Big Boy Room {Before & After}

Whit’s big boy room has been done for about a week but with all the Halloween craziness I just now found the time to write it all up!  For posterity’s sake, here’s a little reminder of the “before before”…

April 2009 086

Here’s the “before” – the sweet nursery where the baby spent his first three years on earth…


Here’s the “in between” while I was figuring out what on earth to do with the space (I know, it IS worse than the before before.)…

April 2012 909

And here’s the after – a fairly neutral big boy room that we hope will grow with him for years to come!  You’ll probably notice the lack of toys – we try to keep the them in the playroom and basement, reserving the bedrooms for sleeping, reading and quiet time.

Paint – Benjamin Moore Pale Oak (walls) and Benjamin Moore Alabaster (trim)
Floor – unstained white oak
Rug – Ballard Designs outlet
Carriage House Chandelier – Ballard Designs
Fabric – Ikea Berta Ruta (buffalo check), Calico Corners Como Gris (velvet), and burlap from Online Fabric Store
Curtain rods – Target


Mother and Daddy-O hauled up the vintage Ethan Allen canopy bed that’s been in Sister’s room down in Savannah since the beginning of time.  And in spite of my affinity for canopy beds, even I wouldn’t do that to the baby.  So, we left the top rails off and shortened the posts on the foot board.  While Mother was here this fall, she was a doll to help me out making burlap euro shams and buffalo check standard shams, but I’m pretty proud to say that I made the duvet cover all on my lonesome (it was done so on the fly that I have nothing to share tutorial wise).  The bolster began it’s life as this heinous denim number, but was literally given new life when my upholsterer worked his magic on it.  With free shipping it was much cheaper than any of the other bolster pillow form of this size that I found.  The sheet set is from Pottery Barn in Sandalwood, the diamond matelasse spread was from Target about ten years ago, the polka dot blanket is from Aux Belles Choses in New Orleans, and the Pottery Barn Kids monogrammed quilt was a baby shower gift!

The gorgeous crab painting is by Catherine Lovett, a local Savannah artist.  She’s a complete doll and I am pretty much head over heels with all of her work.  The crab was the inspiration for the room and I think it’s perfection!  (And as luck would have it, the baby has yet to pronounce it “bery skary.”)

August 2014 271 copy


The two bedside tables were originally mismatched pieces from an antique/junk store and from my foyer many moons ago.  I wasn’t in love (or really even in-like for that matter) with either of them to start, but they were the right size, the right height and the right price (free) so I painted their tops with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in old white and then skirted them in burlap to hide their different bases.  After scouring the Ballard Designs outlet for months on end (seriously…I’m talking at least 7 months), I finally found a pair of the Suzanne Kasler large gourd lamps in gray green for a song.  The drum shades were also lucky outlet finds (that didn’t require seventeen trips.)  The table decor was picked up here and there over time.  The Hey Y’all print is by Stephanie Creekmur and was a gift from bloggy friend Krystine Edwards.  The Mickey cross stitch was a gift from Daddy-O.

The dresser wall is probably my favorite in the room.  The dresser was Honey’s as a child and I made it over by stripping and staining the top, painting the base in Annie Sloan’s duck egg blue chalk paint and adding new mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie.  Oh, and speaking of those knobs, while they are undoubtedly easy on the eye, they are really the devil to work with since they simply won’t stay screwed in.  (Read: steer clear of these knobs!)  I purchased the mirror a few years ago from G. Scott Interiors in Smyrna and have been storing it in the bowels of my closet since then.  Restoration Hardware carries an almost identical version, but I don’t want to make y’all cry when I tell you that it costs at least double what I paid.  The chippy corbels are the same us under the bar in the den.  I’ve had them for a few years (also in the closet and also purchased from G. Scott Interiors) and I really cannot say just why I purchased two sets of the same corbels but boy am I glad I did!  The B. Braithwaite bear was a welcome to the world gift from Mimi and Ampa.  The W is done in a map of the Savannah River (see how here) and sits atop a collection of favorite books.  The jar is from Target (I spray painted the lid in oil rubbed bronze to look like a pricey set I loved in New Orleans) and holds my own set of Beatrix Potter books and the baby’s monogrammed baby shoes.

