Designing & Decorating a Chelsea Football Bedroom for my Nine Year Old
I was very pleased to be amongst one of 20 bloggers selected by Hillary’s Blinds to take part in their “Big Bedroom Makeover” and you can see all the other blogger’s transformations here. Today I’m going to share my winning pitch with you to give you an insight into why Hillary’s just had to choose me, as well as showing you how I went about designing and decorating a football bedroom for my son. Here’s my pitch:-
“We’ve lived in our house for about ten years and the poor nine year old hasn’t had his room decorated yet. Yes, that fetching yellow was already on the walls when we moved in. The boy’s recently become a serious football fan (Chelsea) and is desperate for us to trade in the babyish Ben Ten light shade and white painted nursery furniture – perhaps for a new blue and white scheme and I’ve promised we’ll do his room next. The lilac curtains are falling apart all by themselves so they need replacing too. We’ve already made a small start with the IKEA desk and he has a couple of sets of bedding which he likes, one of which is pictured on the bed – the other, surprise, surprise – is Chelsea themed. The boy also adores funky colours and creative patterns – I often think ‘surf gear’ when shopping for his clothes and that’s always a winner so I really don’t want to end up with a dull room. Please send help from the Hillary’s expert!”
Nine year old Bubble was over the moon when he heard that we’d been selected and I was glad of the much needed motivational push! We were allocated £100 for the makeover and interior designer Joanna Thornhill offered some suggestions which helped me start planning. I headed over to Pinterest for further inspiration and the boys and I found fun pictures of football themed rooms and accessories to pin onto my Boys Bedroom Ideas board. My first big decision was to rearrange the furniture to improve the layout and offer a better view from the bed. This was also my first mistake, as the large three door wardrobe set resisted being moved from its established comfy spot in the corner …
… and, in protest, began to self destruct before our very eyes, until finally we were left with this.
I declined the kind offer of trying to fix it, opting instead for a trip to IKEA on a quest for new ones. I had my eye on the Stuva range as I had a unit in another room and was very pleased with the modern look and the smooth drawer movement, so it was just a case of working out what would fit in the gap and which parts of the modular system to incorporate. Several hours and a couple of strong IKEA coffees later, I’d made my purchases and a large pile of flat pack components was en route to our garage where they would remain until the room was decorated. Cue the interior designer’s advice:-
“Opt for a smart pale blue/grey scheme which will offer a perfect foil for both Chelsea blue paraphernalia and your new bedding.”
I decided on a really pale grey and found both this and the strong Chelsea blue in the Homebase range.
I like the quality of their paint and the fact that it comes in see through pots so you can get a good idea of the colour without faffing around with testers. I didn’t want the stark blue and white contrast of the Chelsea team colours so I decided to risk having no white on the walls: instead, two walls would be blue and two pale grey. I kept my fingers crossed that the brilliant white on the ceiling, new gloss on the window frames and door and the white elements of the furniture along with a few carefully chosen accessories would get the ‘Chelsea Football Club’ message across.
They say that preparation is the hardest part of decorating and I’d certainly agree that it can be very time consuming.
Some of the coving had come away already so I removed the remainder and put some elbow grease into scraping off excess coving adhesive and rubbing down the score marks which were now visible where the ceiling joined the wall with a sanding block.
Expecting the worst, I removed an odd section of wallpaper which was randomly attached to part of one wall, but the surface underneath wasn’t too bad. This was lucky as I’ve never tried my hand at plastering and my deadline didn’t allow for a crash course (or for trying to get Practically Perfect Grandpa to take the job on!). I removed all the picture hooks and then filled the holes and deeper score marks which hadn’t been removed by rubbing down. I used a trusty old paint scraper to perfect any surface bumps I could still feel.
I then finished off the walls and ceiling with a light sanding throughout. Finally I vacuumed the room and wiped down the walls with a damp cloth to remove any remnants of dust.
I carefully removed the discoloured silicone filler around the window frame using a stanley knife.
I rubbed down the cracked and glazed windowsill and dusted and cleaned everything.
I cut in roughly around the ceiling with a brush and then painted the ceiling in brilliant white matt emulsion with a roller.
I then painted the windowsill, door and door frame in a fresh white gloss.
Once those were dry it was time to see if I’d got the colours right. I started with the light grey which came out much darker than I thought.
I decided to paint one whole wall, hoping it wouldn’t look so dark on a larger area and that it might dry lighter, but it didn’t.
I decided radical action was called for so I tipped about half a can of the old brilliant white emulsion and mixed it with the grey, but it still looked quite dark. I added a little more and once I had a subtle shade I was happy with, I cut in and rollered two adjacent walls in the grey.
Once the grey was dry I decided to be sensible for a change and spent a few minutes applying masking tape to the edges of the walls and ceiling before applying the bright blue paint. If I’d had to make a special trip to the shops for tape I probably wouldn’t have bothered but as I found some in a drawer, it was an easy decision and I’m glad I did this as the lines are really clean.
As soon as I started putting the blue paint on the wall, I knew it was the perfect shade, but the intensity of the colour meant I needed to apply three coats to achieve good coverage.
Finally the painting was finished and it was time to clear up and start rearranging the room.
I picked up the white spherical paper shade from IKEA for a bargain couple of pounds and I’ve kept the existing black bedside lamp, as it works well with the theme and also gives out a good light.
