Teens change quickly -- what your teen adores this week she may despise the next, so when you plan her bedroom makeover, build in adaptability. In general, stick to mostly white walls, and use simple furnishings that harmonize well with many styles. Let inexpensive new accessories reinvigorate the room as her favorites change, and of course, always include your teen in the decision making so she feels comfortable in the space you create together.
Girls who enjoy traditionally feminine furnishings may like a Victorian-themed or shabby chic-style bedroom. For this look, hang vintage-look floral wallpaper on at least one wall, leaving others white or pale pink with white trim. Drape a canopy bed and windows with delicate lace panels. Choose small rose-printed sheets, ruffled, beribboned pillows and plump comforters in classic rose chintz. Paint vintage bookshelves, desk and chairs white for a fresh backdrop to showcase charming Victorian brick-a-brac. Dress up tables with floral fabric skirts and decorate walls with flower prints. Storage is usually not a problem with this drawer- and shelf-rich style, but wall-mounted white wooden pegs provide bonus storage for bags, jewelry, scarves and other miscellany.
Thoroughly Modern Minimalist
Teens who prefer less complicated spaces, or those with smaller rooms, may appreciate multiuse furnishings such as simple cubes that can serve as chairs, desk, table or storage, as needed. A twin bed against a wall and lined with cushions can double as a daytime sofa for lounging or visiting with friends. Placing the bed on a base with drawers provides additional storage and functionality. For a truly minimalist look, opt for white walls and choose curtains, sheets, bedspreads and rugs in neutral grays, beiges or black with a single brighter color as accent. Keep clutter to a minimum with stackable bins or metal mesh baskets for clothing, shoes and other necessities. A square of wire fencing framed and mounted against a wall, paired with S-hooks as hangers, presents a novel method for accessory storage.
Artistic teens will love a bedroom-studio. Dancers and dramatists may appreciate a hardwood floor and full length mirror wall for practicing techniques. For the teen fabric artist, painter or sculptor, fit a corner with shelves, pegboard, storage bins and work table for materials and supplies, storage and a dedicated space for expression. Painted chalkboard walls make erasable, large-scale sketchpads for ideas. In addition to CD storage space, musicians may appreciate a "sound booth" padded out with sound-absorbing acoustical panels for late-night, high-volume sessions. Whatever branch of art your teen enjoys, giver her plenty of bright light in creative work spaces, but keep the remainder of the room softly lit and restful. Calming blues, pale greens or pastel pinks for walls and furnishings serve as counterpoints to those areas where activity is encouraged, and offer a peaceful space to renew creative energy.
For a teenage bookworm or aspiring writer, make a quiet place for her to follow her inclinations by turning the bedroom into a cozy study. Line walls with bookshelves and help her fill them with her favorite volumes. A fully equipped desk with plenty of drawers and nooks for papers and pens adds convenience and encourages literary pursuits. Portraits of authors and wooden letters she can arrange into favorite quotes make fun wall decor, and an old-fashioned student lamp on the desk is a fitting accompaniment. Use sage green or muted grays or browns in wall colors and furnishings to keep the background understated and non-distracting. Consider an armoire to keep clothing and accessories stylishly out-of-sight and out-of-mind, and thick, lined draperies to subdue outside sounds.
Deborah Stephenson is a homesteader, lifelong organic gardener, former zookeeper, naturalist, artist and anthropologist who brings an eclectic range of experience to her writings. When not writing she can usually be found puttering in her extensive gardens or exploring the national forest next door with her dogs.