Reveal: Relaxing Scandinavian Surfer Tween Bedroom

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It’s week 6 of the One Room Challenge.  That means it’s time for the reveal!

Before we dive into it, let’s walk down memory lane. When we bought the house, the room looked like this:


After months of remodeling and renovating we got to move in and I gave our older son a big boy room:

ReLocatedLiving_Bedroom1_20 copy

Now that he’s on the doorstep of tweenhood I decided to give our older son’s room a makeover as part of the One Room Challenge. The look I was inspired by was “Relaxing Scandinavian Surfer Bedroom”. After six weeks of I am happy to report that the room looks like this:

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It’s incredible how different the room looks and feels, yet this is really a story about the power of decorating. I made no structural changes, I didn’t even a change the paint on the walls (which he wanted to keep). Since we’ve been busy with hardcore physical labor fixing up our Farmhaus (see my instagram for what I’ve been up to lately), revamping this room with furniture, finishes and a reimagined layout was actually relaxing.

To get the full effect of the Relaxing Scandinavian Surfer vibe, I think the transformation is best shown in sections. Since this is a bedroom, let’s start with the sleep zone.

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In my original moodboard, I imagined a different bed but my son/client insisted on a trundle. I’m very happy with the one I found, it’s handsome and tailored without being stuffy. In fairness it took a lot of energy to put the bed together, but the result is worth it.  The navy piping is a little extra detail that elevates the design.

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The nightstand is one that he’s had for a few years when I decided to replace his original nightstand. It’s a classic midcentury design, but I gave it a little DIY treatment by painting the front of the drawer white. A small change that makes a surprisingly big difference, plus it ties it in with the desk and makes it feel fresh. Another big change was opting for a wall-mounted sconce instead of a lamp. I didn’t want to call in an electrician, so I knew the sconce had to be a plug-in.  I looked at so many options until finally finding the one. I chose a sconce because it gives him more surface area on his nightstand. That way Big Boy can have his speaker nearby and listen to music (that’s a thing at this age, plus this is a cool speaker that he got to build himself and learn about sound waves, electromagnetism, etc. but I digress).  To bridge the space between the nightstand and the sconce I decided to hang a photo I took last summer featuring him jumping into a pool.

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The beddings have a hint of pattern without being theme-y or juvenile.  The accent pillow cover is another DIY from a scrap of fabric I found in my “stash”. I chose to mix blue, with white and tan as a reference to the sand and sea, the colors are similar to those in the rug. The art selection is very chillax in a surfer dude kinda way. While I prefer to use non-mass art, these prints of palm fronds make me think of palm trees so I go them anyway. The photograph is just that quiet moment of heading out into the water to patiently wait for the perfect wave. I looked at tons of images of surfers and surfing, but didn’t want one that was “too active” lest it break the spell of relaxation I was trying to cast.

Speaking of relaxation, let’s move on to his favorite spot in the house, his new armchair in which he reads, plays video games on his iPad or kicks back and listens to music.

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The chair is super comfy and was a complete steal. It was the first piece of furniture I really knew I wanted for his room, so everything in my moodboard was selected to work with it.

As you keep moving around the room you will find his new bookshelf. He used to have his books tucked away in his closet, but now that they are out, I feel that they are being celebrated. I’m happy his books have come out again.

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In my moodboard I had zeroed in on a different bookcase, but once the pieces started to come together I knew I needed more height to keep things balanced and the eye moving. Fortunately for me, this new wood + white number came out just in time. BTW – if you’re installing a bookcase by screwing it into the wall, use proper wall-plugs that will anchor your screws. I saw this same shelf in someone’s shopping cart in the return aisles. Having just installed the same shelf I inquired about what had happened. It had come tumbling down! I politely asked if they had used proper wall anchors. I could tell from the blank stares that they had not and had simply put screws straight into the wall. People, use common sense!

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Finally, we get to the desk. I debated long and hard about which white+wood modern desk would work best.

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Ultimately I chose this desk because of its clean simple lines, features, dimensions and price.  At just $180 (it’s currently on sale for even less), I think it’s a very good looking desk. It’s #8 in my desk roundup.  It captures the vibe of #3 which I had featured in my moodboard, but cost $400 less and has the clean Scandinavian lines I was after. The placement of the desk was the most controversial aspect. My son didn’t want the desk where the bed was, but I did want it back under the window as his desk gets all the afternoon sun, not good for homework.  He also didn’t think I could have the desk jutting out like that. But by placing it as a peninsula, he can still have the view to the window but without the glare.  He realizes now that mommy is usually right, and loves the new location of his desk.

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His work zone features a little gallery wall that includes a mixtures of personal photographs including a beach scene from our trip to SoCal during Winter break, purchased prints, a vintage painting and my very first DIY wall hanging.  Remember when I wrote a post about wall hangings and that I wanted to give it a try? Well, I finally did and I loved it.  Now I have to find space for all the yarn I am starting to accumulate. Oops.

My son is ecstatic about his room.  He had his best friend over this weekend and when his friend’s mother came for pick up, my son proudly asked her if she wanted to see his new room. Mission accomplished!  Hope you like the room as much as he does.


On a parting note, first off, thank you for following along!!! I am so happy I decided to participate in the One Room Challenge.  I have discovered new and like minded designers around the world, but also it forced some needed discipline in my blogging.  In this spirit, make sure you stick around as I’ll be posting overdue updates of the Farmhaus in the weeks to come. Lots happening on that front.  In the meanwhile I’m excited to explore what the featured designers and guest designers of the One Room Challenge have come up with.

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Relaxing Scandinavian Surfer Bedroom _01

Trundle Bed | Sheets | Surfer Print | Palm Prints | Plug-in Sconce | Armchair | Rug | Floor lamp | Bookcase | Desk | Desk chair | Flushmount Light | Beach Print | Bamboo Blinds | Curtains (discontinued) similar

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Cassie Bustamante - what a great makeover! it was awesome before, but now it’s so much more grown up for him. love the bed and the artwork and his desk area is fab!

Lizzie | Emmerson & Fifteenth - I love the whole room! All the gorgeous textiles you chose, the Danish-style bookcase, the new desk, and that adorable wall hanging. He must love it!

LESLI - i LOVE this room…I have two sons and I have always advised folks doing boys rooms to “choose the wall color wisely” because it has been my experience that boys do not like too change colors. My daughters walls have been 6 colors – the boys – 2 . Your color choice is spot on and looks great both before and after!!! Great job!!!

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