Eight Year Old Boys Bedroom: How To Make It Age Appropriate But Still Cool
When I revamped Max, my 14 year olds, bedroom a few months ago, my eight year old, Leo, wasn't happy. When we moved into this house, his bedroom had previously been a guest room and as such, was painted in lilac. To be fair, he didn't complain much as he was too happy that Max had agreed to take the smaller room so he sensibly kept quiet for some time and suffered the indignity of pastels when his friends came over. However, once Max's bedroom had been transformed into a brick walled, super cool, cave like, neon lit, X Box playing dream, Leo started to protest and began asking when his own room would be revamped. I love that my kids actually say the word 'revamp'. We don't do decorating in this house, oh no. We 'revamp' rooms. Life for my children is like a constant rerun of DIY SOS although the only person crying is generally me.
When Leo was born, we lived in my previous favourite house ever, a five bedroom Victorian semi in Caversham, Berkshire. It was literally my dream home. However, when we moved in, it was actually only four bedrooms. The fifth bedroom had been knocked into the master bedroom to create an en suite bathroom. How luxurious!
What I have omitted to mention is that it was TOTALLY open. Not a screened off area, but a fully incorporated into the master bedroom, en suite bathroom. The downside of having a toilet that you could clearly see from your bed became immediately apparent. I don't need to go into detail for you to realise that 'popping to the loo' once we were both in bed was not an aphrodisiac in any way whatsoever. However, despite the urinal odds being stacked against us, it was shortly after we moved into this house that I became pregnant with our third child, Leo.
As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I am not actually a fan of en suites so it was an easy decision to put the wall back up and convert the bathroom of open weeing shame back into a small bedroom. By this time in my life, I was fully interior obsessed and was dying to put some individuality into my new baby's room. I wasn't interested in traditional, I wanted something that looked cool and boundary pushing. So I put a wall sticker up. Oh yes, control your excitement. I really went for it.
Back in 2009 this was cutting edge baby room decor. Wall art wasn't the big business that it is now and I could only find the one that I wanted in the USA so had to have it shipped over, paying through the teeth for customs charges. But it felt unique and I loved it. Leo spent the first two years of his life in that room little knowing that he was sleeping on top of a sewerage pipe.
Anyway, since we've moved into this house Leo has been fairly patient, so I decided that now was the time to do his room. Plus, it was permanently disappointing on house tours for the attendees of my Styling Your Home workshops to enter a room with copious plastic garden buckets filled with plastic ammunition and parachute men stuck to the ceiling. Not that Instagram is a good reason to redecorate your home. Oh no.
I quickly realised that the difference between planning an eight year olds room and a 14 year olds room is poles apart. Leo is still quite pliable when it comes to suggestions so I knew that it would be an easier ride than convincing Max. He's also still into 'playing' and so there was far more scope for including some Pinterest inspired fun areas.
When I asked Leo what he wanted, his only request was that he had astro turf carpet and that the entire room was to resemble a football pitch. After explaining to him that this was patently impossible and that I would be arrested for crimes against decor, I started to prepare the mood board.
I must admit, I'm feeling slightly revamped out after the recent Revamp Restyle Reveal project but after the trauma of floor sanding, nothing phases me. So what have I planned?
Swap The Flooring
So like everywhere in my house, Leo's carpet is cream. I honestly don't understand for one moment why someone would have thought it was a good idea to carpet an entire family house in cream carpet, but so be it. This carpeted perfection lasted approximately three minutes before the dog territory marked on it and two Asda Smart Price chocolate mousses were spilt making it look as though a dirty protest had taken place.
So my plan is to replace it's inappropriate creaminess with something a little bit more hardwearing and practical in grey. I'll add a central rug in monochrome just to break up the space as it's quite a big room.
Wave Goodbye To The Lilac
So the lilac will have to go, obvs. I'm replacing it with a combination of things because the idea of a room with only one colour walls doesn't float my boat. One wall will be wallpaper - I'm looking at chevron or geometric, possibly in a colour. That will go behind the bed and the mood board example I've shown is both my favourite and Leo's. Two walls will be white and one wall will be a combination of chalkboard and possibly cork.
