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Child-led Decorating

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boys decorating bedrooms

I often look at pictures of kids’ bedrooms and gasp and ohh and ahh! There are so many gorgeous bedrooms out there filled with styled bookshelves and color-coded closets.  Rooms that the parents or designer has their fingerprints all over. Rooms that are coordinated and sleek and magazine-worthy.

Yes, my jaw drops with the rest of you, and I slap that “pin it” button as fast as I can.  Then I pause for a moment and think about my actual, real live kids’ bedrooms.

Umm, yeah. Not quite the same.

Sure, I had grand plans for each of their rooms and how I would decorate them and how gorgeous and swoon-worthy they would look. It was going to be magnificent.

But then my kids came along with their own personalities and suggestions, and I DID NOT have it in me to turn them down just so I could get that great shot of a styled room! Instead I decided to let them run with it.  My daughter still seems to want me to make suggestions and let’s me have a lot of freedom with her room, but my son. Oh my son. You would think he would be the one to let me just have at it. But noooo, he actually has opinions!

So instead of being a control freak about it, I let the kid work his magic.

He’s a creative genius, I tell ya. This never would have occurred to me. In fact, I don’t even really know what it is. I’m going to guess these are Bakugan, but if they’re not, I really don’t care. They’re tiny little metal things that are magnetically attached to his ceiling fan.  A decorating original.

boy decorating styles


He also seems to collect empty candy boxes. I’m thinking this is a little like an Alaskan wanting to collect paintings of the beach. Maybe he’s keeping them in eyesight because he doesn’t have it often??

boys decorating bookshelf style

I really don’t get it. They’re everywhere and pretty artfully displayed. I once tried throwing them away and, I will never make that mistake again.

boys bookshelf styling decorating

He also has jumped on the DIY lampshade bandwagon. He can recognize a trend when he sees one. This particular shade is customized with the sticker labels from some Under Armour shirts and various other things he’s picked up along the way.

boys decorating lampshade

He’s also a lover of ticket stubs. I remember this fondly from my youth, as well! I used to take ticket stubs from concerts I attended and have them laminated for bookmarks. Well, my dear son also likes to keep his stubs close to his books, but he just tapes them right on there.

boys decorating bookshelf

While we’re at his bookshelf, he keeps some “friends” on hand to motivate him to get his homework done faster. I did not move these for the picture. He keeps them angled like this on purpose so they watch him while he works on his homework. Hey, wherever you find your inspiration from, kid.

boys desk decorating style

He also seems to want to hold onto the crown (wreath) we made him for his Julius Caesar costume last year for Social Studies class. Really, I’m not sure why as it wasn’t really his best moment (think lots of nervous kids, hyped up, covered in costume and getting heatstroke. I think there were 16 kids in the nurse’s office one of the MANY times I had to go check on him)! But the crown is proudly displayed. Badge of honor, I suppose.

boys bedroom decorating bookshelf

He proudly displays his artwork that his aunt made him for a gift one year. Yes, that actually is a picture of bacon in the background.

boys bedroom decorating

And above his bed is another prized possession. The Cardinals clock his cousin made him in the homemade gift exchange last Christmas. Favorite part of Christmas, right there!!

boys bedroom decorating handmade gifts


This jersey is like this all the time. This is how it’s displayed. It’s not just a shirt that he forgot to hang back up in his closet. This is the piece of artwork.

boys decorating sports jersey

Yes, he is a HUGE Arizona Cardinals fan. He has been since he was 3 years old and his preschool teacher and he discovered their mutual love affair for “red birds”. He still loves the actual cardinal birds (and spots them everywhere), but it quickly morphed into his love for the football team as well!

And, yes, a bit of an infatuation with Kurt Warner. Honestly, if he’s going to do the whole fandom thing with an athlete, I’m glad he’s chosen Kurt Warner.

boys bedroom decorating fatheads

This is his shrine to his favorite team. I painted the canvas for him and my sister painted the cardinals pillow.  The hats are all him.

boys dresser sports decorating

But perhaps my favorite decorating brainchild of his, is his window.  I would never think to decorate a windowsill, and every time I pass by here, it gives me the greatest chuckle.  I really do adore it.

boys window style decorating

So no. We won’t be featured in any magazines for his bedroom. We won’t be going viral and getting thousands of pins.We wont’ be getting offers for sponsored posts (unless the Arizona Cardinals are out there listening)!

But you know what??

This is an actual, liveable room for a young boy and it has his stamp all over it.  It oozes his personality, and he’s so proud of it that he really does keep it almost absurdly clean. He knows this room is him and loves bringing friends there to hang out. He’s not nervous about breaking anything or messing anything. It all means something to him and he is perfectly comfortable in it.

That, my friends, is winning. May the force be with you.