Home Improvement and Family Bonding

In what's become a family tradition, 12 year old Adam is getting an extreme bedroom makeover this summer.  Big brother Eric started the trend when he had his room redecorated to suit his tastes prior to entering junior high.  Now it's Adam's turn to learn the steps of how to revamp a bedroom on a budget.  He's been involved in the project at every step of the way, even sketching a design of his desired end result to use as a master plan. 

Here are a few of the life lessons Adam's learned along the path to renovation:

>Have a plan – Adam's theme inspiration is to create a Japanese style room.  He consulted design books and photos on the internet, trying to come up with creative and inexpensive solutions that would work in his room.

>Declutter first – Step one, after design, was to remove every item from the bedroom and assess whether it was a keeper or a giver.  Adam donated many of his used books, toys and clothing to make better use of his living space.  He made the decision on which items to donate and took them to the donation site.

>Be willing to compromise – Mom has last right of refusal on items like painting all the walls black.

>Shop around – After looking around at countless furniture stores, consignment vendors and even thrift stores, Adam and Dad decided the best and most affordable bed solution was to build a simple platform bed.

>Get to know your power tools – Under adult supervision, Adam has not only painted the walls to his room, but has also used tools like the paint sprayer, power sander and saws.

>Hard work pays off – The room is not finished yet, but the project is already a success.  Adam and his dad have had a wonderful time over the course of the past few weeks turning his dream into a reality.

Adam's Samurai room may not make the cover of a magazine, but he will remember this tradition for years to come and may even repeat it one day with his son.  Let's just see what he says when his son wants to paint the walls black!

Home-work for Today:

>Engage your family in a home improvement project.  This can be as simple as having your children go through their closets and bookshelves to declutter and donate gently used items.

>Teach your child, or yourself, how to use one power tool today.

The Bookshelf:

Decorating Kids' Rooms: Nurseries to Teen Retreats (Better Homes & Gardens)

Reading Room Resources:
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Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of www.CatholicMom.com and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at LisaHendey.com.

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