of fold-over elastic and after a failed order from PeakBloom (I still have not been refunded nor has my order shown up on my doorstep yet), I ordered some metal gray elastic from Bowtique Emilee and it came a very long eight days after it was shipped (likely USPS and not the shop though).  For a tutorial on how to add stripes with elastic to a drum shade, look no further than this post.  Yes, I could have posted the reveal without the stripes but they just add a little more punch to the space and I wanted to have it all together.  So, here it is.  ;)  The drum shade, the bunk beds, the aqua basket, and the window curtain are all from Dirt Cheap.  The dotted sheets and the buffalo check pillows/sleeping bags were both clearance finds from Target.  The rug is a hand-me-down from my sis that I painted (tutorial coming soon!)  When we realized we couldn’t put together the bunk bed on the right with the ladder near the window wall, we took down that old, huge fan, sold it, and bought this one from Lowe’s.  I’m not big on ceiling fans that stand out so this one is perfecto.  It blends into the white ceiling like nothing and only cost $30!  Anthony and I have already decided that every room in our next house that has a ceiling fan will have one of these.  The mattresses are these from Amazon and so far, they’re great!  I was hesitant because the price is so awesome but really, we are a few months in with them and have zero complaints, just comfort.  My bets are on them lasting a good long while with these tots.

after kids rm (16)


after kids rm (3)

We snuck Gianna’s crib into the bottom of one of the bunks because there wasn’t anywhere else it was going to fit in the room lest we ousted the dresser and it’s been a great little hack.  We did take the legs off the crib to make it sits as low as possible and right now, Gianna can just touch the underside of the bunk above her so there’s plenty of room.  She’ll probably stay in her crib for at least a few more months before we brave the risky waters of freedom-from-rails with her.after kids rm (19)

There’s enough room on the side of her crib to hide a little basket into which goes ALLLLL of the extra stuffed animals we have living with us in this house plus rogue blankets.  For the sake of simplicity, our kids only sleep on their fitted sheets.  We don’t use flat sheets because I don’t feel like cleaning up messy beds everyday.  And do we even need to discuss making bunk beds?  SO FUN.  They each have a blanket or two they sleep with and those get left on their beds during the day or tossed into a basket.  It works really well for us.

Moving to the left we have that dresser I bought secondhand and distressed (more about that whole conundrum here).after kids rm (24)It’s still not my style, though a beauty, but I think that big round mirror I found at Dirt Cheap (it’s this mirror*) a few weeks back for $20 helps modernize it just a tad.  I tried to fix the falling drawers without success so I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for another dresser to replace this one.  I’ll keep you posted.

On top of the dresser are a few books piled between some wood, rhino bookends I found a Dirt Cheap a few years ago.  I painted the edges a minty green with leftover paint from painting the playroom just to customize them a little more.after kids rm (23)(If we owned this house, that air vent in the reflection would have gotten a nice coat of white spray paint months ago but you gotta draw the renovating-a-rental line somewhere.)

Next wall.  It’s the only one that fits the long dresser that holds Sebastians clothes, sandwiched between the two doors of the room.  That left door is to the kids’ closet.  You can read about the little makeover that happened in there right here.after kids rm (5)I had a handful of meaningful things I wanted to hang on the kids’ wall above this dresser – a wall rosary from Lily Joy Designs, a painting my friend Jesse made, “OLIVE JUICE” I hand-painted (hung in this frame* but via Dirt Cheap), and a hanging plant – but it took me a long time to configure everything so that it worked.after kids rm (9)
 after kids rm (8)
The statue of Mary was given to the girls from my grandma (their great) and the lamp was another Target clearance find.  It’s all working right now but I do feel that a little tweaking needs to take place.
  after kids rm (27)And maybe the dresser is throwing me off.  The wood tone of the dresser plus that of the trim and doors do not play well together.  But the dresser is in such awesome shape that I dare not paint it.  Will I have time enough in this house to play around with it some more?  I don’t know…

So let’s scoot over to the final wall.

For months the kids have been tossing their hoodies in a basket over in this corner and for months I’ve been saying I need to hang some hooks over here so we don’t have hoodies all over the floor when we walk in because someone went digging for theirs and upeneded everyone else’s.  Sigh.  So finally, I grabbed some hooks I had bought for the girls’ room way back in our first Alabama house, spray painted them gold, and got them up here.after kids rm (10)

The kids have been great at hanging their stuff up and it’s been nice to have it all off the floor and more easily attainable.

