Extreme Room Makeover: Teen Bedroom Reveal

Teen Bedroom Extreme Room Makeover - An Oregon Cottage

It’s time to finally reveal our teen son’s completely redecorated bedroom – whew! Need to catch up? See the Introduction with video here, Day One here, and Days 2,3, & More here for more details about how we accomplished a surprise week-long room makeover in 8 days while our son was on a trip to Mexico.

First up is the video Brian created capturing our son’s reaction to his new room – I even used a bus from our preschool to mimic the “move that bus” from the show – plus close-ups of the room’s details, and what he and I thought about redoing his room:

Watch this video full size on YouTube.

Teen Bedroom Makeover Reveal Photos and Details
Hallway View

Teen Bedroom Makeover Before-After.l - An Oregon Cottage

This is the view of the room from the door – and it’s a much nicer view now, isn’t it? The new, larger bed (see the video about making the bed here) is now against the wall as our son has wanted for awhile (I have no idea why…). We moved the dresser to the foot of the bed to accommodate the new set-up. I LOVE the new curtain rod ($13.99 at Target!) and how it coordinates with the light fixture I spray painted. I think they make the same curtains look new on them.

New Bed

Teen Bedroom Makeover Before-After Bed - An Oregon Cottage

A view of the room from the window wall before (complete with overloaded shelves and desk and floor) and after. You can really see here how cool the bed is that Brian made. The bed and linens were easily the biggest cost of the makeover:

  • We had to purchase the pine for the side rails, special large bolts to hold it together (and enable it to be taken apart to get it in and out of the room), and the fancy post caps which totaled $51.96. All the other wood and the paint was from previous projects.
  • We found the double mattress and box spring on Craigslist for $20, so the total for the bed was $71.96.
  • The total for mattress pad, sheets (including one to cover the box spring), and a comforter came to $72.23, bringing the grand total for the bed to $144.19.

I’ve never bought all the linens for a bed at one time before, it’s usually just the cover or the sheets, so it was more money than I was hoping to spend. I looked for one of those “bed in a bag” type packages, but they were all funky patterns (what’s up with that?). It still ended up being a pretty good price for a new bed and all new linens.

The Nightstand

Teen Bedroom Makeover Before-After Nightstand - An Oregon Cottage

As you can see, the whole skirted-table look was just not working for a teen boy. We definitely needed something with at least one drawer that could be easily dusted.

We found the nightstand at Target for $79.99 (we already had the basket- isn’t it cool how it just fit?). Having never shopped for new furniture other than our couch and a mattress, I had no clue what a nightstand would cost. I was hoping to spend closer to $50, but I found that most new nightstands were closer to $100.

Actually, I was hoping to find a thrift store nightstand or table that I could makeover – don’t even get me started on the ridiculous prices our local thrift stores (and I visited five!) were charging. Most were broken (drawers, handles, huge wood chips) and they still were asking $40 to $50 dollars, believe it or not. Of course I was hampered by the time constraint and discovered that furniture buying is an area that really could’ve benefited from advanced planning.

I wrote about the lamp transformation here, and in this picture you can see that I also used the same oil-rubbed bronze spray paint on a simple clay pot to hold pens and a basic white plastic waste basket.

The Closet

Teen Bedroom Makeover Before-After Closet - An Oregon Cottage

I’m sure this scene of our son’s closet is typical of teens…right? Please say yes…

To makeover this area, we continued the flooring (see below) and paint, but just used what he already had (yes, those cool vintage gym baskets were in the before picture, it’s like “I Spy” – can you find them?). Probably goes without saying that we donated a ton of stuff and organized his clothes. Yeah, now we’ll see how long it lasts.

The Bookshelf

Extreme Room Makeover Before Bookshelf - An Oregon Cottage

I still like the bookshelf that Brian made years ago and the bulletin board I made a couple years ago – they had just gotten buried under a mountain of stuff.

Extreme Room Makeover After Closet-Shelf - An Oregon Cottage

The shelf and bulletin board were moved to the closet wall to make room for the larger bed, and they actually fill the space nicer there, I think. I also love how the creamy white paint contrasts with the light khaki walls in this photo.

