Creating a Life-giving Home
As a homemaker, I consider it a blessing to be able to create a refuge for my family and for those who come into our home. I work to create a place of peace, joy, laughter, and grace that welcomes you with sights, sounds, and smells as soon as you enter it.
This carries into how I decorate. And because we are a literature-loving Charlotte Mason family, when it came time to give the boys “grown-up” bedrooms, they both chose literature themes. I couldn’t have been happier!
Both rooms still have a few things we have to finish up, but I know many other families like to do these sorts of indoor projects over the colder winter months so we’re sharing now in hopes to give you inspiration and will update the pictures when the rooms are totally done.
A Hobbit Themed Bedroom
My oldest boy is nearing 14 now. He loves adventure, the outdoors, reading about military endeavors and great leaders of history. The Hobbit is one of his most favorite stories and he’s now almost finished reading the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. His favorite color is also yellow so I think that played a part in his choice of room theme. The wall color is from Home Depot- Behr eggshell finish in Moon Mist. It’s a lovely soft yellow that is warm and cozy.
The delightful Hobbit Hole watercolor painting hanging over his bed is from a wonderful shop on Etsy. I also have her Tolkein portrait on my bookshelf next to my Tolkein book collection. If you love beautiful watercolors and fantasy books, you should definitley check out her shop here.
The wooden sign hanging above the bed is a quote from Gandalf. The shop we purchased it from is now closed, but the shop where we got several of the Hobbit tree Christmas ornaments we have has similar items!
The blackout thermal curtains are a perfect forest scene Toile that lend a very Hobbit-esque feel to the room. I was looking for something that would feel like it belonged in a wood-paneled study and these fit the bill. The stained glass piece in the arch window was a find on Facebook Marketplace. You can find similar pieces on Amazon, but I’d try thrifting first.
The bed is a whole project that isn’t quite finished. My husband has designed a beautiful headboard with a reading light IN it! But it obviously isn’t put together yet. The bed frame came from Amazon here. The olive green sherpa bed cover also came from Amazon. We love these cozy blankets and they wash up beautifully! We also found the LOTR map pillowcases and the leather pillow cover on Amazon.
The side table was purchased from a local artisan. It’s Georgia cedar and if you look closely, there’s a little face carved into it. He picked it out last July 4th weekend at a roadside stand and it really is a neat touch to the room!
Full disclosure: After my boys chose their room themes, they gave me close to carte blanche in the decorating. I ran most everything by them and overall it was a fairly smooth process. I don’t know if it’s because they are boys and don’t give much thought to decorating or because I know them both really well so it was easy to choose things they liked – but I’m super thankful that it worked out that way!
I have several of these bookshelves in the house. My husband builds them for me, and I’m trying to get him to write out the plans so I can share them with you but he’s not gotten to it yet. Maybe soon 🙂 They are wonderful and very sturdy!
The desk was another great find on Facebook Marketplace. When I need a certain piece of furniture, I make myself login and check once a day till I find something that works. I also check my local thrift stores and Goodwills. We’ve saved a lot of money over the years purchasing second-hand. Usually, all an older piece needs is a little TLC, but make sure to check it out thoroughly before buying!
The dragon print over his desk is from one of my favorite artists, Lore Pemberton, and it’s called Map Makers. Her paintings are more like enchanting illustrations of magical childhood memories and moments of motherhood than anything. I had this one framed at Hobby Lobby with a paper textured mat in a tea-stained color.
My boy is also teaching himself ukelele and his Paisen acoustic has the prettiest tone. It’s totally different from the cheap one he started playing on. We all enjoy his practicing much more now 😉
The rocking chair and wool rug were chosen because he requested a rocking chair to read in (how can you say no to that?!) and a warm rug he could squish his toes into. And the little fireplace heater is both an added bit of coziness (the flames look pretty) and heat. Our house gets really cold in the winter so we’ve put electric fireplaces in each of the bedrooms to keep us warm as we sleep and just let the rest of the house be/get cold and wear more layers in the winter. Both the boys turn their flames on in the evening for reading time all year, but that works fine since the heat is on a separate switch!
Here’s a little peek at his bookshelf in case you were wondering what sorts of reading treasures a severely dyslexic teen enjoys.
We prefer to use analog clocks and watches for the most part, so putting a Hobbit mealtimes clock in this bedroom was a given. He insists that he needs a second breakfast every day, so I insisted he learn how to cook 😉
A Secret Garden Bedroom (for boys)
My younger boy has loved The Secret Garden for years. He’s also my nature lover, bird watcher, and lizard catcher. So nature in general is always a hit with him.
But trying to put together a masculine room around that theme seemed a little daunting at first. Add to that the fact that his bedroom was my (pink) office/ guest room for several years and I had to figure out how to make it over and I was perplexed.
So I started with the piece I knew I wanted to reuse. The bed frame. I love this bed frame! It’s solid metal, super sturdy, and harkens to a different era. So I bought some Behr Oil Runned Bronze spray paint at Home Depot and changed it from a frilly cream color to a deep bronze. It completely changed the aesthetic of the bed.
This boy’s favorite color is blue. So I began to look for bedding that would have an elegant feel and landed on this deep blue velvet bedspread set with a geometric design in the quilting. I knew it would look nice with the bed in the new color and it doesn’t feel girly. We added a leather pillow just like the one above as an accent.
By that point, we had decided on a cream color for the walls called Swiss Coffee (Behr) and to paint the floor trim Durango Blue (Behr) in a cool enamel latex that looks like old-school oil-based paint. The long-term plan is to add some crown moulding in the same deep blue.
The desk dresser is another Facebook Marketplace find. I cleaned it up, lemon oiled it, polished the brass knobs, and waxed the drawer runners. In the process, I discovered that the piece is a real antique. Color me shocked! The dovetails are hand cut and the nails in the piece are a square type they stopped making around 1890. I don’t know how old it actually is, but we’re delighted to have such a pretty piece of history in our home!
Above the desk is another gorgeous Lore Pemberton piece, A Bit of Earth, which is inspired by The Secret Garden. My boy adores this piece and so do I.
The reading lamp on his nightstand is a lovely stained glass lamp with dragonflies. The metal vines on the lamp body lend a garden feel to it. The slate piece on the wall with the painted bird was a gift from grandparents.
And let me tell you about that clock on the wall. In a terrible lapse of judgment, I acquiesced to his request for a clock that chirped birdsongs on the hour. Well, this one does that! Thankfully there’s a light sensor so it doesn’t chirp when it’s dark.
There are two rugs in this room, mostly to try and save the white carpet that was much better suited to my office than the room of an 11-year-old boy. We love the Safavieh wool rugs! This set is the Antiquity collection in dark blue/multi.
Here you can see his little reading area. The same fireplace and the other wool rug. His sherpa blanket in a lovely gold color and a LEGO chess set. His faux leather rocking chair is perfect for him to sit cross-legged in, which is his favorite way to read!
The nature shelf was another Facebook Market find and the treasures on it have been collected over several years.
For the art in his room, he wanted a lot of nature so we bought some frames, I painted the mats to look like leather, and he chose some public domain Audubon prints that we had printed at Wallgreens. They came out great and were inexpensive but added a lot to the room. Public domain art prints are one of my favorite ways to dress up our home without spending a fortune on artwork. I also shop at our local Goodwill and have found some great pieces there!
We also have blackout thermal curtains in his room. You can see them by the rocking chair. I found a nice vine-type floral that isn’t frilly and has muted colors. It also helps block out the bright-as-a-second-sun street light they put in right in front of our house a few years ago.
Because his room is the smallest of our bedrooms, the bookshelf is actually the closet door. My husband built this, too. I love how both boys have added little touches on their own that really show their personality. This guy loves humor and has a nice collection of the Freddy books by Walter Brooks that literally make him laugh out loud. He also loves trinkets and bought the rocking horse toy at his favorite thrift shop because he thought Colin might have had something in his room like it.
And that’s how we created two literary-themed rooms! The possibilities are truly endless and I hope that you find some inspiration for your own home. It’s a joy to have spaces of comfort that delight and encourage. Be blessed, friend!