{one room challenge} Shared Boys' Bedroom Reveal

We're all jumping for joy over here because the boys' new room is finally finished! It's bright and fun and a little wild, just like Beckett and Cooper, and I am so excited to show it to you!

This is One Room Challenge number seven in the books. It's always a rush to the finish line, but once the room is done, it's so much fun to take a step back and see what we've created through the lens of the camera. The boys were very active participants in designing this shared bedroom over the past six weeks, and it makes me so happy to see how much pride they take in their new space!

Let me remind you how the room looked as the nursery...


We first designed the nursery when I was pregnant with Beckett, who is now five, and then when Beckett was two he moved to a new room and Cooper took over this space. In the nearly four years that Cooper occupied the nursery, not much changed, other than the crib being converted to a toddler bed. 

But a while back the boys started BEGGING to share a room, and specifically they requested bunk beds. The room is on the small side, but more than that, its proportions are awkward because it's long and thin. Coming up with the right layout was a challenge, but we ended up with a space that that actually provides them with tons of storage for books and toys, and lots of open floor space to play. 

Ok, let's talk about the rainbow books for a minute. You might think, "Ugh, what a blogger thing to do!" But can I let you in on a secret? It wasn't even my idea or my doing. Yep, my five year old son is OBSESSED with all things rainbow! He loves to draw and color - and it's all rainbows all the time! He begged for a set of rainbow colored bowls on our last trip to IKEA. And when I asked him to help me bring some books in to fill up the shelves, he immediately started sorting them by color and asked if we could make a rainbow. What you see here is about two hours of his very diligent work! Of course, I don't expect the boys to keep the books organized this way... so it's totally up to Beckett if it looks this way next week or not. As long as they are on the shelves and not all over the floor, I'll be a happy mom!

I know you guys like details, so I'll link to as many of the products in the room as I can. Some of these are affiliate links - meaning that if you buy something that I recommend, I may make a small commission, but you still pay the same price. Win/win.

I don't remember ever being very into stuffed animals as a kid. I mean, I had them, but I didn't name them and create stories with them and LOVE them. But my boys are seriously into their stuffed animals and treat them with so much love and care. I feel like they are everywhere we turn, so I knew I needed to create a dedicated space for them where they could be put away but still easily accessible, and that's where these adorable "wild animal" hampers come in.

When the boys and I started talking about updating this room and making it a space for them to share, there was never a moment of doubt that they wanted to keep the animal theme. It's all animals all the time around here! 

This collection of animal posters is really where the whole plan for the room began. As soon as I spotted them, I knew the boys would love them, and they have special meaning for me as well. All four are vintage travel posters posters from Qantas Airlines. When I studied abroad in Australia for six months in college, I did a ton of traveling around the country - always on Qantas Airlines. 

Of course, boys who love books as much as ours do need a comfy place to read. We found this blue corduroy bean bag chair and "Never Stop Exploring" pillow that fits the space perfectly. And because it's so lightweight, the boys can easily move it around the room {or out of the way to get to the toy baskets at the end of the bed}.

We got really lucky when it comes to the bunk beds... they fit perfectly into this little nook, with only about 3 inches to spare. Had they not fit here, they wouldn't have fit in the room at all. There was literally no where else they could go that wouldn't block a window or a door.

Since the boys are still young, I was a bit nervous about traditional bunk beds with a ladder. While they can both navigate a ladder just fine, I worried about them knocking each other down in the midst of well-intentioned play. So I was thrilled when we found these bunk beds with stairs instead. And best of all, there are three large hidden drawers in the stairs, as well as extra storage shelves on the end.

Beckett has a major thing for maps, so it was a no brainer when I came across these world map duvet covers with animals on the various continents! And how cute are the orange and white plus-sign sheets?!

Thanks to GelFoamBed, who provided the new mattresses for the bunk beds, the beds not only look good, they're also the most comfortable in the whole house! You can read much more about the mattresses in last week's post, including why the boys think they are magic! There's also a great discount code in case you are in need of new mattresses for your home.

The tiger and rhino pillows I bought at H&M Home are discontinued, but here's a similar tiger with sunglasses pillow and a few debonair rhino pillow options.

The one piece of furniture in the room that did not change is this fun cabinet - called the Eiffel Bookcase - with the open center. It just moved from one side of the room to the other. 

Above the cabinet hang three white faux taxidermy heads, including the cardboard elephant that they boys helped me put together this week. They are SO proud that they made him!

In the orange frames are photos that Scott and I took on our South African safari a few years ago. The boys were very young when we took that trip without them, but we spent lots of time reading them books about the animals we would be seeing before we went, and showing them photos when we returned. I really think that is what cemented their love of animals, so it seemed fitting that some photos from our safari be on display in the room.

We went on safari during spring in the Southern Hemisphere, which meant that we were lucky enough to see lots of very young babies - including a giraffe that had been born just the day before. When choosing photos to frame for the room, I decided to go with five of our favorite mom and baby shots.

Cooper's love of animals is rivaled only by his love of cars and trucks, so it was important this room reflect that as well. He has lots of transportation toys in baskets behind the doors of the Eiffel bookcase, but some of his favorites are on display in the white wire basket in the center opening.

And the two side-by-side rugs are so, so much fun. The moment I spotted these rugs, I knew that Cooper would see the white dotted lines as roads.

He has already been having so much fun driving around his favorite dump truck and digger.

The rainbow zebra poster was a must have for my rainbow-loving kiddo. Bonus points to anyone who can identify the colorful things on the shelf behind the tall giraffe. If you said vuvuzelas then you must be a true soccer fan! These instruments were originally used to summon distant African villagers to community gatherings, but are now more commonly used at football matches. We bought these two hand-painted vuvuzelas for the boys during our trip to South Africa, and I just love the way the colorful patterns look displayed on this shelf.

