Teenage Girl Bedroom on a Budget

Hello friends!

It was a special week at our house because we celebrated a pretty big milestone birthday... Sadie turned 13, and I can hardly believe it.

I know it's a cliche and I probably say this at least once a week, but I can't believe how fast these kids grow up! One minute you are rocking them in your arms and the next thing you know they are taller than you!

I always find I get a little blue on my kids birthdays. I put on a super happy face and do everything I can to make sure they have the best day possible, but on the inside I always struggle. Motherhood is so bittersweet like that isn't it? I love watching my kids grow and mature into amazing humans, but I am always nostalgic for the sweet baby and toddler phase which flies by at lightening speed!

Today, as a form of self-therapy, I thought I would write a decorating blog post and share the details of Sadie's room makeover, even though we completed this space as a birthday gift to her last year.


While her room was photographed by the talented Tracey Ayton and shared as part of my home tour over on The DIY Playbook, I haven't written about the details of this space here on my own blog! Let's dive in and discuss the details of this budget-friendly yet teen approved girls bedroom! Sadie would like to welcome you inside!

First of all, it's probably a good idea to share what this bedroom looked like before we gave it a makeover.

When we moved into our current home, almost 8 years ago, Sadie was 5 years old and just about to start Kindergarten. At that time she was all about the Disney Princesses, which dictated the way we decorated her room during our renovation. You can read my tips here about how I gave her a princess-y room without it being an in-your-face homage to the Disney Store.


While Sadie really enjoyed her room when she was younger, it was time to bid farewell to the princesses and unicorns and give this sweet girl a more age-appropriate bedroom. I will share more details about process and sources below, but here is how her bedroom looks now...

When you look at the before and after it's quite a dramatic difference!

Let's walk through the steps we took, Sadie and I, to make this transformation all while sticking to a budget.


Color Palette

The first thing we did when we were in the initial phases of planning this room makeover was to come up with a color scheme for Sadie's room. She really wanted a more neutral paint color on the wall with soft shade of purple and turquoise as her accent colors. I always like to decide on a metallic as well, to help when choosing the finishes in the room and we decided on warm brass/gold to balance out the cool color tones.

Here is a moodboard that shows the overall vision for the room and the colors that we had in mind.

Furniture Selection

Sadie had a long list of furniture items that she wanted in her room and I had to really mange her expectations on this ... she just did not understand the size constraints we were working with! One thing we both agreed on is that she could really benefit from a bigger bed. My kids are above-average tall and I knew that a full-size bed was the way to go in this room. At first I was wondering if it would be possible to fit a bigger bed in such a small room, but after some thought and lots of measuring and sketching, I came up with a plan to accommodate the bed, two side tables and a dresser.

Here is a little tip for you: when you are working with a small room don't be afraid to move the furniture away from the walls. There is an inclination to push furniture up against the wall to create space, and we did this in Sadie's room when she was little because she liked to play in her room on the floor. However, somehow Sadie's room feels bigger now with her bed in the middle of the room.


Sadie and I both love the look of white furniture, and all of the pieces you see in her room come from IKEA. We decided to keep her dresser as it was functioning really well and fit the room plan and then we selected a bed frame from the same line. Her bedside tables I actually already had on hand - I bought them for a good deal off of Craigslist and I had planned on taking them to our cabin. As the plan for Sadie's room was coming together I decided to use them in there instead!


Wall Treatment

The first thing we did in this room makeover was to take down the pink princess wallpaper and give the whole room a fresh coat of paint. Sadie really wanted a neutral wall color and I was all for it! We went with Dulux ghost whisper which is a gray-ish paint that has some purple undertones. I wanted to do something to give the room a bit of a wow factor and I thought about using wallpaper or a mural again. Then I started pricing out how much a wallpaper accent wall would cost and I realized it wasn't in the budget. I had seen and admired this sharpie-paint pen wall from Vintage Revivals several years back and it really made a lasting impression on me. You can check out Mandie's AMAZING blog and the details of the photo below by clicking here.

Sadie and I decided to do something similar in her room using a gold sharpie paint pen - make sure you use a paint pen and not a regular sharpie marker.


This was a time consuming project, and I definitely recommend reading Mandi's tutorial first. I also have to tell you that Sadie started out very keen on the project but got bored with it quickly! She totally deserted me and thank goodness for my amazing sister who stepped in to help. It is tiring on the arms to do the drawing on the wall. I think the hard work was totally worth it - I love the result, and the cost of the project was less than $10...we used two paint pens which we bought at Michaels.

It's hard to believe this is the same wall...from princess pink to teen cool...

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to create an accent wall in a room, the sharpie paint pen trick is a good one!


Wall Decor

While we are on the subject of wall decor, let's talk about the other items we used in this room. First up is the round brass mirror above the dresser. I love the simplicity of a round mirror and on this wall, it helps to create a focal point for the pretty pattern we created. It's also functional because this is where Sadie likes to put on her..gulp...I can't type it...make-up! I love this shot that Tracey took: