Vibrant Furniture Makeovers for a Kids' Bedroom

Stephen with dresser
See how Stephen Saint-Onge, designer and Better Homes and Gardens contributor, transforms an outgrown kids' bedroom into one that will stand the test of time by adding bright colors and a do-it-yourself headboard.

Before: Too Young and Lackluster

The homeowner's two elementary-age boys were quickly outgrowing this room for two. All the right pieces were present, but the room needed a boost of personality and maturity. The first problem was the plain blue walls that lacked oomph. The two beds looked haphazard thanks to mismatched bedding. The boys' changing table had been converted into a dresser that was great for clothing storage but lacked personal flair.

After: Grown-Up Sophistication

Saint-Onge first tackled the walls, choosing a timeless khaki color that would grow with the boys. He incorporated the boys' favorite blue hue through do-it-yourself headboards and vibrant striped bedding. He added orange accents, such as the window treatments and throw pillows, to complement the blues and add a pop of color.

Make Your Own Headboard

Saint-Onge used headboards to give the bedroom a focal point and add a dose of maturity. He constructed the headboards from real pine doors. To achieve this look, he cut the top 15 inches from each door. Next, he painted the doors blue and let them dry. The next slides show the step-by-step process of mounting the headboards to the wall.

What You Need:

--Bar holder brackets

--Solid pine six-panel door (36 inches wide)

--1-1/2 inch x 3/4 inch corner brace

--3-foot molding


--Finishing nails

--Wood filler

Editor's Tip: For an aged look, skip the primer.

Step 1: Mount the Brackets

Locate two wall studs using a stud finder. Screw two bar holder brackets into the studs flush with the top of the baseboard (or about 4 inches from the floor).

Step 2: Add the Door

Insert the door into the brackets, cut side down. It's OK if the brackets aren't equally spaced from the edges of the door.

Step 3: Reinforce

Ensure that the headboard is secure and flush to the wall by screwing the corner brace to the top center of the door and to the wall.

Step 4: Conceal the Hardware

Hide the not-so-stylish top bracket by attaching a piece of decorative molding to the top. Paint an unfinished piece of molding the same hue as the door and let dry. Once dry, attach it to the top of the door using finishing nails. Place the molding so the top edge is 1 inch above the door. Fill holes with wood filler, sand, and paint.

Dresser Revamp

Staint-Onge refreshed the old dresser with two coats of chalkboard paint, perfect for doodling and writing reminders. He also painted a mirror frame with chalkboard paint and leaned it against the wall on top of the dresser to make the set look like one piece. The height of the mirror draws the eye toward the ceiling making the room appear larger.

Designer's Tip: Prime the dresser with magnetic paint if you want to attach permission slips, tickets, or other loose paper. Paint over the magnetic paint with two coats of chalkboard paint to finish.

Chalkboard Paint Tip

Give the chalkboard paint three full days to dry and cure. Then rub chalk over the entire painted surface and erase. Let the drawing begin!

Meet Stephen Saint-Onge

Stephen Saint-Onge's keen understanding of the homeowner has moved him into the spotlight in recent years through his work on television and in magazines. This understanding, accompanied by his friendly, approachable, and creative style, is making design accessible to everyone -- no matter who they are, where they are, or what their budget may be.

As a husband, father, and homeowner, Saint-Onge understands the needs of the family-focused lifestyle. "I have the same to-do list on my refrigerator that everyone has," he says. "There is always something to be done with our homes, and hopefully what I bring to the table will help everyone see the best in their homes." He draws on his background in film and design to help owners create a home that truly captures who they are, but at the same time captures a mood they are looking to bring to life that represents their home in the right light. Good home design has the power to change lives.

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