Boy Rooms

boy roomsRestoration Hardware

We have three boys.  The oldest will be 15 this year and my other two are 12 and 11.  Years ago I bought them all matching beds, two dressers and some book shelves for their rooms.  We never got further than that.  When I wrote out my home goals for 2011 I included the boys rooms (you can see photos of their current rooms at that link) and I never got to them.

Then something interesting began to happen this year…

boys room

They kept wanting to be together.  For the past year they each have had their own room but more and more I caught them asking to all sleep in what we call the playroom.  The playroom that has no toys. Here it is currently…

decorating a boys room

Actually, that’s not true here it is currently…

pre teen boy rooms

Oh wait, that’s not true either, here it is currently…

boy rooms

I just walked up and took this photo 90 seconds ago.  It’s really dark in there and I didn’t feel like setting up the tripod, but you get the idea.   Can you spot the three boys?  Two are mine, one is a friend.  They want to sleep in here every night.

At first I thought it was because of the TV. But then I remembered back when school was still in the two youngest still wanted to sleep in here, and did even without turning on the TV.

I secretly hate this room with its knee walls and weird wall parts jutting out every where.  There’s only about four feet of actual real wall space that reaches up high, the rest is weird walls.  It’s also the catch-all for everything in the house that doesn’t have a place. There are four chairs, two ottomans, three sofa tables, a sofa, a queen size bed, a coffee table a broken TV cabinet thing a bookshelf and even a twin mattress on the floor (the youngest boy dragged his mattress off his bed and has had it in this room for weeks? months?)

boy roomunsourced

But then I started wondering about the fact that the two younger boys want to be together.  The room is supposed to be a guest room but whenever a family comes to visit it never works out because the kids always want to watch a movie upstairs but that’s supposed to be the guest room and then all the kids fall asleep in there and then the guest parents are sleeping in twin beds in the boys rooms.

Maybe it would be better to let the youngest two share the bonus room and make a real guest room in one of their rooms?

DIY boys roomdesign sponge

There are definitely some cons: they’d have a TV in their room which I am not crazy about, there is no closet, you can see that room first thing as you walk up the stairs, I HATE the walls in that room and it would need to be painted.  The beds don’t fit in the window nooks which seems like such a perfect place for the beds to go.

The pros: the boys always listen to us when we tell them to turn the TV off, we have lots of closets in the house and really? boys only use them for hideouts and storage, if I did a good job on the room then everyone would see it first thing as they walked up the stairs!, the walls in the room already desperately need painted anyway, maybe we could rig some kind of neat bed/mattress thing in the nooks without using their real beds.

DIY boys roomdecor pad

So right now we are talking about it.  Not moving anything, not buying anything, just talking about the two youngest sharing the bonus room.  What happens when the oldest has a friend over to spend the night?  What happens in the winter when that room is cold because it’s over the garage?  What do I do with all of their tall bookshelves and beds that don’t fit?

decorating a boys room


I really would love to spend a little time making their rooms more special.  The downstairs is good, our room is good, the worst part of our house is the bonus room and their rooms.

I’d love to hear your thoughts–what would you do? do you hate knee walls too?

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  1. Well I just love that your boys want to be together at their ages! We are in the process of building and have decided to have our 3 boys share a room together…a huge room! My concern has been for the older years…will they hate that we only built one room for them? So this is comforting. I love that my boys are so close and love being together. I think you should embrace it!

  2. Well, we have three teen boys in one room, and it’s not a huge room, but they have been together for well, since birth (and even had a sister in there for a few years). They now are all well over six feet tall and we STILL have a guest room that could have been an extra bedroom, but not one of them have even asked.
    I wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, we are finally going to finish our attic space so we can have more space and guess what? They will ALL still be together up in the attic, which will now be a bigger bed room. They are best friends and we love it. So for those readers who are wondering about the older year? Ours our 18, 17 (in four days), and 15, and still going strong. :)

  3. Love your ideas. Although I only have one kid so far, I am all about cramming multiple kids into one room:) Especially if it means you can have a guest room. I always shared a room as a kid and I think it just makes for more fun:) I’m sure you will come up with something great!

