Girls cottage themed room/playroom makeover ($100 room challenge reveal!)

Our bonus room/girls room/playroom $100 room challenge makeover is done!  For not being a very involved makeover this one was still a challenge for various reasons.  But I am thrilled with the after even though it isn’t one of my most dramatic before/after reveals.  Isn’t this room so cute?!

Girls cottage themed bedroom and playroom makeover-7

So first let me go back and show you some before/after pictures side by side so you can see the differences and changes I made and then I’ll talk you through some of the small projects I did and sources for things.   Here’s where we started at the beginning of January – definitely not bad but it needed some refresh in some areas and some minor projects like paint touch ups, trim painting, adding headboards, etc.

Kids room before pictures-2

And here is how it looks now!  Adding some cute (and free!) picket fence headboards made a big difference!

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Here’s this little desk area before…

Kids room before pictures-8

And here it is now! Painting hat door was an easy and big change… and then can we talk about that desk and decor?  That little spot turned out to be my favorite spot in the whole room with just a bit of change… more on that later.

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Here’s this side of the room before….

Kids room before pictures-5

I debated painting that IKEA unit but decided to just leave it because I just wasn’t sure how the paint would hold up on it and I didn’t want a mess in a few years.  I just simplified and changed up the decor a bit on top.

Girls cottage themed bedroom and playroom makeover-12

And then, of course, you already saw the before and after of this dollhouse situation.  This dollhouse bookshelf was adorable but wasn’t really serving the purpose we needed.  It is more of a bookshelf than a dollhouse and I really wanted storage and play area for the girls to play with their American Girl size dolls and furniture.

Kids room before pictures-6

I have the old one up for sale because I found this entertainment center for $20 and completely transformed it into an American Girl dollhouse!  You can see all the before/afters and lots more details in this post.


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Here’s the view from this side of the room before…

Kids room before pictures-14

And now!  Those sweet picket fence headboards just give this cute little attic bedroom a cottage feel – so fun!

Girls cottage themed bedroom and playroom makeover-14

So now for details on what I did… in week one I took a free picket fence panel that I picked up from facebook marketplace and cut it in half and gave it a fresh coat of paint to become simple headboards.

Girls cottage themed bedroom and playroom makeover-22

None of the bedding changed  – these are just simple IKEA white comforters paired with some thrifted pillows.  I had wanted to find matching patterned pillows to put a matching one on each bed but just couldn’t find anything in budget or that I liked.  So I will keep looking for those!

The dresser is my childhood dresser and it got a fresh coat of paint and a coat of poly in week 2.  And then I just refreshed the decor on top.  I really wanted to give this room a bit more of a grown-up feel as my nieces are9 and 11.  The mirror was a yard sale find from years ago that used to be in my little girls’ nursery but her nursery has since been rearranged a bit into a big girl room and I didn’t have a spot for the mirror.  Those are the same lamps (originally these $3.00 brass lamps I had spray painted white and painted coral) but I gave them a DIY faux wood makeover.  You can see step by step detail on how to do that in my saved Instagram stories.  And all the decor just came from my stash or other rooms.. sometimes it pays to be a decor hoarder! Winking smile  The plant, white container, and the little birdcage are thrifted/yard sale finds.    Oh and the rug… I originally had this rug in my guest room at our old house, and then in the nursery for a while at this house but it was just rolled up in the attic.  Once again, I was trying to tone this room down just a bit so I put this one in here and the coral one will get sold.

Girls cottage themed bedroom and playroom makeover-20

I wasn’t feeling the black iron piece over here so that got added to the yard sale pile too and this wood piece I picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents a while ago got a quick coat of chalk paint and some light distressing.   You can see the tutorial on how to make that chicken wire hairbow holder here.

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The trunks at the end of the bed are some of those old black trunks you see around.  My husband had one when we got married and then I found a blue one at a yard sale and gave them both a coat of light gray chalk paint to make them match.  They are perfect for them to store legos or craft supplies or really whatever they want in them and look so cute at the end of the bed.

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And I’ve shown you the dollhouse but this was truly the biggest change in the room and the one the kids are most excited about. Smile  Hard to believe it started like this!

Old entertainment center turned American Girl dollhouse-1-4

And then turned into this!

