Teen Room Makeover: Cityscape Black and White Bedroom

Teen Bedroom Makeover City ThemeLast summer, Eden and I worked like horses to transform her bedroom from a little girl’s room into what she deemed to be more age appropriate. We sanded and primed over the old mural and painted most of the room white. We then added a bit of drama with a chalkboard wall and painted her nook red. Although the room was mostly completed last summer, Eden was living in the room during most of the final stages. As you can appreciate, it was difficult to ever find the room “photo ready” while being home to a 13 1/2 year old. Eden left for a one week school field trip last weekend and so it was my mission to give her room a very thorough cleaning, put away all of her clean laundry (in a much more efficient way with the vertical fold system) and finally take those post project photos. Although I didn’t do any purging (not my stuff to purge), I think she will be surprised and thrilled to come home to a very clean and organized room. As an extra surprise, I also added a bit of chalkboard art above the entry to the nook. Most of the other chalkboard work has been done by Eden and her friends.

Eden was very helpful throughout the process, but also very particular about what she wanted. I think the finished room looks great, but perhaps could still use a bit more art work.

This bedroom makeover was another huge project as covering the original mural took lots of work. The layers of paint created ridges that had to be sanded before we could even think of putting on a fresh coat of paint. In addition to painting the walls, there were many other small projects that led up to this transformation:

…and no doubt other little projects I can no longer recall. The total makeover was quite reasonable with paint being the most expensive item. I know we needed several gallons to complete the project. The bedding, storage boxes and a few throw cushions were purchased at Ikea. All of the pieces of furniture were items we already owned. Some were painted to fit with her new colour scheme and others were moved from other areas of the house. Eden really wanted the old book shelf from the landing and she made it look surprisingly good when she accessorized it. I thought the framed WiFi password art was a great idea for when her friends visit.

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Teen Room Project #7: Throw Cushion Covers

Eden used to have what I thought was an awesome banquette style table/bench in her room that was perfect for doing her homework, art projects and painting finger nails. However, she was adamant that she did not want it in her room when we did the bedroom transformation. Instead, she wanted a comfy seating area to hang-out in when her girlfriends are over. Originally she wanted to make a pallet type sofa, but in all honesty, it seemed like another big project and not really necessary when we have a futon right outside her door in our landing that virtually goes unused. She agreed that this would be a great alternative and so swapped the banquet and the futon. The second floor of our home has two large bedrooms, a large landing area and a bathroom. This is the kid’s zone and so the swap really made no difference to me.

Although we may someday purchase a new cover for the futon, for now, we just removed the old navy one and replaced it with an older duvet cover. It is a bit larger than it needs to be, but Eden doesn’t even mind the oversized look and the price was right!

To dress it up, I decided to use some of the old cushions from the futon and make some simple new slip covers for them. I had all of the fabric on hand from previous projects and the style I made required no zippers and minimal work.

Throw Cushion Tutorial

Step 1: Cut the Fabric

For these simple slip covers, you simply measure the width of your pillow and add about an inch for seam allowances. Mine were all square, so the width was 14″ plus 1″ for the seam allowance. Ideally, if you are using new fabric and aren’t doing piece work, the length will be equal to 2X the size plus about a 3 to 4 inch overlap depending on the size of the pillow. For mine, The width was 15″ and the total length would have been about 34 “.IMG_2449

Step 2: Finish the seams

Next, you take the short sides of the fabric and finish the seams. I usually do a double fold to give a nice finished look. (This is just an example and I did not actually use this particular piece of fabric. I pinned the seams to give you the idea.)

Step 3: Fold and Pin

Lay the big rectangle down flat with right side facing up. Place a pin at the center point and then fold over one of the finished side seams so that it’s laying down the middle of the fabric. Take the other finished seam and drag it over so that it lays onto of the first one that has been placed at the center point. (Remove the pin.) You want to measure and lay it down once the folded cover is the desired width. So, the last piece will now be overlapping the first fold. Remeasure to be sure that the folded cover is the desired size of the finished cover.


Fold the first end in and lay it down in the middle of the fabric.

Fold the other end

Drag the other end over to overlap first side and stop when the folded square/rectangle equals desired size.

Step 4: Sew

Sew along the top and bottom of the cushion cover. Turn right side out and ensure corners are pushed out. Insert the pillow through the overlapped portion. This will sit at the back of the finished cushion.

*Of course, I didn’t have new fabric, I was using scraps I had on hand, so I had to do some piece work. It was basically the same concept, but I used “less appealing” fabric on the back where the overlap is and my decor fabric on the front. Of course, instead of a fold along the sides, mine has a seam. You just have to allow that little extra for the side seam. Here are the shots of the ones I made.

