How One Designer Turned a Boy's Bedroom From Boring to Bright

Bright and playful boys bedroom with dinosaur comforter.

Design: Claire Paquin; Photo: Regan Wood Photography

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“The homeowners are a busy family with three young boys all under the age of six, including a set of twins who were ready to graduate to their own rooms after sleeping in a nursery off the [primary] bedroom for years," designer Claire Paquin says. "It was important I make this room relatable to a 4-year-old, but I also wanted to make sure it wouldn’t date quickly.”

Meet the Expert

Claire Paquin is a New York-based designer who loves clean, fresh, and contemporary design.

Before:

Dark and dull boy's bedroom.

Courtesy of Claire Paquin

“The room was originally set up as a guest room for the client’s sister,” Paquin explains. “It was extremely feminine with pink painted walls, a white wrought iron bed, and a fussy and fancy crystal chandelier. The room also had a challenging ceiling dormer—the client had previously placed the bed in front of the window, but this was not ideal with a child in the room.”

After:

After shot of bright and colorful boys bedroom.

Design: Claire Paquin; Photo: Regan Wood Photography

“I needed to brighten up the space and make it happy and fun for a young boy,” Paquin notes. “He loves dinosaurs, so I started with the colorful bedding and upped the ante by creating a custom rug with wavy lines of primary colors. The light fixture and window treatments were yet another nod to playfulness while colorful artwork contributes to all the happy vibes.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme:  Primary colors including yellow, blue and green, along with an emphasis on the analogous color scheme of orange and red, bring color pops to the room. 
  • Rug: The wavy lines in the rug provides a great spot to race cars and build Legos and will stand the test of time with its bright colors.  
  • Dresser: This nine-drawer dresser is both attractive and functional thanks to its two-tone oak finish and recessed hardware.
  • Bookshelves: The robot-shaped bookcase is the perfect spot for books and toys.  
  • Chair: A nighttime reading chair is upholstered in a fresh, tweedy orange fabric.
  • Ceiling pendant: A swirly wood veneer light fixture is dyed bright red, putting the focus on the ceiling. 
  • Curtains: The rusty orange Roman shade adds a touch of whimsy with its cartoon-like fox pattern.
  • Wall paint: The walls are painted in a soft blue, Benjamin Moore Feather Gray.
  • Wall art: Colorful abstract shapes and a hedgehog suspended by red balloons provide whimsical notes. 
  • Bed frame: The upholstered queen platform bed, made of a charcoal gray microfiber velvet, allows the other colors to shine.
  • Bedding: A bold dinosaur duvet and pillows covered in red stars add color and pattern to the solid-colored bed.

Shop the Look:

Link Pendant
Lumens Link Pendant $1400
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“I love this wood pendant’s organic shape and the fact that it comes in a ton of great colors,” Paquin says.

Lamont Two-Tone Dresser
Crate and Barrel Lamont Two-Tone Dresser $999
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“Integrated circular drawer pulls and soft-glide drawers make this the perfect kids’ dresser,” Paquin says.

Dinosaur Fossils Organic Cotton Percale Duvet Cover Set
The Company Store Dinosaur Fossils Organic Cotton Percale Duvet Cover Set $137
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“This super soft 200-thread duvet reverses to the same print for long-lasting value,” Paquin says.

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