During the younger years, your child adores your every move. As he or she grows, your tastes tend to differ…sometimes drastically. When it comes to designing a teen’s room, differences in preferences and selections will likely be your greatest hurdle. Be patient and allow your teen the freedom to express him or herself.
A private retreat is an important part of growing up. When it seems no one understands you—usually even yourself!—it’s nice to have a restful get-a-way to call your own.
Help your teen update his ‘big kid’ room and turn it into a posh pad that reflects his personality, interests and hobbies. Loosen the reigns, incorporate some new privileges (as well as responsibilities!), and allow your teen to blossom into a young adult in his own space.
As your baby grows from infant to toddler to child to teen, the space in their bedroom seems to diminish. As beds and dressers become larger to accommodate your growing child, ultimately the floor space dwindles. The layout of the room becomes less about creativity and more about functionality.
Try to designate an area of the room as the workstation. This allows your teen to focus on his or her homework without distractions.
If your teen will have a television in his or her room, ensure easy viewing while lying in bed.
Unless enforced, teens rarely make their beds in the morning. Consider placing the bed away from the door so that you don’t have to look at the mess every time you walk by their room.
With newfound privileges of being a teenager come newfound responsibilities. Cleaning and being accountable for one’s room is likely one of those responsibilities. Teens aren't usually very keen on cleaning, so help them out and opt for low-maintenance floor coverings such as wood, linoleum or cork—a quick sweep or mop and they are like new again. If the room is in the basement and has a concrete floor, play with colour. It’s easy; just paint elements that complement the decor, add rugs and you are done.
Use rugs to define different activity zones.
Bamboo mats are the height of "in", are resistant and low-priced, and they add an exotic touch.
Rugs of different colours and shapes liven up the floor.
Always provide a rug to step into and out of bed onto. Nobody likes sandy feet in their bed.
At this age, teens' tastes (like their moods!) change rapidly. One day they love bold geometric shapes, the next, they prefer delicate prints. These tastes are easy to accommodate with reversible duvet covers. With a flick of the wrist — a new look! The same goes for the curtains.
You do not need to spend a fortune on window coverings. Low priced curtains in fashionable fabrics are widely available. Your teen can be in style, while you save money. A cotton or bamboo blind offers privacy and reduces light, as needed.
Don’t forget to add cushions in a coordinating fabric. Tossed on the floor, they provide cozy seating for plenty of friends.
Evading family areas, teenagers retreat to their bedrooms (often totally-equipped) to watch television, listen to music, surf the internet, phone their friends, and study. The room must be multi-functional, and furnishings must adapt to their new needs.
Lighting creates the mood. Young people will love adding light sources to change the mood with a flick of the switch. Today, lamps come in all shapes and sizes: they twist and turn, fix to the wall or stand on the floor—everything to suit the teen with a taste for novelty. To meet different needs, plan for:
Blasting music, blaring television, booming video games – teens have auditory capacities well beyond those of their parents. To protect the rest of the household from their ruckus, there are simple, cost-effective ways to soundproof the room.
All these measures will help reduce noise to a certain extent.
As we mentioned earlier, teens are not so fond of cleaning, so you’ll want to make tidying-up easy for them. Strategic planning for the clothes closet is a must (especially if your teen is a fashion-addict). A diverse range of storage systems are available to optimize space.
Shelves, bars, drawers, and shoe racks help keep things tidy.
Don’t forget one (or more) laundry hampers for dirty clothes.
For small objects (jewelry, watches, glasses) add containers such as little baskets or mini-bins in dresser drawers.
Try this practical idea: convert their toy box (if it is not too babyish) into a storage box for bedding or big woolly sweaters.
Books, magazines, records and games can go on shelves or in cubes fixed to the wall or above doors and windows.
An often-neglected space, under the bed is the perfect place for storing boxes and baskets of out-of-season clothes. As well as freeing up space in the closet, this solution makes use of that wasteland under the bed where socks and other miscellaneous objects go astray.
In adolescence, young people begin to cultivate a secret garden. They need a private place for their diary, letters from friends, and other intimate items. Help them find a spot (a chest or lockable drawer) to keep their things away from others' eyes. Promise to respect their privacy. You are not encouraging them to turn inward, but are recognizing their very legitimate need. Hopefully, they will appreciate your trust and will not take advantage of it by hiding more serious things.
Teenagers love intense, contrasting colours: red, blue, orange, violet, and black. Sometimes they mix colours you would never dream of putting together. To avoid a cacophony of colours, suggest they work with three at the most.
For a pleasing effect, see that they follow these proportions:
Does your teen want to paint their room black? Don’t panic. It's not such a crazy idea. Used carefully, black can create a wonderful effect—it has even become quite trendy in some of the design magazines.
To brighten the room, paint woodwork and the ceiling cream.
Use different types of lighting to liven up the decor.
For more impact, incorporate color through the window treatments or rugs on the floor.
Surprisingly, you just might find you really enjoy the unexpected look. (If not, remind yourself that this style will pass, and with a few strokes of the paintbrush, the room can be transformed back to normal when your teen moves out.) Another option—perhaps a good compromise: Suggest your teen try a midnight blue rather than black. It is easier to coordinate with fabrics and accessories, but the effect is just as mysterious as black.
A washable semi-gloss finish on the walls may be a good option considering the fingers that will constantly be rubbing against the walls.
Teenagers rooms shy away from themes and motifs as they are too ‘baby-ish’ for these nearly grown adults. Instead, teen rooms reflect their personalities, hobbies and personal interests.
Posters and paraphernalia of the teen’s favorite stars are often used to decorate their rooms. From athletes and musicians to movie stars and Hollywood icons, teens dream of meeting or sometimes being the very people posted on their walls. To make the most of these posters, choose an area to create a photo gallery. This could be a large band at eye level on two or three walls, or a well-defined section of wall (painted a different colour, or framed with moulding). It could also be a large magnetic board or corkboard fixed to the wall.
Hobbies are extremely trendy to design a teen’s room around. Consider using items associated with skateboarding, surfing, photography, sewing or any other activity your teen enjoys to dress up his or her room.
The ultimate trend in a teen’s room is your plain and simply, your teen. Cater to his or her desires—encourage them to be their own unique person rather than following what the rest of the crowd is doing.
This is a time when your teenage kids are asserting their personalities, so take note of their tastes and desires to design a distinctive bedroom they will enjoy and will be proud to show to their friends.