The Dresser

Teen Bedroom Makeover Before-After Tissue Paper Dresser - An Oregon Cottage

We ended up keeping this dresser and just touching up the paint job I had done years ago (eight?). The dresser was a find on the side of the road and was so beat-up even a paint job wouldn’t have covered up it’s flaws. I covered the bumps and missing veneer with a tissue-paper & glue technique in the main areas and then painted and glazed it. I painted the wood edges a darker brown topped with a bit of glaze (my inspiration was an old 50s suitcase).

However, over the years the tissue paper texture had torn off in a few places, which didn’t seem easy to fix, the drawers weren’t very functional, and the top was hard to dust with all the texture. So I really wanted to find a new dresser, but we couldn’t find anything better that would be big enough and fit our minuscule budget. I did some simple paint touch-ups and in the end it cleaned up pretty well, though we will be looking for a replacement in the future.

The Brown Paper Floor

Teen Bedroom Makeover - The Original Brown Paper Flooring Technique at An Oregon Cottage

In order to be able to rip up the old carpet and create a new floor in our budget, I did a torn brown kraft-paper decoupage technique and covered it with layers of polyurethane for protection. I had created this same floor in our old house 5 years earlier and it was easy, had held up, and gave me the look of wood floors for a fraction of the price.

This time, though, I thought that the floor that didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped – too many wrinkles – and I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. Turns out, I had forgotten that it takes time for the wrinkles to relax and by the time we were able to replace the furniture and lay a rug, they were smoothed out as you can see in the photos above. (Update: we made a detailed how-to video for this flooring technique that has become one of our most popular diy projects – you can see it here.)

My son told me that one of his favorite things is the floor…he thinks it looks cool, and I agree!

I was happy to find the rug at Target – it’s a large 5×8 size, but only cost $39.99 because they called it a “remnant.”  All the other rugs this size I looked at were $79.00 and up. Whoo-hoo.

So, the total cost for the room makeover came in at $394.73. I wish it was closer to $300, but some things were just more than I anticipated (nightstand, $50 for polyurethane, and such). But I’m still happy with the outcome for less than $400, since just to redo the floor with new carpet or wood would’ve cost that or more!


This is linked to:
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
The Inspired Room
Remodelaholic’s Anonymous


  1. says

    It looks great! I really love the bed, it looks gorgeous!

    And it’s funny you were talking about night stands, I just built MY OWN, with a drawer, for $30. If you’d want to, you can check it out on my website (not yet painted though)or find plans for one at knockoffwood.blogspot.com (be warned, you might become addicted).

    Seriously great job though on the room!

  2. says

    Of course he would love it. It looks great. I really like the nice calm but still masculine colors. I have a son about that same age and I’m sure he would like this. What a nice thing to do for your son.
    Pamela @ Becolorful

  3. says

    I really like it! all the natural textures you added make it look like you hand picked that dresser for the room! I never would have though of putting the painted white furniture in the room for a teenage boy, but it really works!

  4. says

    Wow, it turned out great! I love how you made it look like you were doing an episode of Extreme makeover. Wanna come do my home next? :)

  5. says

    Hi, I’m new to your blog and am so glad I found this inspiring week long make over! You all did an awesome job. His room looks fantastic. I think you get the mom award of the year for that one. It rocks! (Along with dad and sis too.) Thanks for sharing. Loved the videos too.

    • says

      I did this more than 10 years ago, Sandra, so let’s see if I can remember, ha!

      It’s a basic decoupage technique: use watered-down glue and white tissue paper. Crumple and then spread out on a surface that’s been painted with the glue mixture. Use a paint brush to brush more glue onto the tissue and as you do, it will wrinkle and crumple. Play with it a bit to get a look you want. Let dry and then paint a color you’d like (I used a light tan). Then wash with a glaze or really watered-down brown craft paint, wiping excess. The glaze stays in the crevices, creating the weathered look. I sealed everything with a polyurethane coating.

      Sure hope that’s clear to you!


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