When blogger Gwen Hefner was ready to give her son’s room a refresh, she began with a fresh coat of paint and a heavy dose of courage. That allowed her to make a bold impact on a budget — and also get son Xander involved. It additionally provided a backdrop for a gallery wall that served as a finishing touch whimsical enough for a kid, but sophisticated enough to endure for years. Here’s what she did — and how she did it.
In order to ensure that Xander would love his new space as much as his mom, Hefner gave him several options for colors based on cultural reference points he could understand: She asked if he liked red like Spiderman, green like Hulk or blue like Captain America! He picked green, and “he was thrilled to be repping Hulk and the Ninja Turtles,” Hefner wrote in her blog. The two then went together to pick out paint swatches, settling on a rich green hue.
“It's a very true green with enough yellow in it to feel warm and cozy, yet still energetic when the light hits it,” she wrote on her blog.
Because Xander’s room is the attic space, the irregular shapes of the walls and ceiling made painting trickier than normal. “I could have made all of the walls the green and had your typical paint job, but I wanted to do something a bit different,” Hefner wrote. “So I continued the line of the shorter walls all the way around the space.”
Hefner gave the room a sense of sophistication — that works for a range of ages — by hanging a gallery wall atop the fresh paint. Pieces include a mix of thrifted finds, prints and original works.
“With a gallery this size, I found it best to lay things out on the floor below and then just kind of wing the hanging,” she said
To fill the space, Hefner repurposed many of the pieces from Xander’s old room or other areas of the house. But to cap off the refresh, she purchased a small rug, table, stool and some of the art — mainly thrifted finds.
Mom and son concur on what they love most about the new room: “I think we'd both agree that our favorite is the art we created using his toys. It was a simple project that created huge impact and is a way to display his coveted things without the clutter,” Hefner said.
She estimates the total cost of the project was about $300. “It may sound like a lot for a kid's space, but the pieces we brought in can all grow with him or work in other areas of the house down the road,” she said.