Only last week did it feel like you were shopping for a nursery crib and now your teenager is pleading with you to buy a double bed. For young kids the bedroom holds a lot of memories, it’s where they played a princess, a video game or Star Wars character and had dolls or toy cars scattered across the floor. Now, the cute wallpaper and stuffed teddies piled on the bed your child once loved is out-dated and has your “baby” reminding you how embarrassing it now is. The cartoon characters and animals used to bring a cosy warmth to the room but it’s time to make some changes if your teenager is going to feel comfortable.
The best teen bedrooms are those that are relaxed, reflect their personalities and have enough storage to keep clutter (somewhat!) under control. Sound impossible? Not if you allow your teen some input and check out these tips to help you with the transformation.
Yes, you can have the Double Bed
Or if you just want to meet half way, opt for a twin bed. As a youngster, bunk beds are fun and the perfect choice for sleepovers with friends but for teenagers who want to appear more mature, it’s not so ideal. Take your teen out shopping with you and get them to pick their new sheets and blankets to incorporate their favourite style.
Because teens love to hide away in their rooms it’s important to personalise the furniture and create an appropriate space where they can have friends sleep over, relax and entertain. Look for bedroom furniture sets that include a desk and chair and match with the bed and bedside tables.
Update the Curtains
Now is the best time to get rid of those dated curtains and blinds and hunt around for some cooler trends your teen will love. Girls tend to go for the floor to ceiling sheer curtains, sophisticated in design and a touch of femininity whilst boys may opt for basic prints or plain shades.
If your home has blinds throughout, you can keep them in your teen’s room and just dress up the style with some basic curtains over the top. This will add some colour and flavour to the room, increase their control of privacy and light and make it easier to not switch the patterns every year when their taste changes.
The 3s’s – Storerooms, Shelves and Storage
Although they have stepped into their teenager years, big kids can be more attached to their old memories than you realize but too embarrassed to admit they’d like to keep some of their growing up stuff – this is when storage comes in handy. A room can still be transformed into a mature atmosphere but reserve some shelf space for their favourite toy or a few old books. Add a few shelves in the cupboard for items they may want to keep but not want to display, or a few storage containers under the bed can also do the trick.
A Change of Colour
Allow your teen to take control of their space and put them in charge of the colour changes, but be prepared to accept whatever crazy scheme they come up with. Hot pink walls may not be “your thing” but remind yourself it’s your child’s room – not yours. Painting is the easiest way to quickly transform the area and generate a new canvas of what the design of the room will be. Whilst there may be a few guidelines you’ll want to incorporate, giving them some colour freedom will make them feel included in the decision making and proud of their own space. If you really can’t bend on wall colour, let them release their colour craziness with bedding, curtains and rugs – chances are, the phase they are in now will change in 12 months so you won’t have to stare at the hot pink walls or psychedelic punk colours for too long.
This is important. As mentioned earlier, teens spend a lot of time in their rooms – it’s their safe space, their freedom, their chance to be themselves and express who they are so it’s essential the space is versatile.
A teen needs a place to study, listen to music or hang out with a friend. Even in the tiniest room you should be able to accommodate a hang-out space with a comfy chair or some large floor pillows. Depending on the house rules, you may way to consider including a TV or computer. Whether it’s a room to rock out to music, relax or hide away in – your teen will want all their interests covered close by.
Make it Personal
Because they will spend a third of their lives in their own ‘world’, caught up in their own interests their bedroom needs to feel like their own – something that they have created and styled to suit their wants and needs. If your teen is arty, pick up some canvases and paints and allow them to make their own wall art. If your teen thrives on hundreds of pictures of friends around, concert tickets, notes or band posters then incorporate a huge pin up board or a set space for them to stick them up. However you choose to display the things they love, make sure it’s simple for them to add or subtract bits – their likes and dislikes will forever be changing so you want to give them the freedom to personalise their room at any time.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents flummoxed by teen decorating