So they’ve well and truly outgrown their T-Rex and Tinkerbell stages and it’s time to re-invent their rooms for the teenage years…while we can’t help with negotiating curfews and tech time, we can offer advice on creating a stylish space that’ll see them through sleepovers, sleep-ins and the occasional bout of study.
While you may think creating a separate zone for your teen will mean you’ll never see them again (or perhaps that’s a good thing?), there will come a time when you’ll both need your privacy and independent space – so you might as well start prepping (and furniture shopping) now. Just remember to involve your teen in the decision-making, and purchasing, process, so they buy into the space from the beginning and you don’t accidentally deck it out in a look that’s more tween than teen.
Elements to consider when planning an on-trend teen space include a comfy bed (they’re growing after all), a study space, plenty of storage, and, if space allows, a designated area for lounging about with a friend or two…especially if you don’t have a second living zone elsewhere in the house.
Somewhere to sleep
Since they’re known for spending plenty of time horizontal, whether lying in on school mornings or lazing about on Snapchat on Sundays, it pays to invest in the biggest bed you can for the space. Avoid beds with a panel at the feet if your teens are (or are likely to be) tall, and consider options with built-in storage under the mattress to kill clutter and have somewhere to stash sports equipment, sleeping bags, winter coats and their old Lego collection.
Add a bedside table for that book you know they’re always dying to put their phone down for, and, if space permits, consider a multi-purpose sofa bed to cosy up a corner and make last-minute sleepovers a cinch, such as the Bishop Sofabed Ottoman (seen below) which easily converts from a bench seat to a bed in an instant.
Storage galore – more is more
Obviously anything you can do to encourage teens to tidy up is a bonus – so make it simple, streamlined, functional and fun. A mix of open and closed shelving is a good idea – they can display their fave bits and bobs and stash away school books and stinky socks. Just hopefully not together. Built-in shelving is a good idea if floor space is at a minimum, as floating shelves create an illusion of space. Fashion fans will like open storage such as coat stands or free-standing mini-wardrobes to show off their best-loved brands or stack stylish sneakers. Use baskets – wall-mounted for small storage and on the floor for laundry or additional bedding – as an alternative to wardrobes and traditional shelving.
A space to study
As your teens hit their senior school years, and beyond, creating a designated study space becomes increasingly important – and maybe if it looks schmick it’ll encourage them to spend more time there. Or maybe not. But whether your space can accommodate a roomy desk or a compact version, the latest looks in designer desks area as fashionable as they are functional. Remember to install downlights, wall lights or a bright desk lamp to minimise eye strain when they’re poring over books and screens, and use canisters, trays, folders and wall-pockets to keep stationery and loose papers organised…and your teen on task.
Personalise with accessories and art
Teens can be a quirky crew, and it’s worth giving them scope to express their creativity in their room, whether through the use of art, textiles, unexpected colour combos or offbeat accessories – whatever it takes to boost their independence and confidence, and help them build a space where they belong. From wall mounting guitars to shelves to show off flea market finds to washi-taped magazine pics to framed childhood drawings and faux plants dangling from hooks in the ceiling – the options really are endless.