...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I am enjoying quality time with my family over the holidays. I hope you are too. I’ll be back to more regular posting next week but I wanted to (finally!) share a tour of the boys’ room. Happy holidays!

boys bedroom before

We had originally intended for each of our sons to have their own bedroom. We were a family of four when we purchased the 3-bedroom house. A few months into the renovation, we discovered we were expecting a third child. Surprise! We did some shuffling around and decided this room would become the boys’ shared bedroom. It had all the same problems as the other two bedrooms in the house: old / stained carpet, extensive termite damage (i.e., disintegrating baseboards), general neglect. The modest room faces southeast and receives a generous amount of natural light, but that was about the only thing it had going for it.

boy bedroom after 1

As in the other bedrooms, we demo’d the exterior walls and added foam insulation. We upgraded the electrical to include overhead lighting, installed new windows, ripped up the carpet & laid engineered hardwood, added chunky baseboards and switched out cumbersome sliding closet doors for hanging fabric panels. I painted the walls three times before finally settling on a black and white scheme which incorporates paint colors used in other parts of the house.

boys bedroom after 2

Functionally, we needed the room to act as a bedroom and playroom. (We don’t have a spare bedroom, separate playroom or basement.) To maximize open floor space for play, we brought in a set of bunk beds and hung floor-to-ceiling curtains around them to evoke the feeling of a hideout. A trundle provides an extra bed for sleepovers. Carpet squares form a rug and provide a soft spot for floor play. The low profile allows the trundle to roll overtop easily.

boys bedroom after 3

The beds are pushed up against an oddly placed recessed wall. Instead of trying to disguise the recess, we chose to emphasize it with wood planks. The warm wood also ties in to a vintage dresser on the opposite wall. Each bunk has its own book ledge and reading light. At night, we pull the curtains to enclose the bunk. The windows have blackout roller shades installed behind the woven blinds and we pull those down at night, too. The bottom bunk is THE BEST napping spot in the entire house. I can attest to it ;)

boys bedroom after 6

The majority of the boys’ clothing (warm and cold weather) is stashed in freestanding dressers. This one near the door is Everett’s. I tweaked it with vertical stripes of washi tape. When we tire of it, we can just pull it off without damaging the dresser. A round mirror reflects light from a south-facing window. White tins on the dresser hold whatever items the boys are collecting at the moment. The brightly colored fabric balls are actually lights. They’re a playful touch.

boys bedroom after 17

The closet holds toys, costumes, books, a few hanging items, pajamas, underwear and socks. Regular editing is essential but not terrible. The boys are very good about letting go of things that they’ve outgrown or broken. We’ve found that the curtain panels allow easy access to the closet’s contents. *BONUS* – They’re quiet, too. We hung a basketball hoop and painted a Calvin & Hobbes mural which speak to our kids’ interests.

boys bedroom after 8

Open shelves provide a fun display. Yarn-wrapped letters are a nod to the fabric ball lights on the other side of the room. The dresser is vintage. I cleaned up the finish and switched out some of the hardware. It holds Layne’s clothing with empty drawers to spare. Two floor baskets are sanity-saving catchalls. At the end of each day, I have the boys bring them out to the living room to gather toys then return them to their room. It’s a quick way to tidy up.

boys bedroom after 9

Layne and Everett are avid readers. They requested a reading chair in their room. I tricked out an Ikea chair with Prettypegs. They tie in beautifully with the midcentury dresser and wood wall. The table lamp swivels to provide task lighting. A vintage ottoman is the perfect spot to prop feet while diving in to a good book. A wood box on wheels corrals books. The art is a mix of thrifted finds & DIY projects and adds interest to the corner. The boys also requested plants. I chose a hanging planter to free up floor space.

boys bedroom after 5

boys bedroom after 10

boys bedroom after 4

boys bedroom after 12

boys bedroom after 16

boys bedroom after 15

boys bedroom after 14

boys bedroom after 13

Aesthetically, I wanted the room to reflect the boys’ personalities without veering from our home’s overall vibe too much. It was a challenge. Repeating certain elements found throughout the house (i.e., natural wood tones, hits of black, cozy textures, woven shades, tribal patterned textiles, plants, etc.) really helps the room to feel like a continuation of the rest of the house. Fun accents like the basketball hoop, comic strip mural, colorful ball lights and art (Layne is obsessed with Sweden!) make it special. Luckily, the boys LOVE their room. My favorite is when I find one of them curled up on the bunk or chair with a book, unprompted.

