With school already begun in many parts of the country, friends of your tween or younger teen are likely coming over to do homework and hang out after school. If you haven’t bought a new home recently, parents are likely to hear: “When can I redecorate this baby’s room?” The drive tweens and teens have to create a space entirely their own is a common one, and their rooms are the most natural extension of this need for personal expression. While their room has languished in their toddler and child years, your kids are likely eager to take the next step, and create a room more reflective of their more grown-up selves. Here are some tips to help your teen make those changes, without breaking your bank or losing your mind in the process.
- Use fabrics
- Add storage
Take stock of what items in the room can be reused in the new decorative scheme, whether or not they are used for their original purposes. Tables can be turned into desks, lampshades can be recovered, and small bookcases can become bedside tables. The less you have to spend on essentials, the more you can budget in for fun accessories down the road.
Paint is the cheapest way to redecorate any space, and your teen’s room is no exception. Letting them pick the paint color may be hard, but remember that paint isn’t forever—and likely neither is your kid’s penchant for fluorescent green. Remember that this is about giving your child the freedom to create their own space, so work with them to find a paint color that they will truly enjoy.
Fabrics are another cheap way to add flair to a room without investing a whole lot of money. Use fabrics to sew pillows, make curtains, or make a new bed spread. You can also frame swaths of fabric and hang them as inexpensive wall art.
A classic problem for teens is the lack of storage found in their room. As children, their clothes were smaller, and their toys took front and center. Now, they likely have closets bulging with clothing, games, books, sports equipment and electronics. If you can’t expand their closet space, get creative and find space for storage along the walls or under the bed. Chests or banquette seating that opens at the top are great for storing seasonal items, while also providing extra seating for visiting friends.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to negotiate these style changes with your child. While freedom of expression is important, creating a liveable space that meets your expectations while satisfying their sense of self is the primary goal. For instance, if you refuse to cave in to lime green walls, work with your child to pick a more neutral wall color, while using fabrics and accessory accents to bring in the lime green color that your child craves. Working around impasses can turn this project into a fun and creative endeavor, instead of making it a stand-off fraught with arguments and frustration.