Is it time to spruce up or modernize a bedroom for a favorite teen in your life? A bedroom for young people this age is a haven, a place to escape and a room of which to be proud. The first decorating tip is a very basic and simple one and will save you a lot of heartache that you might have otherwise endured if it had not been followed:
Do not do this decorating project as a surprise . . . allow him or her to help plan the room with as many ideas as can be envisioned.
Mooooom, that’s DISGUSTING!
Another good detail to remember is that although the teen is still “your baby” in your parental eyes, they will most likely not want puppy and kitty curtains and sheets. Unless there is a very good reason for you to veto choices, allow the teen to make as many of the selections as possible.
How to Begin . . .
If it will be a total redecorating project, one of the first things you will be facing is what kind of wall treatment you will be using. If you’re painting, it is easier because you can show paint sample cards to the teen and a color can be chosen very easily.
On the other hand, if you are doing wallpaper, you will need to page through a sample book. If you will be tackling the project by yourself or with the teen and are not familiar with wallpaper, I definitely suggest taking the paint option. (Or hire someone to do the papering . . . it can truly become a frustrating and brutal undertaking!) Putting a wallpaper border all around the top or center of the room is always a great choice, and there are countless borders available now!
Under your feet and over the windows . . .
Next you will be deciding about the floor. Is it a carpeted floor and if so, will you be keeping the same carpet? If not, do you want to re-carpet or perhaps you would prefer stripping and staining the natural wood grain (providing it’s a wood floor!) and using area rugs that the teen will be able to choose.
Select your window treatment next and measure for the curtains. Will you be using blinds? If so, there are many kinds available that were not possible to buy in the past including blinds that look like wood and even denim! Curtains of all colors and styles are plentiful and it may be a fun activity to shop with the teen online for the curtains, sheets, bedspread, etc.
One of the most popular curtain choices for teens currently is a curtain with ribbons hanging from the top. They are available in all colors either pastel or bold. The beaded room dividers that were so popular in the 70s are also making a comeback. An alternative option if you enjoy doing crafts is to choose fabric with the teen and make the curtains yourself. This is usually something that is a good idea if you are facing budget restraints.
Color schemes and teenage themes . . .
One word of forewarning here . . . the chances are rather high that you will not think the color scheme chosen by the teen is something that you would have chosen. But that’s why he or she is picking the colors and accents for the room that will be a personal refuge.
Another very popular decorating theme seems to be animal prints. Curtains, sheets, and bedspreads can be found in anything from cheetah spots to zebra stripes. Don’t be too shocked if your teen chooses a faux fur bedspread of some very bright neon color either. Bright colors are all the rage now, too.
Have a seat . . .
When it is time to plan things like seating space and what kind of furniture will be placed around the room, you may find the budget stretching a little too thin. Furniture is very expensive so there are a number of ways to get around that if it would be a problem. First of all, decide what kind of furniture will be placed into the room.
Some idea starters are listed here, but add anything else that the teen or you want to place into the room according to needs or wants:
– Bed and headboard (You may not be planning to replace this at all)
– Computer desk (Or writing/homework desk if the teen is computer-less)
– Beanbag or other comfortable chair
– Good lighting for reading (Regular lamp? Desk light? Floor lamp?)
– Space for stereo, CDs, etc.
– Dresser or chest of drawers
– Full length mirror
After you know what furniture you will need, decide which pieces you already have, want to refinish, or need to buy. With a little bit of work and searching, you may find that you will not need to spend as much money as you may have originally feared.
Ways to spend less on these items include:
1. See what can be stripped and refinished instead of buying new
2. Can any of the furniture be painted?
3. Will decorating with transfers help to liven up a dresser or headboard?
4. Check yard sales and flea markets. This is a great resource for furniture at a fraction of the cost!
What to do about storage
Storage is often a problem when redoing a room, especially if the teen had a penchant for keeping belongings in no specific order or in any particular spot. Check into under bed storage containers or perhaps some containers to store in the closet. Storage cubes are also quite popular now and they come in various colors, styles, and materials. A few of those cubes around the room or in the closet can make a huge difference for things that formerly didn’t have a home.
Another thing to consider is a trunk that you should be able to find at a flea market if the room is large enough to have one at the foot of the bed. The teen can store sheets and blankets in the trunk, or just other belongings if you already have space in the home for bed linens.
Keeping the teen’s interests in mind . . .
While discussing plans for the room, remember to keep the interests and needs of the teen in mind. If they are an avid reader, for one example, you will want not only comfortable seating for that activity, but also good lighting. A reading chair at the opposite end of the room from the lamp will not be a good idea.
Does the young person often have friends over to spend time in the room? If so, you may need to have a little more seating available than previously planned. A couple of beanbags are usually a good choice. If the teen has video games or a television, would a video rocker be a good addition to the room?
Last things last . . .
When everything else is taken care of, the teen can have some fun choosing accent pieces such as wall hangings. Some possible suggestions are:
– Framed posters
– The teen’s own photography (matted and framed)
– Hanging tapestry
– Shadow box
– Stringed lanterns
– Paintings and other artwork