Resources of note:

white wall paint & trim – Benjamin Moore white dove
black wall paint – Ace Paints besalt, mixed in the Clark + Kensington line, flat finish
ceiling light – LampsPlus
rug – Flor
curtains – Ikea
curtain rod & track – Ikea
bunk beds – Ikea
sconces & book ledges – Ikea
peel-and-stick wood planks – caramelized bamboo, Stikwood
linen duvet – etsy
gray & white striped pillow – Ikea
Hmong lumbar pillows – DIY
tribal pillow – H&M
Mexican blanket – vintage, ebay
framed Lego art – Joe Shymanski, gift from the boys’ aunt who lives near DC
Sweden poster – etsy, framed by JoAnn’s
ball lights – Bright Lab Lights
4-drawer dresser – Ikea
round mirror – Ikea
midcentury table lamp – LampsPlus
white tins – Ikea
basketball hoop – Amazon, spray painted gold
wall mural – DIY
wall shelves – Ikea
cardboard deer head – Cardboard Safari
mini mannequin – Ikea
Garfield chia pet – Amazon
yarn-wrapped letters – DIY
wooden spools – vintage
dreamcatcher – etsy
floor baskets – Nate Berkus for Target
woven shades – petite rustique from Overstock
midcentury dresser – vintage Drexel, ebay
streamline knob – Anthropologie
task lamp – Serena & Lily, discontinued
chair – Ikea
chair legs – Prettypegs
ottoman / footstool – vintage, ebay
faux leather pillow – etsy
Hmong pillow – etsy
Hudson Bay blanket – vintage, etsy
framed engineer print – DIY, frame & mat via Amazon
bullseye art – DIY
hanging macrame planter – etsy
rolling book box – custom piece from the boys’ grandfather

This room didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took a few wrong turns along the way. If you’re interested in seeing how this room evolved, here are a slew of related links:


























You can access the boys’ bedroom tour (along with a general house tour and individual room tours) under the “See My House” tab in the side bar. I’ll be adding THE SECOND BATHROOM soon! Thanks for reading!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Love it! And that’s something I never thought I’d say about a bedroom belonging to two young boys! :)
You’ve done an amazing job in keeping it consistent with your style – yet making it clear that it belongs to kids, too.


Wow, this look amazing! I love all the cozy textures and natural wood tones. I’m so flattered to see my shop’s faux leather pillow in the room. Thank you so much!

I absolutely loooove their room Dana! Its so amazing. Love the washi tape accent, and the fun rainbow garland, the reading nook, the amazing midcentury piece, really I could go on. Its just so so good. Youre THE queen of midcentury awesomeness.


I love it all! Everything comes together perfectly.


Just wow, Dana. What a great room and what a great tour. I’m especially excited because everyone’s signing off for the holidays in blogland and I’m so design hungry (I can’t turn it off for the holidays, lol), so it’s awesome to read a real design post, thank you, thank you. I’m going to go back to feasting my eyes now. Also, Merry Christmas to your sweet family.


You are lucky indeed. Your boys have style… like their mom. They’re lucky too. You’ve done a fabulous job putting their room together!!! I wonder if you’ll start a trend with the rainbow stripes. I can seriously see these pics becoming top Pins.


I love how this room turned out. It looks very cozy. I could see them wanting to spend all of their time in there.


I love it! Especially the basket idea for toys. I love your interior doors, but just wondering how they are holding up? I noticed something at the top of door in the picture of calvin and hobbes. Is it wearing the paint off?


This is so amazingly good. You’ve got stylish boy rooms down to a T! I’ve been impressed with each stage of its’ design, actually. You always have notable design elements, but you can tell that this is the boys’ room. Many kudos! I could look at this all day!


