Decorating a tween’s bedroom can be as awkward as tweens themselves. The inhabitants are these strange creatures that are no longer children but aren’t really teenagers, either. With the need to fit in with other kids at an all-time high, a bedroom that is too childish will embarrass her for life.
So how do you negotiate this adolescent minefield? Most decorators say by providing a bedroom with things that make your kid feel connected, like a quilt from grandma, along with decor that reflects her interests and gives her something to bond over with her friends.
Permanent fixtures, like furniture, should have something attached to it. Maybe it’s the desk you had as a child. Or maybe it was the lamp you had in college. Used furniture is a great option during these awkward years because you don’t have to worry about it getting scratched or damaged.
Bedding, curtains and rugs are things that can be replaced least expensively. Let him choose his bedding. Tons of options are available these days for kids to reflect their interests. Help him pick out a motocross comforter or a Corvette pillow. Give her the option of a cheerleading rug or ballet curtains.
Wall art is an important element in a tween’s room. If it is too juvenile they will feel embarrassed when their friends come over, or won’t have their friends over at all. Make sure any art can be switched out over time. You can go with a great wall mural with a wall sticker or wall decals that can peel off instantly. Or find some gallery wraps or stand outs that feature her favorite animal or flower. Avoid framed glass prints, especially in a boy’s room.
Avoid creating a theme in a tween’s room. Your tween’s interests and what they like will change frequently, so bring in a couple of elements, like some BMX throw pillows or a Paris-themed rug. Invest in duvet covers and throw pillow covers. Both of these pieces can be removed easily and are less expensive than comforters and pillows.
Since you don’t want to create a theme, focus on color in a tween’s bedroom. Designers suggest gender-neutral colors. HGTV’s designers are big on robin’s-egg blue and teal. They also like muted greens, coral, bluish gray, and violet. Muted colors move a tween past the bright colors of childhood.
Don’t forget to leave room for seating. Your son or daughter will want to have friends in their bedroom, and they’ll need some comfy places to sit. If at all possible, create some space where they have room to dance or practice their kung fu moves with their buddies.
Tweens need lots of storage for books, music, and computer games. They also need private places where they can quickly stow their favorite childhood blanket or doll they haven’t completely parted with when their friends are coming over.
Even if you have carpet, you’ll want a rug in your tween’s room. A rug will protect the flooring for stains from that science project that goes haywire or the oils from her latest painting project.
Tween bedroom design does not have to be scary. Make it a flexible space that can change with their mood or their interests, but keep some permanent family pieces in the mix to give them a sense of belonging as they venture out on their own for the first time.