  4. hmm…i actually love knee walls; i think they add character to a room.i always wished i had a bedroom in the upstairs of a cape cod, but since that never happened, i don’t know how annoying the lack of full-height wall is. as for the boys sleeping in one room, i think that would be a superb idea! i was one of 5 girls, & until i was 21, i always shared a bedroom w/ one or more sisters. it helps you learn to be flexible, gives lots of opportunities for late-night memory-making {sorry, moms aren’t supposed to know this one! =) }, helps your sibling friendships, & ultimately, it prepares you for sharing a room someday w/ a spouse. my 2 cents…

  5. My two boys, age 12 and almost 11 have always shared a room. We recently moved everyone around and they decided to seperate and take the two small bedrooms for themselves. They still sleep in the same bedroom, they just switch between the two rooms! It’s hysterical and so awesome and sweet all at the same time! I think your spare room is a really neat space and although it is a challenge with it’s crazy knee walls, I think it would be a really fun and interesting space to create for two boys! I say go for it!!! You could always try pallet beds, they’d fit on those little walls!!!

  6. Ours end up always wanting to be together too (?) … We have 2 boys 2 girls, and boys rm girls rm. but they are all over the place. Seriously considering a “bunk room” with built-ins for space saving for future home we’re planning to build. Then, as kids want own rms the older they get – maybe finish some basement bed rms as needs arise. We keep defaulting to this idea. Then we don’t have to worry about bedposts/headboards/footboards getting destroyed either.

  7. I went to visit a friend from high school, and she has 3 teen/pre-teen girls. They all had lovely rooms, but spent most of their time in the bonus room. So she created what she called, a “girls dormitory”. Now their bonus room was huge and sat over their 3 car garage, but she has 4 sets of bunk beds and all of their things in there. Sleep overs turn into slumber parties. She turned all of the other rooms into offices and guest rooms.

  8. My boys ALWAYS sleep in the same room, and although they are 10 and 7, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. They each have their own rooms, but one is almost never used, but by the occasional guest, and to store all their toys. Works for me! And only one room to make beds in every morning for mama!

  9. My two nephews went through a period at that age where they wanted to share the bonus room which was as long as a bowling alley with those vertically-challenged walls. Nothing fit anywhere it needed to, but my sister agreed and they now have the greatest memories from those years of sharing space. When my son and daughter would visit, all four of them would stay in that room. We called it the dorm room. I say go for it…your boys and their friends will adjust and be very happy in the end.

  10. i say do it! all 3 of my boys (10,9,7) share a room – not because they have to (we have 2 extra bedrooms) but because we didn’t give them a choice! LOVE tucking them in at night, kissing them, reading to them all at the same time. love the team building environment it creates … good stuff! :)

  11. My boys (15 and 12) have always shared a room and both have been asking for their own space. We are moving in about a month and a half so we are giving them their own spaces. We will see if they like it or not.

  12. We have a bonus room that is our “play room/guest room/game room,” too.

    It also has knee walls…thank you for defining those dang short walls for me…they’ll forever more be called knee walls.

    Okay..I took a look at your room…why couldn’t you put something like three twin beds on the wall that the sofa is on and find a place for the sofa somewhere else in the room?
    You’re Nester, so I’m SURE you’ve thought about it. Three beds allows for the younger boys and a friend.

    Then, you could give your 15 year old a room of his own and still have a guest room with that queen size bed. I LOVE your bedding on the queen…tell me about it…where’d you get it?

  13. I say embrace the fact that they want to be together. It’s such a wonderful thing that your kids have fun together. Try it out and go from there. You can always adjust. My kids played musical rooms throughout the years and I’m glad I was willing to be flexible. Allowing them to change rooms and redecorate can be fun. Including them in the planning process promotes creativity and is fun to do together. Plus… they appreciate the space more if they’ve participated in the process. Go for it!

