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Boys Room Reveal: UT vs. BYU

On any given day, you can spot one of my boys wearing a t-shirt or jersey from one of their two favorite Universities: UT or BYU. Both schools are equally favorites for both of my boys, so I thought it’d be fun to incorporate both school themes into the decor of their room. I was pleased that they were very excited about the idea. My husband and I met and graduated from BYU (Brigham Young University), so of course that’s been seeping into their veins since birth. Having lived in Austin Texas for the past 10 years, the burnt orange has crept in as well. I’ll admit, I love a little burnt orange myself.
home decor diy
We actually painted the walls over a year ago, then I’ve just been dragging my feet decorating it. I gave myself a deadline–til the end of January–to call this room complete, and here we are…January 31st!

When we were buying this house three years ago, I literally woke up in the middle of the night with a panic about the boys room—it was too dark, there were too many doors, is there really just that small window?, where are we going to put their beds? It’s an awkward room setup. These two individual beds can also be bunk beds, but when they are (and they like the concept enough that we go back and forth) it pretty much has to cover the window or it covers the doors. I painted them blue a few months ago.

By putting up the bead board white, and painting the ceiling white, it lightened up the room quite a bit, even with a darker paint sandwiched inbetween the whites.  I’ve included a bunch of links to where items in the room can be found, made, or purchased for resources for anyone who wants it.

Here is our before and after (it always makes a before look better when it’s filled with messy clutter, too) and I know how much my friend Emily and the rest of the blogosphere loves a before picture, as do I. I shot all of the images in these pictures with my wide 35mm prime lens.

diy home decor
The boys closet situation is unique in our home, there are 2 closets–with double doors–so that takes up an entire wall. It’s kindof fun–they get their own closet to do whatever they want, and their dresser is inside as well. Let me introduce you to one half of the room, team BYU:

brigham young university
In the middle of the wall is the BYU fight song, “Rise and Shout, the Cougars are out…” We taught it to the kids a few years ago, and if the boys DO go to BYU, they will be ready to sing that song at each game;) My friend at Chatty Walls cut the vinyl for me, so if you want the same thing, contact Chelon and she’ll whip it up for you since she already has it done for me!
home decor I found the metal 3D sports art at Hobby Lobby. My boys love to play outside with football and soccer their favorite sports. Pretty much the day I bought them, I planned to spray paint them. I’m a big fan of spray painting transformations, and I love them white–they pop on the wall nicely! Here is a (fuzzy) close up of the before of the sports art:

spray paint
You’ll see it better in the video below. The shield with CTR stands for Choose The Right. My kids have been given rings with the same emblem on them, and I like the phrase as a reminder to what? Make. Good. Choices. If you want a ring, here is the traditional version, but there are LOTS of versions to choose from. I made the shield with cardboard, yellow puffy paint (that I had on hand), and silver spray paint. My lovely assistant on hand, as well.

Here is a close up of the after of the CTR shield. I hung it up free standing with industrial velcro, that I used for the quote boards as well. LOVE industrial velcro!!!
I got this book, The Answered Prayer, for the boys a while ago. It’s about a football player and a prayer he offered during a game.
Answered prayer
On the right of the wall, I have the printable you can download, I hope they call me on a mission, with a bike as well as the quote on the left, Work as if everything depends on you, Pray as if everything depends on the Lord. These are both printed on a board at Sams Club and adhered with industrial velcro.

home diy


You can also see the big “Y” art up close in detail here. Then I found the board art, Sometimes being a big Brother is better than being a superhero bought at the Queen Bee Market at SNAP conference last year, and can be purchased from Cait Create here. The dark blue paint is Filoli Dark Iris by Valspar.

Next, we have the Longhorn side:
University of Texas
We got the perfect burnt orange paint shade at our local Lowe’s, they just had it on file. It’s called University of  Texas by Valspar. With PLAY letters, I thought it would be fun to remind the boys not only to work hard, but to play hard. It’s important to PLAY! UT diy

My boys favorite Thomas Jefferson quotes up on the wall, one on each side of the longhorn. Below is a not so great close up picture of the quote, Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today (surprised me that it was a favorite of my son!).

free printable

The quote boards I printed at Sams Club on a mounted board. The prints on the right, I got a little crafty which I didn’t end up loving as much, but my boys did!

thomas jefferson

I printed 3 8×10 prints and tore the edges, then rubbed chalk on the edges. On a spray painted gold board, I mod podged the torn prints down, then hot glued rope to frame it (found the rope at hobby lobby in the ribbon section)!


I used that quote just last night with my son, and it made him smile instead of being more angry (with another kid that ruffled his feathers). THAT made me smile;)

I simply LOVE the pic below of my boys. I took it over a year ago, but it’s the best. They are hugging, and I told them to smile for real and they flashed a cheesy smile and they thought they were so funny for flashing a cheesy smile that they laughed the greatest laugh together! WIN for me! (entrance to their room door on the right, bathroom door on the left)

decorate with pictures

I found the “longhorn country” sign at Good Will. Though I wanted to do a little more with this wall, my oldest son said, we almost can’t see the  paint anymore on our walls….that was a sign to stop. They actually REALLY love everything that we’ve put on the walls and that makes me happy. Below on the right is the door to the bathroom , left is a closet.

diy decor

Here is just a little snippet of storage buckets that slide under the beds. This one is filled with Lego’s (son #2 LOVES), and we have another filled with a million star wars galactic heroes characters and ships (which they don’t play with much, but I can’t ever let go of them because I spents years of my life searching for just the right guys with my friend Linda). Their laundry baskets also slide nicely under the bed.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the finished product of the room, and most importantly, my boys think its pretty awesome.  I like theme rooms–anything to cement into their childhood visual memories and fun. I know it’s not necessary, but I’m very artistically visual when it comes to memories, and I still remember the rainbow wallpaper on my bedroom wall as a child.
home diy

I decided I wanted to share some videos on my blog this year, and I thought a video would help to see the layout of the room better since pictures don’t give the overall scene very well. It’s a very short clip, just one take, and kinda dark at times with the window, but you get the idea. Enjoy!

recap of resources:
Blue paint on wall and bunkbed is Filoli Dark Iris by Valspar
Burnt orange paint is University of Texas by Valspar
Large “Y” and Longhorn Big wooden custom signs as room decor
Inspirational quote printables download
Giant PLAY letters at Hobby Lobby
Metal Sports 3D art from Hobby Lobby (still there as of january 2013)
Vinyl lettering BYU fight song from Chatty Walls
Quote printables printed at Sams Club on the art board. $15 for a 16×20, not available online, just in store
BROTHER quote board from Cait.Create.

Did I miss something?!? Do you have a room with a college or sports theme?



Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. FANTASTIC Kristen!!!! I bet they LOVE it!

  2. great job! love it all!!!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!

  4. great job! I love how you transformed the sports art to make them uniform and really pop on the wall and using the fight song for big decor!

  5. Jacqueline says:

    Awesome, awesome, I LOVE it!!! Love the colors, the way the theme comes together, and the bit of inspiration mixed in. Plus I think it’s really neat that your boys are so happy with it too!

  6. Love the room! I especially love the photo of them together, and your “trick” of getting it ;)

  7. wonderful job!!! and hard work hehe I don’t know how you manage it :) I am surprised there aren’t that many toys and/or books in their room or nowhere to keep them (that I can see at least :))

  8. it was fun to hear your voice :)

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I have another video on my sidebar talking about photographing a family…it’s longer and I talk more with much better quality, but I am glad you like this video!

