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Fun Ideas to Make My Teen's Room Cool

Updated on April 3, 2012
Bright, functional and multi-purpose, with plenty of storage and attitude!
Bright, functional and multi-purpose, with plenty of storage and attitude! | Source
Start with a brainstorming chat with your teen...what are their ideas?
Start with a brainstorming chat with your teen...what are their ideas? | Source

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:




Wow, black wall! But balanced well with the white and hot pink, it works!
Wow, black wall! But balanced well with the white and hot pink, it works! | Source
One wall painted a bold color makes a statement!
One wall painted a bold color makes a statement! | Source

Color.

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!

This dramatic room is, underneath the gorgeous fabric swags, a pretty ordinary room. Look how 10 yards of soft chintz transforms it!
This dramatic room is, underneath the gorgeous fabric swags, a pretty ordinary room. Look how 10 yards of soft chintz transforms it!

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!


A bookcase (and you can go much taller than this one) can be a perfect room divider. Use the flat back as another piece of wall.
A bookcase (and you can go much taller than this one) can be a perfect room divider. Use the flat back as another piece of wall. | Source
This large bright shelving unit can subdivide a room into sleeping and study while still letting light through.
This large bright shelving unit can subdivide a room into sleeping and study while still letting light through. | Source

Space

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.


Storage


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.


A metal storage locker gives an industrial or sporty look.
A metal storage locker gives an industrial or sporty look. | Source
This innovative family used garden trellis for a bed canopy, creating fitted shelves with small wooden boards. Clever!
This innovative family used garden trellis for a bed canopy, creating fitted shelves with small wooden boards. Clever! | Source
Showcase your teen's interests in a wall display
Showcase your teen's interests in a wall display | Source
Playfully poking fun at what we are always telling these kids!
Playfully poking fun at what we are always telling these kids! | Source

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!


Large pegboards can organize just about anything!
Large pegboards can organize just about anything! | Source
Source
Great for jewelry organization too.
Great for jewelry organization too. | Source

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.

Have Fun!!

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!

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    • eloisekate profile image

      eloise 4 years ago from australia

      Really great suggestions!

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

      I wish my room were like that when I was a teen. Hehehe.

      Great ideas there... it wouldn't also hurt to have space-saving beds (or double deckers if you have two teens sleeping in one room) that also function as a study/PC table and lots of smartly-placed storage and cabinets.

      Voted up and useful, awesome :)

    • profile image

      Jaden solis 4 years ago

      You did really good putting this all together... I think I'll do some things in my room... And I'm 10

    • Rp bazar profile image

      Rummana Perveen 4 years ago from Toronto

      wow, very interesting. my daughter will like to have a room like this.

      thank you.

      http://rpbazaar.supervaluesmall.com/home.html

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 4 years ago from Illinois

      I have been wanting to do my sons room with him for a while now. These are excellent ideas. His room is not very big so the idea of getting things off the floor is a great one. Thanks for sharing.

    • Urban Accents profile image

      Benjamin 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Interesting hub. I just added a new category for "Kid's Themes" to my room divider screen specialty website(UrbanAccentsNY.com) featuring folding screens with printed poster images like Spiderman and Dora the Explorer etc...

    • profile image

      Ed 5 years ago

      'This large bright shelving unit can subdivide a room into sleeping and study while still letting light through.

      Source: www.IKEA.com'

      Where on the website is this please?

    • dobo700 profile image

      dobo700 5 years ago from Australia

      Some good ideas here and any thing would be better than the current mess.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Super ideas, if I only had them when I 'had' a teen. Thank you,)

    • profile image

      ditshen wangmu bhutia 5 years ago

      all the rooms are very lovely and gorgeous i loved it very much

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Thanks SonQuiooey10. Just checked out your profile and I'm guessing you're in your 20s...so maybe now you can go nuts with your walls now that you are older. All these fun ideas still apply...you're never to late for a hobby wall, right? ;)

    • SonQuioey10 profile image

      Toni Northern 5 years ago from Williamston NC

      Creative. I could never touch my room's walls at all. Strict household. Love your ideas. Great Hub.

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Thanks Marcy! Sure you can borrow them, bet your bedroom would look awesome with a bright pink and black wall!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I love these creative ideas! Can I borrow them, even if I'm out of that age group now? Excellent hub - voted up, useful and interesting!

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Thanks for all the great comments...love to hear your experiences!

      thougtforce: black really can look awesome when balanced with other good colors, in fact interior designers recommend always having a little black in any room to "punctuate" and add definition to a room's color scheme.

      adjkp25: how funny! Hope my hub was not too late! But it sounds like your son already has some great ideas, you can't do better than the inspiration coming from the kid themselves. And good point about the cleaning out opportunities, should weave this into my hub, forgot this highly desirable side-effect to fixing up a teen's room. Thanks!

      Thanks vespawoolf for the vote of confidence :)

      And veggie-mom, I'm excited to share with you a room-dividing idea I once did when my kids shared a bedroom with exactly the red piece of furniture (IKEA) pictured above in this hub! It's big, about 6'x6'.

      I set it in the middle of the room (dividing the space in two) fixed to the back wall with large L-brackets, then I wedged the other top corner to the 2 side walls of the room with thick wooden curtain poles so that it was absolutely impossible to tip the shelves over. I hung cute curtains from wooden rings over the poles so each child could close off their piece of the room. Because the shelves are open, plenty of light passed through and the kids could see each other through the shelves. WIsh I could draw it for you, kind of hard to explain, but it made a really cute and functional divider (you need quite a big room to start with though). Good luck.

