Jack’s Bedroom Transformation

Designing a bedroom for a boy can be pretty tough. Not only does it need to look cool and reflect their individual personality and interests, but it also needs to be practical and ‘grow’ with them –  the last thing you want is for all your design investments to go to waste and in a couple of years, the room to require a total redesign!

One of my most recent projects has been to help a friend transform her 8-year-old boy’s bedroom. Jack’s room was, and I’m sure my friend won’t be offended here(!), fairly dull, cluttered and somewhat lacked any sense of design. We were working with a room that had all white walls, a mish-mash of furniture types and felt rather tired and uninspiring. Jack needed a room re-vamp that gave him a space that was cool to be in, aligned with his interests, was functional and could stand the test of time.


We had a relatively tight budget to work with for this room so I had to think wisely when deciding on the styling, the fixtures and the fittings. Our biggest outlays were the new bed from Ikea that pulls out to be a double (perfect for when Jack has friends over to stay) and the bespoke desk which our carpenter made.

I believe the best way to make a big impact on a room redesign with a small budget is to use colour. By simply changing the colour of the walls, you can immediately make a difference in a room. As we were working with no existing colour (all walls were white), any injection of colour was going to make a big impact!

We decided to make a statement and use Stiffkey Blue on the walls. Given the ceiling line dropped on either side of the room, this ensured enough white was still within the room and prevented the space from feeling too dark. To complement this wall colour I pulled in the colours yellow well, mustard, and red on to the room accessories.

Mood Board

Below, is the mood board I created for Jacks new room design. You will see there are some bold colours and design ideas included on here, alongside some sporting elements and neat work spaces.


With my friend happy with my design ideas, we got to work..! To save money, we colour matched the Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue with Crown paint. This went on the walls really well and we only used one 5L tin of paint, across 2 coats. To make the radiator less obvious in the room, we painted this the same colour as the walls but in a metal paint.

The woodwork was painted in Crown satin paint colour matched to All White by Farrow and Ball.


The fireplace now stands proudly against the dark blue walls making a lovely focal point to the room. Before, it was completely lost against the white walls. To tie in the two contrasting colours, I introduced a striped rug to sit directly in front of the fireplace. This rug is from a new brand called Fip Rugs, everything is handmade in India and made from 100% natural sustainable cotton. What I love about this brand is that £5 from the sale of each rug goes to one of their two carefully selected charities, either Farms for City Children (helping to connect children with the countryside) or Weave the Future (a local charity to their Indian weavers, helping to equip rural school). Fi, the founder of Fip Rugs has kindly shared a discount code with me should any of you wish to buy one of her lovely rugs (I might add they also machine washable!!). For 10% off use ‘JACK10’.

One of my favourite additions to Jack’s room is his DIY skateboard shelves above his deck. I bought three natural maple boards from eBay and painted two of them in Crown paint Golden Rapture and English Fire. They were then mounted on the wall using small metal brackets.

The desk area has made such a difference to the room. This alcove was pretty much a wasted space before the room transformation but now, it draws the eye to the corner of the room, making the space look larger and gives a purpose to that area. It also provides Jack with a workspace to do homework (…we can hope!) and a place to put his things. We had wanted to fit shelving underneath the desk to place storage baskets however the budget just couldn’t stretch to this.

The battery operated wall letter is from Rocket and Rye and the desk chair is from Amazon.

All the artwork is from Desenio – one of my go-to brands for prints. I may have a tasty discount code up my sleeve for next week so stay tuned for that as I will share on my Instagram.

I decided to opt for the same throw that is on my own son’s bed, just because I love it so much! The throw is from Christy Junior Cosmos collection. For the bed linen, I chose a light grey stripe design as it gives a slightly softer look to the bed versus an all-white bed set. The bedding is from Dip & Doze and is made from 100% organic and fairtrade certified cotton. Their duvet sets are packaged in lovely cotton drawstring bags which are made from the offcuts in production to avoid any waste. I decided to use the one from Jack’s bed set for some of his soft toys and hung it on the back of the door. For 10% off Dip & Doze use the code; ‘JUSTALITTLEBUILD10’

The black metal desk light is from Dunelm and the Kartell round storage unit is from Amazon.


Overall, I am really pleased with the transformation. There are a few other bits that we would like to purchase for the room, such as a tall drawer unit for the corner to the left of the window and some additional storage for under the desk but other than that, the room is pretty much complete! I hope you like it?!

Before and After Images

Get the Look

Thanks for reading! x



  1. Karen
    November 13, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    What a great room! Lots of inspiration. Thank you. What do you create your mood boards on? X

    • justalittlebuild
      November 13, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Just on illustrator or photoshop – nothing fancy!

  2. claire hopkins
    November 13, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    Hi SJ, where did you get the desk shelf from for Jack’s room? Thanks (love the room by the way x)

    • justalittlebuild
      November 13, 2018 / 7:10 pm

      Everything is linked at the bottom of the post! The desk was handmade by our carpenter and shelves from eBay.

      • Erin
        September 3, 2020 / 4:52 am

        Is the desk made of wood? It’s the perfect shape and size I’ve been looking for.

        • justalittlebuild
          September 3, 2020 / 9:50 am

          It is, we had a carpenter make it for the space x

  3. November 13, 2018 / 9:30 pm

    Ah I LOVE this room! Really like the dark walls and the skateboard shelves are such fun. I’m sure this will be a room that will “grow” with Jack, he is one lucky young man 😊

  4. G
    November 14, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    Love it!! Really shocked at how painting the radiator makes it blend into the wall.

  5. Michelle
    November 20, 2018 / 11:29 pm

    Hi Sarah. Great transformation, my boys would love something like that. Can I ask about the desk! I know your carpenter made it but do you know what material it is and how he did it. I want my carpenter to do a very similar thing in our playroom but not sure what breif to give him! Many thanks.

  6. Candice
    January 4, 2019 / 9:05 am

    This is a great room, I’m really impressed! We have the same day bed you now have in the room. Can I ask if you are using the 2 foam mattresses recommended by IKEA or have you used different ones? I’m wondering if the bed can be used daily as it is or if I’d need to change the mattresses if I switched away from occasional use. Thanks!

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2019 / 7:57 am

      My friend just bought the mattresses included with the bed. I’m thinking about buying the same bed for down in Cornwall but already have a nice mattress so I’m hoping to use that instead for the main bed part.

  7. June 20, 2019 / 8:05 am

    What a great room! Lots of inspiration. Make their bedroom look adorable with our range of Kids’ Bedding and Curtains. Choose from a variety of charming designs that they are sure to love.

  8. Kim
    May 29, 2020 / 12:36 pm

    My teen son would love to paint his bedroom all navy but my husband thinks it will be too dark for the room. What are your thoughts now that you have lived with the navy for awhile?

    • justalittlebuild
      June 3, 2020 / 11:32 pm

      It’s actually my friend’s room and she loves it. She was initially really worried about the dark colour but now it’s done, has wanted to go more bold in other rooms!

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