My favorite DIY project in the room is the orange doors fronts on the bottom of the IKEA Kallax bookshelves. I thought about painting them, but then came up with an easier {and temporary} solution. I'll share the "how to" details on this easy transformation soon.

The animal head handles on the doors I spray painted white to match all of the other white animals in the room. I had intended originally planned to use on these on the boys' dresser drawers... before we decided to ditch the dresser in favor of two bookshelves.

Since I only had six of the animal-head handles {and they've since been discontinued} I decided to only install six door fronts on the bookshelf, leaving one spot open for a basket and blanket.

Behind each of the orange doors are blue bins to keep the boys' toys organized and make clean-up quick and easy!

That framed photo on top of the bookshelf is one of my very favorite photos of my boys. It was taken at the San Diego Zoo last fall, and I just adore them in their animal print sunglasses carrying with the Fisher Price binoculars that were mine when I was a kid. They called that zoo trip their "safari," so it seemed fitting that this photo be on display in their new safari bedroom. And I finally found the perfect place to use my mini cinema light box.

For those who are wondering what happens to Beckett's bedroom {the one I designed for my first-ever ORC three years ago} now that the boys are sharing this room... the answer is, nothing is changing. That room is staying just the way it is - argyle wall, necktie play tent, belt shelves and all. B & C spent most of their time playing in that room already, so it will remain a play space. We're calling it their "lounge."  

The open floor space in this new room is perfect for playing cars and building, while the round play table in the center of the lounge is great for puzzles and board games. We are leaving Beckett's toddler bed in the lounge as well, so that if they boys ever need to sleep apart, they can. And the rest of the time that bed can serve as a couch for reading books {oh yes, they still have two more shelves full of books in that room as well}.

Oh, I almost forgot! Remember how I told you that we were making over the boys' bathroom at the same time as the bedroom?! While we managed to fit a lot of the boys' favorite things into the bedroom {animals, maps, rainbows, trucks}...we paid homage to their love of super heroes in the bathroom instead. We finished that space a couple of weeks ago, and you can tour the sophisticated super hero bathroom here!

Thanks so much for stopping by for the big reveal! Thank you also to Calling it Home, and media partner House Beautiful, for hosting this wonderful event! 

Shared Boys' Room Color Storage Bunk Beds

Now be sure to head over to Calling it Home where you'll find links to the finished spaces of all 200+ other One Room Challenge participants. Grab your coffee and settle in ... there are SO MANY amazing rooms to see!


Transforming a small nursery to a shared boys' bedroom


  1. This is seriously the most fun room ever! Your boys must be so thrilled! I love the bunk beds and the furniture you chose are all so cool. awesome job, angela. I can not believe this was your seventh one!!

    1. Thanks so much, Yuni! The boys really do love it!

  2. So much fun!! Seriously, you are a girl after my own heart with the color coding of the cildren's books! Love :)

    1. I love the color-coded books so much, but it was actually my rainbow-loving son who did the book organizing! I love that it was his idea!

  3. Angela, I love this fun and colorful room! You boys are lucky they have such a talented mom! I love that your son was the one who wanted to books rainbow. I could see my girls wanting that and then 5 min. later it is a mess, they love to re-organize. :) The bunk beds might be favorite! Bravo my friend on your 7th ORC, always a pleasure to see your work! XOXO, Sarah

  4. this room just screams fun! love the color combo, and love the artwork so much! great job, angela!

  5. What a great room Angela! I love all the little details and how they come together. What a sharp kiddo to rainbow his books like that! Great job! I know you're boys will love this space for years to come!

  6. Oh I just love this! Great job.

  7. This is such a fun big boy room! And I love that the rainbow books weren't even your idea! So so cute. Awesome job!

  8. Your boys must be thrilled! How fun are the rainbow sorted books at the perfect level for easy access!!

  9. Wow! I love the colors of this bedroom! So fun!

  10. This turned out amazing Angela! I love the new layout, the vibrant colors, and the bunk beds! And it is so adorable how your son color organized his books! He must take after his mom. Your boys are two very lucky kiddos :) Great job!

  11. Angela, this is the most fun boys room ever! From the color coded books to the beds to those awesome animal busts. Bravo and congratulations!! xo

  12. WOW. Incredible. You should seriously be in magazines....your entire home is a dream. When do you sleep?? Are you a practicing lawyer in addition to all this? Amazing. I hope your boys appreciate and love their new room!! They are VERY blessed!!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah! The whole family is loving their new room, and the boys are so proud - showing it to everyone who stops by! I am not practicing law right now... I was when I started the blog, but for the last few years I've been staying home with my boys and LOVE having this extra time to spend with them!

  13. I love the layout, the bunks fit perfectly and you still have lots of play room for the boys! Great job.

  14. I love the rainbow books so much! Maybe I can use this idea to get my daughter to keep her books picked up! ;) The bunk beds are so cool. I love that they wanted to share a room. So sweet!

  15. Super fun and colourful. I'm digging all those toy storage units!

  16. What a fun room! Those bunk beds are so neat - I don't think I've ever seen any like that before. And love how your brought their personalities and favorites into the room. A very special place to grow up!

  17. Such a great makeover-I looooove those ombre books! Kristin @ Postbox Designs

  18. This room is ADORABLE! I love the stripes on the wall, the bookshelf organized by color, and those duvet covers are so cool. You brought everything in the room together so perfectly!

  19. What an incredible makeover! So many details and I'm sure your boys love it all!!