Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Give Me My Space...Tween/Teen Bedroom Design Tips

Have you seen the commercial where the mom, daughter and sales associate are standing in the paint department at Lowe's trying to agree on paint color for the teenage daughters room?  I recently had that moment with my daughter Hallie.  We have spent the last few weeks coming up with and implementing some changes to her bedroom.  She has chosen a color scheme of black, white, gray and turquoise for her new look.  I am patiently trying to explain (ok, maybe not exactly patiently) why certain grays will work and others won't and thinking that she could be my toughest client yet!  I'm having a hard time disengaging the designer hat and wearing just the mom hat. 

Choosing colors and laying it all out!

Hallie's Color Samples

As our kids become tweens and teens, they are outgrowing the ruffles, dinosuars and more childish themes we so thoughtfully chose for them.  They are ready for a more sophisticated functional room.  Many teens actually have a good eye for design and an idea of how they want to live in this space.  Via TV and movies like Gossip Girl, Twilight and all the Disney Channel shows they are exposed to what's new and trendy and the trick is to interpret this into everyday living.  Teenagers spend hours hibernating in their rooms and with the advent of technology they are texting, video chatting or gaming, listening to ipods, watching TV or contemplating that cute boy/girl in history class, there may actually be a little homework going on too. 


So a good place to start is with what your child's interests are and some possible themes: sports they play or teams they love, dance, music, theatre (Hollywood Glam is really hot right now), surfing, skateboarding, animal prints, an ethnic theme like moroccan, african, french or italian; outdoor adventures, camoflage, etc. Maybe an industrial or Tye Dye Hippie look is what they're into.  

How are they going to use the space?  Are you trying to make it more functional for them as homework demands grow?  Do they need a desk area and technology hookups?  Is it going to be a place where friends will come and hangout?  Measure your area and determine the best layout for how everything will fit to accomplish your goals.  Next,  what's staying and what's going?  Can furniture be repurposed with a coat of paint and new hardware.  Now might be the time to step up to a bigger bed or a new dresser.  Depending on the age of your teenager, plan ahead for what they might be able to take with them to college.  Storage is key for teenagers and shelving units with baskets to hold all those flash drives, ticket stubs, etc. that accumulate will keep them a little more tidy looking (what? I know I said tidy and teenager in the same sentence). 
Roxy @ Bed Bath & Beyond

Now...the fun part.  What colors to use?  Citrusy colors, black, white, pink, turquoise, brown and blue or , yellow and gray?  Go shopping with your teen and see what's out there.  Target, JC Penneys, Sears, Pottery Barn Teen and Bed Bath and Beyond all have the current popular colors in sets or you can make up your own combinations.  Kids have just gone back to school or off to college so there are lots of choices out there right now.  Choose a rug and pillows to accent these colors.  Curtain Panels and accessories finish it off but beware of making it look too matchey matchey.  You want a cohesive look that says, "hey I've moved on from Hannah Montana and these are my interests now!"  This is a great opportunity to give them a budget and let them research the cost of new items before actually hitting the stores.  You can work together on painting walls and/or furniture. In Hallie's case, she wanted to do the painting all herself and I wasn't going to say no.  Quite frankly, she did a great job, got a great appreciation of how much work it is and even did her own touchups!  She is away this week as a counselor for 6th Grade Science Camp so I'm trying to pull it all together while she's gone.  I will share pictures when it's done.

Her weapon of choice...of course she had to paint a heart on the wall first!

If your tween should want to paint their room a dark color like black, don't freak but compromise with painting one wall, the ceiling or use chalkboard paint so they can create their own masterpieces as inspiration strikes.

PB Teen

PB Teen

Below are pictures of Alek's room that I did earlier this year.  He was moving into a different bedroom and his mom Nancy wanted a place for him and his friends to hangout.

                                                                  Before with red and gold 

New paint and laminate floors by handywoman extradonaire, Wendy Malone from A Woman's Touch


                                          With new bedding, nite stands, rug and headboard
he got a new room in beige, browns and blue. 

New media console and flatscreen...sweet!  You
can't see from my pictures the blue rug on the floor but it
looks great on the new laminate floor.  This room functions
for Alek and his buddies to hang out and play video games
or watch a movie with his family.

And once your teenager has flown the nest as my nephew Cody did this past Spring, my sister converted his room into a craft/hangout/bonus guestroom.  Check out how cute it is...

Using Cody's bed, she added new bedding she bought and pillows she made...

Love the vinyl stick chandelier on the newly painted walls.

Ooohh...scrapbooking heaven all organized.

Kids at the tween/teen age are going to hang out in their rooms A LOT!!! Work together to give them a space that helps them define who they are and maybe they'll invite you in once in awhile!

To Your Interior View,


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