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Love that it had this side cabinet that makes the perfect closet.  Pretty much all their doll stuff can be stored in this one unit which I love!

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And as much as I love the dollhouse… I am quite a bit jealous of this sweet little desk area. Momma needs something like this!

Girls cottage themed bedroom and playroom makeover-6

The desk was an old sewing table that was my husband’s grandmother’s – a while back I gave it a coat of mint chalk paint and spray painted the handles black.  The chair was a $3.00 thrift store find that got a fresh coat of white paint and new fabric on the seat.  All of that had been in place for the last year but I never put a clear coat on it so I touched up all the paint and then applied a clear coat on all the paint.

Girls cottage themed bedroom and playroom makeover-5

When I added the picket fence headboards I had to shift everything down a bit and that large bulletin board just seemed to overwhelm the space.  I had picked up this smaller one at a yard sale back in the fall for literally a quarter so I added some fabric from my craft supplies to the front and gave the frame a quick coat of white spray paint.  I wanted something to help them organize all the markers/pencils/scissors and rummaged through my stash again and found this wood crate (I used it as a centerpiece in this post) and added some mason jars for storage.  My middle niece is very creative and arranged all the art supplies in it perfectly and she was just so thrilled about this refreshed pretty desk space!  The only décor I bought for the room was that “You are Loved” canvas from the Hobby Lobby spring line.  It was the perfect colors and I love the saying for them to see every day.   That little white rose shadowbox was a yard sale find from years ago that was sitting on the dresser before but I hung it instead.

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You can do so much by just rearranging decor and always keeping your eyes out at thrift stores, yard sales and the clearance aisles for decor that you love and might work in your home.  I try to be very vigilant about purging and getting rid of decor I am not using anymore (like that iron piece, coral rug and a few small things will go in my next yard sale) but I also do keep some extra things I really do love on hand so I can change out things as I update or refresh rooms.

Simple changes in this room made a big difference and I love how much better this room functions and looks now.  I had hoped to sell that old bookcase dollhouse and have it basically pay for the changes I made but it hasn’t sold yet but I should come out almost even with the dollhouse trade.

But here’s how the budget broke down:

  • Dollhouse – $20 for entertainment center, $7.49 for plywood for the back, and decor/accessories added up to $43.54
  • You are Loved sign – 40% off $13.99 at from Hobby Lobby – $8.39

Total – $51.39  (and I hope to sell the bookshelf for $40 and rug for $10 so basically this will be a free makeover if I can do that Smile) but if not I still call this a definite win for a $50 makeover!

I had wanted to stay way below budget in this room because I knew I wasn’t making huge changes as the room already had been decorated before, I had paint to do all the touchups, free picket fence panels to make headboards, and also because I have lots of other bigger budget projects planned that I am saving up for!

Make sure to check out all the other reveal posts that my fellow bloggers did for the $100 room challenge… I’m always so inspired to see what they accomplished!




  1. What a lovely refresh for your daughters’ room. I am so jealous of that Dollhouse! Each of the small details has added up to an amazing makeover. Congrats

  2. LOVE the dollhouse transformation!!

  3. Such a cute idea to make a dollhouse! And I love the headboard you made, so cute!

  4. OH my gosh! Those picket fence headboards are adorable! I Love that! Looks great!

  5. What a pretty transformation Christina! So many pretty little details, the dollhouse and that pretty blue desk is amongst my favorites!

  6. This is a very nice layout and design and looks very nice
    Joe Seattleton recently posted..24 Hour Plumbing SeattleMy Profile

  7. I LOVE THIS ROOM!!! I just pinned away because those headboards are adorable (and such a unique idea!) and that desk space is absolutely beautiful! I love the mint colored desk… I actually have a desk to makeover that we are planning to use in my daughter’s room (once we can actually get her to clean and organize!). Such a beautiful space! As always, you did a wonderful job… and I am super impressed with that budget. Fingers crossed you are able to sell the dollhouse and rug in order to break even. Thanks for participating in another round. I always look forward to seeing what you do.
    Erin- Lemons, Lavender, & Laundry recently posted..$100 Room Challenge: Boy’s Bedroom RevealMy Profile

  8. The picket fence headboards are really cute!

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