Decorating For Different Aged Boys

This has to be the ultimate for a decorating dilemma!

How can you decorate a shared bedroom for two boys with a larger age gap? Possible? Yes! Even if they have different interests, which they likely will, there is always a way to combine or at least meld the two into a seamless theme.

courtesy of Molly at Just A Little Creativity

If you're decorating for one teen boy, this post will be helpful.

I was contacted by Kathy, from My Dishwasher's Possessed, to help her with the room for her 12 and 6 year old boys. Tom is 12 and Peter is 6. Tom's interests are music and The Beatles. Peter enjoys typical six year old interests including "Cars" and "Toy Story." Kathy also wanted ideas for framing posters without using tacks or nails. 

Kathy said their room is small and they sleep on bunk beds, Tom on top and Peter on the bottom. The trick will be to create a space where the older boy feels mature, independent and "in his space," while doing the cute 6yo decor for the younger boy.

I'm going to work with the "Cars" theme and blend it into the music theme. My vision is to use the bunk beds as a starting point for the design. One wall will be Tom's, one wall Peter's and blend the themes on the 4th wall or at the door. To define and separate the themes, you'll need to use bold colors, maybe blue for Tom and red for Peter. Their bedding should show these colors prominently.

For the older boy's music theme, paint a geometric blue line from the top bunk angled down to about a foot from the floor, continue the blue line along the wall and wrap the corners. It will angle up again for the 6yo's wall. You can also make the line wavy across the bottom instead of straight. Another blue line angled up from the bunk to the ceiling. This line can be straight or wavy as well. Both blue lines should come off the same side of the bed.

Do the same for the 6yo's, except his lines will come off the opposite side. If both boys sleep with their heads at the same end, then blue lines will project from the head of the top bunk and red lines will come away from the feet of the bottom bunk. Red lines will angle up to about a foot from the ceiling and the other line going down to the floor. They will eventually meet on the 4th wall, the door or a corner.

Wall color notes: I would use a bland paint color like light grey, white or light blue in area #1. For areas #2 & 3 you could do blocks of color but I wouldn't paint the whole room red & blue since the room is small. Keep the outlines of color to keep the look continuous.

On the wall for the music-loving 12yo, fill with gadgets like musical mementos of various sizes, poster of The Beatles, wall decals of musical notes and his favorite verse from a song. You could also pick up a record (remember those?) or cheap guitar from a garage sale and hang on the wall; or if he plays guitar (I assume he does) make special hooks to hold his guitar securely.

the roads and cars are NOT straight, this creates movement & interest.

For the 6yo's wall you can get creative with the "Cars" theme by painting roads, trees, buying wall decor vinyls and combining them with more cars and trucks. For gadgets you could hang a race flag, framed art and wall words. There are a lot of "Cars" themed decor and then mix it with others gadgets. 

two of these flags crossed would be fun on the wall!

The meeting of the minds:

To bring both colors and themes together, use the structure of the room like an opposite corner, the door, the closet or just the opposite wall - whatever will work! At this point think "car radio!" So you can do anything with the paint color, swirl it together, keep the lines but have them meet - anything. For gadgets, use musical notes, regular cars higher, and "Cars" cars down low,  a photo or poster of a car radio. 

And lastly, hanging posters without tacks - 
Use the white sticky tack - you can find it at most drug stores or office supply stores. If you want a more finished look to the posters, use colored construction paper or poster board (stiffer) and make a frame. You could try pre-cut photo mats, but they may be too heavy to hang with the sticky tack. Also, be sure to keep the poster taught when gluing or taping it to the frame. 

Thank you Kathy for telling me your decorating dilemma and I hope these ideas help. You know I'll want pictures as soon as you're done! 

Readers, please go check out Kathy's blog and give her some comment love!

Who's next with a decorating dilemma?

post signature


Kathy said...

Nan, I love your ideas, they are really great!! When I re-paint the room I would totaly consider using the different colors for the boys, I love that idea. Since the walls were just painted 2years ago, a neutral tan, I think I will uses your other suggestons of dividing the walls per boy and interest and then combining the fourth wall!! The car radio idea is great!! I love the idea of using sticky tape and poster board to mount. I hate the idea of heavy frames in the room because I worry about them falling amidst the "throwing" that boys are so famous for. (Throwing their clothes, trying to get "points" by throwing things into the hamper, ect) We have had some close calls with pictures before. I also love the road idea with the cars. Thanks again so much!! I always love visitng you site and am thrilled to get some of your grea decorating advice tailored just for us!! Much love!

Mizzreviewlady said...

I really need to put a theme together for my sons room. Right now it is just a blue color theme.
I am your newest follower and would love a follow back over at

Blogger Broadcast said...

that is some real decorating. I would have said different walls too. I like your wall murals.

Raquel English said...

Neutral walls are the way to go, however I really think not having a theme per say is also the way to go. I have collections in my boys room, and I have collected transportation items. Old planes hanging from the ceiling, old cars with little items like vintage auto books for book shelves. I cut borders out if the pages. ClockS are cool too. So I sort of have a theme but mines more timeless.

Nan @ Playful Decor said...

Kathy, glad you think the ideas will work. I'd love to see the finished room! And of course, keep the tan as a base color, no sense in re-painting!

Raquel, a no-themed room is always a great idea too if the kids don't want or can't decide what they want. The collections sound wonderful. You can link up a post in Tuesday's Nursery - I'd love to see it.

Tania B said...

Hello! I am your newest follower from the Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop. Please follow me back and feel free to drop by anytime!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...