    • veggie-mom profile image

      veggie-mom 5 years ago

      This is a great hub, my children are still young (6 & 9), but we have had to reinvent the space in the room they share many times based on their growing needs and interests. I love how you encourage listening & negotiating to your teen as a tip for success in this project. Nice work!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is a beautiful hub full of great ideas. Looks like a future HOTD to me!

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      This hubs timing is too weird. About a week ago our 15 year old son told us he wanted to redo his room. He wanted a new dresser, to rearrange a couple of things and to paint. At first we were a little bit unsure about it but after talking to him, and seeing how involved he was going to be, we agreed.

      He picked out a very respectable color scheme (thankfully not black!) and we approved it.

      We used this opportunity to get him to really clean out his room beyond the usual put stuff in the closet or under the bed routine he enjoys. Two bags for Goodwill, one bag of recycling and one bag of trash later it looks great.

      We are very proud of him for taking the initiative on this. He spent extra time taking down his “hobby wall” but I fully expect that to go back up in his new room.

      Excellent ideas!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

      There are so many awesome ideas in this hub! It is fantastic how a new design can transform a room. To design a teenagers room is one of the best ways to connect with them, since most of them really care about how their room look and what their friends think about it. My daughter choosed to have some black color in her room but she adds other colors too and change the contrasting color now and then. And it looks great. As you say, it is important that we negotiate and let them decide since it is their room. Voted up!

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      It's worth it just to be "cool" for a sec with your teenage kids, right, Cre8tor?!

      Good for you, I think it can be a little more challenging with boys' rooms but with a little creativity and hubbish inspiration, there's plenty of fun and funkiness to be had.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 5 years ago from Ohio

      Awesome hub! The rooms you show in your pics are phenomenal! I too have been creative with my sons rooms and they love it when their friends come over and comment on "Wow! My parents wouldn't let me paint like this! You're room is awesome!" They just smile and look at me like..."Thanks. You're alright." I smile and feel like I'm "cool" for a sec. :-)

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Thanks for stopping by, hubbers!

      Ardie, I am jealous! I only have boys so I only get to enjoy these gorgeous girlish design ideas through the internet, not in reality...have fun with your daughter, so glad you found an idea you liked.

      Thanks roxanne459, as long as someone else lays it all out in a hub for you, any of us can do anything, creative or otherwise, right? :) I benefit enormously from learning stuff from other hubbers that I have no skill in. The beauty of hubpages!

      Definitely, Robie, I probably should have mentioned that so many of these ideas apply to younger kids too (or adults as another commenter mentioned, why should the kids have all the fun?!)

      Thanks for commenting, all!

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      Great tips and fun content! I still have some years to go before I have teenagers, but I feel like your suggestions can be applied to earlier ages too. :)

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Wow! You are so creative and I am so jealous. These ideas and pictures are amazing. Voted way up!

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      My daughter was looking through this with me and she thought all the rooms were cool and neat but once we got to the room draped in soft chintz she went nuts. Sooo it looks like I got the easiest of the designs to implement hahah JoAnn Fabrics - here I come!

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      How funny! You were commenting on my hub at exactly the same moment that I was commenting on yours. Maybe we are twins separated at birth!

      Thanks for the comment, and sure, why let the kids have all the cool stuff in their bedrooms...this stuff is great for us too!

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 5 years ago from U.S.

      Great ideas poowool! I'm thinking about doing some of these things to my bedroom :)

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Thanks rebekahELLE, what a nice comment! I have to say that, while writing this, I got all itchy to go makeover my boys' rooms again! There's so much cool stuff out there and fun you can have!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 5 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Wow! I love your ideas, and what a fabulous way to bond with your teens! Many of your suggestions could be applied in other rooms as well. Thanks for writing such an inspiring hub.

    • poowool5 profile image
      Author

      poowool5 5 years ago from here in my house

      Thanks for stopping by, hubbers!

      alliemacb...you're right, it's not easy, but hopefully easier if you get their input. They can't very well go all grumpy on you if their ideas are in the pot too!

      TFScientist...ah, babies, these are the folks who have the most baggage of all, most of it massive brightly-colored plastic stuff! I'd say again: walls, good wall storage is truly great, gets stuff up off the floor. There's so much good shelving available out there, and could be cute with baskets to hold baby stuff. Also, use that space under the crib, pull out storage baskets or shallow tubs with lids? Good luck, and remember, for a few years, minority (sized people) rule, and there's nothing you can do about it!

      Michael...thanks for the nice comment. I think older kids really appreciate it when you ask their opinion, shows you respect their ideas.

      thanks for the comments, all :)

    • Michael J Rapp profile image

      Michael J Rapp 5 years ago from United States

      Wow, those are some really great ideas! I think for a kid it's got to be pretty awesome when their parent puts in the effort (and asks their opinion) to redecorate their room. Awesome Hub!

    • TFScientist profile image

      Rhys Baker 5 years ago from Peterborough, UK

      This is truly inspired! Any ideas for kitting out a baby room? We have next to no space and am looking for some space-saving storage ideas and you look like the person to turn to :) Voted up, useful, awesome and shared

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      Great hub. Some of the rooms look so cool. Decorating for a teenager is not easy so your ideas are really helpful