How I Created A Boys Highland Bedroom With Free Furniture!

My youngest son Leo is all about Comfort! He loves the chunky jumpers, thick blankets and fleecey pyjamas. My boy’s a hugger! he loves to feel enveloped, warm and snug! The highland bedroom I created for him, is 100% Leo! Filled with cosy layers, warm colours and soft lighting, he absolutely loves it! Here’s how I did it…

Highland Bedroom

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Highland Bedroom Before

We started with a complete blank canvas! All character! Enter kelly!

The bedroom is fairly small, measuring roughly 2m x 3m. The first task was to empty the room, fill any marks on the wall and paint the windowsill, radiator, skirting boards and Dado rail.

I chose Rust-Oleum Green Upcycled Furniture Paint in Chalky Finish – All Green 750ml . I found it provided a lovely contrast to the tartan wallpaper.

To Dado or Not to dado!

Dado rails are sometimes seen as old fashioned! I can understand that, I remember it being a popular design element when I was a kid. But they do have a purpose and are a particularly good choice for small rooms, heres why….

First, a little Dado History!

Dado rails date back to the victorian era, they were mostly used in high traffic areas of the home, such as hallways and staircases, installed to prevent people from touching and marking the wall coverings as they passed by.

Dado rails were also known as Chair Rails. The rails would be fitted roughly 1 metre high-which is the perfect height for preventing the back of a chair from scraping expensive victorian wallpaper.

So Why are Dado Rails a Good Choice for small rooms?

Dado Rails add depth and a little bit of class! They are a nod to period living and if used alongside contrasting colours, above and below the rail, it can create a two tone effect, giving the impression of space and creating a visually larger room.

Deciding on Wallpaper for a small Bedroom

If you were to sit with a group of people and ask the question, ‘What colours work best in a small room?’. The majority would undoubtedly say ‘light colours’ or ‘white’.

And yes, it is true that white gives the feeling of space, and lighter colours are more reflective. The only issue I have with that, is for me, it can sometimes feel a little cold.

Lets not forget, this room is all about Leo! and Leo loves warmth, closeness and layers…that can’t be found in a pokey white room.

For me, dark and lighter colours used together in the right way, can make space’s feel more intimate and comfortable.

Tartan Highland Wallpaper

When looking for Comfort, you can’t beat a bit of Tartan! Those Scots know their stuff dont they?! I love tartan! It just screams cosy! What I didnt know before starting the Bedroom Makeover, was how expensive Tartan wallpaper could be!

I fell in Love with a particular Tartan wallpaper, but alas it was £46 per roll and way out of budget. So I kept looking….I came across this fabulous Fresco Cosy Green & red Tartan Wallpaper at just £19 a roll! The paper itself is smooth but still gives a textured look, adding depth and warmth to the lower half of the room.

The paper above the Dado rail is Arthouse Mid Grey Textured Linen Wallpaper . I went with a lighter tone as a contast to all the darker elements I intended to introduce into the room later, such as the bed linens, curtains and rug.


It should be mentioned that this room was renovated just before Christmas and the kids had asked for Playstations, Xbox’s and laptops…ma and Pa were tapped out!

So, although my son needed some new furniture, ‘new’ would not be possible! So preloved and knackered was what we began with! Oh, and Free! My aim was to really pull in the purse strings and furnish the whole room with free furniture…. Challenge accepted!

How I get my Freebies?

I belong to a local group on Facebook called wastesavers, the purpose of the group is for people to offer to its members free items, such as- household furniture, bric a brac, appliances and clothes..stuff that ordinarily may have ended up at the dump.

In my opinion none of the stuff they offer actually deserves to be dumped. I’ve had a nearly new Oven, bed frames, bookcase’s, chairs…you name it, most of which were in fabulous condition. People can be very generous, and most of the time, theres nothing wrong with these items, they really just want them out of the way.

I did It! Every Piece of furniture in my sons room was free, not kidding! Take a look at these before and afters…

This was My sons desk Before.

Pretty Shabby isnt it? veneer peeling off, damaged top! This desk was offered for free locally, all I had to do was pick it up.

I first peeled away all the damaged veneer and gave the whole unit a thorough sanding. I protected the top with 2 coats of Clear Matt Varnish. I then painted the Rest with Frenchic 750ml Al Fresco Range Blackjack and replaced the Handles with Gold drawer Knobs

Tartan Highland bedroom

Desk Chair

A freebie off the wastesavers facebook group. It was in perfect condition and required no tweaking to look fabulous!

Facebook Listing

My Son’s Drawers Before…

Again these drawers were free! I stripped the top with a heat gun, I then sanded the top and treated it with a Clear Matt Varnish.

I lightly sanded the drawers and painted them in Hemway Dark Moss Green Chalk Paint with the leftover paint from the sink unit in my bathroom

Heres the After…

The Bed

My 3rd Freebie! This gorgeous bed was offered for free…I couldnt believe my luck! Annnnd it even has a carved thistle on the headboard! The universe certainly provided that day!

Facebook Listing

I didnt do anything with the bed frame, it was already perfect just the way it was. I dressed the bed up with some brushed cotton bed linens and layered with Tartan Blankets and other old throws

tartan Bedroom

The Rug

The rug is the exactly the same as the one I have in the Linen Room. Its a Non Slip Large Traditional Rug Living Room Bedroom Carpet Hallway Runner Rug

The Art

I bought a selection of Animal tapestry prints of Shein and then framed them, each one cost less than £4, and they go so well in Leo’s highland themed room.

The Curtains & Lamps

The Rust coloured Curtains were preloved and bought off ebay for the grand total of £5.99! The Lamps were also second hand off Ebay , Both cost under £10 each.

And there you have it, my boys cosy Highland Bedroom furnished with free furniture and bargain buys!

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