Kids’ Room: Before and After

by Christina Geyer on November 7, 2011 · 27 comments

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The room we chose for the kids was the previous owner’s home office.  Here’s the before:

Kids' Room: Before

and here’s the after:

Kids' Room: After

The color scheme was mostly decided on by Oliver.  He wanted a blue room, so I picked out a couple swatches and he chose the shade he wanted.  He also picked out the bed sheets.

Kids' Room: After

I got the wall stickers in the US from Land of Nod and brought them back with me. The clock is the Koziol PI:P Wanduhr, which is available in a variety of colors.

Kids' Room: After

I got the idea for a chalkboard wall from a magazine.  I wanted it to be magnetic as well, so I ordered magnet paint (1xMagnetFarbe Magpaint 2500 ml Dose) and chalkboard paint (6xMarabu Tafelfarbe, schwarz, 250 ml) off Amazon.  If you ever want to get the paint off your wall again someday, it’s best to paint onto liner paper.  This is a wallpaper used to provide a smooth base for other wallpapers or paints.  We hung two strips horizontally.  To really get the magnets to stick well, I used four coats of magnet paint, topped by two coats of chalkboard paint.  The kids love it.

Kids' Room: After

Kids' Room: After

Kids' Room: After

Kids' room

The poof is by RICE (a Danish design company that has lots of fun stuff for kids) and I got it at  RICE also makes great, colorful, unbreakable, melamine dishware that we have for the kids, that is still nice enough that I would give it to adults too.

Kids' Room: After

This wooden toy is a Kugelbahn by the company Drewa Holz.

Kids' Room: After

When using color, I find it helps to repeat colors throughout the room, like the green in the lamp, bedsheet and leaves. I also repeated the black from the chalkboard wall with the black clock.

Kids' room

This ride on toy is a Wheely Bug, made by an Australian company and available in Bee, Cow, Mouse, Ladybug and more.

I’m quite happy with how the kids’ room turned out.  Are you working on any renovation projects?

  • tqe | Adam

    That is a most impressive transformation! I have to say that I really like the magnetic chalkboard idea and should I ever have kids, I would do that in a split second!

  • Ann

    LOVE it! The kiddos and I have been planning their rooms (for when we head back to the States) – I’ll have to show my middle one the chalk/magnet board – she will go crazy for it; me – I’m a fan of the L.o.N. stickers – aren’t they the best? Great job!!
    (btw – where did you get the little fabric stool? So cute and funky!)

  • Christina Geyer

    @Adam: Why wait for kids? I find that adults have just as much fun drawing on it as the kids do!

    @Ann: Thanks! The poof is by RICE (a Danish design company that has lots of fun stuff for kids) and I got it at

  • Juliette

    What a fun room! Clearly it’s a big hit; nice work!

    So I have to ask about your walls. Is there tapete under that blue paint? I’m curious as to how other American expats here in Germany deal with the walls, especially in non-rental situations. We’re in a rental, so we decided to just roll with the ugly raufaser tapete that we inherited as opposed to ripping it all down, but it’s a tick off factor for me.

  • lexdiamonz

    WOW clearly you missed your TRUE calling …..interior design that room is FAB!!! love the stickers on the walls….

  • Kelly

    I was about to ask the same question! I loathe this textured wallpaper, but I loathe equally the idea of taking it all off. But we did that in the bathroom (ewww…wallpaper+bathroom steam=yuk) and just painted directly on the plaster. From what I understand, as long as the plaster is in good shape, you can paint over it without wallpaper. It’s been a year or so, and the paint is fine. That is also our intention for the rest of the house as we slowly work on renovating. But it is a huge PIA to remove.

    The kid’s room looks great! And I just love the magnetic chalkboard wall. For once, a great use of the wall-liner…very practical! Our daughter’s room is so small, her chalkboard-easel takes up valuable floor space. This would be an awesome alternative!

  • Christina Geyer

    @Juliette and Kelly: Thanks. Luckily there was no wallpaper up in our house when we bought it. It’s all plaster walls, there’s no problem painting it, you just need to put primer on if it hasn’t been painted before. In our previous rentals we just lived with the Raufaser. It is a serious PIA to remove 😉

    @lexdiamonz: Thanks! I was really a bit scared starting out, but once I got going, I found I love decorating. :)

  • Morgenmuffel

    I love the room, especially the trees, quite fancy it for myself!