“Extra storage is always welcome – H&M Home have some brilliant sports-themed storage for children’s rooms which are definitely cool and not kiddie – their metal storage boxes and ‘basketball’ hanger with hooks would work particularly well here. You could even take this look a step further by customising some old skateboards (or even surfboards) to become quirky, characterful shelves – simply suspend some on brackets and add books, trophies or favourite toys.”
I love the idea of skateboard shelves and had already pinned some on Pinterest, but the new room layout offers little space for shelves. The free wall over his bed wouldn’t be suitable.
The other blue one is a stud partition and I wouldn’t trust shelves on it, and besides, I had other plans for that wall . . .
I’d say the husband is as keen on decorating as he is on packing kid’s clothes to go on holiday, so I ‘offered’ him the job of assembling the wardrobes instead (I know, I’m kind like that). We put the desk into place near the window, brought in the first wardrobe and the room started to take shape.
I was pleased to see that having the furniture in a line along the end wall made the room seem much wider and bigger overall. After we added the second wardrobe we realised we could still fit in the one remaining part of the three door wardrobe which survived the traumatic move from one side of the room to the other! It’s not a fantastic match, but it’s the only place in the house which has hanging space long enough for my dresses, so I’m glad Ive found a space for it, at least until I find another option.
The nine year old soon set about filling his new wardrobes. After clothes and bedding, he still had space for a dedicated Nerf Gun drawer which beats the laundry basket they were stored in before, so that’s a result.
After the wardrobe saga, we hadn’t been planning on keeping any of the old furniture, but when we started putting his things back in, I realised that his old bookshelf would provide a better alternative to a bedside table, as it’s big enough to accommodate his larger books, games and beloved stereo.
He’s not a natural hoarder so he was happy to trim down his toys and books (passing most of them to his younger brother so there’s another job to tackle at some point) and just bring back the ones he really wanted.
“your son might like a slick roller blind for a contemporary alternative, perhaps in a flash of bright red for contrast.”
I loved the idea of finishing off the window with a blind but his window is almost 75″ wide, three inches wider than the reasonably priced ‘off the shelf’ options in the shops I tried. My parents happened to have a pair of curtains from their old house which fit the gap and are a reasonable match, so we’ve settled for those for now. I’ll keep my eyes open for a suitable blind though, as the boy and I had set our hearts on one.
“You mention your son likes colour and pattern – perhaps some statement wall stickers would pique his interest?”
Great idea. The hardest part was choosing just one. I trawled through loads of options, went through them with the boy (who would have been happy with any of those I suggested) and decided if we were going for a statement, it might as well be bold. If you’re thinking of adding a large decal sticker, why not take a look at this video of how I put ours up?
I think this extra, extra large club logo finishes off the Chelsea football bedroom theme perfectly.
Items I actually had to buy for the makeover were:-
Blue and Grey Homebase Paint £32.48
IKEA paper light shade – about £3
XXL 1 metre wide Chelsea Football Club wall decal sticker from Ebay seller Kapowboom £19.99 (free postage)
Two both Stuva wardrobes including frames, hanging rails, drawers, wire basket and shelves £225
So the total price of the makeover materials would have been an absolute bargain at about £55 and well within the allocated £100 budget, but the wardrobe fiasco brought it up to approximately £280. Still, that’s not a huge sum for such a transformation, is it? I kept prices down by having a stock of decorating items which were left over from previous jobs.
FREE, REUSED AND RECYCLED
There was a little of the powder type left over in a box from a previous job which mixed up and filled perfectly well.
I think this was left by the previous owners as it was a bit sticky, but it did the job beautifully. I’m glad I took the time to use it rather than cut in by hand!
Left over from a previous job. It looked a bit yellow in the tin so I wasn’t sure it would still be good but it looks brilliantly white on the door and window frame
When I decorated my youngest son’s bedroom about a year ago, I bought a large pot of brilliant white matt emulsion for the ceiling. I knew the rest was bound to come in handy at a later date.
left over from previous jobs. I couldn’t find the sanding block so just used a rectangular pine offcut, which was useful for smoothing off the score marks exposed after removing the coving.
Brushes and other decorating equipment and tools
I didn’t need to buy anything new as I invest in decent quality kit. I think cheap paint brushes are a waste of time and money as they malt hairs and don’t provide such a good finish. Overnight I wrap brushes and rollers complete with any paint left on them in plastic bags which saves a lot of time cleaning as well as cutting down on the amount of paint wasted when cleaning them.
I wash the brushes and rollers thoroughly at the end of each job.
I used a pair from my parents’ previous house which were glad of a new home. I was hoping to put blinds up in here but off the shelf ones in the shops I checked came to a maximum width of 72 inches and the window is about 75 inches wide. The implications of this are that a fitter would need to come to the house and measure up for a custom made blind. I’m quite happy with the curtains for the time being at least.
The whole job took me about three school days plus some extra time in the evenings and I did more than I originally anticipated. I’m incredibly pleased with the new look football bedroom theme, in fact I can hardly believe it’s the same room: It feels more tranquil and spacious than before.
A by-product of the makeover is that we’ve completely decluttered all the things he’d grown out of without really noticing. It was much easier to choose not to bring babyish toys back into this smart, new tween space than it would have been to go through every item trying to find things to get rid of.
I love the colour scheme, the new furniture and the giant Chelsea decal, but the best part is my son’s reaction. I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s come up to me with bright eyes and a massive grin to tell me how pleased he is with his new football bedroom.