In the corner of the room sits a little antique chair that I had covered in the Como Gris velvet.  Mother and Daddy-O gave the baby the linen pillow for Christmas last year and Mother was a doll to applique it with his initial in the same velvet.  The metal crate holds more books and was purchased last year from Gracious Home in Blue Ridge.

I gathered up some of our most beloved pics of the baby, a few prints and a couple of other special items for the gallery wall, including the Yes Ma’am, No Ma’am print from The Old Try (see my others here), How to Tie a Bow Tie – A Gentleman’s Guide, the John Derian plate he received for his third birthday, a monogrammed bib from Mother and a copy of a nautical chart of the Savannah River and Wassaw Sound from River Services in Savannah (see it on my coffee table here.)  Everything is framed in Ikea’s Ribba line.  They are extremely affordable and come in a whole slew of sizes and you can mix and match everything from a standard frame to a collage to a matted picture to a shadow box.

October 2012 150 copy

The antique secretary has been in the baby’s room since the beginning of the baby himself!  I used glue dots to adhere a copy of the Savannah River and Wassaw Sound nautical chart (procured from River Services in Savannah) to the inside this go-round.

September 2012 321

Last but not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Honey spent hours slaving away at installing crown molding for the first time!  It’s the icing on the cake!!

And, while the baby adores his new room and I’m thrilled to have it done, I must be brutally honest and say he’s spent nary the night in there.  He’s been sleeping in John’s extra twin bed ever since he moved out of the crib and we aren’t even entertaining the idea of making them give up a single night of that sacred bedtime ritual.  I know the day will come all too soon that one or the other wants their own space and this sweet room will be at the ready.  Until then, the baby enjoys sprawling out on the bed and reading while brother is at school…and that’s just fine with me!


See all of my Before & After decor here and our House Tour here.
All the big boy room projects:
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61 thoughts on “Big Boy Room {Before & After}

  1. Hard work but fun. Congrats.Our boys share a room also because they want to and you couldn't pay me to move one of them out.

  2. This looks fantastic! I really wish you had a tutorial on the duvet cover! Could you at least tell us what you used for the ties and how you attached those? That's my sticking point right now on one I'm trying to make.

  3. This is fantastic! I really wish you had a tutorial for the duvet cover! Can you at least share what ties you used and how they are attached? That is my sticking point right now on one I'm trying to make.

  4. Fantastic room. The colors are perfect, it`s comfortable, looks clean and bright. I believe that your son will enjoy his new room.Have a lovely weekend sweets!

  5. Amanda, you have done a beautiful job, as usual. But I have to say, that secretary is drop dead gorgeous. I LOVE it! Love the map on the back. I also love the Blue Crab picture. I'm off now to check out Ms. Lovett's website. Great job!

  6. Looks like the perfect room for a lil gentleman in training.
    I totally agree with you on no toys in bedrooms…we do the same thing here. Plus it makes the rule of no friends in our bedrooms much easier to enforce since there is nothing enticing up there. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and glad you finally got your camera back.

  7. BA – here goes nothing on how I made the duvet…
    I did a twin size for the full bed because I already had the twin insert and the width of the fabric was perfect (so I didn't have to piece two together).
    1. I laid the insert on the floor and cut two rectangles. In addition to leaving extra for hemming the bottom, I left a couple of inches to make a seam for the opening with the ties.

    2. Next I cut one LONG strip of fabric about 2" wide that would become the six ties. Going lengthwise, I folded in each raw edge till they met in the center. Then I folded that entire piece in so that I was left with no raw edges and a tie. I sewed it shut. Then I cut it into the six ties and folded the ends under and sewed them.

    3. Next, on the two big rectangles of fabric, I turned under and made a seam on the short side of each piece that will become the opening of the duvet. I sewed three of the ties to each piece, making sure they would line up on the front and the bottom of the duvet.

