These last few weeks have been a flurry of a DIY projects creating a nautical bedroom makeover for my oldest son. I’m really excited with the final result and can’t wait to show you.
This room project is part of the One Room Challenge from Linda at Calling It Home and it’s been a blast to be able to participate. But to be honest, I went into this challenge completely unprepared and without a plan. While I knew of the challenge, I didn’t know when it started. When I finally found the information, the first post was due the very next day. Yikes! I had some catching up to do right off the bat.
I didn’t have a plan or a design. Heck, I didn’t even know what room I would pick. I quickly talked with my husband to make sure he was on board with my taking on the extra project and the potential art hurricane that could be unleashed on the house in the process. He was supportive and suggested I do one of the kids rooms.
My 14 year old son James has been wanting a marine life themed room. That seemed easy enough to do in a few weeks so I picked his room to start with. Making the decision even easier was the fact that his room was atrocious and in desperate need of everything. Here is what I started with.
Teen Bedroom Before Pictures (warning, it’s not lovely)
The day I needed to put up that first entry post I ran up and snapped these photos. Yes his room really looked like that!
Then I sat down at the computer to quickly post and enter the challenge. In 15 minutes I came up with this mood board as a launching place to a plan for the room. ( you can see my mood board on post week 1)
Nautical Bedroom Beginnings
Having no time was actually a blessing here. I have a tendency to over think things and this forced me to pick something and just start. The first week was slow because I was thinking through ideas.
I had two problems to solve in the room. First, I had almost no money to spend. So what’s new, right? The second was the room is only 11’ by 12’, on an awkward angle and has only one window.
Lastly, I had a limited amount of time.
My strategy to overcome the problems of a small boxy room and lack of money was to go about the design process focusing on my strengths and not what I was lacking. This led me down the road of DIY and painting. I figured I may not be able to buy a lot but I can paint the heck out of this room. I fell in love with a shark tooth pattern so I started the room by hand-painting shark teeth on the back wall.
Hand Painted Wall (aka poor man’s wallpaper)
Was this nuts? Maybe, but what was I to do? I knew what I wanted and knew I didn’t have the funds for designer wallpaper.
My choices were either a boring wall or suck it up and get painting.
Yes, it was mind numbing at first but once I began to see the wall come together I really enjoyed going in there to paint. The wall took the longest by far and ate up a major chunk of the time. (Check out the video at the bottom of the page)
Next was the furniture. A few years ago, I picked up this old bedroom set for around $100. The set included a headboard, footboard, two dressers and a night stand. I only needed the long boy dresser at the time so the rest of the set went to the basement.
By mimicking the design of the handles I was able to create a striking update for little cost.
To keep it interesting, I changed up the headboard design by adding the tentacle to the window like panels.
DIY Modern Ceiling light
The DIY light fixture was a random idea I came up with two weeks ago. I knew I would need help since I was incredibly limited on time. So I took the idea to my dad.
First I made a mockup of the light I envisioned by cutting and taping drinking straws together. It was quite humorous but effective.
Then I went to my local Home Depot store and purchased the supplies.
Armed with a bag of cooper fittings and a fancy drinking straw example, I headed to dad’s house so I could make sure I got the wiring just right. It’s may be my favorite DIY in the room.
What do you think? I am crazy happy with it. It was about 70 bucks in parts because copper is pricey but it is every bit worth the result. My son loves it!
DIY Cornice Box
The next project was the cornice box. My husband was biting at the bit to get his hands on building something for the room. I’m pretty easy going about most things but when it comes to creative projects, I don’t share well. And when I do agree to let someone help me, I hoover over them the whole time. I admit, I’m awful when I get on one of my creative benders.
None the less, time was an issue so I had to release control and accept assistance. My husband did a great job building the box for me. All I had to do was paint it. Taking that off my list was a big help.
DIY Copper Pipe Shelves and Desk
The other monster project was creating the desk and shelves.
Once again, time was not on my side and I had to make a trip to good old Dad. I seriously have the best dad ever. I talked over my desk plans and the shelf system I was cooking up and Dad helped gather the supplies and put together the copper pipe structure.
He was funny when I explained the simple desk structure. He insisted that if it didn’t have a drawer then it was just a table and not a desk! So sure enough, the next time I saw the desk, it had a working drawer. You were right Dad, the drawer is handy. Thank you
Also the desk chair was another old item around the house that I painted up just for the room.
The Homemade Paintings
Another fun project to inexpensively add more color in the space was to paint my own artwork with the shark and octopus paintings. By stretching my own canvas, I was able to make a large painting that would fit perfectly above the bed.
Okay, I have to confess, I started the artwork 3 days ago. Time management clearly isn’t one of my strengths. I wanted to created more than two paintings for the room but I ran out of time. Whomp Whomp.
Fortunately, my husband didn’t complain too much when yesterday evening I asked him to go to the lumber store because I wanted him to help me make two custom frames for the paintings. I need them for tomorrow morning! What? That is not completely reasonable? He only used a few choice words when I dropped that last minute gift on him. He was either in an unusually good mood or he has some secret plan to make me pay later. I fear it may be the later.
Nautical Bedroom Project Purchases
The entire room was done for under $500. To keep the room design at a price level I could afford, I saved money by going all DIY and using accessories that I already owned. I did purchase a few things. The bedding, lamp, and a couple of accessories came from Target. I also found a few accessories and the fun pillows on the bed at Marshall’s.
The awesome mirror above the dresser was surprise blessing given to me by my good friend and neighbor. How amazing is that?! Thank you Melissa.
Also on the purchase list was wood for the cornice and picture frames. And again, super Dad came to my aid and gave me the copper for the desk and shelves.
I want to thank Linda from Calling IT Home for hosting this challenge. The one room challenge is a blast and will be back in the fall with bigger and better creative ideas. I’m already brainstorming and plan on being prepared next time!
I am grateful to my husband and Dad for all the work you did helping me out. I’m also very thankful for my Mom who continuously encourages me to blog and share my passion for creativity. I love you so much Mom.
I plan on going over the details of some of the DIY projects in the room over the next few weeks. If there is one in particular you would like more info on, let me know in the comment section below and I will work on a post to detail the process.
See the Whole Makeover Process
Also you may be interested in my other kids room makeover…
I link up (here)