I love this! I am definitely saving this for the future as I have a little boy right now. I especially love the bunk beds with the curtain around them– how cool! I’m so glad you included all the sources too!


Minus the bunk beds (I’m a devout queen-bedder), I would move into this room in a heartbeat. I love the cozy, relaxed, but still classy vibe of this room. Your boys sure are lucky!


Very cute room.

Thinking about blind cord safety though for younger kids in other rooms or overnight guests.


Love this! Such a stylish room that they can easily grow with. Also, the basket idea is great – I’m making a mental note for when I have kiddos :)

Happy Holidays!


I never get tired of seeing the before pictures of your house next to the tour because you’ve done the space such a huge favour! Fab room for a couple of boys that’s sophisticated enough to keep them happy for many years.

Since you mentioned not having a guest room, I’m curious if you have a way to accommodate visitors? We’ve got my mother-in-law happily set up in our office on an inflatable bed, so it’s always possible to make do. Just wondering how you do it!?


i have loved watching this room evolve. It’s a beautiful, classy, fun and comfortable space. Love that though you’ve guided the design,mother boys really embrace it. My favorite is the wood wall update which warms the space and is more sophisticated than the stripes, but is also a great nod to the playhouse at your dad’s. Beautiful job. I wish I had such a unified vision for my home, but I feel like I’m learning thanks to your great eye.


Okay, I have to ask: why is Layne obsessed with Sweden?


Dana – this is spectacular! It strikes exactly the right balance between a parent’s good taste (and interest in avoiding a grotesquely commercial child space) and the delight and curiosity of the child. I wish I had such a space in my own home (though I don’t have any kids!). I’m sure they’ll be able to grow with this room for many years. Love that you guys are readers as well!


Just love it. Awesome job Dana!


I love everything about this room…I almost want it for my own. However, I will be using this for inspiration my 8.5 year olds new bedroom come summertime (he’s been sharing with one of his sisters for the last 4 years)! He is an avid sports fan – and I’m not a fan of sports decor, so the gold rimmed Bball hoop meets both of our requirements. But seriously, this is such a great boys themed bedroom for many years to come. Nice work!


Very nice use of the space. Termites are evil little creatures, aren’t they? I’ve never seen the wrapped curtain rod but I like it, especially around bunk beds like you have.


I was just about to ask where you got that cardboard deer head from and then you went along and included it in the article. You’re the best. Thanks:)



I don’t know! He just is. He’s checked out loads of books on Sweden from the library and done numerous school reports on Sweden. He tells me he wants to live in a cabin in Sweden when he’s an adult. Whatever the reason, I’m supportive!


I’m going to write up a post on how we accommodate guests. Look for it in 2015!


We still LOVE the interior doors! They are holding up really well. The roughed up spot you noticed (good eye!) was where we had to sand it down a bit after the door frame expanded / warped after installation. Haven’t gotten around to touching up the paint ;) Gotta love old houses and never-ending to-do lists.


I love everything about it! I have been trying to figure out what to do with a similar space for my two girls. Thanks for the inspiration, and how are the bunk beds holding up? My girls are kind of rough! And did you get the matresses at ikea too?

I loved seeing this room evolve. With every turn I thought it was good but you always pushed for better. That wood dresser adds such a nice touch. Great job!


Love this room! I would love to do the same shelf above the bed set up. I just called ikea (because ours is 30+ minutes away) to see if they carry that wall sconce. She said it’s out of stock and then she said it’s discontinued. Did you buy them a long time ago? They’re perfect! Not sure where to find something similar. Thanks!


Love the wood. Would love an accent wall like that in our home (for my Everett’s room ;) what happens to the wall when you want to take it off? Any insight? Or will it come off when you don’t want it too? What are your thoughts?


Za-zing! You nailed it. Great job!


I love all the little accents you have added! You really did a lovely job of making the room uniquely theirs while keeping the vibe of the overall house. And even better it seems to be a room that will grow with the boys over the years. Great job!


This room is fantastic Dana, awesome job!


I love that it will totally able to grow with your kids. The style is neither too mature nor too kiddy. Absolutely perfect.

