Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Designing Small Spaces with Big HEART

Bloggers HEART Habitat: Boy's Room Reveal

How to maximize space (but keep it fun!) in a kids' bedroom

So this is officially my FAVORITE PROJECT EVER. And yea, I just used all caps thrice in one sentence--that's how much I love this project. Now with that teaser you've gotta be dying to know why, and well, it's kind of a long story....

Back in September of last year, I got an email from Charlotte of Ciburbanity that put a huge smile on my face--I'm talking a smile that lasted for a good week. She was looking for like-minded bloggers from the Northeast to design and furnish a newly-built Habitat for Humanity house. Needless to say, signing up was a no-brainer! Here's the story about how I got involved.

Designing a Cozy and Fun Boy's Bedroom Space

{FYI: There are affiliate links in this post, because this incredible project would not have worked out so wonderfully if it weren't for the help of those amazing sponsors.}

I was so excited to start designing my room, and I had been lucky enough to meet the family when we were up for our 'Bloggers Build Day' back in March. I was able to get a sense of the little boy's personality, and I was thrilled to find out be had many of the same interests as my own little boy. I also learned that this little guy has never had a space of his own--he was always sharing a spot with someone or something, so I really wanted to make his room extra-special. 

His mom shared some of her ideas for his room, and at one point during the planning process, she fell in love with a loft/bunk/dresser combo, so I didn't have to do any work finding furniture! The size of the piece was quite substantial, so I ended up designing each element of the room around it. 

We finally met a few weeks ago for the big reveal, and I think mom, dad, and kiddo were pleased with the finish product. So here goes! I'll take you on a counter-clockwise tour of the room.

Above is how the room looked when I left after our Bloggers Build Day back in March. 
Below is taken from that same angle, looking through the doorway into the room.

One of the elements I knew his mom wanted was a reading nook, so that was on my must-do list! That awesome shag rug with the diamond pattern was donated by RugsUSA.

 Those shelves are actually intended to be spice racks, but they are the perfect size for a little one, plus they suited my budget (thanks to a donation by Hometalk, each blogger was equipped with some funds to acquire furnishing and decorations)! 

See the book on the top left? Not a coincidence ;) That was my favorite one in the bunch. I hung some string lights to give the corner a cozy, special feel. Oh, and the adorable little blue longer? That's from Wayfair, and it's the perfect size for him.

See that almost-hidden little knob about halfway up the bed? That door leads to a little passageway that encompasses the length of the bed... and it may be the best hide-and-seek spot ever.

Also, by now you've probably noticed the sub-floor under the area rugs. The bedrooms are set up for carpeting, but since the efficiency of Habitat projects is totally dependent on how many volunteers  show up (and what skills they bring with them), timelines don't always go as planned. So the carpets didn't get installed in time for our 'Reveal Day,' but they'll be there by the time the family moves in next month.

And now, THIS, my friends, is my favorite part of the room! The pics above show the window wall from back in March. That window would become my main source of inspiration for this wall!

I completely fell in love with that view in the back of the house and really wanted to capitalize on it (I told him he's definitely got the best view in the house!). I made a rustic-looking"Scenic Overlook" sign and created a little section to hold some kids nature books. I just KNOW he's going to see some cool wildlife out that window.

Everything behind their house is protected land, so it will never be developed. Perfect for a budding nature explorer!

His favorite part was definitely the REAL binoculars hanging right under the window. 

Above is looking into the unfinished closet space.

I find with my own little boy, that if it has wheels or gears, it's pretty much a win with him. And, sure enough, that Chu Chu Train above the closet was one of the first things this little guy noticed when he saw his room!

Continuing on in "transportation" mode...

That street scene is made up of wall decals (find them at Wayfair!), and they are interactive; they are 'repositionable', so kiddos can play and create their own little traffic patterns.

Here we are looking straight at the bunk bed (I know that looks like a flat screen inside--and while I'm sure he would have loved that, it's only a chalkboard... but still cool in my book)! The quilt and sham up top are from Wayfair, too. The ribbon banner was super-easy to make, and I tried to pick up some of the curtain colors with my ribbon choices.

That, by the way, is how the room looked when I arrived on install-day. But thanks to the gracious (and very patient) Habitat foreman and volunteers, it all got put together perfectly.

Don't you love the little airplane knobs?! Adding them was a quick way to add some fun and color to the bed.

I love that this bunk space serves so many purposes: sleeping, playing, learning, and a whole lot of storage!

I added some curtains to match the ones on the window, which, by the way, are made from a twin sheet set I found on clearance (a flat sheet is a great way to get a lot of fabric at an inexpensive price!). To hang them, I used a tension rod (no tools required!), but if you needed something more permanent, you could hang them like I did on my own kids' bunk beds.

We were also lucky to work with Connecticut Lighting Centers, who provided all the light fixtures for the house.


I was so honored to be a part of this project, and I was truly amazed by the talents of all the other bloggers working in the house. Check out these fabulous blogs to see how the other rooms in the house turned out (hint: they're AMAZING!):

The LIVING ROOM is designed by Jaime from That’s My Letter and Laura from Finding Home Farms.

The DINING ROOM and DECK are designed by Kris from Driven By Decor and Annie from Most Lovely Things.

The MASTER BEDROOM is designed by Jillian from I Am a Homemaker, Charlotte from Ciburbanity, and Bee from Windgate Lane.

The GUEST ROOM is designed by Evey from Evey’s Creations and Lynn from On Fern Avenue.

The FOYER, MUDROOM and BATHROOMS are designed by Sarah and Nick from Nestrs.

And the TEEN ROOM was designed by Michelle from Weekend Craft and Stephanie from Sandpaper and Glue.

And hey, are we connected yet? If not, find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+, and Bloglovin so we can start sharing ideas together!


  1. HOME RUN! I have SO much pleasure picturing little Z walking through his room exploring ALL the amazing and fun details you included. EVERY corner had something thoughtful and considerate of a three year old's psyche. Thanks for tackling such a cute room solo! LOVED having you on board! xx

  2. WOW!! Kristen you knocked this out of the ballpark! Nicely done :) Funny I used those same IKEA spice racks in my 8 year olds room makeover to hold her beanie boos...they are a perfect size. I so wish I would've been able to make it to see this room in person, or maybe not since I probably would've wanted to play in it!

    1. I know--we missed u! Hope to meet you in person soon!!

  3. Kristen, it was such a pleasure to meet you and your attention to detail in this room is beyond compare. Everything from the reversible curtains, to the binoculars and the choice of books on the shelves, you rocked it!

    1. Ummmm ditto to you!! But thanks for noticing all those details ;)

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