Ben's Bedroom Refresh - taking one month to refresh and update the room

As I mentioned in THIS post, I am experimenting with a new approach to home projects around here. Instead of tackling a huge list of “to do’s” for the entire house, I am experimenting with focusing only on one room at a time. Not a complete makeover, mainly just tackling as many improvements as I can within a limited time and with limited budget. January’s focus was my oldest son’s bedroom.

Up until December, both boys shared this room. They agreed that they wanted to have their own spaces. Since we separated the beds into different rooms, we really didn’t do much else to make it “theirs”. So that was one of the goals for Ben’s room. The other was just to clean up and declutter. It is a small room. One which cannot handle the amount of junk this kid likes to hoard.

First thing we did was paint. The previous wall color was a dark gray, which was not bad at all, but I was excited to go with a navy blue for Ben’s room. We went with Van Deusen Blue and was beyond happy with it. If you are looking for a great navy blue, you won’t be disappointed.

Boy's Bedroom Refresh

For the art in the room, we kept with what we already had. The banner, the space print and the “Adventure Awaits” wall hanging were already in the room. Santa Claus gave us a head start on the bedding by bringing Ben a new duvet cover and much needed mattress for Christmas. As I detailed in THIS post, he has a tradition of gifting us with home improvement items. I just picked up some flannel bedding and a throw pillow from Target. Speaking of Target, I also replaced the lamp in her with white task lamp which I LOVE.

Boy's Bedroom Refresh

Boy's Bedroom Refresh

We also had the carpets cleaned, which made a big difference. Since they are really light, I decided to bring in a little area rug to not only bring in some color, but also to detract from any future stains that always seem to pop up in the middle of the room. The area rug is a lot smaller than you would normally want an area rug to be. However, in this case, the next size up was going to cause a lot of tripping so we are using it more as a “playmat” than an area rug.

A less visible but still very helpful thing we also did in the room was take out all of the clothes from the closet and take out all of the things that no longer fit the boys. We did the same with the dresser. That made a huge difference in lightening up the cluttered feeling.

Boy's Bedroom Refresh

The last big change in here was the cork wall. Initially Ben had asked if he could have a huge bulletin board to post photos and artwork, etc. And then I thought a whole cork wall would be awesome. I looked it up online, and found a good tutorial for doing it. Brian and I went back and forth for several weeks on whether we should or not since it is not something you can just take down easily when you are tired of it. When it comes down, the drywall is coming down with it (yikes). In the end, we decided to go for it. We are so happy we did. Ben loves it! We just need to add a little quarter round trim to the seam where it meets the ceiling and it will be all done.

Boy's Bedroom Refresh

Cork Wall - Ben's Bedroom Refresh

Boy's Bedroom Refresh

Bedroom Updates:

  • Painted the walls from gray to navy blue
  • Installed a cork wall
  • Had carpets cleaned
  • Cleaned out closet
  • Cleaned out dresser
  • Moved laundry basket out of closet and purchased a new hamper
  • Purchased new bedsheets
  • Purchased new bed pillow & throw pillow
  • Purchased new lamp
  • Purchased new rug

The best part about these simple updates is how happy Ben is with his room. He even has been much better about cleaning his room before leaving for school in the morning. When I commented on how impressed I was with his new habit, he explained that he wants to keep it clean because it looks so much better that way now. Score!

Even though I am happy that we accomplished a bunch, there are still things we didn’t do because we ran out of time and/or money. But that is where the beauty in this new approach lies. We did what we could with the time we had, and now it’s time to move on. Next year, we probably won’t have to do a lot of what was already completed this year, so we can focus on those additional areas. The goal is not perfection, just progress.

We are now halfway through February, so we have moved onto Max’s room next door. I will be back next month to show you what we were able to accomplish in there!

10 thoughts on “January Home Project: Ben’s Bedroom

  1. Julie

    It all looks great!! Cork wall turned out so good- good for you keeping up with your once a month project- impressive!! ??✅✅

    1. Ale Post author

      Thank you, Julie! I am glad he likes it after all the hemming and hawing we did about it 🙂

  2. Rodolfo Vickrey

    We are about to re-do our 2 year old sons room. I want to add a cork wall and psyched I found you on line when searching in google. Thank you for all the great tips. There is nothing under the cork? just the adhesive? do you remember the adhesive you used from home depot? Also since we are reconstructing the walls would you suggest putting crown molding over the cork so it looks clean?

    1. Ale Post author

      Oh good, glad it was helpful. My husband used just regular linoleum adhesive, but he said cork subflooring adhesive would work great also. He kind of troweled it on so it was thin and covered the whole wall. We did not put anything between the cork and the drywall. And yes, definitely it would be much better to add the molding after the cork. It will look great, plus also help in holding in the wall.

      Hope this helps!

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