    It is funny you mention the wallpaper as yesterday we painted our study and I made the comment about whoever invented woodchip wallpaper should be punched, Uwe disagreed and said it was good as you could just paint over it and was in disbelief when I suggested that you can also just paint over walls, even after reminding him of my house in England. It was hard enough to convince him to paint the walls in a colour, so I dropped the subject lol.

  • Michelle

    Absolutely fantastic! You & hubby are really talented. I am still struggling to figure out how to make my apartment more homey – it always seems so daunting. Any tips for how to tackle it?

  • Tamara

    Love it! Where did you get the ottoman? Love that too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Christina Geyer

    @Morgenmuffel: I have the same problem with Rainer. He actually likes Raufasertapete and wanted to put it up!

    @Michelle: I found the book Thom Filicia Style: Inspired Ideas for Creating Rooms You’ll Love, incredibly helpful for learning how to put a room together. I like using color (I think white only works if your house is minimalist and I think very few people live that way). I also try to use materials that will improve with age and not be ruined if slightly abused (I do have two little boys).

    @tamara: I’m getting inundated with comments and emails asking where I got stuff, so I added the sources up in the post. :)

  • Kathleen

    What a wonderful job! I would play in that room in a heartbeat! Karlheinz and I have been working on renovating an old pigeon house into a studio for me. Major ‘labor of love’ on his part!! Oh, and I also can recommend painting over wallpaper. Even the textured kinds turn out great. I will never get a facelift but I sure love giving them to rooms!

  • jonquil

    great room! do the boys ever want to leave it? 😉 i also enjoy the bed…not only excellent storage, but no need to sweep underneath! sweet tip about the liner paper.

  • Diane – Expatriate Tax Returns

    Wow! That is amazing! I would of never of thought of the chalkboard idea! Great Job!

  • MaDonna

    LOVE the chalkboard idea. Thanks for posting on how to do it. I am really considering it…my kids would really like that.
    I also love that you ordered from all over the world. =) It is so fun being an expat. Changed my whole worldview.

  • US Tax Abroad

    What a cute room! I love the clock. Your son did a great job picking the colors, and the blackboard is genius!

  • Connie In Japan

    I saw the room and I said..”oh my gosh”! how cool! My grandkids would love a room like that!! Great job!

  • fiona

    I love your trees! They really make the room come together. When we eventually settle (either here in Berlin, or in the UK) I want to be more adventurous with the decor and do something like that with the walls.

    P.S. I adore the pouffe and the blackboard. Makes me want to revive my kids rooms right now!

  • Pingback: Oliver and Leo’s Colorful Bedroom — Mamas Worldwide()

  • Rachael D.

    WOW. Cool transformation. You appear to be as good a designer as you are a baker and cook! I had a professional cake today and thought — you’ve made better!

  • Cara

    I was on the hunt for chalkboard paint in Germany and happened to click on your link and, oh boy, am I so glad I did. What an amazing resource you are for Americans adjusting to the life and culture of Germany. Thank you for this post which helped me find chalkboard paint, and for all the many others that I have spent the last hour reading through. The layout is great and so easy to read and the information you provide is beyond helpful. Thank you!

  • Workingberlinmum

    WOW, that’s brilliant! Really puts my son’s room to shame! His is so rubbish really! Very impressed. Must add, do Milo’s room up to my ‘to do list’ for 2012!

  • Christina Geyer

    Thanks, it took a lot of work, I still have no idea how I managed it, but it was worth it. :)

  • Michelle Kilander

    Certainly an article to be read! This was a great and informative read! Fabulous work by the author and creator! Nice feedback from the readers as well! I must admit the author had some very valid points here. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us! government cell phone

  • Janelle L. Gay

    We have this sort of useless wall next to the laundry room door just off the kitchen where we used to hang a calendar. The popularity of chalkboard paint got me thinking we could make better use of this space. My darling husband did some recon work and suggested we make the chalkboard wall magnetic: brilliant! So we bought the magnetic paint and chalkboard paint, taped off the area we wanted to paint and got to work.

  • Vicky

    Just a quick note that even after two years, this post and room are still prevalent in my mind. I just pulled it up to show a pregnant girlfriend an example of an awesome kids’ room. : )

  • Darrin hansen

    Love this? I’m getting ready to make a chalkboard wall in our playroom. But what did you do where the two pieces of wall liner meet? I can’t find wall liner wide enough for what I want, so am going to have to use two pieces.

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