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We’ve all seen them. The absolutely adorable kids bedrooms in magazines and on Pinterest. We drool. We WANT. But really?! Who can afford all that?


Really, decorating a modern-looking child’s room is easier than you think AND it can be done on even the strictest budget.

We bought our first home not long ago, and with that came a new budget. But man! I was ready to decorate to the max—especially my son’s room.

I haven’t quite finished his room yet, as I am still searching for little items, but so far, it’s looking like a finished product. All for under $300. And that is EVERYTHING. Paint, bed and dresser included!

Here’s a “before” picture of his room, just before we moved in:

Perfectly girly in every way.

And now, its a fun little boy’s room without being too “childish!” I’ve met my goal!


Here are the specifics of what I did with his room:

We made his bed from Ana-White’s Farmhouse Twin plans and painted it orange.

Colored furniture is a great way to make a room more modern!

  • If you already have furniture, try sanding it down and spray painting it with a color that coordinates well with the room.

We chose to do a solid color of light blue on his walls so we could use the fun colors in the decor. Buying the Paint+ Primer will keep you from needing more than one or two coats!

  • For a great modern look, try taping off wide, horizontal stripes on one accent wall and paint the stripes using a glossy paint in the same color as your walls.

Instead of buying an expensive, modern-looking dresser, we bought two small MALM dressers from Ikea and added modern hardware. We set them next to each other to look like one large dresser! This gives us the option to break them up later on if needed. Keeping your options open is smart when decorating for children.

For a reading nook, I used a plush chair we had been using in our living room, and we re-used some old double curtain rod hardware we had to hang fabric book slings.

Have you seen these on Pinterest?! Adorbs. And a simple beginner sewing project, too! Find the original tutorial HERE.

  • picking fun retro prints (as we did for the book slings) can make the fabric elements of a room pop.

All of the wall decor is made by me, aside from the Solar System Print we found at Target on sale. Keep your eyes out for future how-to posts (and as they’re posted I will link to them from here), but they include:


  • Definition of Boy (Girl version will be available with the how-to post, too!)

We found the basketball hoop on clearance for $12 after Christmas! That is the best time to buy things like that, as the stores tend to buy extras for the holidays, then need to get rid of them fast afterwards.

We used a plain white comforter we already had for his bed. (It’s actually a queen size, moved all the way over!) If you use a cheaper, solid colored comforter, then you can use fun pillowcases and blankets on the end of the bed to spruce it up, without spending tons for the modern stuff!

And last but not least, we have the carpet.

Yes, I’m aware there’s stuff under his bed. I’m going for the “lived in” feel

These car carpets can be found for $30-$40 in most stores, but we found this one at Ikea for $15 and it’s much larger than the expensive ones! Best of all, it fits in with the colors in his room.

Other great tips for decorating a modern child’s room on a budget:

  • Don’t worry about buying “matching” items. Things like that tend to cost much more, and end up looking less modern.
  • The room doesn’t need to be finished in a day, so take your time, and if you see something you like at a store, then pick it up. Little by little you’ll bring the room together.
  • Great places to look for decor on the cheap? TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Ross, Ikea, Walmart, Thrift Stores, Marshall’s, garage sales.
  • Try not to choose too many items that are childish. The easier it is to grow into, the less you’ll have to spend later when they grow out of it.

Most of all, don’t be swayed by overpriced decor! There’s always a way to re-create things or find something similar for less. If you splurge on one item, no biggie, but if you’re trying to stay within a budget, then steer clear of the stores where you know the prices are higher (unless you know you’re specifically going in for inspiration only).

Have fun and enjoy the decorating!

Stay tuned for more in the Decorate on a Budget! series.