Planning your teens bedroom

As your child morphs from cute 10-year-old to cool teen, chances are their ideas on how their room should look will change. While some will confine their creative urges to plastering the walls with posters and stickers, others may want to go further (wall-to-wall black, anyone?). To help you navigate the sometimes troubled waters of teen decorating, we asked stylist Megan Morton, author of Home Love: 100 inspiring ideas for creating beautiful rooms for some tips:

What are the three key ingredients for a successful teen’s bedroom?

Storage, storage and storage!

How can you make the space work best for them?

Really assess what kind of teen they are, how they live and how they operate. Let the room be a canvas for that, rather than what the other kids in the house have or operate in.

What are the essentials?

A desk (with multiple drawers); adequate wardrobes (not necessarily for hanging on coat hangers – sometimes drawers to stuff things into are just as good.

How much say should the teenager have in decoration?

A lot. Hand in hand with the overall vision for the house – as long as it’s not detrimental to the potential re-sale of the house in the long-term. There are ways you can offer; versions of their ideas in smaller, less riskier ways.

Any tips on what to say/do should they decide they want the whole room painted black?

Hilariously, that is the colour and tone of my son’s room! I let him do it – there is an age where they really do appreciate the chance to show their flair and visual independence.

Any suggestions on how to keep the room clean?

Take one of two strategies:

  1. Make sure the door on the room can close – and then keep it closed. Ignorance is bliss!
  2. Provide them with enough bins and receptacles for clean and dirty clothes, as well as a desk with more than one open drawer.

Decorating your teen’s room: where to start

  • Chances are that if your child is in his or her early teens, there will be a request for a makeover coming, so be prepared. Start taking notice of things you like about teen rooms in homes magazines.
  • This is your child’s chance to assert some independence, so make sure it’s a collaborative effort. Black walls, for example, can look amazing as long as you furnish and dress the room with light and colour in mind. Or compromise on a feature wall.
  • Natural light and ventilation are important points to consider for any growing body. Task lighting is also essential – make sure study and reading areas are well-lit.
  • Make sure you set a budget for your makeover and ensure your teen sticks to it. This age group is brand aware, but brands cost money!
  • Try to arrange the room into ‘zones’ for sleeping, studying and, er, ‘chilling’.

This article was written by Allison Tait for Kidspot, Allison is the co-author of Career Mums: a guide to returning to work post-kids (Penguin).

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