Reader Redesign: Starry Night

Hope you guys are having an awesome week-between-Christmas-and-New-Years. We’re soaking up some family time, along with sanding, priming, and painting our kitchen cabinets (it looks like a small paint bomb went off with some random gingerbread cookies among the fray), so we’re hoping to share our progress on Monday. But today we wanted to drop by with a makeover by Katy for her son Gabriel. This transformation was not only completed on a serious budget (she estimates that it was under $200, including big things like a bed and a dresser), it was also done in a rental (and we know you guys love to see those). Bravo to the landlord for letting her give this room some much needed love! Here’s her letter:

Hi Sherry and John! I wanted to share my son’s room makeover with you. We moved into our house in 2011, a few weeks after I found it at a yard sale. Yes, crazy. We’re just renting it now, but would love to buy it someday.

The house needed a lot of TLC when we moved in. But I love a good project! Our son was not quite two when we moved, so his room was my first project in the hopes of making the move easier for him.

I knew I wanted to paint it a deep, peacock-ish blue, and your old guest room gave me the inspiration I needed to go for it! I got a gallon of Plumage (and tinted primer, thank you) and got to work transforming his room. My goal was to spend as little as possible. And I love the end result!

My Mom is amazing and found a Jenny Lind style bed for Gabriel. It was what I dreamed of for his room. Can you believe it was $80? Solid wood. Absolutely amazing. And then she got some Annie’s Chalk paint to refinish it. We used French Linen and finished it with the clear wax. I absolutely love his bed.

I got this dresser on Craigslist for $20 and refinished it. The wall hanging is a tapestry I found at a thrift store. The trees are actually Christmas decorations! my Mom gave us the charming paint by number pictures a couple years ago. The mobile is something I found, spray painted gold, and hung old pictures of my Dad, grandmother, and aunt.

As a child, my Grandpa gave me Shel Silverstein books. So I was thrilled to find ‘Falling Up’ at the thrift store and used the pages as art in Gabe’s room. We really enjoy looking at the pages, reading the poems and playing I-spy with the illustrations. The bench is from our wedding and the basket holds some books and toys.

So there is Gabriel’s big boy room! I’m excited to share it with you and I hope you like it.  -Katy

Well, it should be no surprise that we really like it. Gabriel’s a lucky guy. Thanks so much for sharing it, Katy! This may sound weird, but I think my favorite things are the Shel Silverstein pages casually taped up on the wall. What a smart and easy way to create some impact without spending a lot. Meanwhile Sherry’s obsessed with that awesome gray bed and the thrift store tapestry on the wall. Katy has more pics and the scoop on some other personal touches on her blog, but feel free to shout out your favorite part before bouncing over there. (How will you choose? Even the bedding is awesome.)


  1. Annelies says

    Love the idea of the book pages and the blue colour! Curious to find out what your plans are for the nursery… Happy holidays!

    • says

      We can’t wait to dive into that in Jan (we started planning Clara’s nursery in Feb when she was due in May, so we figure Jan is a good time to dive into the bun’s since he’s due in April).


  2. says

    So so soooo excited to see this on YOUNG HOUSE LOVE!! Ah! Thank you guys so much! Gabe has a new sibling coming in June, so his room will be getting another little makeover so he can share with the baby- it’ll be close quarters in his petite room! Sibling bonding! But seriously… Thank you guys!

    • says

      Hi Katy!
      The room is perfection! I am curious about the bed – paint color and more details on how you did it. I have a head board / foot board i’m painting for our little guy and love the color. Can you provide more details of the process?

  3. Tonianne says

    Pop-up survey from Shutterfly again. (Just FYI) No idea how to show you the screenshot, though (at least I got it this time!)…

  4. Rae says

    I love the ABCs on the wood. I have been meaning to do something similar in my boys’ room.

    Are the clouds and stars painted? vinyl? cutouts?

  5. Gillian says

    It’s so lovely, all the found elements seemed to have been destined for this starry little part of the universe. Love it…headed to her blog o check out the rest.

  6. Lisa E says

    So adorable, great job! This just goes to show you what a little imagination and creativity can do without having to have all new and expensive stuff. This is so personalized, means more and looks better IMHO!

    • HeatherB says

      I feel the same! I was like, “WHAT?! They posted something on Christmas, but not the day after Christmas when I am miserably stuck back in my office?! Hrumph.” I missed you guys! (although, I grudgingly acknowledge that you are not only entitled to some family time and a break from all this, but all this wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t get a break and have some family time…)

      And sooooo excited about that kitchen!!!!!!

  7. Sara says

    I’m absolutely in love with this room! I will be pinning just about every picture:)

    I have a question for Katy – you mentioned that your son was not quite two when you updated this room and got the bed – how has been doing with not falling out? Just curious as my son will be two in January, and we are making the transition from crib to bed, but we were looking at just a twin bed with a boxspring so it was close to the floor (your bed is much cuter haha).

    • Katy says

      Thanks so much Sara! So Gabe will be 4 on Sunday and so far hasn’t fallen out of this bed! I have a pool noodle under the fitted sheet to give a little barrier. He used to have one of those mesh bed sides, but we didn’t use it long. I found it annoying for making the bed and stuff. When we visit other people’s houses, we just roll up a towel and put that under the sheet (he’s only fallen out of a bed (twice) when we’ve skipped that step at another person’s house. Oops!) And we skipped the boxspring so ithe bed would be closer to the ground. You can buy boards at mattress shops to use instead of a boxspring (to support the mattress). Hope that helps. Thanks again!

    • Katy says

      I should also have said- he stayed in his crib until he was 3… He loved it so we didn’t rush the switch :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *