Home decor: Teen rooms
Many teens have the independence and know-how to tweak their own space. They may be interested in your opinion, but for the most part, they want their design freedom. Who doesn’t? And if your teen can drive a car, hold a part time job, or, heck, vote, why shouldn’t he have it?
In fact, encouraging your teenager to mastermind her own bedroom makeover is smart. Whether she’s 15 or 17, it won’t be long before she’ll be venturing out on her own – for travel, post-secondary education, internships or the labour force. Managing her own makeover will give her a crash course in budgeting, time management, motivation and reward.
Sounds to us like there should be a course credit involved! Read on for what you and your teen should consider upfront.
Visit your teen’s bedroom together and talk about the changes he wants to see. Are they purely cosmetic (i.e. paint, window treatments, bedding), or will the makeover include bigger-ticket furniture upgrades like a new bed or desk?
Outline what changes you agree to (“New bed, yes; adding an ensuite bath – nice try, but no.”), and let him know how much money you will give him.
Then leave the ball in his court. Have him put together a project budget for the changes you’ve both agreed on. He should research prices and come back to you with an outline, which should include details like:
- Paint walls: 1 gallon of paint from big-box store, approx. $35
- New bed & mattress: approx. $600 ($350 for IKEA Tromso full loft bed/desk combo, Sultan Favang mattress, $250)
- New desk: See above (included in bed)
- Go over the list together and if all looks good, “sign off” on the plan.
Agree on the division of labour. There’s no reason why your teen can’t shop for herself. When it comes to larger furniture items, she may want to enlist a friend (or maybe even Mom or Dad!) to help pack the car for the ride home.
Be sure to go over online shopping safety and security before giving your kid the credit card to shop online.
Your teen may even be able to paint her own bedroom – possibly with a friend or two, although, you may want to kick off the project by outlining safety and proper technique.
The key thing to remember with teen-room redesigns is the main occupant, your young adult, is likely to be flying the coop within a few years. This means:
- It’s worthwhile to invest in furniture that will work well in his first apartment. Dual-purpose pieces like the aforementioned loft bed/desk, maximize function in a small space.
- Bedding choices should be easy-care because your future college student isn’t going to be doing laundry as often – or as painstakingly – as at home. Mid-range colour prints are good bedding choices – they’ll hide pizza stains or makeup smudges better than light colours and can be washed with detergent alone – unlike whites, which need bleach.
- Curtains and drapery panels are the best window-treatments because they can follow your child to her first apartment – unlike custom-fitted shutters or blinds.
- If out-of-date lighting needs refreshing, keep installed fixtures (overhead lighting) neutral, and reserve quirkier choices for lamps or plug-in pendants.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Crazy paint choices, a no-to-beds-yes-to-futons mindset, and eye-popping bedding are all small stuff. The big-picture is: You can always repaint down the road, and hey – your little baby’s all grown up, with a design sense all his own.
Photo courtesy of West Elm