Can you believe Ralph gets home from his mission in Colombia 3 weeks from today? Before he left, he was sharing a bedroom with Oscar (you may remember we have a three bedroom house — the girls’ room, the boys’ room, and the master bedroom). But while he’s been gone, we shifted some things around.
We had a guest bed in one of our lofts, and we needed the loft for office storage. So we decided to donate the twin beds that were in the boys’ room, and move the guest bed there instead. Which means Oscar has been sleeping in the full-size bed for the last two years. When we have guests, they sleep in Oscar’s room, and Oscar either moves to Maude’s bed (when she’s at college/Paris), or moves to a sofa in the family room (when Maude is home). It all works out.
Boy’s Bedroom Design Ideas
With Ralph coming home soon, we knew we wanted to redo the boys’ room. The transition home for missionaries can be tricky, and we wanted to make sure it feels like there’s still a true place for him in our home, and that he doesn’t feel like an afterthought. So at the very least, I knew we needed to add another bed to the boys’ room. : )
As I started a plan for these boy’s bedroom design ideas, I was also trying to solve a few other problems: 1) Even after Ralph comes home, we will still need the boys’ room to be an optional guest room. 2) The closet space is not adequate for a 13-year-old and a 20-year-old. 3) The room needs to feel more grownup, but still cool.
Room & Board was so terrific about helping me solve the challenges in our Family Room, so I reached out to them to work on this project too. They have been amazing! I went into the store with measurements, an initial inspiration board, and Oscar, and we spent a lovely couple of hours looking at boy’s bedroom design ideas and solving problems.
Problem #1: How to make both Ralph & Oscar feel at home, but also make the room work as a guest space.
The first thing I wanted to figure out was how to handle beds. I had initially thought about going back to two twin beds, or maybe twin bunks. But I realized I really favored the idea of having a full-size bed in the space. I thought a full-size would feel more grown up for Ralph, and it works better for guests too.
But, there’s not room for two full-size beds, or even a full-size and a twin. At some point, I was pointed to twin over full-size bunk beds, and felt one of those Bingo! That’s it! moments. I could keep a full size bed in the space, plus add a twin, without taking up any more floor space. From that point on, I was focused on twin-over-full options.
It’s a small bedroom, so I was a bit nervous about using bunks at all, and then I was introduced to mini bunks. Mini bunks are awesome! They’re the same size, mattress-wise as regular bunks, but they sit directly on the ground — there’s no space underneath the first bunk. There’s about a 10-inch difference in height between a regular bunk and a mini bunk, and it makes a huge difference in how much visual space the beds take up. It’s such a smart move.
But as we were in the store looking at the mini bunks in person, it occurred to me that it would be really difficult for any grandparents (or older guests) to use a bed on the floor.
Because of that, we ended up choosing the regular bunks (twin over full) instead of the mini bunks. That said, if you’re considering bunks, and don’t need to use them as guest beds, I would highly recommend looking into mini bunks. I’m telling you, it makes a huge difference. And for younger kids, I love that it keeps them a bit closer to the ground.
For the boys’ room, we ended up choosing the Fort Bunk Bed. See all those colorful tables above? The Fort Bed can be ordered in any one of the powder-coated shades (and several more not pictured). Don’t laugh, but with all those choices, we ended up sticking with the in-stock unfinished steel option. : )
Once we decided on the bed, we tried out different mattress options. Room & Board offers bunk mattresses that are designed for their top bunks — they are only 5-inches thick, so that they won’t be too high for the railings. We noticed that the five inch option was also good on the full size-bed — not for safety reasons, but because it means more head room.
Oscar tested out the Innerspring the the Encased coil bunk mattresses, and he decided he liked the more firm Encased Coil option.
Problem #2: How to add adequate closet space.
The room has one small closet. Small as in 30 inches wide, by 18 inches deep. This was workable when our boys were younger, but Oscar is a teen now, and Ralph is 20. Their stuff just takes up more space these days.
My original idea was to turn the closet into built-in display shelves for books, baskets, and trinkets, and then add two smallish armoires — one for Oscar, and one for Ralph.
When we were in store, looking at armoire options, I changed my mind. As I looked at hanging space, and drawer options, and shelves in the armoires, I decided to keep the current closet as a closet (but with modifications), and add one bigger armoire to the room.
