A couple of years later, I gave her a room that reflected who she was at that moment: chic, eclectic and romantic. The room doesn't reflect my view of what teen style is — it mirrors what my daughter thinks is stylish. In fact, it’s not a traditional teen’s room at all, and that’s the point.
One the least expensive yet most significant changes you can make in a room is to change the wall color. Although it can be terrifying to let young ones pick their own paint color, chip books and color sheets work wonders.
A client’s son wanted a bright orange room, but that would have been too intense on four walls. After showing him a range of oranges, we met in the middle and chose a deeper orange-red that we mellowed out with bedding and accessories.
Painting giant swatches on the walls can help teens see if they want to live with the choice, up close and personal, every single day. As a parent, it can be hard to remove yourself from the equation when it comes to colors like black or red, but even these major colors can work if the rest of the room is styled well.
Solution: Designate certain walls as collage walls and put up large-scale bulletin boards, burlap-covered foam core or cork tiles (available in hardware and art supply stores) to protect the underlying walls and create areas where anything goes.
When it comes to prioritizing cost in a bedroom, a good bed is a must — especially for sleep-starved teens. Additional pieces, such as a nightstand, a desk, a chair and accessories, can be found in places like thrift stores and through the online classifieds.
Look for small pieces that will fit comfortably in the room. Think over a themed teen room carefully, because it tends to run its course quickly. But mixing and matching certain pieces can give you the feel of, say, a beach-themed room without actually having a boat bed and waves on the wall.
Tip: Color and texture are everything when it comes to furnishings. Don’t be afraid to play with styles, materials and textiles.
You’re never too young to learn the art of editing your interior design. Too much stuff can make anyone feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Any room that you create for teens or tweens needs to be simple enough for them to keep up on their own, with ample storage and organizers, such as coat hooks, underbed boxes and plenty of space-saving hangers for the closet. A room is where kids go to recharge, to get away from everyday issues (parents, friends, school) and, we hope, to get some rest.
Keep in mind your own kid’s capacity to keep up and take care of the room. A teen has more sophisticated taste than a tween, but having a beautiful room takes a little work.
Choosing the finishing touches is one of the most critical parts of designing any space. Art creates a focal point and acts as a springboard for everything else that happens on the walls. A common misconception is that teen and tween rooms should have juvenile art and accessories; you can incorporate colorful or graphic imagery through both inexpensive prints and fine art they may keep forever.
Tip: Today's online resources make it easy to find affordable, large-scale prints that fit every style and budget. Look for a piece that sets the tone for other wall decor. Here a large black and white print with a pop of color allows shelving, smaller pictures and mirrors to play off of the image.
More: 5 Teen and Tween Girls' Rooms With Fresh-Faced Style