  14. Christie says:

    I love the sloped ceiling and short walls! So much character!

    I have three boys and a girl, so my boys likely will share in the next house we rent depending on the room sizes and spaces. Currently, the two youngest boys share and the oldest boy and only girl have their own rooms. I’ll even give up a master bedroom so that the boys have a good-sized room to share.

    I think a boys’ bunk room sounds like so much fun. Could you put all three in the bunk room? Have a guest room? And a study room? Kind of like a fraternity sleeping porch/bunk room and a study/private room.

  15. Our son would love to have a larger bedroom with attached bedroom. I know he would love the denim couch.

  16. Certainly you have seen this …

    Go for it. They will love the change and you’re so creative, it will be fun to see what you do.

  17. I love your inspiration photos and think that the boys sharing a room is genius! It’s what they want anyway and you gain a needed guest room. I will be anxious to see what your boys’ room looks like!
    Boys’ rooms can be so hard. My poor boys, ages 12, and 16, don’t share a room (that’s a good thing!) and their rooms always get the afterthoughts for furniture and decor. I’ve got to use some of your inspiration pics to get busy in their rooms!

  18. I love this post. Your first part where you zoomed out, totally had me at no, here it is currently. ;} Hilarious. I think so many people can relate because I’ve already learned even as young as my kiddos are, that as they change, your home changes. And I love love love the idea of shared spaces. It’s the things memories are made of. Satan made knee walls. I vote for building things to go in the windows for their beds. I can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

  19. We finally caved and put my sons bed in my daughter’s room. She had been sleeping on the floor in his room for over two weeks and the whole separate room thing just wasn’t working for us. I have my eye on an adorable set of beds and some paint and all of that, but for right now we are just living with both of their beds in one room and the other room being for storage (tiny bedrooms). I won’t spend a great deal because I know at some point, they’ll need to be in separate rooms again but I’m hoping to purchase a few pieces that will work in a shared room or when the time comes to pull them apart.

    Personally, I think you should make the switch. It might be a little chilly in the winter – but that’s what extra blankets are for. Good luck!

  20. I have this theory that we have subscribed to some ridiculous child-rearing notion that says that children need their own personal space, in part fueled, I believe, by our own adult desire for said personal space. Kids don’t really operate that way unless we teach them to do so. We had four children (three sons and one daughter) now all grown up and living in houses of their own. They room swapped and bed swapped all the time. Someone was always technically sharing a room because we did not have enough bedrooms to go around, but that seldom seemed to matter. They loved “piling in” and sleeping wherever. I always felt that learning to coexist in a space with a sibling or siblings was wonderful preparation for life. I encourage you not to “decorate” the space too much. I believe your children are likely drawn to the casual nature of the space as it is. Furthermore, the fact that since it is a catchall, I suspect your expectations of how it will be kept are much lower than they would be if you had invested a great deal of time and effort in putting the perfect space together. I would let your sons have a lot of input into the design. Not too long ago, I finally peeled the star constellations off the ceiling in our boys’ room, and of course, they noticed…even though no one sleeps there anymore! It’s a wonderful “problem” you have there, you know!

    • Rebekah Robinson says:

      Oh, I think there is so much truth here!!! Good thoughts!! My boys each have their own room, and I have gotten this nagging feeling at times that they are missing some irreplaceable, camp-like, part of childhood…

  21. I have three boys as well and while they are only 5, 3 and 7 months I hope they will always want to share a space together (right now they don’t have a choice!) Embrace the fact that you have sons who aren’t just brothers but friends as well. When you posted about 18 summers that also means they only have a few summers together as well before they are apart. (sorry if that bummed you out!)

    I’m pretty sure by using most of what you already have plus your amazing decorating ideas and some help from those fellas ya’ll could make an awesome space in very little time and with little extra expense. GO FOR IT!!