The existing closet will be exclusively for Oscar. We’re adding double doors, and we’ll kit it out with Elfa (like I did in my bedroom closet), so I can keep the hanging rod at a height that’s good for Oscar, and add in drawers and shelves too.
The new wide armoire will be just for Ralph. A generous storage space he won’t need to share, with plenty of space for his “stuff”.
Room & Board offers a ton of armoires — each one with multiple finish options, and the heights, widths, and number of drawers varies quite a bit. It took us awhile to decide which one would work best in the space. We eventually settled on the Alden. So handsome!
Problem #3: How to make the room feel more grownup — but still cool.
To solve this problem, I thought a lot about materials and finishes, and about accents like lighting. For lighting, I knew I wanted a wall-mount reading lamp for the top bunk and the bottom bunk. I also knew I wanted a floor lamp next to a side chair.
We ended up choosing the Camber Sconce for wall lamps — I love the circle shape they introduce in a room full of sharp lines and rectangles. And we chose the Tolomeo Foor Lamp. It has a sort-of pulley system going on and has a neat mechanical feel.
For the side chair, I focused my search on upholstered options that would be comfortable for reading, and I knew I wanted something with a small footprint.
Oscar tried them all out, and decided on the the buttery soft leather Jonas Lounge Chair. It’s gorgeous! And not counting dining chairs, I’m pretty sure it has the smallest footprint of any chair in the store. : ) Plus, I love how the golden yellow color works with the wallpaper I designed.
We spent a good amount of our shopping time looking at rugs. I knew we wanted a rug that took up most of the floor, so that it would give the room a cozy feel. And I was pretty certain I wanted something blue. The blue idea came from looking at some inspiration photos (which you can see below).
I was also looking for the softest possible option. Something that would feel really good under bare feet. We narrowed it down and eventually chose the Stipple Rug in Smoke. It has the softest pile of any of the rugs we were considering, and came in a size that worked for the bedroom. In the product image it looks more grey than blue — but in person, there’s a definite blue feel to it.
Other things that I hope will bring some cool sophistication to the space are the wallpaper I designed, and some big plants.
Here’s the final inspiration board for boy’s bedroom design ideas that we ended up with — it includes two images of Room & Board designed bedrooms that I love. You might notice it doesn’t include bedding options, baskets, shelves, or other accessories (but those will be chosen soon!).
For this project, I worked with an in-store designer named Heather. She was delightful to work with and really helped me think things through. When I started to get distracted by options that wouldn’t solve the problems I needed to solve, she would remind me what the goal was.
She drew up the space so we could test rug sizes and figure out which armoire would work best. And she pulled samples of all the different finishes and fabrics we were considering so that we could see them in one place and make sure they worked well as a group.
I loved working with her. (Fun fact: Room & Board offers free design services. So if you stop in, Heather, or one of her awesome fellow designers, can help you out too.)
The latest progress? The first furniture delivery came in yesterday!
Holy moly. Everyone was so excited at our house. The night before, we cleared out the entire room (except the closet), cleaned and scrubbed every surface, and touched up the paint.
The delivery was smooth as can be — the two deliverymen came in, checked out the space and pathways to make sure there was enough room to bring things in. They confirmed with me where everything should go, then they brought in each piece and put it all together. Next, they had me come in and double check placement; they showed me how the lamp worked, and left without a trace of packaging or trash. So lovely.
And today, the custom wallpaper arrived! We plan to install it this weekend. Other progress? The closet doors have been ordered, and they’ll arrive in about a week.
The room is really coming together and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s almost time to style the room and add accessories (my favorite part!).
The kids asked me to promise not to send any photos to Ralph so that he’ll be totally surprised. I’m planning to share the finished space right around when he gets home — so you’ll see it and he’ll see it at about the same time. : )
Your turn. What are your thoughts on the new space? Have you ever had a twin-over-full bunk at your house? I have distinct memories of my mom preparing a room for my brother Josh as he came home from his mission (which was coincidentally, also to Colombia). I can picture her adding handsome fabric to the back of an otherwise boring bookshelf. Have you ever had anyone come home after a long absence? Did you prepare a space for them?
I feel a little bit like I’m nesting. In addition to the boys’ room, we’re also replacing the shower head and faucets in the kids’ bathroom. I have a whole list of little projects I’d love to tackle before he arrives! Do you know that feeling?
P.S. — Watch my Instagram Stories this weekend and I’ll try to share peeks of the wallpaper installation. Also, more posts about our Treehouse home.