the guys’ room {a tour of the updated boys’ room}

The guys’ room. Or the boys’ room. They told me they were really more ‘guys’ than ‘boys’…goodness they make me laugh. And cry. And cover my ears and eyes too often. They share a bedroom and we don’t have plans (or the budget) to expand the house out. Their twin-sized mattresses were all in a row on the floor after they decided they didn’t want bunkbeds. Each morning we would stack their mattresses in a pile so they had room to play. It was not ideal, but it worked.

Chris and the boys came up with a plan to cut a hole in their ceiling and enclose part of our attic – giving them a sleeping loft and a functional room downstairs. It has taken us about 8 months to get it completed – life doesn’t slow down for construction projects. Finally, the room is complete and I’ve got three very happy guys in my home.

They are ages 7, 9, and 11. I asked their input on pretty much every part of the room. They picked the wall decor, the rug, the cabinet, the shelf and the couch. They wanted a lot of floor space and room to store/display their lego creations. I could handle all the legos hidden, but it is their room and lego displays were a big deal…

And now their ‘Guys’ Room’:

6.15boysroom-01This is their room in 2010, ages 2, 4, & 6. It lasted like this for about 3 years. Then my oldest didn’t like the planes, the walls got dirty, we tore out carpet and got rid of bunkbeds…then it was just chaos.


Now they’ve have an updated room that meets their needs. I rescued the catalog from my grandpa’s basement right before the house was closed on to a new owner. I’ve dreamed for years of the boys organizing their legos, but they have had no desire. In the past, I knew if I organized it they would not maintain it and it would frustrate me. If I had forced them to organize it, they probably would not have played with legos as often – robbing us all of fun. So, I chose to ignore all the plastic bins of lego chaos. Then – OH GLORIOUS DAY –Β  they asked for the card catalog in their room to organize their legos by color. Beautiful, wonderful day. Legos have never looked so pretty. Nearly every drawer is full.6.15boysroom-02They really don’t have many toys. One – we don’t have a lot of room, so less is more. Two – they are happy with legos, books, dart guns and being outside. The simplicity helps with keeping a picked up room.6.15boysroom-04The DIY travel map is for our family to start keeping track of the places we want to visit. Click here for more info on how I made it.6.15boysroom-066.15boysroom-07My friend Tim Paslay built the metal and wood shelf for my studio. The original plan was for it to hold ceramics before and after we fired them in the kiln. The boys wanted shelves to keep the legos that they didn’t want to break apart. So, they got my shelf. The chalkboard is from 25:40Love. I first came across 25:40 Love at Hope Spoken. 15% of each sale is donated to a charity. This month the featured charity is Morning Star Foundation. I have a big announcement on Monday related to Morning Star and I am so grateful 25:40 Love chose to feature them this month. Exciting things in store!6.15boysroom-09The boys sleep upstairs. When they walk down the stairs each morning the first thing they see is the chalkboard…6.15boysroom-116.15boysroom-12All the boys’ clothes are in the closet (it is really small!) and a few in the black armoire. As a family of 7, we do laundry daily. Since everything is constantly getting washed, there really isn’t a reason for us to have tons of clothes. The boys have enough, but not excess (by American standards). Stuff and things, including clothes, can quickly take over. I am constantly purging the rooms in our house to keep things simple and to fight the clutter.6.15boysroom-146.15boysroom-156.15boysroom-17This is what their room looks like most of the time – the pull-up bar greets you and there is usually someone on the floor with legos.6.15boysroom-186.15boysroom-20

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SLEEPING LOFT. It is so much more modern and bold than any other room in our house. The boys keep telling me how much they like it. Evidently, they are pretty thankful I didn’t hang buntings and cover their pillows with vintage tablecloths like the rest of the house!

For those that are interested, here are some of my sources:

Card catalog – my grandpa’s basement

Metal & Wood Shelf – by Tim Paslay

Travel map – DIY tutorial, Urban Outfitters

Reclaimed barn wood chalkboard – 25:40 Love

Pillow covers – IKEA

Legos – grandma, Nana, dad & too many friends

Rug – IKEA

Couch – found on Craigslist

Black armoire – built by my grandpa

Ceiling fan – Lowes

Woods tapestry – Urban Outfitters

Staircase – designed and built by my dad

Curtains – shower curtains from Target that I cut and sewed into curtains


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  • Diana - That is awesome. I would have wanted a while room for Lego playing as a kid too! And the sorting!!!! Kinda my dream!

  • Gemma - Looks stunning – looking forward to seeing the loft too!!

  • jess - So, you have few toys. I envy you. Can you let us know how you keep grandparents, etc from bringing in more stuff at bday, etc?

  • Alicia Burress - The room is amazing!!!

  • Jenn - oh I am so glad that you posted this. it is wonderful
    you guys did such a great job, I can see why the boys love it so much.
    that lego storage. swoon. I have been looking for something like that. it is great
    excited to see the loft. I bet it is lots of fun

  • Jen - Do you mind mentioning where you got the grey/white striped curtains?

  • Kari - Oh Man!!! This is such a great space. I want to hang out there! Your boys are so lucky. Well done!

  • Tiffany - less is more- love this philosophy!

  • Tanya - I just love everything about this: the refined casualness, the functionality, the “guy” style, the repurposing by adding a loft. It’s all so genius! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see up those stairs.

