Ten Day Challenge: Teen Room to Guest Room

I’m a fool for home redecorating and makeovers. For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed the “before and after” transformations offered up in magazines, home design shows and even in my neighborhood.  Then I joined the blogging world and found an even bigger neighborhood. Oh my goodness. I’m having so much fun.

What’s even more inspiring is seeing transformations unfold from do-it-yourself bloggers. In most cases they have a small budget, big ideas and a can-do attitude.

I discovered Serena’s blog through Leilani’s blog via Boomdee’s blog and so it goes around here. It’s like a never-ending game of telephone where someone whispers in your ear, then you turn and whisper in someone else’s ear, and before you know it you’re trying to keep up with dozens of amazing bloggers.

Serena and Leilani inspired me to dip my toe into a ten-day room challenge of my own.

The goal: Turn my son’s teen room into a guest room by the end of September.

The motivation: Boomdee’s coming to town.

The challenge: One cranky left foot (you can read about that here) and my busy life.

The catch:  Since my son’s move to the dorms is seasonal, I assured him that any changes would be temporary.

With that in mind, I’ve left the three main pieces of furniture in place. I can easily remove the decorative items and bring the room back to neutral.

I’ve been teary off and on since my son moved out. Spending time in his room is helping me connect to his youth, honoring it and letting go. I discovered forgotten treasures including photos, snippets of writing and a box of smashed pennies from family vacations. Lindy’s been keeping me company. I’m sure she’s wondering where he went.

First up, the big clean. Moving out is messy business. New items arrived for weeks, destined for the dorms: by mail a heavy box of textbooks and an extra-long mattress pad specific to dormitory beds. We picked up a desk lamp, laundry supplies, school supplies and extra socks for those busy weeks when he can’t do laundry. Here it is, piled up on moving day. It looks like cleaning my kitchen counter was a low priority that day.

makeover packing for college

My college-bound son left a pile of things he no longer wants, so I’ve been having fun passing them on through my Buy Nothing Cambrian group. One happy six-year-old is now the proud owner of a Star Wars wallet. I love that.

I sorted, cleaned and recycled my way through the room.

Mike flipped the mattress so I could vacuum the bed frame which also needed a quick repair. Once it was all back together, I added a mattress topper and covered the bed with our king-sized duvet cover.

Bed frame cleaned and repaired

Bed frame cleaned and repaired

The duvet cover has all the colors I wanted to feature in the room, and it’s large enough to act as a bed spread for the queen-sized bed. I found a turquoise pillow at an import shop on end-of-summer clearance. It’s the perfect color to pull together the blanket and spread.

Duvet cover and velveteen pillow

Duvet cover and velveteen pillow

My son is a minimalist, so his walls were spare; he had a piece of artwork from middle school and a poster passed on from a friend. I rolled them up, put them in the closet and pondered ideas for quick and affordable decor. Somehow it all fell in place. Serendipity!

I decorated all three walls for about forty dollars. The packet of decals came from our local Target. They were originally destined for the long wall next to the bed, but it wasn’t large enough to fill the space. Instead Mike carefully laid it out on the wall above the desk. This is wear the bum foot became a drag. I really wanted to put up that decal, but instead sat back and [impatiently] watched while he expertly put it on the wall. It looks shiny in the photo, but in person it looks great.

Wall decal from Target

Wall decal from Target

The bird print above the bed and to the right of the lamp was a happy find. While waiting out my phone repair appointment, I wandered into a little shop called Azuca. There it was: a lightweight, wood panel with this charming print and the quote We are birds of a feather.

Washi tape, wall calendar page and wooden art

Washi tape, wall calendar page and wooden art

Before I fully realized it, the room was taking shape. It has a sense of travel and flight, with birds figuring prominently. The colors complement my premier guest, the delightful and sophisticated Edmonton blogger nicknamed Boomdee. Little did she know that so many of her gifts would later help decorate a future guest room. Wait till you see all the treasures!

Which brings me to the third wall. I’ve been saving my gorgeous 2014 wall calendar, featuring the artwork of Katie Daisy. I love turning calendars into new treasures. After removing the coils with a pair of tin snips, I punched holes in the top of the pages and threaded them with vintage seam binding. The colors work beautifully in the room and each saying warms and uplifts. I used one of the pages as a compliment to the bird panel.

Katie Daisy calendar wall bunting/banner

Katie Daisy calendar wall bunting/banner

Please stop by tomorrow for the  “reveal.” Gosh that’s fun to say.

