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Decorating Teen Bedrooms


Published: 09/18/2012

by Catherine Fantauzzi

 The teenage years are the most intense time of self-expression and their bedrooms are the only room in the home where they can feel independent and do as they wish (within limits, of course). Teens want their space to reflect their own set of needs and personality. Friends, fashion, technology, telephones and music are high on their priority lists.

Teenagers usually know what they want in a bedroom and are quick to tell you. They also have ideas about style, colour and storage needs. They may want to accommodate a number of activities in one room.

In recent years the market for home furnishings for teenagers and young adults has increased tremendously. The emerging trend indicates that teen bedrooms work best when decorated like a mini-apartment, minus the kitchen, of course.

When planning to redecorate a bedroom for teen children, sit with them and start to list all the activities that will be happening in that room. Then create a space plan. You must be realistic in determining how much you can actually accommodate within the size of the room.

Concentrate on the essentials -- the bed, work area and storage. Edit out everything that the kids have outgrown, including furniture, paint colours or wallpaper, window treatments, toys, collectibles and clothes.

Pick a theme or decorative concept your teen likes and use it throughout the space to define the look and feel they want. For instance, young women may want their personal space to look fresh, cheerful and informal, or elegant yet up-to-date. Young men may want their space to reflect their interests, whether it's cars, music or sports, through bold colours and shiny surfaces.

Today, teen bedrooms not only have a full-size bed, but also include seating such as a small loveseat or comfortable upholstered chairs for reading and entertaining friends. Including a sofa bed for friends sleeping over is a favourite for teens.

Don't skimp on the bed's mattress, as good quality mattresses offer more support for those growing bones. Headboards and footboards can give a more grown-up feeling to the room and set the tone for the decorative style you have chosen.

Desks should be large enough to hold a computer and still have ample space to spread out papers and books. Ergonomic chairs and proper lighting are essential for hours spent doing homework, studying or surfing the net.

Storage is important at this stage of life. Teens define themselves by their possessions -- CDs, DVDs, clothes, computer and technology equipment, books, magazines, stereos, TVs and phones. Dressers, shelving units, armoires and bookcases should not only provide this storage but should lend themselves to the decorative style of the space. Also, consider areas for placing large items such as musical instruments and storage for sports equipment.

Furnishings do not have to match perfectly, however. Combine pieces that relate and harmonize with one another because of shared colours, shape or scale. Select one to three colours that reflect your teen's preference and personality to use on the walls, floors (including area rugs), in furnishings, and on fabrics and art or memorabilia.

Don't rely on just one source of lighting to effectively illuminate the different areas of your teen's bedroom. Supply ambient light by installing wall sconces, floor lamps and table and desk lamps. Mirrors help reflect the light back into the space.

Window treatments should be simple and practical. Window blinds and shades are good choices to provide privacy and can be coupled with lining on drapery treatments for light control. Fabric should be versatile and patterns should be repeated in other items in the room, such as bed linens and decorative pillows.

Display your teen's belongings that have personal meaning to them and enhance the look, feel and theme of the room. Keep their memorabilia or art in proper scale and group similar objects together. Too much clutter can spoil the effect of a well-decorated room.

The main thing to remember when decorating for teens is to do it with their input. After all, it's all about creating an environment that expresses who they are. Many teens really care about what constitutes good design and want to surround themselves with it.

If you and your teen cannot agree on what goes into a bedroom, or if you're having difficulty planning the space, then hire a decorating professional who is trained and qualified to analyze the space and formulate design concepts that are appropriate, aesthetically pleasing and functional for your teen's needs.


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