By Mary Boone
SEATTLE (Zillow) — If your teen is still sleeping in a room decorated with princesses or puppy dogs, it may be time to redecorate.
The best teen bedrooms are those that are comfortable, reflect the personalities of their occupants and have enough storage to keep clutter under control. Sound impossible? Not if you allow your teen some input and follow these five simple tips:
Don’t clash over color
Hot pink walls may not be your “thing,” but if that’s your teen’s desire — why not? Remind yourself, this is your child’s room, not yours. And paint is relatively inexpensive. When your teen’s psychedelic or goth or punk phase ends in a year or so, you can simply repaint. If you simply can’t bend on wall color, allow your teen to go crazy with bedding or curtains.
Make it personal
Head to your local craft store and pick up some canvases and acrylic paints and let your teen create artwork that defines his or her specific interests. Or, if your teen has lots of photos of friends, help figure out a way to display them — in frames, hanging from a picture wire or mobile, under a desk mat or on a bulletin board. However you choose to display them, make certain it’s simple to add or subtract photos — the tumultuous teen years, after all, are famous for their fragile friendships.
Teens have lots of things, probably because they are stuck in that awkward place between being a kid and being a grown-up. This means they need places for stuffed animals, trophies, games, photos, books, clothes, sports equipment, electronics and so much more. Walk through your teen’s room and figure out what doesn’t have a designated storage space — or maybe doesn’t have enough space. Offer to help your teen sort through items; perhaps some could go into scrapbooks or attic storage. Once you know exactly what you need to store in the bedroom, start planning — together — how you’re going to store it. If new furniture is in the budget, consider a bed with built-in drawers underneath. In a small room, a loft bed will provide space below for a desk or dresser. Similarly, shelves or hanging cabinets can help clear up several square feet of floor space.
If you have a teenager, there’s a good chance his or her dirty laundry is prominently displayed on the floor, on the bed, over the back of a chair, on the desk. No guarantees on this one, but if you make getting laundry into the hamper as simple as possible, it may increase the odds of a cleaner space. Move the laundry basket from the back of the closet to a corner of the bedroom. Buy a giant laundry bag and have your teen help you use fabric paints to create a graphic design on it — appropriate labels might be “Stinky” or “Foul.” Or, invest in a hamper that’s designed to look like a basketball net and hoop. The idea of sinking three-pointers with dirty socks may actually help keep them off the bedroom floor.
A teenager needs a place to study, listen to music or hang out with a friend. Even the tiniest bedroom should be able to accommodate floor pillows or a comfy chair and, perhaps, a small table for snacks. If space is super tight, you may need to pile on the pillows to transform the bed into a casual sofa. Depending upon house rules, you may want to include video games, a TV or computer to keep your teen and his or her guests entertained.
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