It is only a matter of time until your maturing child lets you know they have outgrown their kiddy room. At this stage, you are not so much decorating a room for them as you are doing it with them. Most likely they will have definite changes they want to make and you will have to accommodate their preferences as well as their lifestyle needs, which are increasingly more grown-up. Toys and other embarrassing reminders of your childhood are out. Teenagers require more storage for clothing, an expanding music collection, electronic equipment, a personal grooming spot, and a place to do increasing amounts of homework. On top of this, they need an environment they can consider private and totally their own.
Think of your teenager’s bedroom as the precursor to their college dorm room. It is their sleeping space, their study and work niche, a place to entertain, and their private domain where they can talk to their friends, hang out or just be alone with their thoughts and dreams, if they so choose. If it is comfortable, they will spend a lot of time there, rather in someone else’s home.
Encourage your teenager to become involved with the decorating and renovating process.
The following are steps to get your teenager to take more interest in and responsibility for the project.
Step One – Work Out a Budget Together
Tell them how much you can afford to spend and let them decide how to divvy up that amount on individual expenditures. If there is something they want and your budget cannot accommodate, maybe they can contribute some of their savings or money from a part-time job. Or, instead of paying a contractor to paint the room, suggest to your teenager that if they do the work, the money saved can be spent on something that was off-limits before, like special lighting or a piece of furniture.
Step Two – Let Them Do the Window Shopping
Magazine, catalogs, the internet, and even TV shows are good places to find ideas. Tell them to keep notes as well as prices.
Step Three – Be the Practical One
Determine the room’s measurements, and take along the measuring tape when you go shopping. These are some of the details they will regard as tedious and will be happy to leave to you. Draw the line on renovations that not only cost a lot but will require expensive making-over when your teenager leaves for college and you want to use the room for another purpose.
Smart Tip Furnishings Checklist
In the teen years, storage needs increase along with the need for extra seating pieces for studying and entertaining friends. Consider the following items:
- Double- or Triple-Wide Dresser
- Tall Chest of Drawers or Armoire
- Desk and Adjustable Desk Chair
- Shelving or Bookcases
- Extra Seating
- Nightstand or Bedside Table
- Lighting Fixtures
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