We finally finished our tween’s room! My kiddo, bless his heart, never complained about the months of living with 1960s floral wallpaper and yellowing, falling-down rollerblinds, so I was happy to finally be able to deliver on the promise that his room would be among the first to be renovated. Here's the before:

before tween bedroom

The only probelm with working with this particular collaborator is that he had a very strong opinion that it should NOT look "like Woonwinkel, with color all over the place". He just wanted "normal" colors like blue, brown, and grey. Little rebel. So we put our heads together and came up with this bold look that has some spunk while sticking to a fairly tight, subdued palette.

bedroom tween

Designed for how a youngster really lives, we made some strategic choices. A tidy blue and orange grid, a tailored back rest, and neat drapes balance the rumpled linen look of the bedding. The Restore Basket collects stray bits and bobs.


If you know a bed is never going to be made, or the bedding's always going to end up on the floor, I say don't fight it. Just embrace the rumpled look with linen. Our Hawkins New York Simple Linen Bedding is a staple in our house. Another key item here is the USB-rechargeable Porta Lamp, which is a perfect nighttime light with three light levels. We'll borrow this from the kiddo for the patio now that the days are getting shorter, and it'll come along with us camping as well. 

dark nook tween room

We arranged the room so we wouldn't have to see a cluttered desk from the hallway. It's a decent view from the door (except when that closet is open. I'm still strategizing on that one). This darker nook provides a cozy video-gaming area, while also helping cords and desk clutter to blend into the low-contrast background. 

curve hook

Oversize Curve Hooks are my way of saying,"Please hang up your towel". 

blue wall tween room

ALL of the big items in this room were either FREE on my BuyNothing Facebook group or otherwise thrifted. The artwork is a mix of inexpensive posters, homemade artwork, and these awesome cardboard cutouts we have at the shop (Deluxe Glider Plane and Deluxe Propeller Plane), plus one special piece bought from a friend, @karlaenglehardt. We even framed a little scrap of wrapping paper from Unwrp. Books, sporting goods and whatnot tend to be thrifted at our house. Here’s where we put our money: Miller Paint, because it makes such a huuuuuuge difference, wallpaper for impact (we use Natural Gifts from Thatcher Studio), and cozy bedding and rugs that we love (Aelfie@tnk.objects).

tween room DIY makeover

We did the work ourselves including painting, making drapes, and hanging the wallpaper. The only brutal part was scraping the layers upon layers of old wallpaper in this 100-year-old house.

wallpaper layers

We used a steamer and elbow grease but next time we’re going to cave and try chemicals. We’ll let you know how it goes cause this whoooooole house is wallpapered—every last room. Dining room and living room up next! Stay tuned!

Miller Paint colors:
Blue Depths 0626 - dark blue
Pompeii Ruins 0623 - light blue closet door
Skiers View R003 - white
Ivory Ridge 0182 (not pictured but super cool on the door)