Decorating Rooms for Teens

If you are like me, you probably entered a state of shock and denial when your child turned 13.  After so many years of caring for small children, it is such a major mental transition to think that you are now a parent of a teenager!  Of course, your mind will wander to all of the challenges ahead.  You may experience a combination of feelings, ranging from great pride and excitement to anxiety and fear of these unknown years.

Now that this emotional roller coaster ride has come to a halt, I am ready to tackle the first big task associated with being the mom of a teen.  It’s time to redecorate her room!  We need to change things up a bit and set the stage for a fun and successful dwelling experience to last from middle school, through high school, and into college.

As moms to children of all ages, there are enough things to worry about, so decorating is the last thing that should be difficult.  Here are a few tips to keep the process of decorating your teen’s room fun and stress-free.  The best part is, in the end you will not only end up with a fabulous new space, but with a happy child, and I guarantee some great bonding will happen during the process.

1. Start with Smart Storage 
One of the side effects of being a teen seems to be an uncanny ability to accumulate “stuff.”  Whether it is notebooks, textbooks, novels, magazines, purses, or shoes, there is now a seemingly bottomless pit of “things” to be dealt with.  This is where clever (and cute) storage comes in.  Make sure that your teen’s room is equipped with both a generously-sized cork and magnet/dry erase boards.  This will help to keep random papers off the floor and keep to do lists in check.  Next, you will need some bins.  My favorites are metal storage bins that are available in a TON of irresistible designs, and can be personalized with either names or phrases for easy labeling.  These look great both on the floor and on shelves.   I love when style meets function so perfectly!  Lastly, I would suggest strategically placing a few fun wall hooks in your teen’s room, for book bags, athletic gear, purses, and jewelry.

2. Shelving, Shelving and More Shelving
Incorporate shelves, wherever and however you can.  I love built-in storage, but for many of us, that isn’t an option due to space and budget constraints.  Freestanding bookshelves or wall shelves are other great options, too.  Now there are a ton of really neat wall shelving units available that mimic the look of built-ins, and provide a ton of space for displaying books, photos frames and memorabilia.  These units are really versatile and can often accommodate a bed or desk area.

3. Comfy Seating 
Beanbags or lounge chairs are a must for a teen’s room, for hanging out with friends, listening to music, reading or working on a laptop.  Another cool option is an upholstered chair that pulls out into a twin bed for sleepovers.

4. Loft Beds & Bunk Beds
Furniture manufacturers have gotten so clever lately.  I still marvel at the innovative loft bed, bunk bed, under bed trundle/storage and sleep and study systems that are available today.  I opted for a full size loft bed with desk underneath for my teen, because of space constraints, but the possibilities are endless.

5. Functional Study Space
At this age, so much time is spent doing homework, and working on a computer, it is essential that your teen has a dedicated space to work.  I think a big surface space is great to allow plenty of room to keep organized.

6. Keep Decor Cheerful & Fun
Last, but certainly not least, the decor and color scheme are not only the most important contributing factors to the overall look of the room, but potentially the most contentious.  Ahh, this is where it gets interesting!  Up until now, you as the parent have made these decisions mostly uncontested.  Now, your teen has (strong) opinions about he or she wants, and those opinions may be (very) different from yours.  At this age, teens have typically outgrown the whimsical and cute, and are more attracted to a look that is more trendy and edgy.  I find that there can be a fine line between tacky and funky and between eclectic and mismatched, so this is where I had to gently guide my teen to make stylish choices that she will want to live with for years to come.  Your teen will want to have fun with color, patterns, and textures, and by keeping it simple with your furniture selections, you can be more creative with accessories.

Susie Fougerousse

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