  22. The timing of this is amazing…I just moved my boys in together!
    We have enough bedrooms that my kids have always had separate rooms (and my teen daughter still does), and I had never really thought of them sharing. There are six years between my boys, so it just never ocurred to me- I also thought that they would prefer their own “space” & privacy, their own “themed” room, etc. Turns out those things are way overrated: they really want to be together. My younger one was always hanging out in his older brother’s room to play with his legos, or they would drag things out to the living room to build/wrangle/”explode” (insert sound effects). Neither one likes to be alone, or likes the dark, so having them sleep in the same room makes sense. However, our rooms are also a little small, which made it hard to see fitting all the clothes/beds/toys/desks in one room. So I ended up making one room their shared bedroom- just beds & dressers. I thought about bunks, since their beds are convertible, but they’re so hard to make up. So we have the cabin look, with the side-by-side beds, nightstand between. It’s very cute & cozy. The other room has become the “playroom”, with bookshelves, toys stored in the closets (or erupted all over the floor), and I’m going to make a long sawhorse style table for a worksurface for homework & drawing. We just did this last week so it’s still a work in progress, but I’m happy we did it! It fits the way we really live.
    I say go for it! And I can’t wait to see how it turns out, love your house & your ideas!

  23. yes, yes, yes! you MUST do this and describe every.single.detail to us, your adoring readers! i cannot wait to see what follows in the boys room and the “new”guest room. see, i’m really selfish…

  24. My boys, 4 and 6, have been sharing a room since they figured out they could two and a half years ago when the older one crawled up into the crib to try to be with his little brother and I found 2 little people sleeping in 1 baby crib!. They are best friends and are both not fans of the dark so they sleep side by side in what our family has named “mega bed”, 2 full size beds pushed together. Literally, their room is all bed (and a dresser) and they LOVE it. They love telling their friends that THEIR bed is bigger than mommy and daddy’s king size! Boys don’t care about design and certainly not decor so let them do what they want and concentrate your efforts on a cool guest room.

  25. Great pics. My boys are 4 1/2 and 2 and they want to be together. We have the luxury of having space for them to be separate now but I don’t want to fight them if they just want to be together! The questions I am asking are mostly related to sleep quality…”What happens when someone wakes up in the night? What happens during naptime? What happens if they need to be separated and I can’t just say ‘go to your room'” Different stage of life!

  26. So love all the pics of the boys’ rooms. We need to do something about my boy’s room. Our house is a story and a half, so we have sloped ceilings as well, but not knee walls. More like head or shoulder walls.

    Isn’t it fun how boys will sleep anywhere? We find our boy sleeping in the strangest places. I say go for it! Let the boys take over the bonus room. They are only together for a short time right (18 summers!)?

  27. I think shared rooms are fabulous! So sweet. Makes me think of Wally and Beaver, or Bud and Sandy. I think those little nooks would be perfect for dressers for each of the boys (similar to Life in Grace’s dresser in the nook in her girls’ room). That would also free up some wall space for the beds to be somewhere else in the room. Personally, I LOVE knee walls…they add so much character! Go for it! It will be fabulous!!!

  28. Sharing rooms is awesome. I am an only child and while some onlys wanted a sibling, at the time I was perfectly content with being an only. Now as an adult I have 4 children. 3 girls and 1 boy. My 2 little girls share and will always share. Before I had children, but as an adult, I worked with a older woman who was 1 of 4 girls. She shared such heart warming stories about how she “had” to share a room with her sisters. She said they now as adults cherish all the time they had to share secrets, stories and be silly together. I don’t know why but that has always stuck with me. My girls are 6 and 9 and don’t always see eye to eye but I hope that when they are older they will be the best of friends and have stories to share as well. I found this picture on Pinterest and thought it could make a good jumping off point for you. Maybe trundles instead of drawers?

    Best of luck! I know whatever route you go it will be amazing!

