Creating A Teenage Boys Room By Shopping The House

I should have done this three years ago.

Our oldest is going to be 15 soon and his room has looked like this since we moved in three years ago. Only usually it’s messier. I could never really nail down what he wanted “bright red shiny walls, wait, I want an Orca mural painted on the ceiling and a large saltwater aquarium, wait, can I just have black lights and no other lights and a mini fridge and my own microwave and a ladder coming from my window…”

He’s been on a week-long trip and it was the perfect time to clean every square inch.  We painted the walls a few months ago so from there I shopped the house and gathered some random black photo frames, a rug from one of my boys bedrooms that we aren’t using now that they are sharing a room–and also a chair that was available for the same reason, the dresser had been in his closet but why? and he desperately needed lighting so I used one of our extra lamps from our bedroom and a thrifted pendant light, a stick and some duct tape.  Really, I bought NOTHING for this makeover.  Again, WHY didn’t I do this three years ago?

teenage boy rooms

I’m still looking for some super dark blackout shades per his request of “it’s too bright in here when I’m trying to sleep at 11am.” But for free?  This is a huge improvement.

The DIY star of the room is this Duct Tap Light Cord.   I used Scotch Duct Tape, (thanks for sponsoring this post and supplying me with an embarrassing amount of duct tape!) a $5 pendant light that has been laying around for at least 6 months and a stick I found in the yard.  The pendant was so plain on its own and I wanted to funk it up a little.

The idea for the branch came from this photo whose source is buried somewhere deep in Pinterest.  I. LOVE. THE. BRANCH.

At first I simply hung the pendant from a hook in the ceiling. But once I brought the dresser in and moved the chair, I wanted to try something different.

duct tape project

The stick stays put because it’s wedged in between the window casing and a piece of drapery hardware that I secured to the wall.  And get this–it swivels and is surprisingly sturdy.

Here are the ingredients needed to create the pendant light:

1. A random pendant light

2. Scissors

3. Scotch Duct Tape (they have a ton of colors and patterns how fun would the paisley be for a girls room?)

I even made a little how to video for this project, you can view it here. 

Special thanks to Scotch Duct Tape and their challenge to create a project using tape from their new Colors and Patterns Line a new brand that helps you find your style that sticks–I LOVE a good challenge!

A few Duct Tape Resources for you:

And, you can take one of those style quizzes at the Scotch Duct Tape Website (I’m ALWAYS a sucker for a style quiz) here are my results and PHEW, my own project popped up first, I guess it really does work!

OH and yes, they are giving away an obscene amount of tape — 300 winners every day.

Have you created something out of duct tape? Stop by the Scotch Duct Tape facebook page and show them your project.


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  1. that lamp is so cool!

  2. The room looks awesome! He is sure to love it! I just did the same for my fourteen year old’s room. What would we do without some summer time with the kids away?

  3. It looks fantastic! I LOVE that lamp hanging from the branch. Could us mortals get away with that??

    And my daughter would give her eye teeth for the Napoleon movie poster. :)

  4. When Elias turns 15, will you come make-over his room? Actually, he just turned 4. Is that close enough? When we move, can you just come make-over our whole house? I will supply as much duct tape as you want. And branches. And one liners like in Napoleon Dynamite. :)

  5. Laryssa says:

    Wonderful job!

  6. What type of camera lense do you use to get those shots?

  7. Ummm wow, LOVE!!! This is a fabulous, sophisticated makeover. It took this space from boys cave to hello to the cool teen hang out! You are a genius! :)

  8. Laura Miller says:

    I think the Hallelujah Chorus broke out when I saw the lamp. Unbelievably cool!

  9. AMAZING! I Love the lamp. I need a light in my art studio, so now you inspired me to create something fun and funky!

  10. Love, love, love it! What is the name of the paint color? :)

  11. It looks great! Stylish but still boy enough without being too cheesy. I think some boy’s rooms look too much like their mom decorated it. Because they did. This one still has his personality.

    Is that paint color the same as your master bedroom? I have been eyeing it.

  12. Wow! What a terrific re-do. I really love the lamp. I’ll have to show this one to my 20 yr old.

  13. I have serious rug envy! That is perfect for a boys room.

  14. Love it…pinning that light!

  15. The dress – beauty. The lamp is so cool. Now I’ll be looking at what I can sitck some duck tape on around the house!

  16. Christie says:

    I’m sure he loves it! You’re such a good mom. ;)

    I’m taking notes on what makes a boy’s room nice looking because our oldest boy (almost 12) would be in an office with glass french doors in our next rental (waiting to hear about it). I’m thinking maps on the walls and curtains across the doors. He’s a tidy kid, so that’s why he would get that room!

  17. What colour ist the dresser?

  18. Colleen P. says:

    I’m dying to make a duvet cover out of black and white pillow ticking, I think it would look awesome on his bed! LOL!

    Seriously though, I love that room!

  19. I have sons that are 12-years old and 16-years old…I feel bad because their rooms are by far the most un-decorated and un-inspiring. I seriously need to get on sprucing them up and using things that we already have. Now, if I can only cure the messy thing, we’d be set.