  9. awesome!! can you come help me out with some rooms in my house? ;)

    • Kristen Duke says:

      OH boy…my goal is a room a month to finish what I’ve started! You know i want to make it down to Brasil someday…;)

  10. Star Wars galactic heroes :) what memories! Beautifully done, my dear friend!

  11. Their room looks so cool. I want a room like that.

  12. Very cute ideas Kristen. I’m impressed. I love the way you were able to marry the two themes so well. Great job!!!

  13. Wow! Looks like an Interior Designer did that room. I bet your boys love it!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Really??? Wow, thank you! There are things that I’m not sure about, but I gotta let it go and just let my boys enjoy!

  14. oh my goodness! It turned out amazing! How about you come and do my kids rooms now :)

    • Kristen Duke says:

      whatever, girl, you’ve got the gene! we need to flop, you’ve got your family space ready, i’m working on all of our bedrooms first!

  15. Awesome!

  16. Cute! Although, I kept looking for University of Utah stuff! When I saw BYU and UT I automatically thought of Blue vs. red! Go Utes!

  17. Beautiful! I love that you spray painted the metal pictures; what a great idea! Thanks for all the great ideas!
    Mackenzie :)

  18. Fantastic! I love how it all looks. My son has that exact same storage bin for his Legos and it is also under his bed. That container works great because they can dig through it without having to dump the entire bin out!

  19. Kristen, my husband and I are D-Y-I-N-G over this room!!!! Seriously, my husband was like “can you pin that?” “and that?” “and that?” as I was scrolling through the post! We’d also like you to come and decorate OUR room like that please (well, just BYU, obvi ;)

    You are incredible!!!!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      haha, thats funny! I love that your hubby was in on the pinning! That room was a labor of love….glad it’s “complete”!

  20. Wow it turned out so great!!! We half-way have our 3 year olds room as a Wisconsin Badger theme. Once he’s a little older, and we move into our new home, I’m hoping to go all out! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Ali @craftyWImama recently posted..Starting A Second Blog – Budget WeddingMy Profile

  21. The rooms are so pretty… the colors.

  22. The rooms are so pretty… the colors. word art is the best!

  23. I love the graphic nature of the room, and that it can grow with your sons as their tastes change, or not. I also love how you found items at places like Costco and adapted them to fit your design. Very cool!

    I would love for you to link this up at my Fabulously Frugal Thursday linky. It’s perfect!
    Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted..fabulously frugal thursday: kids making choices with activitiesMy Profile

  24. What a fun boy room… super cool! Thanks so much for coming to party at Super Saturday Show & Tell :) I hope you’ll come again next week. xoxo~ Ruthie
    Ruthie recently posted..Super Saturday Show & Tell #6My Profile

  25. SO cute! How fun for the boys to share and still have their own expressions. I came over from TT&J. Would love for you to come over and check out my blog…
    Emily @

  26. I love it! Especially how you incorporated each of their individual likes in the room they share! I am currently doing my son’s room right now who is a huge BYU fan! Fun to see all your great ideas! Might have to borrow a couple of them! xo
    Amy {The Idea Room} recently posted..Grace Adele GiveawayMy Profile

  27. Love the longhorn art! The room looks amazing!

  28. Thanks for much for linking up this week Kristen! I featured your post in my wrap up

    Have a great weekend!
    TidyMom recently posted..14 Great DIY Projects | I’m Lovin’ It FeaturesMy Profile

  29. What an awesome room, I love how the colors pop! Have you thought about taking the doors off the closets to allow for more space? We ended up hanging beads instead of closet doors and it really opened up my kid’s rooms.

  30. I LOVE this! The room looks so great! We’d love for you to link this up at our party!

  31. I love that I found this on the BYU/Utah game day :) I love the bold colors! Go Cougars!

  32. My spouse and i appreciate, bring about I uncovered exactly what I had been seeking. You have concluded the 4 evening extensive hunt! Lord Bless you gentleman. Have a great day time. Ok bye

  33. Can I ask how you made the wood “Y” sign? How did you get the design that big? Love the room!

  34. surely such as your site but you have to look into the spelling in quite a few of one’s articles. Several of them are rife along with punctuational troubles and that i to locate the item incredibly frustrating to express to reality on the other hand I’ll definitely revisit all over again.


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