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the boys’ room progress {walls, ceiling, light & shelves}

    We’ve made some good progress on the boys’ room this past week or so. Just as a reminder, here’s the look we’re going for:


    The first step was to paint the walls and ceiling.


    {via my instagram feed}

    I actually like painting and I’ve done it a ton in our house. But I am surprised to say that I’ve never painted walls white. And it felt super risky! Usually we give boring white walls personality with a nice paint color, but this was the opposite. Plus, white walls in a boys room? That’s kinda crazy. But their room felt dark with the big navy bunks and I’ve been craving white throughout most of our home, so it felt like the right choice for this room too. The color is Silky White by behr. It’s a nice slightly creamy white. It kinda makes me want to paint my room white too.

    The ceiling is Rhino also by behr which is the same gray/blue we used in Audrey’s room. It’s very subtle, but light, bright and adds dimension.


    Next came installing the light {depot ceiling lamp from potterybarn kids}.


    {via my instagram feed}

    I joke that I’ve become a professional light-installer, but seriously, I’ve done it four times now and haven’t shocked myself yet. Once you figure out which wires go with which, it’s just a matter of balancing the light fixture in one hand while tightening screws with the other. Totally doable and such an easy way to boost a room’s style.


    One more project we did – and this time the kids were involved – was staining and installing shelves and brackets.

    I bought three shelves and six brackets from ikea, and stained with minwax in special walnut.


    You just brush it on, then wipe off with a clean rag.


    The color is great – a nice natural medium-ish tone.


    The middle boys helped stain the brackets. They loved it; I talked myself through it {it’s all going to be okay, it’s just stain}. I want them to help, I want them to take ownership, but sometimes help is not actually all that helpful when you’re as finicky as this mama.


    Having help installing the shelves was actually both fun and helpful. We measured, found studs, marked, and screwed in the brackets.

    So here we are now:


    Walls and ceiling painted, light and shelves installed, rug and chair moved in.¬† Next up is a whole bunch of styling {my favorite part}, some diy projects for the walls, pillow making, art hanging and curtain-figuring-out. Still hoping to have it all finished before they head back to school just after labor day. I’ll keep you posted …


    wall paint // ceiling paint // light // rug // shelves // brackets // striped duvets

    35 thoughts on “the boys’ room progress {walls, ceiling, light & shelves}”

    1. What finish do you use on the walls in your home? We recently painted our whole house in a flat/matte gray and I love it! But it’s not holding up as well as I’d like with three little boys. Now I’m wondering if I need to use an eggshell finish just so my walls are easier to clean. Thanks for your advice!

      1. We used eggshell on the walls – which has a slight sheen. It wipes down easier and hides smudges better than flat (which is what we used for our ceilings).

    2. I love this room! I actually recently painted my boys’ room a warm white. They have a white dresser, and I have the same blue Adventure canvas as well. Where are your boys’ sheets from? I just got blue conductor stripe comforters and would love a gray and white sheet set like this!

    3. LOVE your boys room! I’ve been thinking about doing white walls and the blue ceiling in my son’s room. I worried it might make the room feel shorter with the color on the ceiling. Do you feel that way at all, or did you feel like it didn’t make a difference?

    4. Emily, quick question about the Ikea rug…LOVE it and went to buy it today but I noticed that it was quite, well, smelly! Did you notice this when you first brought it home? Also curious how well it vacuums? The boy’s room looks great! I always use Minwax dark walnut and see that medium looks just as good.

      1. I don’t feel like it is overly smelly. And it vacuums up fine. The one complaint I have about it is that the corners are not firmly woven and over time they start to come apart.

    5. Do you know where the fan in your inspiration picture is from? I have been searching for a retro-ish fan, and that one looks perfect! Or any ideas on where I might be able to find something similar? Thanks!

      1. I just found a vintage looking fan from google to add to the board. I’m hoping to find a great vintage-inspired fan – maybe on ebay? I haven’t looked into it yet but will let you know if I find one!

    6. Looks great! But what really got me was that your kids don’t have to start school until after labor day…just how it should be. School around here has already started, its crazy!

    7. This is great! I needed some inspiration for a boys room. I have a Star Wars themed room for my little guy but I want to branch out a little and this could get me in the right direction. That light is gorgeous. Thanks for the post.

    8. How do you like the rug? Is it soft enough for little feet and knees? I have been eyeing this rug for my 1 yo’s room who is not *quite* walking yet but haven’t pulled the trigger because I was concerned about the texture. Thoughts? Thanks so much! It looks awesome:)

    9. Looking good! It was fun to see your plans a few weeks ago because I’m doing a similar theme in my son’s room!

      Our color scheme is going to be a tad more orange, mustard, and green like the canoe image in your inspiration board. We picked up tan, white and mustard plaid bedding from Land’s end and I found some vintage orange owl pillowcases! I have Swiss army and gray and mustard wool war blanket images saved as inspiration too. Found a fun galvanized minnow bucket on Etsy but it was pretty pricey so I might try recreating one DIY style!

      I’m going to share the bedding we picked up on my blog today and hope it’s okay to share your inspiration board with link to my readers. Let me know if that’s a problem and I’ll take it out.

    10. Emily, love what you’ve done with the light fixture. Also jazzing up the ikea shelves with stain makes them totally different and more boy style. Pam has a great idea–I second the light fixture tutorial. Your tutorials are always so nice and clear with good pictures. I pin lighting all the time, but am a bit nervous to try it.

    11. Great progress! I wish you would do a tutorial on installing a light fixture. I need to replace all of ours and an electrician is not an option for our budget right now.

    12. I love the white walls! I’m totally in a white wall kick. I also love that your boys room is so “boy” without having to be themed or all blue. Wonderful to see some new ideas out there! Thanks for sharing.

    13. Love the progress! And love your feature in BHG!! I was so excited to see it!! One question for you — where is the footstool on your inspiration board from? It’s really great!

    14. I felt weird about painting walls white too! After living in rentals most of my childhood I had always been dying to paint my walls any color I wanted (which I did in our house when I was 16). And then after college my roommate and I painted the entry and my room bright, crisp white (Behr Ultra Pure White) and I LOVE it!!! It just feels cozy and modern and clean all at once.

    15. Love the progress! Quick question on the light. I just returned a similar one for our stairwell. But, I love the look (and size) of the PB one. Do you feel like it still gives off the same amount of light as the other one since it’s a pendant? I’m afraid of making that stairwell feel too dark… Thanks.

    16. Looks amazing so far!! I love your inspiration board, it looks a lot like what I am thinking for my sons “big boy” room, which I am strangely excited to start working on. Can’t wait to see the big reveal! And I just saw your feature in BHG! I gasped out loud when I flipped the page open–everything looked awesome!

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