  • Paige E - GREAT ideas! My guys are about to give up their playroom and have separate rooms. A little sad. The end of an era. I love the lego idea, especially the shelving for stuff they want to keep together. I also love that you got to incorporate some of your family furniture pieces.

  • cindy - I LOVE IT!!! what a perfect place! the wood/metal shelves are awesome and the woods tapestry is perfect!

  • Meg - Soooo cool! And you were smart about the Legos- since they organized themselves, there’s a much better chance they will stay a happy rainbow!!

  • Kari - So many things I want to say. Are you really going to skip over that giant forest poster?! My daughter would lose her mind over that! And I agree with someone above me…how do you keep family and friends from buying them so many toys for birthdays and Christmas? Some members of my family don’t understand the “less is more” concept and get offended when I try to talk to them about the (obscene) amount of toys they buy my kids. We end up donating about 70% of their toys twice a year.

  • Jennie - The room is lovely, but I am really excited about your Monday announcement. Love Morning Star!

  • Erica - Wowza! This looks great. I love that woods poster, it’s a stunna! Can’t wait to check out the loft. What an imgenuis way to make use of the space you have.

  • Kimberly oyler - so cool! now I need an updated tour of the studio since you snagged that couch and shelf from it. πŸ˜‰

  • Ashley - this is the most awesome room! Can you tell us about the huge forest photo??

  • ranee - i think i love every single thing about this…not the least of which is that amazing lego storage. so awesome!

  • Romy - I started reading your blog when you announced the boys room make over 3 YEARS AGO! WTF!!!?? And it seems incredible how they have grown into guys! ha ha Love everything about this room! But what I love the most is that your dad is always there to help with the projects. I want your dad!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Ok – now I kinda sorta want a cabinet full of color sorted legos.

  • Megan Price - Love it all! I would love to know your source for the striped curtains. They are just what I am looking for my little guy’s room.

  • Mei-Lin - This is such a great space!!

    And I’m so excited for your Morning Star announcement on Monday. I can’t wait to see what you and Meredith have been dreaming up! πŸ™‚

  • Oceana - This is such a great room! It’s functional for your ‘guys’ but still looks great and says a lot about your style. I really like it πŸ™‚


  • Amy Cornwell - Oh wow, that airplane pic (the 3 panel one) is why I started following you. My friend Chrissy referred me to your blog because my hubby’s a pilot and we were decorating my son’s room in planes. Time flies. I love the guys room, looks super cool πŸ™‚

  • Roxanne - Wow! Wow! Wow! I love everything about this room! So great.

  • jenny - i’m pretty sure that out of every home makeover i see, yours always gets me the most excited πŸ™‚ i absolutely LOVE the wooded tapestry in there! never would have thought i would like something like that… but wow!… you make it look so good! i am completely with you on the forcing to organize and how wonderful it is when they finally want to do those things. we used to have a lot of toys (mostly gifted from other people) but in the last year and a half i started getting rid of most of it… just keeping the more special things that actually get played with. i swear my kids are SO much happier. they love that they can keep their space clean easier and i think they were over stimulated before with all of the “stuff”. simplicity is definitely the way to go. thank you for sharing your process. i feel inspired. also, now i see that a lego shelf is EXACTLY what my son needs for his room πŸ™‚

  • Amy - Where did you get those curtains? This room is just amazing.

  • AshleyAnn - Megan – They are shower curtains from Target that I cut in 4 sections and sewed to make curtains.

  • AshleyAnn - Ashley – it is the ‘tapestry’ linked at the bottom. I should have been more clear on that. I’ll update it πŸ™‚

  • AshleyAnn - Kari – it is the β€˜tapestry’ linked at the bottom. I should have been more clear on that. I’ll update it πŸ™‚

  • AshleyAnn - Jen – they are shower curtains from Target I cut up and sewed into curtains

  • Janine - this is amazing, fantastic, awesome, fun wow well done…wish i had a space like that.

  • Danielle - My boys would love all that space to store and display legos! What a great space!

  • Se7en's Fabulous Fun #278 - se7en | se7en - […] guys at Under the Sycamore always have the best bedroom on earth, like ever… ever ever ever… Her… and Part […]

  • Nicole L. - It looks so great! I love everything that the Paslay’s do too!

  • Julia - Where on Earth did you get the “mural” on the wall behind the couch? I love that idea.

  • AshleyAnn - Julia – it is a tapestry from Urban Outfitters

  • Megan - Could you give me an approximate cost of this total project? We are a family of 7 as well 4 boys and 1 girl with three bedrooms and using the attic space is really starting to sound like an awesome idea for our crowded all boys room.

  • Kristin - Such a great post. You inspired me to get going on my boys’ room. I actually bought a different tapestry from Urban Outfitters for their room, but I’m stumped on how to hang it. How did you end up hanging yours?

  • Elizabeth Ellis - Your work, photography, and heart are beautiful! I am a friend of Kathy Sproles who told me about you as we were adopting our youngest son. I admire you creativity and striving for beauty in simplicity. My ridiculous practical question is, noticing your metal bunkbeds in your boy’s room, do you have problems with squeaking? We have three sons and recently acquired some metal bunk beds (our three sons share a room).

  • AshleyAnn - Elizabeth – we don’t have the metal beds anymore (built out part of our attic for the boys…they have mattresses on the floor up there now). I don’t remember the metal beds squeaking much though. The boys were so loud, maybe I just didn’t notice the bed noise!