Floor Pillow:

Eden also had a large throw pillow that needed to be recovered to match her new decor. For this one, I simple removed the previous cover from the pillow and used it as a template for cutting out the new fabric. I actually used an old shower curtain that was in excellent shape. It is a bit silky feeling and I thought it would be great because it wouldn’t collect lint on it in the same way the previous fleece one did. I even removed the zipper from the old one and re-used it in the new cover. This cost nothing, but gave the pillow a fresh new look for her cozy little “den”.

floor pillow

The floor pillow cover was made from upcycling an old shower curtain.

floor pillow

Here’s a shot of the finished floor pillow with a cushion. The cushion fabric was left over from the Roman Blinds.

Bolster Pillows:

Finally, I took the old bolster covers and used them as a template to make a long tube like cover for back of the futon. This simply meant finishing the end seams and then sewing a long tube. Instead of the hassle of trying to make a nice fitting end, we just used ribbon to tie the ends. Simple to do and helps dress up the old futon a little. I’m not sure I “love” the ribbon, but I had it on hand and it will do until I find something I like better. These covers were also made from an old shower curtain. Eden doesn’t like a lot of pattern, but I was able to add a bit of interest with the varying sheens and textures of the cushion fabrics. I like the waffle fabric on the bolsters a lot.bolster

How much did all these new cushions cost? Not a dime. I was able to re-use/repurpose what I had on hand without being out-of-pocket at all. It is still looking a little sparse and we’ll definitely have to kick it up a notch, but its a good starting point. Now I can look for fabrics or pre-made covers that will coordinate well with what she already has. I’d really like to bring more colour and pattern in, but Eden and I don’t always see eye to eye and ultimately ….it is her space!



Teen Room Project #6: Cityscape Mural

This mural was relatively simple, I didn’t do any pencil drawings at all, but rather went along the wall placing blue painter’s tape at random heights to get a varied height for the buildings I would later create. I basically just “guesstimated” the width of the finished buildings. We then stood back and adjusted the pieces of tape to make sure it didn’t look like “stairs” or too planned. Once we were happy with the random look of the building heights, we used a level to ensure that all of our vertical and horizontal lines were perfectly straight. I used the edge of the level as a guide to place my tape strips. Once the general shape of the buildings was complete (plain rectangles), I went back and began to add a bit more variability with roof styles, inconsistent widths and the odd white window. Eden really wanted to keep the look mostly “silhouette like”, so the addition of the windows was sparse. This suited me fine because I really wasn’t sure how the tape would peel up from under the 3 coats of paint. In the end, it peeled off really easily and I was left feeling like a few more windows would have been easy to do and perhaps have added to the finished look of the cityscape.

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6 Steps to Bleed Resistant Taping:

The key to any taping is always the dry brush sealing of the edge. Never skip this step or you will get bleeding and it is the fasted way to take the “Wow!” out of your project. Always remember:

    1. Tape
    2. Seal with a relatively dry brush using the SAME colour of paint as your background. For example, I was painting a black cityscape against a white wall, so I used the exact same white as that used on the wall and sealed the edge of the tape so that no black paint could bleed through onto my white wall.
    3. Let the paint dry completely and look it over to ensure you’ve seal the entire edge along your tape.
    4. Paint with the desired colour.
    5. Let dry completely.
    6. Carefully remove the tape.


Teen Room Project 2: Ombré Vanity

Eden’s antique dresser and vanity set were purchased through Kijiji several years ago. I don’t remember what they cost, but I think the set was under $75. They were painted plain white in her previous room and would’ve matched perfectly in the new room as well. However, both pieces looked a bit “tired” and in need of a fresh coat of paint. Eden decided to move the dresser into her walk-in closet and bring the shelf from her closet out into her room ~ a switch-a-roo you might say!

I decided not to paint the dresser (for now), but give the vanity a whole new look. I’ve seen many DIY ombré projects and love the look. I thought this would be perfect for the vanity because the white was very hard for her to keep clean and I felt that it needed some colour against the new plain white walls.

I bought a gallon of Benjamin Moore grey paint. It was good quality paint and a really nice light grey. The best part was that it was a mistint and so I picked it up for $15! Can’t beat that! * Always check the mistints ~ you never know what you’ll find and there is such great savings when you find a colour that will work. To create the ombre look, I simply added black paint (that I had on hand) to the grey in varying degrees. You just want to be sure you are making enough to do multiple coats, as needed.

I love the finished look! We picked up a placemat from the dollar store to help preserve the top.

Of course, the stool had to be painted and reupholstered as well. I was so thankful that I had saved this leather seat cushion cover from an old sofa. It was still in good condition and I figured the leather would come in handy some day. (I’m a bit partial to prints, but Eden is not a big fan, so the leather suits her fine and will clean well if she gets make-up on it.) I did get her to agree to a printed fabric for the Roman blinds I will be making for her room ~ can’t wait to add some pattern!