Starting middle school is a huge chapter for any “tween”. When my client called me, she said she wanted to completely make over her daughter’s room to celebrate finishing elementary school and entering 6th grade. She wanted a space that reflected her daughter’s personality and would also serve as a fun place for her friends to hang out.
This new room had to work for slumber parties, homework sessions, and general lounging. BUT it had a long ways to get to that point…
This project is probably the most dramatic “before & after” I’ve ever worked on. When I first saw the room, it had hunter green carpeting and burgundy walls.
It was crying out for a makeover.
And makeover we did.
The first thing I addressed was the layout. By placing the bed on the largest open wall, we left the bay window area open to become a reading nook with the comfy armchair. A “spot to read in” was on the wish list for the space, so that was an easy call to make.
Also, this allowed us me use a very dramatic tufted bed, which would have overwhelmed the window area where the previous bed was.
While we knew that the trim needed to stay brown in order to match the rest of the home, my next major goal was to lighten and brighten this room from floor to ceiling. This meant neutral carpeting, a light wall color, and an elegant yet youthful chandelier.
Check out Bandpass Designs for more furniture ideas.
Another request was that I find ways to display trophies and medals from gymnastics competitions.
We went with a custom shelf above the windows for trophies and a large peg board next to the bookshelf to hang plaques, ribbons, and medals.
These custom made Roman shades were one of my favorite pops in the room. I think Dalmatian fabric is perfect for kids and teen rooms. I added a little detailing with the aqua ribbon to tie in our color scheme.
PS: When it comes to functioning Romans, you definitely want to hire a professional. Not cheap, but totally worth it. Cheaply made Romans can easily break or dangerously become a huge hazard if you have “littles” running around. (If faux shades that don’t move is what you’re after, then DIY away.)
We went with a six-drawer dresser instead of a high boy, so that it could be used as a vanity. A makeup caddy and a drawer organizer for hair care items helped make this work.
(Mom assured me that this would alleviate some tension between sisters sharing a bathroom in the mornings!)
I loved how the little floral watercolor pillows pulled in all our colors into one fabric. Sometimes floral prints can either feel too geriatric or too much like they belong in a nursery. I felt like this little pillow was the perfect balance between the two for a youthful room.
My client’s friend made a custom collage to hang over the bed, and I chose three art prints that represented her daughter’s interested. I wanted this to feel a bit eclectic, so I went with different frames for each piece.
I’m a tad obsessed with this scalloped duvet cover from PB teen. (Link below.) I seriously would use this on my own bed.
Because there was so much room in the walk-in closet, I decided to add a small desk and make this into a mini office where my client’s daughter could do homework. Even after adding a desk, chair, and several organizational items to the wall there was still plenty of room for clothes and other storage.
(Excuse the lighting…hard to get good shots with artificial light.)
TIPS FOR MAKING OVER YOUR TEEN’S ROOM
How cute are these two?! This was such a fun project to work on, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.
If you’re thinking about making over your teen or tween’s room, it may be a bit more challenging than say, designing a nursery. (Somehow newborns have less opinions than pre-teens…Imagine that.) It may feel like a struggle at first but here are a few tips that helped guide this project and might help you too:
1. Start with function.
How should the set up of this new space differ from the one that worked well when they were younger? Maybe they need a work space but didn’t before. Maybe they need a larger (or smaller) bed. Perhaps more storage is necessary for books or collectibles than was needed in the past.
2. Pin together.
In the dreaming stage, anything goes. Start a Pinterest board and spend time together where both of you collect images or rooms that inspire you. This can be a great conversation starter and might even translate into some of the plan.
3. Include your child’s interests.
This doesn’t have to mean cheesy posters or themed rooms…It might simply mean making sure their interests or accomplishments are represented somewhere in the room.
4. They get a say in the beginning and the end. (The middle is all you, baby.)
My client asked her daughter what color she definitely wanted to include in her new room. She chose aqua; this was our starting point with color. Afterwards the mom and I worked together on logistics and budget. I pulled together the layout, full color scheme and most of the other design elements to present to my client. After she signed off, we let her daughter see the plan (which was 80% finished), and she was on board. We let her have final say on the artwork and some of the accessories that I pulled. Everybody wins.
5. Keep nic-nacs in check with designated areas.
We used several of her keepsakes on the bookcase and the closet shelves. Instead of spreading them out all over the room, they live only in these two areas. This way she can personalize her space, but those items don’t dictate the aesthetic of the room.
6. Pick a “non-negotiable”. (You’re the parent, so it’s ok.)
Since you’re funding this room, you get to say what’s a definite “no” for the space. Maybe it paint color. Maybe it’s the furniture style (since you’ll likely pay the most for these items.) Whatever it is, be sure to make this point very clear right at the beginning to avoid any pushback later.
This little list is by no means comprehensive, but I do hope it helps when you’re ready to tackle your teenager…er, I mean, their room;)
*All images by Meg White Photography
*Affiliate links used in this post.
(Please note that not all items in the pictures are available and some items were custom made.)
-Roman shades (custom made, but fabric is found HERE)
-Custom floor lamp shade via ETSY
-Arm chair (currently sold out)
-Polka dot pillow in chair-custom made via this ETSY shop