Decorating with teens: How to style a bedroom you'll both love

by Jo Walker
Photo Credit: Stephanie Rose Wood

Decorating with teens: How to style a bedroom you'll both love

Your baby's all grown up - well, semi grown up - and wanting a bedroom with fewer dinosaur, fairy and farm animal designs. Time to sob a tiny bit in the corner and then plan to create a space you can both live with and love. Think of this as a bonding exercise: listen well, communicate well, and combine your skills to come up with something great.

Get Practical

Good design starts with function, so help your teen think about what they really need from their bedroom. What functions does the space have to serve? There will be a bed for sleeping, obviously, and maybe a desk for study. Beyond that, it depends on your kid's interests and lifestyle. (And how much space you have.) Do they need a place for their guitar? A cosy reading nook to cuddle up with the latest novel? Lots of storage space for sports equipment? Come up with a list of 'must-haves' and some 'nice-to-haves'.

Get Inspired

OK, here's the fun part. What kind of stuff do they like? What styles and colours and ideas are they into? Pinterest is a good place to start if you or your teen need some direction. Or go through magazines, websites and social media accounts that focus on interiors and share your finds with each other. You never know what you might discover along the way. Does your kid like a hip-hop look? Do they loathe the colour purple? Are they secretly a goth? Remember: this is their taste, not yours. Once it's done, you can always close the door behind you.

Set A Budget

Come up with a dollar amount you're comfortable with before you and your teen plan the makeover. This is a good chance to talk a bit about budgeting and how to make good spending choices - while leaving a bit of room for fun stuff, too. If you're after furniture, think about well-made second-hand pieces that can be upcycled with a good clean or a lick of paint. For small budgets, focus on bargain investments that will have a big impact - a new quilt cover, or a cool piece of art.

Set Parameters

If you own your home and you're happy to repaint a rebellious black bedroom at some future point, then have at it. If you rent - or do not relish having multiple holes knocked in the wall - then add that to the teen bedroom negotiations. Be honest and be practical. Compromise where you can (maybe one goth feature wall is enough?), and try some creative solutions along the way. Removable hooks will save walls from being covered in nails and screws. Large artworks and quilt covers can provide colour and texture if you can't be bothered with wallpaper.

Don't Forget Storage

Children tend to enter their teen years with a fair pile of stuff, and that pile just keeps getting bigger. So provide as many places as you can for it all to be stored. Have a think with your teen about the things they use every day, and make sure they're within reach. Everything else can find a home further away (in drawers, inside plastic tubs, in the closet). Encourage your kid to sort through stuff they want on display - which might go on open shelving or in nice baskets and boxes - and what should remain hidden. And make sure you've measured everything first: under-bed storage isn't much good if it's doesn't fit under the bed!

Have Fun, Let Go

As long as you have the practicalities ticked off - bed, laundry basket, place for clean undies - then that's your job done. How much say should your teen have in the rest of the project? A lot. It's their room, after all. Allow them to claim the space as truly theirs (with a few common-sense nudges from mum or dad). You never know, they might even be inspired to keep it clean(ish) and tidy(ish) and vaguely under control. And if they don't, well, that's why bedroom doors exist. Close it firmly and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Related content:

Video: Watch Lulu's bedroom makeover: See how Lulu and her dad pulled together our fun design for her new "grown-up" bedroom look.

Get inspired with Lulu's bedroom makeover: Have a closer look at Lulu's final bedroom look, plus all the products and ideas we used to style her new space.

These DIY flower dangles are super pretty and easy to make: Inspired by Lulu's cute new flower wall? Find out how to make your own (it's surprisingly simple!)

5 ways to (sort of) organise your teen's stuff: Clever - and realistic - storage ideas for all your teen's treasured possessions.

Lara Jean, Claudia Kishi or Regina George: which fictional teen's bedroom is your design crush?: Need more teen bedroom makeover inspiration? Find it in some of pop culture's iconic teen girl bedrooms.




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