Meanwhile, if you love makeovers as much as I do, then you’re in for a treat. Check out:

23 thoughts on “Ten Day Challenge: Teen Room to Guest Room

  1. That is such a lovely way to display an old calendar – and the pictures/words themselves are simply wonderful. Love the colour that has been added to the room – plain walls are an advantage in this case as you have more opportunity for soft furnishings to make it cosy. Can’t wait for the ‘reveal’ post! Take care of your foot Alys. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s looking good Alys – and how good of your young man to allow his room to be accessed whilst he is absent, This, it seems to me is maybe the best possible solution to the in-between time of nest flying and meeting visitors needs. Lucky Boomdee. Thank you for the pingback – that was such a kind and thoughtful thing to do 🙂 My blog is probably littered with makeovers – I’m such an incorrigible doer-upper!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wheeeeee! It’s so pretty and cozy looking, thanks you so much, mwaaaa! (((you))) are a spoiler. Now, delightful? Hmmmm, ok, I do try. Sophisticated? That made me LOL. No one’s ever mentioned sophisticated before and I’m pretty sure there’s a reason. hahahaha.
    Should I bring my Tiara then? It may need a polish though, you don’t get much of one for 10 bucks.
    Have I mentioned how much I drink too? LOL. Should we stop for some celebratory wine on the way?
    Mike has executed your vision perfectly, love love that. And the birdie art is really cute too. It’s like a page out of an art journal. I endeavour to be doing this sort of thing one day. How sweet! Oh lordy, aqua pillows, bird art and that cute calendar! Guess what? I bought her 2016 Calendar weeks ago…..WAY! I adore the simple lines and colour. I’ve been displaying different months every other day. Great idea to make a banner too. I totally want to display my pages next year.
    Sorry you’ve been teary and missing your young man. It must be really quiet without his company and the usual chatter between C and M. Have you been wondering where the time went? Aren’t we lucky to be able to document all those moments so easily now? Just 100 years ago, there were people who never had a photo taken of themselves.
    Well it all looks so awesome Alys. I hope I won’t mess up the home schedule too much. Since I’m staying with ((( you ))), we can cook the guys dinners too…….I want time to go really slow while I visit and I don’t want to wear you down. I’m concerned about going out and about with your foot! Well now, off I go to bed at 2:45 am. I really don’t feel tired but I need to be up for my class, so nighty night. xoxo P/B/K

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just re-reading this now and remembering our wonderful week together. It’s hard to imagine you being disruptive. You’re quiet, considerate, helpful and fun to be around. What’s not to like????

      You even washed dishes by hand and cleaned the counters. Why did you leave again?

      Oh…yeah. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • (( You’re )) too kind hon. Thank goodness we live on the same continent, only a few hours apart. I’m quite at home in the kitchen and I’m a bit of a tidy bug so actually it was my pleasure. Especially after I didn’t have to cook or plan dinner and my only contribution was to enjoy your company. I thought C should enjoy you both a little bit longer. He’s away from home for the first time and was fun to chat with. You two have really nice boys hon, but that’s not a surprise. xoxox ❤


  4. Serendipity, indeed! I love seeing all of the little touches as you transform this special room. It has been a lovely distraction, Alys, taking your mind off your foot pain and your son’s move! We are looking forward to the big reveal… and you have so many good things to look forward to, my dear!! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m interested to find out you have a Buy Nothing group in your area. I am trying to set one up in my area but so far there is a dearth of members.

    Great that you were able to make a useful transformation of your son’s room for your friend’s visit. Sorry that you’ve been feeling tearful at his departure to college. I dread the day my daughter leaves home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen, we live in a populated area, so that may make the difference. There are a number of folks within a close distance.

      The facilitator set it up as a Facebook page and members are invited by other members in the geographical area. I hope you’ll give one a go.

      As for the college departure, it’s something you dream of and encourage and plan for, but when the day arrives, it is so disorientating. I have a younger son at home, but he too will be heading off to college in three years.

      You know what they say: parenting is not for wimps.

      I hope you are both doing well.


      • Thank you, Alys. Yes, we are well. Any college departures are a long way off for us!

        As for the Buy Nothing Project, I did set up a group but have absolutely no members 😦

        Our regional admin thinks mine and an adjoining village are the right size for a group but since I don’t know any people in either of these villages who share the BNProject values and aspirations it is hard to get the ball rolling.

        Mind you, I think the admin would be a lot of work, so in a sense I am glad. Besides, we have Freegle, which seems to work very well. It’s more anonymous but perhaps because it covers the whole of the Leeds (my city) metropolitan district, there are sufficient people to make it work…..

        In any case, I am happy with Freegle and will keep the Buy Nothing group alive on the off chance I find an interested party (or several) to join me 😉.


        • I’m sure you’re right that serving as an admin is a lot of work. We have 159 people in our network, and each post needs to be monitored for appropriateness. It’s pretty active, too. Freegle sounds like a good second option. I’m glad you have an easy way to pass things on, or to look for something your in need of.


  6. Lucky Boomdee! She claims not to be elegant, but hey, she’s gonna love that room, as will other guests. When son comes home, you can whip the duvet out for another and take off the decals. Heh, heh. Then you can put it back when he departs again. Onward!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great way to process this transition. You’ve had quite the busy life lately but this space seems so restful. Do you ever pop in for a nap? Omg i am stealing that bunting idea! So many times I feel bad for throwing away pretty calenders. And yet, why keep them all. This is such a great recycle. Pinning it. Thanks for the shout out, dear. 🙂


  8. Pingback: The Reveal: Teen Bedroom to Restful Guestroom in Ten Days | Gardening Nirvana

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.