Fun Ideas to Make My Teen's Room Cool
Has your teenage daughter still got Hello Kitty bed sheets? Don't tell me your high-schooler son still has a dinosaur poster on his wall! Hey, the kids are growing up, and their rooms need to as well!
Here are some great inexpensive ideas for creating really cool personal spaces for teens that will let them express their individuality.
Before you start!
Keep in mind that your teens will have their opinions too. Gone are the days of doing what you want! So the first thing you need to do is sit down with your kid and find out what their dream room would be. Here is a planning checklist to go over with them:
- Color : what 2 or 3 colors would your teen like to see in their new room? (Don't worry at this point if they say something outlandish like "black"! Just listen and note.) There are many ways of incorporating strong colors in a way that is not over-powering.
- Space : apart from sleeping, what other spaces does your child need...study? social hang out? sleepover? weights or exercise?
- Storage : often an issue with older kids who often can't quite let go of their childhood paraphernalia, but are fast acquiring lots more "stuff" too! Think school work, sports gear, hobbies/crafts, clothes, make-up/accessories.
OK, you've made a start and got some baseline ideas from your teen. Now it's time to get creative and have some fun. None of the ideas that follow are expensive because, as you already know, your teen may be in a completely different phase a year from now and you could be re-vsiting their room with a whole new concept!
Let's take a closer look at those three planning areas you brainstormed with your teen:
So what to do if your 16-year-old son wants black walls? Or your sophomore daughter wants psychadelic curtains around her bed? With this age, bold is good. It's all about self-expression. Using strong colors makes teens feel like they're being outrageous, pushing the envelope. (Trust me, it's better they experiment with a can of paint than with a bottle of beer!)
So be flexible, negotiate. Of course you don't want black walls. Try to work with their idea while aiming for an outcome you can all live with. How about a bold black horizontal stripe painted at chest-height around the room on an otherwise neutral wall? Or one wall painted the bold color with the remaining walls neutral or shades lighter? That would look awesome!
How about a headboard covered in wild and funky fabric or bed curtains artfully arranged?
Try to meet your kids halfway, and don't forget, paint and fabric are hands down the most dramatic and the cheapest ways to transform a room. If it doesn't turn out right, or if they change their mind a year later, no big whoop. Remember the big stuff and the small stuff? This is the small stuff!
If the room is big enough and your teen wants it to have multiple uses (social hang-out as well as study area, for example), can you subdivide it with a bookcase or a screen? Imagine the bookcase faces your teen's desk so he/she can store papers and books on it, but the back of it creates a new "wall" for posters, photos of friends, oversized floor pillows for lounging on etc. You could even use the back of the bookcase (flat side) as the head board and put the bed up against it, throw lots of fun pillows on the bed and it becomes an instant hang-out. It doesn't need to be a big space, just inviting and cozy.
The best tip I ever came across for small rooms with lots of stuff was "put it on the wall". Check out IKEA for lots of innovative, modern and inexpensive ideas for shelving, hanging and storage. Get stuff off the floor and immediately a room will look bigger!
Remember to keep a mix of open and closed storage, because you don't want to see all their stuff all the time!
Bins, boxes and baskets provide a great way to contain all their belongings, and there are so many fun brightly colored varieties in stores, all sizes. Just measure shelf dimensions first to be sure of having a good fit.
Create a "Hobby Wall":
Making a wall display of your kid's primary interest or hobby is a great way to let their room showcase and reflect their personality.
For your musician, wall-mount a vintage guitar (e-bay is a great place to find funky stuff like this) and surround it with a wall collage of framed photos of your child performing, or awards they've received, vintage records (do the kids even know what these are?!) or songs they've written.
Got a sports nut? Mount their jersey, helmet, hockey stick, ice-skates or tennis raquet, and surround with team photos, solo action shots, mini-posters of their heroes, awards etc.
A theater-loving kid would get a kick out of enlarged framed photos of themselves in various plays, framed programs, tickets to performances and play bills.
All this stuff is kicking around their rooms, but sift through it and get it up on the wall in an artistic and appealing way, and you show-case your kid's interests and talents while nixing some clutter along the way!
More cool things for walls!
- giant notice board: purchase cork tiles, cover them with fabric to match your color scheme and fit them into a large frame (yard sale?) for your teen to pin up photos of friends, invitations, notes and reminders
- collection of small round mirrors, different sizes, get out your paints and paint large colorful flowers around each mirror directly on the wall...why not?
- large peg-board available from your local lumberyard or Home Depot. Paint it and hang it with useful hooks and small containers.
- Oversized traffic signs: STOP (seems fitting for teens' rooms, whatever it is they are thinking of doing...STOP!!), ONE WAY, NO ENTRY etc
- strings of funky lights, mini paper lanterns, flamingos, red chili peppers. Come summer time, the stores are full of fun designs for just a few bucks.
Check out these fun wall ideas!
Best of all, here's a great opportunity for you to have fun with your teenager! Make it a weekend project, roll up your sleeves and transform their room together. This is one where the journey can be as good as the destination! Hope you found some good ideas here to get started!