Bedrooms

Update Your Teen’s Bedroom on a Budget

With a new school year upon the horizon, it’s another reminder that your baby boy or girl is growing up fast. As they mature into their teenage years, they’ll start craving a bedroom sanctuary where they can have some privacy and spend time without being reminded of childish former interests.

Back-to-school season is a great time for redecorating, but many parents may not want to spend tons of cash on a complete makeover that will be outdated in a few years. Here are some tips for updating your teenager’s bedroom on a budget, and end up with a space that everyone will agree with.

Have a Game Plan

First things first, redecorating needs to be a collaborative effort between parent and child. There’s nothing worse than investing time and money into a room that your teen hates. Keep an open mind about their ideas and creative impulses (maybe black walls could look cool if styled right), while at the same time sticking to a mutually-agreed upon set of limits (including budget!).

If possible, steer them away from trends or brands that might not age well in the long run, and suggest reasonable alternatives for ideas that may be riskier or more expensive. Use this time also to thoroughly clean up their current room; get rid of items that they have outgrown or no longer use to give you both a “clean slate.” Find inspiration by gathering images of bedrooms from magazines or online. Once you’ve figured out a general style direction, sketch out a floor plan for the space so you can get a sense of how everything will fit together.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Your child’s present furniture may be too small, shabby, or outdated for their age, but new furniture is an expensive investment. What’s a parent to do? Pieces that are falling apart or have no use in their current bedroom may be given away to friends and family or sold to earn some extra spending cash for decorating. Furniture that’s staying can be updated with a fresh finish or coat of paint, or some new hardware or upholstery to refresh a well-loved piece. Instead of shopping at pricey department stores, search at thrift stores, flea markets, or garage sales for unique items that won’t break the bank, or even search around the attic and basement for forgotten treasures. Invest in pieces that can possibly be reused in the future for their college dorm room or first apartment.

It’s All About Accessories

Accents and accessories are a great way to add in eye-catching colors (such as sky blue or millennial pink) your teen will love in their bedroom without spending extra for an entire theme. Use neutral tones in white, black, tan, or brown for walls, furniture, and bedding, and then add in color, texture, and pattern with blankets, throw pillows, rugs, curtains, or even an accent wall. Your teen will most likely be using their bedroom as a space for hanging out with their friends. Make it more inviting with extra seating such as a small couch or armchair, or if space is tight an area rug and a few huge floor pillows. Hang up some wall art, add ambiance with string fairy lights hung across the ceiling, or put in some flowers and plants (succulents are a trendy, practical choice) for a natural touch.

Add Some Personality

Of course, personal touches are what will separate your teen’s bedroom from a immaculate catalog display. Show off their hobbies and interests prominently throughout the room. Do they play music? Create a corner for their instruments where they can practice. Do they excel in sports or dance? Put their trophies, metals, and season pictures from through the years on a shelf. Do they have a cool collection – whether it be snow globes, seashells, concert tickets or playbills? Display them in a place of honor. Are they naturally crafty? Let them whip up a few DIY projects. Bulletin boards are great for pinning up notes, lists, artwork, and favorite photos without damaging the walls. Many teens naturally decorate with plastering posters and stickers on the walls and – to their parents’ chagrin – scattering their things everywhere.

Use a few of these easy, stress-free ideas and you’ll end up with a grown-up-worthy bedroom your budding teen will spend all their time in – even if they end up shutting out their parents in the process.

About the Author - Margo McGeehan

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