    4. Finally, I sewed the two large rectanges together, inside out, leaving a large opening at the top where the ties are. I flipped it right side out and put my duvet in.

    5. I did a jig because I couldn't belive I pulled it off :-)


  8. Sue – the boy's teeny tiny bathroom is next :-) I've got everything I need (shower curtain from target and new art that I didn't end up using in this room) so I just need to hang it all up! It's a mini makeover because they still have the sweet pottery barn kids alphabet stuff in there. xo

  9. Absolutely beautiful! The colors are wonderful and all the special touches are very much 'you'. I really like that their toys are not in their rooms…makes for a peaceful area I think.


  10. The room is lovely! I especially love the dresser wall & the metal book crate!

    My boys (at just shy of 10 & 8) also sleep in the same room despite having their own rooms. I wouldn't dream of separating them, either – love hearing their nighttime & morning conversations & knowing it justs adds to the closeness they share as brothers.

  11. Seriously incredible!! I just love how it turned out and once again you just knocked it out of the park. You are just so talented and have such a great eye! Well done! :-)

    P.S. Good luck with Miss Paula Deen! That is so exciting!

  12. I just found you on Pinterest and am your 1000th follower! Pretty exciting to hit 4 digits. :) I absolutely love your big boy room. I am in the middle of creating my babies big boy room and am stuck on paint color. Anyway, I'm loving your southern style and going to check out the rest of your blog. Would love for you to stop by some time, I think we could be fast friends. :)

  13. This room is an inspiration. He is a lucky boy…..around here ALL our rooms are in the in between phase. hahahaha!

    You are amazing!
    I especially like the maps… :)

    hugs ~ Crystelle

  14. Once again, you have outdone yourself Amanda! This could very well be the nicest boys bedroom I have ever seen! Your attention to detail is amazing and I love the colors, the buffalo plaid, the art, the secretary..everything! Great job!

  15. Wow – what a fantastic reveal! That little cutie is going to love that room for a looongg time. I am completely in love with those gourd lamps – thanks for including a source link!

  16. The room is gorgeous. I will be featuring it tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks.

  17. I absolutely love it!! I am planning to attempt something similar with my kiddos' room. I wanted to ask about your paint color on the walls. I love it in the pics here and saw that it is the same color you used in your master bedroom. In other post you described the color as "hospitally green" and I must agree hospital=blech. :) Do you still feel that it is too green? It doesn't look too terribly green in the pics but sometimes online pics can be deceiving. :) Your house is stunning. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

    1. Hahahaha… Yes it was hospital green on the first try :-). We repainted the master and the nursery to Ben Moore pale oak – no green at all! Thank you for you sweet comments!!

    2. Did you have any white added to the paint formula, or did you just go with it as it was? I went to look at it in the store on a paint swatch, but it didn't look quite as lovely as it does in your rooms. It looked more gray. Of course, we all know colors look way different on walls than on a swatch. Just wanted to know before I took the plunge!

    3. Hi Brenna – No, didn't have it changed in any way. It definitely looks different in different lights and with different colored things in the room. In this room I have mostly tans and whites and it tends to took more tan/greige. In my bedroom it's all blue and white and the color looks much more gray. I'd definitely do a large test patch in your room to make sure. Good luck!

  18. Amanda,
    Could I bother you for the size of that largest Ribba frame, please? The one your Old Try print is in.
    Thank you so much,

  19. Love this room! (Like all of your spaces!!) When you arrange the gallery wall, do you choose the layout first and then fill the frames or fill the frames and then decide on the layout?

    I want to do something similar in my daughter's room and I'm a bit overwhelmed! Thanks!!

  20. Alyson – I do a little of both. For the things that I already have on hand that I know I want on the wall, I start with those. I then fill in with additional frames and print pictures to go in those based on what size/orientation I need. Hope that helps!! Amanda

  21. hello! i absolutely love the curtains!! and the whole room in general! where can i find curtains like that? Or did you make them yourself? thanks in advance

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