James’ Colorful Big Boy Room

I’m starting this week off feeling thankful for the things I so often take for granted like cold air conditioning and hot water since we had issues with both last week.  After a week of showering at the gym, a hot shower in our own home to get squeaky clean felt so good!  And although the air wasn’t out completely (thank God), the issue has been fixed and now all the areas of our home are comfortable again in this 100-plus degree heat.  Houston is in the midst of a boiling hot summer and we won’t be getting relief any time soon, so we have to make the best of it! 
This week marks our return back to school and it’s surreal because it literally seems like just a couple weeks ago I was saying, we’re so excited for summer!  I know blogging was light for that break, but now that James starts Kindergarten on Wednesday, I plan to get back to it.  I’ve missed it! 
James’ Room
We’ve started transitioning James from his current room into the larger guest room with a bigger bed recently.  It’s been a wonderful space for him over the years, as he moved in at just 4 months old.  It began as a beloved nursery and then, as he got older, a fun big boy room.  To bring you up to speed, I’m sharing pictures of his former room and how it evolved throughout the years. 

Big boy room with Pottery Barn striped canopy - perfect reading nook

His room is a combo of dark blue walls (Benjamin Moore Indi-Go-Go color matched at Sherwin Williams) and light blue ceiling (Sherwin Williams Honest Blue) with pops of red.  The blue and white stripe Rugby Play Tent Canopy was a super-cool place for him to hide away or for some reading time, and made for a fun eye-catching piece in the room.  It’s made of durable polyester and is really sturdy.  We hung it from the ceiling with a hook, but, as you’ll see later, it fell down when he and a friend were playing too rough.  We plan to move the canopy to the playroom now. 
For cozy seating, inside the canopy is the Red Madras Anywhere Beanbag.  At age 5 now, he still fits perfectly in it but sometimes he likes to bring it into the living room for seating while he plays video games.  The Chenille Jute Stripe Border Rug ties it all together and is really soft.
Big boy room with Pottery Barn striped canopy - perfect reading nook
Big boy room with Pottery Barn striped canopy, chenille border rug and wagon to store books
We are fortunate to have an old red wagon that belonged to James’ dad as a kid that is still in pretty good shape for being over 30 years old.  After a good washing, it doubles well as added book storage.  
An old red wagon doubles as book storage in a kid's room
The big star bucket from Homegoods holds extra pillows and blankets for super cozy-time inside the canopy.  
Star bucket for extra storage to hold toys, blankets, pillows
Opposite the canopy is the Pottery Barn Cameron bookcase in white.  I’m so pleased with the quality of this furniture, it has a solid wood frame and was easily assembled in about 20 minutes.  I like to keep books as well as colorful decorative objects in the bookcase to mix it up.  
Big boy room with Pottery Barn Cameron bookcase
On display is part of James’ favorite train set from his Great Grandma on top along with the Solid Task lamp in red.  

Big boy room with Pottery Barn Cameron bookcase
The bookcase holds lots of books and I included a wire basket that can easily corral the smaller board books.  Making a label that James can “read” while still learning to read was easy with computer clip art and a laminating machine.  It also makes clean up easy since James knows exactly where the small books belong.
Big boy room with Pottery Barn Cameron bookcase
I adore this Dalmatian bookend.  It’s surprisingly solid and keeps the books upright. So cute!

