7 tips for creating an awesome teen bedroom

An interior decorator’s expert advice on creating a bedroom that reflects your teen’s personality and involves them in the process.

Home Design

Decorating kids’ bedrooms is a cinch – all you need is bright colours and stuffed toys, but once your little one moves into their teens, the quest for cool begins. They’ll be keen to ditch evidence of their younger years and create a space that’s more grown up. 

Re-creating your teen’s bedroom is something to do together – not only will you have a great time, you can help design a bedroom that grows with them and steers clear of any design disasters. With help from interior decorator Nicole Rosenberg of Little Liberty, you can create a new bedroom that reflects your teen’s personality and offers them space to chill out, study and sleep soundly. 

1. Get inspired

Bounce ideas off one another and work out the vibe of the bedroom. If you’re lacking inspiration, look to the many sources available. “Definitely Pinterest, of course, magazines, Instagram and the world around you!” says Nicole. “Everything can be inspiration – especially the things your kid loves in everyday life.” You might want to set up a shared Pinterest board so you can both add to the wish list.

2. Manage expectations 

Start the process with clear boundaries around the changes you’ll make. As a parent, remember that fads come and go when you’re growing up. “Incorporate your teen’s personality into the space, but steer away from expensive purchases, knowing how quickly a teen’s passion can change,” says Nicole. “Focus on items that can be changed easily. For example, framing a poster of their favourite band is a great idea, but getting wallpaper made with that band on it probably isn’t!”


Tips for decorating teen bedrooms

3. Know the zones

Your teen needs a space that makes them feel calm, secure and happy, which is why you should understand the bedroom’s functional must-haves. “If the space allows, it’s good to have three zones: the sleep zone, for the bed, the study zone, for the desk and chair, and the chill-out zone, where they can relax on a beanbag or sofa,” says Nicole. Getting this layout right will also help your teen stay tidy, as they can keep all their stuff in designated areas. Be sure that you don’t skimp on the storage in each spot. Lots of smart storage to stash the mess is a must – a clutter-free space is a calming one.  

4. Don’t ignore the basics

Now that you have the floor plan organised, think about the shell of the bedroom. One of the best things you can do for a space – that won’t hurt your budget – is to add a fresh coat of paint. “It’s the cheapest and most impactful way to create the mood you’re after,” says Nicole. “Definitely ask their opinion on colour choices.” Better yet, have your teen don the painting overalls and paint the room together. Their bedroom will be all the more enjoyable if they’ve had fun creating it with you.

5. Design with the future in mind

If you’re buying furniture, don’t forget to make choices that will grow with your teen. “Keep your larger, more expensive furniture items as neutral as possible and then play around with soft furnishing that can be updated without breaking the bank,” says Nicole. And don’t think about paint as a permanent detail. “Don’t be afraid to play around with the colour on the wall and make it age appropriate,” says Nicole, “It can always be painted over with minimal fuss when they get sick of it.”


Ideas for decorating a teenagers bedroom

6. Make study a priority

These years will see a lot of hours put in at the desk, so an efficient work space is essential. “The study area should feel uncluttered and organised – desk organisers including document and pen holders are a must,” says Nicole. “Add a pinboard above the desk, as it keeps items that need to be actioned in eye line.” Ensure there’s plenty of light. Add a brightly coloured desk lamp to bring some design flair and help tired eyes when their essay takes longer than expected.    

7. Be budget smart

A refresh of your teen’s bedroom doesn’t have to cost a fortune and, recognising their rapid growth at this phase, avoid splashing out. Remember, there are ways to make your dollar go further while still creating an awesome room. “Spend money where it counts,” says Nicole. “Choose good-quality bed linen that they’ll love sleeping in every night. Go hunting in inexpensive furniture stores for items that you can change slightly to reflect their personality. Why not replace door handles with cool leather straps or even painting them so they’re completely unique?” Get creative with what you can afford for a space that’s truly their own.

Tackling this project together will help you end up with a room you both love while having a ball along the way. Find a happy balance of fun and functional and your teenager’s bedroom will be a space that grows with them and gives them everything they need to work, rest and play.