...because home doesn't happen overnight.
08.13.13 / The Boys’ Dresser

boy dresser 6

I’ve been having fun tidying up the boys’ room bit by bit. We added a dresser to their room last year. Each boy gets two drawers for clothes: one for tops, one for bottoms. Warm and cold weather clothes are all in there. PJ’s, underwear and socks are stored in the closet. Obviously, my kids don’t have a ton of clothes. They couldn’t care less. They have their favorites and as long as those are an option, they’re happy. Having less clothing {HH, Mabrey and I are in the same boat as the boys when it comes to clothes} in our house makes it easier to stay on top of laundry, keep closets/drawers tidy and get everyone dressed quickly in the mornings.

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So, the inside of the dresser has never really been an issue. It’s plenty of space for our needs. The top is another story. The dresser sits just inside the bedroom door and it became a convenient dumping ground for whatever toy/book/sock the boys were supposed to be putting away. {Because, you know, taking five more steps into the room is just too much to ask sometimes.} It was a mess. This past weekend I decided to do something about it.

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I added a tray that not only ties into the pillows on the bunk but also corrals all the stuff that inevitably winds up on the dresser. Even when it’s full, it looks better than crap spread out all over the top of the dresser. There’s a metal basket in the mix that acts as a car catchall.

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I purchased the lamp a few months ago. {It was only $30 but the price has skyrocketed since then. Yikes!} I love the midcentury style and petite size. It’s perfect for the dresser. The base is resin but looks like wood and has held up really well to bumps from the little people in our house.

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Layne has been begging for a plant in this room. I kept *forgetting* to pick one up because all I could think about was spilled dirt everywhere. But with the new tray in place, I thought we could give a plant a try. My hope is the tray will help catch the planter’s contents should it get knocked over which, in reality, is totally going to happen. I found the eco-friendly pot {it’s made from corn husks and is biodegradable} at JoAnn’s last week, on sale. Layne and I made a special mother-son shopping trip to pick up the snake plant. All-in-all, the plant setup was ~$10 so if it doesn’t work out, I won’t be too upset.

boy dresser 1

On the wall above the dresser I hung a round mirror {I’m a sucker for circles} to break up all the rectangular lines in the room {dresser, bunk bed, rug, bookcases, the room itself…}. It’s purposefully off-center to allow access to the light switch. I love that it reflects a view of the window across the room and bounces light around. The cardboard deer head was an attic find. So glad he’s on display now!

If you like what you see…

boy dresser

Sources: Flor sweater weather carpet squares // modern grooved table lamp // MANDAL dresser // orange tray // cardboard deer head // GRUNDTAL mirror

What did you learn today? Decorating with toys in a child’s room is practical and inexpensive. Using trays and baskets for easy display keeps things looking neat and tidy. Adding kid-friendly lighting and wall decor kicks things up a notch. Now you try!

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a little behind-the-scenes video of a less obvious addition to this dresser vignette. It’s House*Tweaking’s very first video and – WARNING! – it’s rough but you will learn something. Like, how we DIY with three kids around. If anything, you should tune in just for the laugh.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Dana, I am such a fan. Your new house, your writing, your decorating, your matter-of-fact refreshing attitude. I love your work!



Can you post about how to keep clothes to a minimum ? I’m drowning in laundry my clothes, hubby’s and our three kids clothes and would love the scoop on how many pj’s, shirts, shorts, jeans, play clothes, school clothes, uniforms, etc you think are necessary!!


I love all the tweaking you have done in your boys room!!!


I teach first grade and my plant was getting knocked over, along with other things book boxes and pencil holders. So, I started putting stick on Velcro to the desk and the bottom of stuff one piece in the middle if it was small or on the edges if it was big. For the Velcro at michaels, it was the industrial strength type. Worth a try. It hasn’t prevented all knock overs but it has helped!


I am LOVING the way their room looks – from the striped wall to the pillows to that perfect cardboard deer head…it is perfection!


What’s the paint color in the boys’ room? I love that greeny gray.


It’s Valspar {Lowe’s} dry riverbed. I used it in our previous home’s more formal living room and decided to use it in here because I love it so much.


Hi Dana,
The room is just so cool. I was wondering what size the cardboard deer head is ? Been meaning to order one forever , is it JR or Sr ?

Weird: we don’t own a single dresser. And I am so surprised this one came from Ikea! I had never seen it before and love, love love it. You are really good at sprinkling Ikea in so it doesn’t look like IKEA! It actually all looks very expensive and sophisticated. As always.


Haha, so that’s why we haven’t seen that corner of the room for awhile! I totally empathize with the crazy dresser scenario- my daughter and I finally bit the bullet and did a lot of toy/stuffed animal purging so that we could see the surface of her dresser top again.

The room looks amazing! I had the same first thought as Julia: you do Ikea so well! (and Target too.) Even though I wish I knew you IRL, I’m kinda glad I don’t, b/c I can copy you with abandon (though fellow blog readers will know my guilty secrets.)


Aw, thanks girlie. IKEA is really hard to resist when it’s so affordable and only 20 minutes from my house!


We have the low bureau-type version of the MANDAL in our mountain bedroom (found it in As Is for half off last fall!). I love it so much! I wish IKEA made better nightstands to match! I don’t like the current model.


I love the MANDEL dressers. We have the six drawer unit as a dresser/ changing table in our son’s room and it’s perfect. A side note; the lack of drawer pulls or knobs leads to less bumps on the head for the little ones!

I hope when my little guy is older he asks for a plant in his room. That is such a sweet request.


what are the dimensions of your boys room? i love the space, and it seems big! i am getting ready to downsize into a ranch, and our rooms are going to be MUCH smaller. i think the kids rooms will be 10×10.


The boys’ room is roughly 11’x13′. There is a little bump out about 8″ deep where the bunk bed sits. Our bedroom is similar in size and Mabrey’s room isn’t even 10’x10′. No spacious bedrooms here but they serve the purpose.

I bet a hanging plant would work well? In a corner?


I think I’ll eventually add a hanging plant in front of one of the windows. We’ll see how this one goes first.


I love their bunk bed..is this an ikea find as well?.