As children grow and become teenagers their needs change. Their bedroom, once a colourful playroom that was always open to you, needs to grow up with them and become their own private space for studying, relaxing with friends and storing their seemingly endless possessions. So how do you go about revamping your child’s bedroom and turning it into a haven for teens?
Let them plan
Get your child excited to be planning their new bedroom and come up with colour combinations, patterns and styles that they like. Go old-school and create a mood board with magazine clippings or, for a digital alternative, virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest is a great tool for planning a makeover – simply type in ‘teenage bedroom’ into the search box and you’ll be bombarded with fantastic and creative ideas that can be ‘pinned’ onto your own board for you to come back to later.
You can do this together or, depending on age, let them use their own account. Once they’ve amassed a good stash of their favourite pins look through them to pick out common themes that they like and prioritise the most important, but lay down ground rules and a budget so your child doesn't get carried away.
Read our guide to using Pinterest
Provide plenty of storage space
Remember that a child’s bedroom is often one of the smallest rooms in the house so every inch counts, and teenagers accumulate a lot of stuff.
There might be toys they are keeping hold of for sentimental reasons, mounds of reference books for all the different subjects they’re studying and, inevitably, all the make-up, clothes and sports equipment that they grow into. Some of this, such as old toys, might be able to be packaged up and stored in a garage or loft, but the rest will need a home. Look for creative storage solutions – such as seating or a bed with storage built in, and consider floor to ceiling wardrobes to make the most of the space available.
Find out how to maximise wardrobe space
Create a study nook
Teenagers will definitely need a space to study, so make sure they have a desk that’s kept clear of clutter and shelving so that their books and binders are to hand when they're at their desk.
You can get desks with storage space built in or put shelves up above it, or even get a wall-mounted cupboard to keep the dust off. If they use a laptop you could use an old writing bureau that can be closed up when not in use, allowing the room to transform from a study to a sanctuary in an instant.
Make it homely
When teenagers have a lot going on – be it exams or drama in their social circle – they need a space to relax and chill out. Their bedroom should be their safe space, so make it cosy. Some nice cushions and fairy lights, or a comfy chair or big beanbag in front of the window where they can sit on their phone, will give it a calm, homely feel. A cosy but cool feel will also make their bedroom a good place for them to relax with friends after school – you might not like the idea of a house filled with teenagers but at least you’ll know where they are!
Allow for change
Your child is still growing and their taste is going to change, so their bedroom needs to be versatile. Opt for modern neutral furniture, such as the Elkin range from Hammonds (available in cream and white) and highlight with colourful accessories, framed posters and soft furnishings that can be rearranged.
If your child wants to go for something really outlandish then have one key area – such as a statement wall or item of furniture, so that updating it later down the line is not too much of a hassle.
You might feel sad to be deconstructing a child’s bedroom – after all, you probably have fond memories of decorating it when they were born and reading them bedtime stories. You might even have warm and fuzzy feelings for the tantrums they used to throw when you tried to get them ready for bed now that they're in the distance past. Take comfort in the fact that decorating a teenager’s bedroom is a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse of the adult they are going to become as they carve out a part of the family home as ‘theirs’. Understand their different needs and let them express themselves – within reason! The memories of the first bedroom they decorate themselves will stay with them for life, so be a part of it and help them find their personal style.
Read our top ten rules of interior design
Subscribe today for just £12 for 12 issues...