Leo is still at the age where he's bringing things back from school so rather than store them in the B file (parents all over will know what I'm talking about), we could do something a little more creative with them. I'm tempted by the mountain range chalkboard situation that I've seen all over Pinterest but am thinking that he's borderline age wise and that possibly next year he would be berating me for this decision and accusing me of trying to keep him little. Sob.
Recycle What We Don't Need
Leo is regularly kicked out of his room when we have family to visit and that's why he has an IKEA daybed that extends to a super king. This will stay. Leo's room has also been a dumping ground for every item of furniture that no one else wants so I am going to remove and sell on eBay a chest of drawers and two EXPEDIT units.
Also, rather sadly, he's grown out of the old school desk and it's two matching Ercol chairs so these will be going too. I'll be sorry to see these go as I really love them but I don't have anywhere to put them so it's sayonara, vintage beauties. I'm going to repaint his bedside table and make it look a bit cooler with some new knobs.
Sort Out The Clothing Situ
My children have never had the joy of owning a wardrobe until this last year. Previously they've been forced into stuffing their clothes into drawers with not a hanger in sight. This, combined with my inability to iron anything at all, means that Leo's drawers are constantly in a state of half open, unable to be shut due to overflowing football kits, mode.
He also still has pants in there which are age 3. In fact, I would hazard a guess that up to 75% of his clothes are now too small for him. So my plan is to have a clear out and give Leo a wardrobe of his very own. Parenting goals. I'll also add a bench for his shoes and bags.
Streamline The Toys
Leo is a third child and as per the furniture, he has all unwanted toys and books from the elder two crammed into his room. So I am going to be hardcore. I'm taking all the beautiful Aesops Fables and Hans Christian Anderson classics that have barely ever been opened and will store them in boxes in the garage until my children have children of their own and I can hand them back to them. It's a long game.
Toys wise, I'm going to wait until Leo is at school and remove a significant amount to the charity shop seeing as he hasn't played with the majority of them since 2015. I told you, hardcore. I will keep anything that has styling potential, obvs, and display on the shelves. I'll store what remains in baskets underneath the desk. Perfect.
Create A Futureproof Desk Area
So there's a long alcove in Leo's bedroom so I'm going to create a desk. One of those long ones that are literally a piece of wood propped on struts fixed to the wall. This sounds easy. I'm sure it's not going to be and can already feel mass marital stress coming on with the advent of Joe's drill appearing. Above this, I'm going to put my all time favourite IKEA product, picture ledges and also his television so that he can play Rocket League and FIFA 17 until his eyeballs literally fall out.
I'm thinking a long desk is a good idea as it's only a few years until he will be at secondary school (sob) and he'll need somewhere to do his homework. In the meantime, he can use it for continuously watching 'Top 10 Pranks That Involve The Toilet' or some similar brain dead activity on YouTube. Winning. I'll also add a beanbag chair so that he can sit in comfort whilst ruining his eyesight.
At the moment, Leo's artwork is restricted to a picture of Superman and a B&Q Batman special. I still love the whole Super Hero thing but am going to take it to a slightly more contemporary level with some monochrome prints. I'm sticking primarily to a palette of red and blue so I think the black and white would be very effective.
The picture ledges will be good for adding new prints as and when I find ones that will fit. Plus they're a perfect size for his football trophies.
My ideal light for Leo's room would be the Kartell Fly Lamp in blue. It's perfect for the space but unfortunately falls into the investment light category so may well see if I can source a more reasonable alternative. The desk area would look fabulous with an Anglepoise style light.
I'm also going to add a neon as it gives the space a bit of an edge, plus his brother has one so there's no way I'm going to get away with not fitting one into the design.
The Mood Board
So that's my plan. I'm hoping this room will last Leo through to his early teens so I need to make it flexible for his needs by making a space that can be adapted as he grows. By choosing a wallpaper that is generic and not child specific and by keeping the walls muted, I'll create a room that can be upped a gear by changing artwork and soft furnishings. The desk will work brilliantly from primary to secondary and hopefully encourage a work ethic. Well, you can always dream.
So when do I start? Am hoping to get started in two weeks time and will keep you updated on how I get on via my stories. Wish me luck! I'm off to give Joe three weeks notice that he needs to get his drill out.