I would love to hear your process for installing the paneled wall. Was it a plank system or did you do it all manually? Nail gun or adhesive? Stain color? The wall behind the bed in our guest room is dying for similar treatment and I love how yours turned out.


Thanks for the kind words, Joy. You can read more about the installation of the wood wall here…



Thanks Lauren!

(P.S. – Your card was too cute!)


I don’t think it’s easily removed. That’s the one downfall. I don’t see why it couldn’t be painted over though. Luckily, we love it so much that I don’t see us removing it.


We bought them ~3 years ago. I guess in Ikea years that’s a long time ago!


Thank you Jennifer! You’re right. Finding that dresser was the turning point for me. All of a sudden I had a vision for the room.


So far, so good with the bunk beds! One mattress is from Ikea. The other one we already had on hand. It’s a few years older and from a mattress store in IL (back when we lived there). The Ikea mattress is definitely more comfortable but we’re not sure if it’s because it’s newer or better quality – both?


I love the room! And thanks for using our Prettypegs’ Kurt furniture legs :-)

If you ever visit Sweden, please come by our office and we’ll give you a tour of Stockholm!


That would be amazing! My oldest son is obsessed with Sweden. I’d love to visit.


Okay, Im starting to get a little envious… You guys have transformed that house into something so beautiful… I enjoy reading your blog because you have such a regular posting schedule and I’ve learned a lot from your site!!! I loved the post on the light switch that turns off automatically! Im married to a mathematician and the last thought on his mind is saving energy but rather how it disperses through materials hah! just awesome inspiring and what a great close to 2014! I’ve got lots to do in my own place i am so excited for 2015 keep the great posts coming!


We added another Lutron light sensor in the mudroom! Now, I expect all the lights to turn on automatically when I walk into the room. Ha!


Looks great! Love Calvin and Hobbes!


Are you happy with the quality of the linen duvet, I’m thinking about placing an order for one and was wondering how well you think it washes and holds up. Is it soft?


Love the linen duvets. I have a post in the works about them actually. They just get better with each wash.


[…] one month, we’re up to 12-minute sessions! We usually meditate in the boys’ bedroom as a part of their bedtime routine. Layne and Everett (ages 9½ and 6½ respectively) are really […]


[…] you happen to notice the yarn-bombed letters in the boys’ room? The answer is yes. Because they took me forever. I bought two paper maché letters (one for each […]


I have followed you on Instagram for such a long time and just love what you have done with your sons’ room. I had been searching for wood accent wall inspiration and I just love that your space is so similar to own kids room. i.e., we have the same dresser, bunk beds, we have a black (chalkboard) wall, the ikea ribba shelves for each of them haha…it was like starring at my kids space, yours is just better (and finished!) You’ve inspired me to finish my kids room! Thank you! And I have to look more into Stikwood.


So sorry for all the paint questions but I just love the boldness of these dark colors and really want to try them! Do you think rooms that don’t get a lot of light should stay away from these dark colors? Or would accenting it like you did here be better? My sons room has 2 windows but there’s a large tree outside so it doesn’t get much light and I can’t decide if it would be to dark.


Hi there! Had to come back and check on your sources. I am in the process of getting the same bunk bed for my son but was hoping to get your opinion on the mattress from Ikea. Which one did you go with, I saw from one of your replies above that is where one of them came from and you mentioned you were pleased with it.
Thanks in advance!


It really depends on how you want the room to feel. Some people capitalize on dark rooms by painting them dark. Those rooms usually feel cozy and den-like.

I used Benjamin Moore half moon crest in our north-facing bedroom because I wanted it to feel calm and soothing even though it’s an innately dark room. It’s a really great color. That being said, I’ve been itching to paint it black. Not because I don’t love the color (I do!) but because I feel like a change. Not sure if it will ever happen but I think it’d be great in black, too.


Hi Dana,

I’ve been slowly recreating your awesome room for my sons and just looking for clarification on the dark paint colour – “Ace Paints besalt, mixed in the Clark + Kensington line, flat finish”…I live in Canada and we don’t have Ace paints. I’ve tried google searching for a Canadian equivalent and found Benjamin Moore “basalt” which on the computer screen looks like a really dark purple. Any ideas?