  29. Honestly? I’d go with what actually works for them.

    When my boys were little, they had the cutest rooms. I remember one (way back in the days before blogging) when they were into fishing big time. I did fun things like hang my oldest son’s very first rod and reel on the wall and making cafe curtains that I hung from bamboo fishing poles. It was adorable, and they loved it. Then they got older, and their rooms became more like their lives–complicated. They needed space to sleep, but also space to do homework, space to play, space to hang out with their friends. Their rooms could not accommodate all these needs. Remember when they were babies, and you had equipment all over the house? That’s kind of the way it is when they’re teenagers, too. What’s ended up working best for us is to provide them with a place to sleep based on what works for them at the time (and even that has changed over the years!). If they want to sleep in the bonus room, I’d say you should put their beds in the bonus room! But I wouldn’t spend much money on that front, because things may well change by this time next year. :)

  30. I love it! All three of my boys are sleeping in one room right now too. They started last summer and just never stopped. All of them had their own room, but they were always wanting to sleep in the same one. Today, the room they sleep in has three twin beds with trundle beds under two of them. My oldest son’s room has a full bed (which we use when guests come in) and my youngest son’s room is the “playroom”. It’s super small, but for now holds the last of the toys that get played with.
    One of our favorite things is to hear them in there at night, talking and laughing about who knows what, but I love to believe that they are making life long memories. I still laugh at some of the things that were talked about and happened when my sister and I shared a room growing up.

  31. I had to laugh at your post. Look… when I had my kids at home I had set up the garage as a den. I had someone come in and spray insulation in the ceiling and I brought the most insulated garage door Home Depot carried. I did not want to convert it to a room because I knew one day I was going to sell the house and the garage had more desirability in that neighborhood. I had a small portable ac/heat unit and thick padded carpeting. It was pretty comfortable. I thought they would use it as a hang out pad but what happened is one wanted it to be his room so I let him move in it. Then he got tired of it and my youngest son said he was dying to move into it so they switched rooms. Then my daughter got mad cause she wanted it so after a year he and her switched rooms. In all the time I was in the house they played musical chairs with that room every year and I let them. No harm in it. My point here is they really wanted that room because it is an extra room and no one owns it but after the novelty wore off they realized the small portable closet didn’t hold much and they lacked complete privacy. They never said why they moved out until each had a turn in the room and then I found out they all had the same issue with the room. LOL .

    Let them move in and help decorate it and make their room the guest room but be prepared to have a musical chair type of room as the novelty wears off.

    I am so glad I found your blog as I have enjoyed it immensely.

  32. I LOVE knee walls!! I so wish I had some of them! Even as a child I always wanted those in my room!! And I love that your boys want to stay together! My twin brother and our older brother got to share a room for a long time and I was always jealous of them! I always wanted to sleep where they were! BUT, out of sympothy (I think), when redecorating the house, Mom always did my bedroom first! Haha!
    New to blogland and new to you! I’m going to follow!! Hope you do the same!
    Just remember…my blog is REALLY new! Lol! Still needs work….or actually, just more projects on it for sure!
    Love your ideas. Thanks for inspiration!

  33. Growing up outside Buffalo, NY in a very small town, our home was close to 100 years old and had some odd additions put on before we moved in. My two older brothers (9 and 11 years older than me) shared an upstairs bedroom with knee walls like that. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Yes, it was a darker room but it was awesome. There was storage built behind the knee wall on one side with a small door – my brothers used to tell me it was a secret hide out. After they moved out for college, I moved up to their old room. I think it’s the perfect room for your boys!

  34. Aww, that’s so nice, I kept my kids in the same room as long as possible for a boy and a girl, just to help them learn to share. For months, I would find one or the other asleep on the floor of the other’s room with sofa cushions or blankets. I never wanted them to feel creepy so I just let it go and they adjusted. But it was so sweet.
    IMHO, boys like nice rooms too. When my son was 13 he wanted to paint his room black! God forbid I stifled him, so I took him to a paint store and Goodwill and worked hard (I am not much of a decorator, I never move furniture) to develop an alternate plan. We had a lot of fun working together on it and ended up with a really cool bedroom, his friends called it The Lawyer’s Office. He loved his room and even kept it fairly tidy, relatively speaking.

