Batcave Bedroom | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published March 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated April 4, 2022 at 8:03 p.m.

Parents: Kele and Chris Bourdeau - Kids: Sons Phin, 7, and Zac, 5 - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • matthew thorsen
  • Parents: Kele and Chris Bourdeau
    Kids: Sons Phin, 7, and Zac, 5

When Kele Bourdeau moved into a house in Burlington's New North End two years ago, she wasn't a fan of the wood paneling covering many of its walls. In the living room, she painted the planks a soft grey and was surprised by how much that lightened up the space.

She took a much bolder approach in the bedroom shared by her sons, Phin, 7, and Zac, 5. Inspired by their love of the 1960's "Batman" TV series, Bourdeau painted a Gotham-style cityscape with bright yellow windows. She covered their paneling with purple and black vertical stripes. Light beams bearing Bat-Signals emanate from two of the skyscrapers. Inside the rays of light, Bourdeau used glow-in-the-dark paint to spell out her sons' names — a fun feature when it's time for lights out.

Bourdeau — who took art classes in college — did the mural freehand. Painting, she says, provides her with a "creative release." She let her first grader and preschooler pitch in, even though it meant a less-than-perfect paint job in some spots.

The caped-crusader motif extends to other parts of the room: Batman-themed blankets and sheets adorn the twin beds, and a retro-looking bat light scored at Big Lots hangs on the wall. A bright purple blanket, knitted by the boys' grandmother, adds a personal touch. And there are plenty of Bat-toys scattered around, including a plastic Batcave, and a Joker alarm clock Phin recently got for his seventh birthday.

But not everything adheres to the theme. There's a cat poster on the wall, and Superman stickers are strategically placed inside each Bat-Signal.

Bourdeau's philosophy: "When it's your room, you can do what you want."

Budget-Friendly Touches

  • Bourdeau bought the mural paint on sale at Lowe's. The yellow hue used for the light beams and windows came from the return shelf and cost less than a dollar.
  • Bat lanterns hanging in the corners of the room and little strings of bat lights came from a dollar store.
  • Bourdeau pulled apart a sparkly black bat wreath she got for 15 cents at a drugstore after Halloween, and affixed the winged creatures to the wall with poster putty.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.