Delightful Home {Tween Boy Room}

When John started middle school we used the summer before to make some updates to his bedroom. With the craziness that was 2020, we didn’t get started on Whit’s room tweaks until early in 2021. Since I’ve got nothing but work and sitting on my sofa on the agenda these days, I finally sat down to sort through the pictures I took in March and share this update!

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

Here’s the official “big boy room” … this room is my favorite we’ve ever had in the whole house. And, spoiler alert before I share the new look, I already desperately miss this sweet space!

Without further ado, here is the new “tween room”! If you know Whit, or have followed along here for a while, you will know that he is very much his own person. He makes his own decisions and never questions his preferences, gut feelings or choices. I respect the things he chose for his room and love that it continues to be a reflection of him!

Paint – Benjamin Moore Pale Oak (walls) and Benjamin Moore Alabaster (trim)
Floor – unstained white oak
Rug – FLOR (Finer Things)
Carriage House Chandelier – Ballard Designs
Curtains- Ballard Designs
Curtain rods – Target

For this look, we changed a few things in the room including the curtains, duvet and shams, adding a new table, moving in a desk from John’s room and, of course, the new Disney character sketches.

Back when we did the original big boy room update, Mother and Daddy-O hauled up the vintage Ethan Allen canopy bed from Sister’s childhood room.   We left the top rails off and shortened the posts on the foot board. 

The gray stripe duvet and shams are from Canopy & Crane, the sheets from Pottery Barn, the diamond matelasse spread was from Target about eighteen years ago now, and the Pottery Barn Kids monogrammed quilt was a baby shower gift! Mother made the star print shams and lumbar pillow back in 2018.

Whit personally chose the art last summer from a kiosk at Disney’s Riviera Resort and it was the jumping off point for the rest of his room. The same sketches were in our resort room and he loved them. Now, in the hotel room the art pieces were about half of the size of what arrived. :-) Luckily, they juuuuust fit by the skin of their teeth. He wanted them framed just like they were at Riviera and I had that done at Michael’s. They really do an excellent job!

The two bedside tables are things we’ve had for two decades. They’ve just moved around over the year and finally landed here in 2018. The lamps were Ballard Outlet finds – Suzanne Kasler large gourd lamps in gray green – from years ago.  The table decor was picked up here and there over time.  Mother gave him the brass turtles to keep his “treasures”. The clear frames were from Homegoods a while back. The geode and Harry Potter golden snitch clock were both “forever gifts” from years past. He loves having his Alexa in here for alarms, weather and music.

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.  I purchased the mirror many years ago from G. Scott Interiors in Smyrna but Restoration Hardware carries an almost identical version (at at least double what I paid).  The chippy corbels are the same us under the bar in the den.  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). It used to hold my own set of Beatrix Potter books and his monogrammed baby shoes, but those were emptied out to make room for prized game balls.

A big change in the room was taking out the antique secretary (moved to guest room) and putting in a desk. Whit did virtual school until late October, and then had every Wednesday virtual as well, so a desk was necessary. Mother’s childhood desk (it was also mine!) had been in John’s room for years but since it fit perfectly in here we moved it. John had more space so we purchased a larger desk for his room. It is also a maple wood that is pretty close to the bed. It has a nice desk chair but, let’s face it, a hard wood chair for 8 hours a day got old fast. We safely tucked that away for down the road and replaced it with a non-attractive, super functional desk chair. I know this wall is a lot of wood but I could never paint any of these items – not the original 1964 doors, nor the 1950s desk. :-)

Whit culled the original items in his gallery wall that was previously between the windows. His favorites were hung over the desk. (Note: The baby picture needs to be swapped for a baseball pic but he has not yet chosen one!) These are all special pieces. Our family, a dog plate that was another forever gift, the Mickey cross stitch was a gift from Daddy-O, and the 12th birthday cake was painted by Mother. (I always have someone point out any sort of crooked photo and yes, I am aware that some are crooked. It’s a fact of life with a 12 year old boy stomping around and aggressively closing doors and drawers.)

Moving around the room, we left the chair and added a little table and floor lamp. The electrical in here has been messed up since we moved in and we are finally getting it fixed! Both outlets on the wall with the bed are controlled by the overhead light switch. So, you can never have on a reading light without the overhead light on. Hence, the unsightly extension cord here that will soon be gone. :-) These items were picked by Whit:

Floor Lamp | Edison Bulb | Side Table

For Whit’s 9th birthday gift, we gave him the whimsical and absolutely adorable painting of his beloved Elsa by Buckhead Art Studio. This is our family’s collective favorite piece of art anywhere! He would never, ever part with it and decided to move it for this room update. The walking cane was a gift from his elementary school bus driver when he finished 5th grade.

The Mickey pillow as added by me because I thought he needed something black over in this corner. He didn’t ask me to return it but didn’t express a whole lot of joy or love for it either. He does find it to be super comfy and uses it a lot – probably more for function over form. (It’s a SUPER soft sherpa.)

The little side table has been really useful and I’m so glad he asked to have something here! He picked a few books and treasures out of the old secretary cabinet to display here. I’ve since added a little diffuser here because boys smell, y’all.

Last but not least, is the FLOR rug. We’ve had this in here for a few years now and continue to love it. I was a little concerned over how the tans and creams we were leaving in the room would look with the grays, blacks and whites he was adding. It all works.  These FLOR tiles are called Finer Things and I chose them in the Cream colorway.  The faux cowhide rug from World Market was the perfect thing to layer over the carpet tiles.

That pretty much covers the space.  Whit has been very happy in here the past few months – lounging, gaming, doing school and such!  Writing this post made me a little teary – time flies.  It seems like yesterday that I was sharing his nursery with you.


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6 thoughts on “Delightful Home {Tween Boy Room}

  1. Love the room! Thank goodness you addressed the elephant in the room which was the first thing I saw – the extension wire!! Sayonara!!

  2. Whit’s room continues to be stylish and classic. He has a real eye for things and it turned out great! You are a wonderful designer, Amanda!

    Here’s wishing you a healing weekend. When you get into the final stages of your saga, be sure to add Epson salt to your baths. 😊

    I was thanking you yesterday when I thought I’d quickly cut a few herbs in the garden and string up a few tomato without my gloves. Never again!

    You did a great service by sharing your story. 😇 God bless you, your family and home. ❤🦋❤🦋 Jane – San Diego

  3. Praying for your continued healing, Amanda! Do you know if those cute Disney prints can be ordered online?

  4. Looks great. When art isn’t the size or color I scan and resize and even pay someone a little on FIVVER to fix colors or print the right color onto a transparency and place between art and the glass (to correct the color on the entire piece). I ordered some really nice Italian tiles with original art on them that looked red online and they were more orange when they got here. I watered down finger nail polish with remover and did a wash over the orange areas and it worked perfectly. As long as no one touches them with acetone we are good. Lots of ways to get something to work for your space. But you made it work as is and its looks great.

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