Let me compare some swatches and I’ll get back with you!


Hi! I am getting ready to start on a shared bedroom for my daughters and I am loving your bunk bed set up! I got on Ikea.com (not a store near me- so sad!) to look at the Kvartal curtain track. What pieces did you use to fit the bunk beds?


Hi! How are the FLOR tiles holding up?


Awesome! They look brand-new.


[…] we introduce the door. I lined the bottom of the wardrobe with two Flor squares leftover from the boys’ room. I had to trim one for a perfect fit. I plan on hosing them off outside when necessary, probably […]


Love your style- I had too look through all your posts! Finally had to comment when I saw the Swedish lapland print! I spent a year in finland- but never made it to lapland, bummer! Love your house- I am so impressed all the work you guys have put into it!


Hi! I’m in the process of updating my little boy’s room with this bunk bed. He is very particular about the “comfy” factor of his mattress so, I was wondering what mattress you went with when selecting this bed for your boys? Did you have to add pillow tops for comfort or do your boys sleep fine on the standard mattress??


We have standard mattresses on the bunk. One is Ikea and the other is a Sealy from a random mattress store years and years ago when we transitioned our oldest to a regular bed. The Ikea mattress is more comfortable but I don’t know if it has anything to do with age (it’s not as old). The bottom bunk (Ikea mattress) is the comfiest napping spot in the entire house!


Love the bunk beds! Plus I love that you can add a trundle for friends! When you bought it did you have to spray it white? I noticed that on the ikea site, it (now) only comes in a silver finish.


It was white out of the box. I wasn’t aware that Ikea changed the color selection! It would be more work, but you could always paint it white before assembly if you wanted. Still, bummer about the silver only :(


[…] Shared Boys Room by House Tweaking […]


I love this room (and everything on your blog)! I’m using it as inspiration for the room my boys share, and I have one (probably lame and simple!) question–the blinds that you used on the windows–can you shorten them easily? I see that they come in different widths, but are all 74″ long. Thanks for your input, and great work–



I didn’t attempt to shorten them. There are roll-up blackout shades within the window frame (behind the woven shades) that we pull shut at night. So the woven shades are just for looks…which is why I didn’t shorten them.


Love the room. Currently pregnant with our fourth and needing to move the boys into one room. I see you got your bunks from Ikea. I’m only finding them in silver, but really like yours in white. Did you paint them by chance? Also was the trundle a part of the Ikea set or was it a separate purchase? Thank you!!
Awesome job!


The bunk was available in white a few years ago when we bought it. Sadly, it isn’t now :( It would be possible to paint it before assembly if you wanted. The trundle was an additional purchase. I like that it is totally separate from the bunk. We can use it in another room if necessary. When I design our little girl’s big kid room (probably next year) I’m thinking of using the same trundle under a non-Ikea bed. It’s so versatile and we need the extra sleeping space!


A basketball hoop…fun yet daring! Happy Nesting.


I can’t find the picture of the table and chairs in the boys bedroom that they use as a Lego table? I have a son who’s 20 months and I love the look of that table and chairs. Need to buy that set. Thanks.



I gifted the table to my grandparents when they moved last year. They use it in their new sunroom. I’m holding on to the chairs. I keep them in the attic in the winter and bring them down when the weather is nice for outdoor use. They aren’t water-resistant so keep them under cover when it rains. I bought the table and chairs on Overstock. They may still be available.


Hi Dana,
I am currently working on making my daughters shared bedroom more spacious and I remembered you have bunk beds in the boys room. I am leaning towards this bunk bed because of the simplicity of the lines and I likenthe metal element. My questions are about the mattresses, did you buy them at Ikea too, if so which ones did you buy and do the boys think that they are comfortable? I hope I’m not asking too much, thank you for your time.


One mattress is from a furniture store that we bought back when we lived in Illinois many years ago. The other is Ikea. The Ikea mattress is more comfortable.


Thank you for answering my questions


Did you happen to cut down your IKEA ekby shelves? The shortest length is 31″. How did they hold up, if so?


Hi. I just saw your boys room in BH&G, which I hope means all is well with you. Congratulations!