TIPS + ADVICE FOR DECORATING A TEEN/TWEEN BEDROOM

As I mentioned a little while ago, I am giving my tween daughter’s bedroom a makeover. My apologies for how slow this project is coming! The delay has been a result of a combination of many TOTALLY unexpected things, including dealing with a fire in our home (yes, we had a fire in our garage and thank the Lord no one was hurt but it’s taking forever to get cleaned up!), our hot water heater bursting in the attic and damaging our ceiling, prepping for my son to go on a mission trip to Haiti this summer, me getting distracted by other design projects, my son accidentally destroying a DIY project I was about to photograph and post about last month, and last but not least, not being able to find the right used furniture piece to start my first project for her bedroom (all the equipment I needed to make this project was in the garage and it’s ruined now so I wouldn’t be able to do this project for awhile anyway so I guess it’s kind of a moot point). Throw in my kids’ activity schedules and the regular responsibilities of life, and it’s been an exciting past couple months! Okay, it’s been a FRUSTRATING past couple months, but c’est la vie! As soon as I can get the items in my garage replaced, I’ll be back in business and hope to share some progress on her room with you!

In the meantime, I’m going to share some tips for redecorating your teen/tween’s bedroom.

Maybe you’ve been considering giving your teen/tween age child a bedroom makeover for a while, or maybe your child has been nagging you for a cooler room for over a year now and you can no longer come up with an excuse to put it off (I’m slowly raising my hand for the latter option here). Either way, you’re not super excited about the prospect. After all, it’ll take lots of time, some money, and even worse you and your teen will have to make lots of decisions together and you’re not sure it’s even possible that you can actually agree on something… anything! I am the mom of a 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter so I get it! Parenting teens and tweens is a challenging task in general, and the idea of decorating your teen/tween’s bedroom successfully can feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to! Here’s some advice to help you navigate this process with ease…

come up with a plan

Your current plan for your teen’s new bedroom may simply be to spend a day shopping together and let them pick out whatever they want. But this is not the best way to end up with a room that you and your child both like. Instead, I recommend coming up with a plan before you hit the mall. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or involve learning how to draw a floor plan in AutoCAD, just a little brainstorming and a few thoughtful ideas is enough to help you create a room that works for your child.

I suggest starting by sitting with your teen in his/her bedroom. Have a quick conversation about what’s working and what’s not working for them in the room. What’s important to them? What items do they feel they’ve outgrown? What items do they never use? What areas of the room feel overcrowded? Is there too much furniture and storage or not enough? I suggest having a pad of paper handy and jotting down your child’s answers so you can remember them.

Discuss how your child will be using the room. Will they do their homework in there? Practice music or sports in there? Do their hair or makeup in there? Regularly host friends in there?

It’s important to design a room around its functional needs. If they’re doing homework, they’ll need a desk and chair. Hosting lots of friends? They’ll need lots of seating options. Practicing an instrument every day? They’ll need a designated space for a chair and music stand. You get the idea. Write down things they’ll need in order to accomplish their desired tasks in the room.

Now that you’ve finished brainstorming what’s needed, you can focus on coming up with a room theme and/or color scheme. Browse Pinterest or online stores like Pottery Barn Teen for some great ideas and color options.

If you have the time and want to take it a step further, go visit places of inspiration for your teen’s room. For instance, years ago when I redid my son’s bedroom, we visited a sports museum. Since he loved sports and wanted that to be a part of his room, I took notice of the displays, colors, and decor in order to help bring that same vibe back to his bedroom. Does your daughter love horses? Go visit a local horse farm then take note of the colors, textures, and items around the farm. Try to incorporate those types of things in her room.

Once you know what you need and have a general idea of what styles and colors your teen/tween likes, it’s time to let the shopping begin!

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This teen girl’s room covers lots of current design trends including pastel colors, lots of texture, and hanging furniture.

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This teen boy’s bedroom includes storage space for all of his hobbies and interests.

let them express themselves

Remember this is your teen/tween’s room, not your room. Since you are in charge and are likely paying for this makeover then you get a final say in what goes in the room, but it’s important to give your child as much freedom as possible to express themselves in the one place that’s really all theirs: their bedroom. In case you haven’t noticed, teens love to express themselves any way they can and here is a safe environment for them to do it. So if your son wants the theme of his room to be some trendy rock band you find weird then let him do it, just keep it in moderation (see tip “don’t overdo a theme” below). If your daughter wants a hot pink zebra stripe theme that you find annoying, let her do it… again, just have her keep it in moderation. Your teen likely needs to feel some ownership to what happens in the room, so let them make as many decisions as they can while you give them some general guidance and boundaries.

It’s also important to personalize the space to your child. You’ll want to include things that are important to them like a place to display photos of their friends or room to store all their art supplies. Create an area to display their collections, hobbies, or trophies. My daughter was big on having her initial somewhere in her bedroom. All of these things put your teen’s personal stamp on the room and define it as theirs.

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I love the way the teen’s trophies are neatly and prominently displayed in this bedroom.

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This teen girl’s bedroom has lots of seating options which is great for hosting friends,
and the gallery wall puts a personal stamp on the room.

5 QUICK BEDROOM REFRESH IDEAS

Wishing you could give your bedroom a whole new look? Well, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to make a difference. As little as a hundred dollars and a couple hours can make an impact.

Here are some ideas! Just choosing one from this list can go a long way in changing the overall look and feel of your room…

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01. CHANGE THE BEDDING
If you want to give your bedroom a refresh while only addressing one area, it might as well be your bed. After all, you probably spend most of your time in the room using your bed. Treat yourself to some luxurious new sheets, a comforter and fun throw pillows to give your bed a whole new look. There’s nothing more satisfying than falling into a bed covered with fresh new bedding after the end of a long day.