Big boy room with Pottery Barn Cameron bookcase
The Galvanized Magnetic boards are perfect for showcasing James’ current art projects.  The “GROW” sign is meant for a garden, but I thought it was cute and appropriate for a child’s room.  
Big boy room with galvanized magnetic boards for showcasing art projects and photos
The drapes are actually West Elm shower curtains that I sewed added length onto the bottom to fit the height of the wall.  I bought three curtains and used the third as the bottom length.  White rope ties the drapes to the wall.  We used West Elm curtain rods as well.  We have those rods throughout the house and my husband says installing them is a pain, but they look really sleek and nice. 
Easy DIY - turn West Elm stripe shower curtains into drapes
About a year ago, we moved the bookcase to the playroom and brought in the World Market Josephine desk in a red lacquer that is so bright and fun.  It happens to be on sale for $99 right now too!  It’s a good size and has held up well so far.  
Big kid room with World Market Josephine desk in red - perfect homework nook
desk accessories for kids
I made the “IDEAS” sign with wooden blocks, skewers, and chipboard letters.  It’s an easy DIY that you can use for any word or perhaps your child’s name.  The red sculpture is the Soapstone Love Knot Figure
Corral markers and crayons in galvanized tins
James loves “working” at his desk and I keep workbooks, coloring books, paper and crayons/markers in the drawer.
World Market Josephine desk in red
This desk should last him a long time since it’s stylish enough to grow through later years. Right now, he’s sitting on the multicolor striped frayed throw pillow and the Celia Metal Swivel Chair
And since we moved his bookcase to the playroom to make room for the desk, I used the Zinc Oliver Rolling Cart as a three-tiered bookshelf that fit this small wall perfectly.  Just his size!
The zinc 3-tier rolling cart makes great book storage in a kid's room
Oversized calendar from Paper Source
I liked how the star bucket mimicked the awesome glow-in-the-dark star decals we put on the ceiling.  They really do light up the ceiling like the night sky when the lights are out!
Painted ceiling with glow in the dark stars from Pottery Barn Kids
Later, we added a gallery wall full of favorite photos to the large wall adjacent to the window.  I’ve read many wise words about laying your frames out on your floor and arranging them how you like before you start nailing into the wall, but, as you can see, we didn’t do that.  It was a little off, but I let it be as a reminder to keep things loose and not so perfect in this kid space.   
Kid room gallery wall
Kid room gallery wall

Kid room gallery wall
This twin bed (discontinued, but similar) replaced his crib and I ended up wishing we’d gotten a full size bed rom the beginning, just because we all tend to pile in there at night for story, prayer, and pillow talk so it’s super crowded.  James fits okay alone, but he and I or he and Dad or all three of us in there is pretty ridiculous.  The safety bed rails weren’t required for long, but were useful while we needed them.  
Kid twin bed from Pottery Barn Kids
Another change to the room was swapping the positions of the bed and dresser.  I also spray painted a silver mirror bright red to bring in more color and adorned it with colorful felt ball garland.  The mirror is dual purpose as it reflects the light from the window also.  The red lamps and blue pouf are from Joss & Main
Spray painted mirror with colorful felt ball garland is fun in a kid's room

Spray painted mirror with colorful felt ball garland is fun in a kid's room

At the end of the day, this is how the room looked as I passed by recently.  The larger geometric patterned rug is from Joss & Main.  And, as I mentioned before, the tent had fallen and hadn’t been rehung yet.  It’s bittersweet to be moving James from this room, but since we had a larger bed in the guest room already, and that room is bigger, this lucky guy is getting an upgrade.  Just in time for Kindergarten!  #hugme #imnotready! 
Big boy room
I’ll be excited to show you the new changes soon!
keep in touch! 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. Now is a great time to transition him with the start of "big" school. And, at the rate he is growing these days his feet will be hanging off the end of the king size bed in no time 😉

  2. Kimdergarten can be difficult for parents, especially moms. Our church held a "tea and sympathy" get together this year for moms dropping their children off for Kimdergarten on the first day of school that went over well. Thanks for sharing the decorating changes to his room throughout the years.

    1. We started that at our school last year too and called it Tea & Tears. We know some parents are letting out a cheer over school starting and others are shedding a tear. I'm in the 'tear' category, but I know it's going to be a great year. My son is excited to start kindergarten.

  3. Hi Megan, I came looking through your old posts looking for down inspiration for my sons big boy room that we are re-doing. I couldn't find a post on your sons new room since he moved to the guest room…have you done one yet?

    1. Hi Kate! We haven't finished his room, but I've shared a couple snippets here and there:

      Red bookcase: https://www.honeywerehome.com/2015/09/the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up_15.html (it's at the end of the post)

      Closet: https://www.honeywerehome.com/2015/10/kid-closet-makeover-elfa-installation.html

      Dresser: https://www.honeywerehome.com/2015/09/restoration-hardware-lookalike-dresser.html

      We purchased bedding and drapes, but still need to take some pics to share with you. It's on my list! 🙂

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