Teenage dreams: Create the perfect teen bedroom in five simple steps
The mere mention of a teenager's room instantly conjures images of a black hole of dirty clothes and homework papers, lit only by the shining blue light of whatever device you can't pry from their hands. An exaggeration, of course, because many teenagers these days do care about having a space of their own that meets their studying and lounging needs.
The room may well end up covered in Liverpool posters or One Direction memorabilia, but the best defense is good teamwork with your teen. Make redecoration a project you take on together, incorporating your child's style into the rest of your home. Here's how to make it work.
A teen's room doesn't so much need a theme, but rather a vibe, which depends both on your overall house style and what kind of kid is going to live there. If your teen is game, put together a Pinterest board with images you both love and try to find the similarities.
Buy it: Wire nest of tables, €99 from Marks & Spencer
Artwork will bring your teenager's personality to the room, and simple mounting and framing will keep it from looking tacky. Keep costs down by buying pre-made frames and having a framemaker cut a mount to fit. Etsy (etsy.com) is a super place to start an affordable art search.
Buy it: Framed wall art from Debenhams, €50
While there's no real need to spend a fortune on a kid's bed, this bed could see you through to the days when your teen moves into his or her own home. One can hope, at least! A bed with a little style sets the tone for the rest of the room and the options are endless. Wrought iron is sophisticated, a platform bed modern, and some beds even have storage underneath if you want to discourage piles of clothes all over the floor.
Buy it: Irvine black metal bed, €225 from Next
The best way to encourage a modicum of tidiness is to ensure your teen's room has a range of storage options. Together with your teenager, work out the best ways to store shoes, clothes, sports equipment or musical instruments. Bins work well for dirty laundry, racks are helpful for shoes, and a pretty stand help keep jewellery organised.
Buy it: Jewellery holder, €8 from Penneys
Decorating with mementos in a teen's room can be tricky. Start by organising similar items together. For example, give trophies their own shelf together, or frame special movie ticket stubs in colourful frames. If you're concerned your child's collections might look tacky, consider letting them dictate the colour scheme, limiting the rest of the room to neutral colours to let personal items take centre stage.
If your child is especially sporty, consider letting gear play double duty. Find a creative way to hang tennis rackets or ballet shoes that can free up much-needed wardrobe space.
Buy it: House chalkboard, €6 from Penneys
I'll be the first to admit that studying on my bed led to quite a few unplanned (yet totally fulfilling) naps when I was in school. If you're keen to encourage more studying than napping, a designated study area is a great place to start. Choose a space-saving desk and a comfortable (but not too comfortable!) chair, then add a few colourful organisational tools to keep pencils and pens, paper and charger cords corralled.
Buy it: Wooden Bradshaw desk, €239 at Marks & Spencer
Art for a kid's room should tick two boxes: cheerful and personal. Whether you're decorating your child's room for the very first time before their arrival or it's getting a refresh to really suit their budding personality, have a peek at new Etsy shop Larollie. Run by graphic designer Kristin Haberstroh, the playful shop is named for her own two children, Lara and Oliver, and is full of cheerful prints for all ages.
When prints Kristin created as gifts for friends were well received, she decided to open a shop with personalised prints. "I think people appreciate the extra thought and effort that goes into a personalised present. Hopefully every print will be appreciated by the parents, enjoyed by the children as they grow older and look great in the room it's being placed."
Order cheerful personalised prints to deck the walls at etsy.com/shop/larollie