Use your bedding to introduce new colors, patterns and textures to your bedroom and it will likely end up feeling like a brand new space. There are lots of fun and trendy bedding styles out now at very reasonable prices!

Some ideas…

Plum & Bow Soukay Delicate Comforter  |  Coastal Stripe Blue Pillow
Nate Berkus Sheet Set  |  Pia Medallion Quilt & Sham


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02. CREATE A SITTING AREA
You don’t have to have a lot a space in your bedroom to make this happen. If you can’t fit a large chair or a group of seating in your room, then try a small bench below a window or at the end of your bed. Even a small chair in the corner can create a nice retreat to relax and curl up with a good book. Whatever you choose, make sure you add beautiful pillows and/or a blanket to dress it up and make it more comfortable.

Adding a special sitting area can not only expand the use of your bedroom, but it can also make it feel more tranquil and luxurious.

Some ideas…

Boston Loft Lindley Storage X Bench  |  Campground Throw Blanket
Safavieh Marcella Bench  |  Poang Chair


DON’T FORGET THIS IN YOUR NEXT MAKEOVER…

When giving a room a new look, most people regularly add some paint to the walls, replace the floor and update the furniture and decor. But there’s one area a lot of people forget to consider: THE CEILING! The ceiling offers a great opportunity to complete the look of your room or to create something unexpected. Ceiling treatments have also been quite trendy for awhile, so now’s the time to jump in and try it!

clng-beforethe bathroom’s old ceiling

As I mentioned in my last post, I am giving my kids’ bathroom a major renovation. After giving the walls a much needed coat of fresh white paint, I turned my attention to the ceiling. As you can see it’s boring and basic. I wanted to give it some style without spending too much time or money. I decided to start by adding some color so I painted it a medium gray (BM Coventry Gray).

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That alone was enough to create an immediate improvement, but I wasn’t done yet! I then added some trim to the ceiling. I wanted something more interesting than basic crown molding…

I started by installing 1×6 pine boards flat against the ceiling.

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Then I added 4.25” baseboards on top of them to create a layered affect.

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I finished off the edges with a simple 1×2” pine board running along the top of the wall.

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I caulked everything and coated it with white semigloss paint, and here’s the final look:

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I used a nail gun to install everything, and this was honestly a very easy project. All totaled, it only cost me about $135 (for paint and molding) too. For that price, I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck!

My bathroom ceiling design is just one way to address a ceiling, there are many other more creative ways to give your ceiling new life. Here’s a roundup of some ideas (with pretty inspiration photos of course)…

TIPS FOR BUYING USED HOME FURNISHINGS

Okay, so I have a major problem: my mind won’t stop designing! I have plans racing through my head for all the rooms I plan to redo next. Yes, there’s my dining room which I’m currently working on, but there’s also my mom’s guest room, our bonus room, my kids’ bathroom and my daughter’s bedroom all coming down the line. And my thoughts are exploding with all the possibilities for ALL of those rooms. Honestly, if my energy level could keep up with my brain it’d be all good!

All of that has made me realize it’s time for a trip to the local flea market in search of some affordable items I could use for these upcoming makeovers.

The local flea market here has over 600 vendors! That amount of merchandise can easily become overwhelming. But even a trip to a small thrift store or a quick search online for some used home decor can be challenging if you’re not fully prepared.

So with that in mind, here are some tips for getting the most out of buying used home furnishings, whether you’re shopping thrift stores, consignment sales, flea markets, antique stores, yard sales or online sites like Craigslist and Ebay.

TIPS FOR BUYING USED HOME FURNISHINGS

Be prepared.

Don’t forget that most of these sellers/stores only accept cash so have more than enough on hand. And make sure you have a vehicle large enough to transport whatever you plan to purchase (I made this mistake during a recent trip to Asheville, NC).

If you’re looking for something specific or expensive then do your research before shopping. Figure out what the going rate is for the item and google ways to spot a fake.

Look for the unusual and unique.

The great thing about buying used home furnishings isn’t just that it can save you money, but often more importantly for me, it can help you score some very unique one-of-a-kind items. Whether I’m searching online or at a local flea market I’m always keeping an eye out for that unusual piece that I can’t pick up at the local mall.

Look for interesting shapes, colors, materials and textures. Look for items that have character and maybe even a story to go along with it. Simply anything that you haven’t seen before that you’re drawn to may be worth the money. After all, there’s no guarantee it’ll still be there the next time you go shopping.

Be open minded.

I always go shopping with a list of items I’m looking for for my current or upcoming projects, but I don’t limit myself to that shopping list. I keep an eye open for anything interesting because you never know what treasures you might stumble upon.

Look for items that may not be exactly what you want but could become what your looking for with a little work. Maybe a new coat of stain, some new furniture knobs or some mirrors installed in the doors will turn that dumpy piece of furniture into your dream item.

I am regularly looking at the inventory thinking how could this be transformed into something better?

For me, the best way to figure out if an item is worth a makeover is to focus on cosmetic changes. Cosmetic changes would include changing the color, the pattern or the fabric of the item, but would also include replacing smaller elements like furniture feet, decorative accents, lamp shades, picture frames and handles. These are all fairly easy to change. What’s harder to change is the overall shape and construction of the item. So I’m always looking for products that have a great form and only need some cosmetic changes.

If you need some inspiration in this area check out the bottom of this post.