  20. That’s too cool for words! Can I come shop your house?

  21. Oh I love this. I will be doing 2 boys rooms shortly and I just might “steal” your idea. The room looks great and I love that you shopped your house.

  22. KIMBERLY says:

    So inspiring. What is the paint color you used?

  23. Stephanie in Amarillo says:

    Fantastic Room! Instead of Blackout shades try heavy shower curtains. They come in many colors and the price is right!

  24. I have a 16 year old who desperately needs a room redo. Only problem – he’s outgrown the twin bed! Watch out for that overnight growth spurt! My son is now taller than my husband!

    Inspired by your design! Love what you did with your son’s room…I love branches and that light is just perfect! I need to do that over my work space…hmmmm.

  25. Nester please visit my blog! I posted a couple of days ago about remaking my teenage son’s room and they are remarkably similar! I did spend money fabricating a desk and purchasing a couch/futon, though.

  26. Yea!! So cool. The video is super cute too.

  27. This lamp is fabulous! As are the pucks in the bowl and the books in ROYGBIV order. And Napo-LEON.

  28. girl. this is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  29. What a great room! He’s going to be amazed when he returns home. (I hope!!!)

  30. Tamara M. says:

    Love the room! What color are the walls??

  31. Brilliant! Tell us that he was speechless and loved it!! The lamp is amazing…and yes, it is the “piece de resistance!”

  32. great job! And I wish I had a Napoleon Dynamite poster in my room. :)

  33. I love it, but what was your BOY’S reaction? Do tell!

  34. This looks great! My son will be 16 in September and I desperately need to do something about his room (actually, both my boy’s rooms). Thanks for the inspiration and ideas!

  35. Love the lamp! My son’s room is painted a very dark colour and needs more light. Love the Napoleon Dynamite poster, my kids love that movie.

  36. Well, now you’ve gone and outdone yourself. Just when we thought it wasn’t possible.

  37. Wow! I think it looks great but I have to say that if I did a reorganizing of my 15 year olds room when she was away, everything would hit the fan when she got home. You are very brave. Maybe it’s different with boys.

    • I think generally girls are more particular than boys about their rooms. My son loves it when I come in and reorganize. Of course, I’m respectful of his belongings, try to think how it would work from his point of view, and don’t throw away anything without asking.

  38. I simply love this room, it’s perfect for a soon to be 15 year old, not themey (is that a word!) but put together. I love it!!

  39. 1. Napoleon Dynamite rules! 2. I LOVE BRANCH too! 3. That duct tape pendant light is too legit!

    you’re the best mom ever!

  40. Is the furniture black or deep blue?

  41. I love the room! The lamp is wonderful and the paint color, really everything. I’m working on my son’s room right now and your son’s room is a great inspiration.

  42. That’s completely awesome! I hope you’ll show us the combined boys’ room when you have a chance : )

    • I will, but it actually looks WORSE than what I showed a few weeks ago, I’m slow, and still trying to figure out what we should do in there, meanwhile, they still love it.

  43. Nailing down what your teen wants — I can so relate. Sometimes it’s better not to ask!

    Great makeover. I love your idea of shopping the house. Goodness knows I have enough in my attic for a store.

  44. Nice job. Where is the desk?
    Current challenge: My 12 year-old son has SO MANY sports trophies, medals, ribbons, etc. Any ideas as to organizing those? (I hate to hide them away.) My husband jokes: “we need to build a trophy room.” Ha!

    • hide them away. then throw them away. 90% of them. hate me. I’m an intj forgive my unsentamentalness, I can’t help it, I was born this way!

  45. This is why you are “The Nester” and sooo popular. No desk now? My daughter said that a lot of kids have to have their computers in the family room now for security.

    • the computer never actually was an internet machine, just for movies and looks really, poor thing and it took up so much room! And my boys still all prefer to do their work in the family room so he never really used the desk.

  46. Cool room! My college boy leaves this summer for the last time. (I think) I’m planning on a room re-do. You’ve inspired me. For a make-shift desk, I’ve given kids a cutting board or a lap desk to rest their laptop on. It works.

  47. Wow! Great job. And for free?! I hope I’m as cool a mom as you when my kids are teenagers!

  48. Can u pop by the east coast & do my 11 yos room! Love it genius! Your sons are lucky little men.

  49. Love the lamp! (Actually the whole “shopped” room.

    We need to do this for our 15 year old.
    And he’s away for 2 weeks. Hmm. You’ve got me thinking…

    We did do sort of the tree thing for our other son a few years ago. We had a “Thankful Tree” a while back and when T-day was gone we didn’t want the fun to end. So, we took white Christmas lights and wrapped them around the large tree branch. (The branch was already steadied in a pot filled with gravel and Lord knows what my husband put in there to keep it upright.

    The tree is my favorite “lamp” in the house!
    ~ Dana

  50. love the room & totally dig the light, rug, and chest!!

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