At Dirt Cheap a few weeks ago, I found that World Map poster for $1.50 and hung it with office clips above the hooks to inject a little geography.  The girls have slowly been coloring it so it comes down every once in awhile but it’s a great filler.after kids rm (18)

There are a few small things I’ll share with you in separate posts, for one, how I painted the rug.

after kids rm (29)too
But really, that’s it!  Let’s talk cost and sources.

bunk beds:  $220 for both from Dirt Cheap (they are these by Powell and they come in white too)
mattresses:  $0 (gifted by grandparents but they are
these* and $70 each)
ceiling fan:  $0 - we sold the old for as much as we paid for the new (
this one from Lowe’s)
drum shade:  $2 from Dirt Cheap  (
similar…wish I could find a cheaper one but I’ll keep hunting)
elastic:  $6 from Bowtique Emilee
wall paint:  $35 (Pure White by SW from Lowe’s)
accent wall paint:  $0 leftover from
painting the playroom (probably equal to maybe 1/4 cup of paint)
sheets:  $25 (four sets on clearance from Target) (
similar*, similar*, similar in gold)
buffalo check pillows that convert to sleeping bags:  $25 ($5 each on clearance at Target last year)
aqua basket:  $3 from Dirt Cheap (originally from Target) (
curtain:  $6 from Dirt Cheap (it’s
this one* from Target in the 95” length)
curtain rod:  already in the house but hung higher
rug:  hand-me-down (similar, similar)
paint + fabric medium for the rug:  $20 (
Red Hot by Behr – the same color we painted our old front door)
tall dresser:  $60 (includes
these new drawer pulls)
round mirror:  $20 from Dirt Cheap (it’s
this one* from Target)
bookends:  $3 for the pair at Dirt Cheap (
here on eBay and painted, here on etsy)
wall rosary:  $52 (with coupon code) from
Lily Joy Designs
”olive juice” art:  $0 (using supplies I had on hand)
white floating frame:  $2 at Dirt Cheap (it’s
this one* from Target)
plant:  $4 from Lowe’s (pothos) (
here* on Amazon)
plant hanger:  $3 (secondhand but
here’s a similar one*)
marble-base lamp:  $13 on clearance from Target
metal tray:  $10 from Dirt Cheap years ago (originally from Target)
wall hooks:  $6 for four from Hobby Lobby
gold spray paint:  $4 from Home Depot (
here* on Amazon)
wall poster:  $1.50 from Dirt Cheap

GRAND TOTAL:  $542.50

That doesn’t include the crib (a gift) or the long dresser (thrifted), both of which we’ve had for ages.  And really, most of the stuff I listed is stuff we’ve had for a good long while but I listed it for the sake of sourcing.  The two canvases hanging above the girls’ beds were painted by their Godmothers for each several years ago and I think I maybe paid for the canvases at Hobby Lobby so they didn’t cost much, though their value is inestimable.  :)  The painting above the long dresser was made and given to us by a good friend.  All of the stuffed animals and blankets around were gifts.  Over $500 seems like a huge amount considering I usually stay well under that for room transformations but that big amount includes the price of two quality bunk beds and a dresser – all of which, if bought without bargains in mind, could easily cost much more than we paid.  Those bunks convert to twin beds so we’re thinking we’ll have these for umpteen years so, even if we had paid original price, they’re a good investment.  They might even see some fun upholstering when some of us become teenagers someday.  ;)

after kids rm (12)
Sebastian is my right-hand man when he’s awake and so I told him he could hang out with me while I took pictures of his room.  I handed him a book on cowboys and he got to picture-looking and I couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures of him.  In this one, the soundtrack would hear him talking about how they’re roping a cow.
 after kids rm (14)
He couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to do that.  As a farmer’s daughter, it made me smile.  We didn’t rope calves on the regular growing up but it was at least a familiar concept.  These city kids I’m raising have no clue.  Haha!

after kids rm (21)

When I finished snapping, handsome asked me if he could just “take one little picture of you mommy, pleeeeease” and how could I resist that grin?

after kids rm (1)

So, here I am, mid-coaching him on which button to push and to hold it down and blah, blah, blah.  Gianna had just had a nice potty accident in the living room so she was pantless.  So yes, when I thought I could quickly snap a few pictures of the kids room while the sun was shining in at its brightest without any awry situations happening elsewhere in the house, I was wrong.  Never leave the two-year old alone.  Never. 

But THAT is real life.  And what a glorious life it is.  :D

.           .           .

If I missed anything and you’re curious, leave a comment or send me a line –

*These links are affiliate links which means that, if you click over and/or make a purchase through the link, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  All of these links will lead you to things we actually paid for or that are similar to the item we paid for in case ours is thrifted/sold out/secondhand.  This extra money helps us with the costs of running the blog.  Thank you for your support and for fueling our love to share all things DIY!


  1. This look soooo great! You do such a great job making things work on an affordable budget. Love it! Now, we need all your tips for getting kids to actually GO TO SLEEP when they share a room! I'm all ears!!! =)

    1. Thanks Michelle!! And HA HA on getting kids to go to sleep. I know zero about that. Ours take a little bit to go to sleep but it was definitely hard in the beginning when sleeping in the same room was a novelty. Now we just remind them they have to be quiet if they're going to stay up and they end up falling asleep in twenty minutes or so. :)