  35. I think the pros are pretty great! And I love every single photo you used for ideas. I want to pin them all for ideas for my little guy’s room (he is one boy in a sea of 5 sisters so I feel he deserves an extra boyish room).
    Can I make a suggestion? I usually have a pin it button in my browser but am using a different computer right now and don’t have it to pin with and I couldn’t find a pinterest button on your post. You should have a pinterest button on all of your posts because you know we all want to pin ALL of your pics!
    Happy deciding!

    • Thanks kristin, If I use other’s photos in my post I try not to put a pin it button up because I want people to pin from the original source, but I just realized that could be a problem with this post because for a few of the photos, I couldn’t find a source, so sorry!

  36. wow these rooms definitely are suitable for boys, i saw a geometric light in picture number 1, where is that from!? it looks awesome wanted to know where it can be purchased =)

  37. Growing up, I was the only girl with four brothers. I cried when me mum decided I was “too grown up” to share a room with my brothers and gave me my own room.

    I think sharing is a great way to build friendships, make memories, and learn how to get along with each other. It definitely prepares you for sharing in real life. I have seven sons (and a daughter) and no desire to buy a house with that many bedrooms. Most of them share a room, but they switch rooms, and switch roommates. I find that moving is a good chance to clean out the stuff that tends to accumulate. I love that my boys like to be together (once we had four boys in a room – their choice!). Anyway, if I have to share a room, I suppose they have to, too!

  38. I would really love to see how you decorate the boys rooms. Please don’t say they are going to look like on the picture at the top. It looks so lonely.

  39. I also have 3 boys and all summer long they camp out in the basement and do not sleep in their rooms. It makes me so happy to see them being real friends. Like you, I have never decorated their rooms. I ‘ve always wanted to but they insisted it was their space and they did not want them decorated. I’ve respected that thinking everyone needs a place to call their own. I think it would be great if you made them a room together. I don’t have a lot of ideas for the knee walls but they do make it a cozy space. Maybe paint it a bold color to make up for the lack of art.

  40. Julie Ann says:

    They will only have this time in their lives once. If they want to share a room-YES! Think of the wonderful memories and close relationship it will foster. I think it is so sweet they gravitate toward one another Locke that.

  41. Michelle says:

    I am new to your blog and love it! You are so funny and have impeccable taste! I have a playroom just like yours, same walls etc. I am decorating it too. I agree it is a pain in the butt. Can’t wait to see how yours turns out.

  42. My girls both want to sleep in the same room even though they have their own. I didn’t want my own room until jr. high and I think boys are different. I like the idea of using the no-wall room for them and making a guest room in one of their rooms.

  43. Hi, first of all you have a beautiful home and it is wonderful that your boys want to be together. Let them. I have three boys (11,9,6.5) and they are in one room, love being together and would not change it for the world. But what I noticed on the photos and from my own experience is that you might have too much furniture in there. Reduce to the core. Leave only what is really needed and useful. And I don’t mean a side table for a plant, that can be reduced. I have had the same problem, drastically reduced and it all worked wonderfully. And with that it does not feel overwhelming or overstuffed. Have fun and I am sure you will master this room too just like you have all your other beautiful rooms.

  44. I am soooo inspired by your house. We, too, are a family of 5, and are in them midst of renovating a heritage house. Some days I get in a renovating rut, and hardly feel motivated to do a thing, but feel energized looking at your rooms! I also love your “real life” photos of family and home! Keep up the great work!

  45. Love the interior designing and interior furnishing!

  46. I love the vintage touch and messy picture. looks awesome very relaxed ideas.

  47. absolutely stunning design ideas well done keep it up

  48. Awesome

  49. It’s a good idea brothers share the room. It unites them intellectually and emotionally.

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