If you're teen bedroom ideas hunting, you're probably wondering where to start and how to create space they'll love and that you'll be happy to have in your home.
The reality of being a parent of a teenager is you might think you’re cool. Your children might think you are, right up until they hit double figures. Then suddenly, sometimes overnight (there’s a reason that Kevin & Perry sketch is still hilair) you are, like, sooo not peng.
Unless you don’t give two hoots if they like it or not, decorating a teen’s bedroom will need you to relinquish some control over colour and furniture choices. But as it’s unlikely they’re paying for it (haha), you have fiscal control – use it to veto their worst ideas. We've put together 12 ways for you to come up with the perfect design for them (and you!). Find all our bedroom ideas in one spot, on our dedicated page.
1. Set up a Pinterest board
If ‘dunno’ is the answer to your questions about favourite colours or themes, set up a Pinterest pinboard and invite your offspring to add photos that appeal. Good key words to kick things off include ‘retro’, ‘monochrome’, ‘tropical’ and Scandi’. Complete disinterest is basically a green light to do what you want, so don’t lose it if you’re not getting the desired feedback.
More likely, your child will get carried away with suggestions, and you’ll need to diplomatically rein things in. Explain how the most successful schemes have one or two core colours, then go to Homesense, Ikea or Dunelm for inexpensive accessories that will bring in pattern and texture.
2. Plan your layout
The main difference between a teenager’s bedroom and any other age group is they essentially live in them. Approach the layout like a studio apartment and include an area for lounging with friends (bean bags are gold for those who can still get up off the floor without grunting), and a desk for homework/gaming.
If space is tight but you have high-ish ceilings, get the bed up off the floor and you’ll effectively double the room size. Layered lighting, with adjustable lamps by the bed and desk, will prevent eyestrain while they are glued to screens. Speaking of which, save the biggest one for a family room to ensure you see them beyond meal times.
3. Let them express their personality
Allow teens to express their sense of style and achieve a space that feels their own via the walls. Temporary solutions can be easily switched once they’ve left home. Framed photos of friends and band posters are to be encouraged, graffiti and anything X-rated, not so much. Wall decals and stickers will do minimum damage to the plasterwork, or use picture shelves to prevent the wall acne fallout of excessive Blu-Tack.
There’s a strong chance your tastes will clash, or your teen will make them clash just to be contrary. Stay sane by remembering the number one rule of parenting – 'This, too, shall pass'.
4. Choose a sturdy desk
When it comes to desk shopping – go for the best you can afford to achieve a sturdy study base that looks like it means business. The aim is to encourage revision away from the nap-temptations of bed. Make sure the chair is genuinely comfortable for those inevitable late-night swotting sessions. A chair with an adjustable seat will grow with your teen, helping to maintain comfortable spine alignment. Their feet should sit flat on the floor with knees at a right-angle to hips.
5. Create a display space
Encourage an organised mind – or just protect your walls from drawing pins – with a pinboard. Make one using corkboard, then paint or cover in fabric (attached with a staple gun) for colour co-ordinating kudos. A blackboard wall opens up the potential for creative freedom, use magnetic paint if you still want to be able to display photos and postcards. To add storage to the mix go for a pegboard with shelf, hook and caddy components – Ikea’s Skådis is perfect.
6. Protect your ears!
If your teen’s an aspiring musician, it won’t hurt to take noise dampening action. A thick cut-pile wall-to-wall carpet with decent underlay can be preferable to wooden or laminate floors. Acoustic panels keep noise out of the room and improve acoustics inside – great for budding podcasters. Upgrade to a solid door – Jeld-Wen’s ProCore Quiet Door can cut sound emission by 50 per cent compared to a hollow door.
7. Encourage tidiness (good luck with that)
Messiness is a universal teenage trait that is to be accepted with grace (for your sanity’s sake). If you are blessed with a tidy teen, congratulations! But don’t be too smug, they can turn at any time. Under-bed drawers are perfect for clearing the duvet when mates come a-knocking, while shelves might work better than rails in a wardrobe if they reject hangers. Get the biggest waste bin possible, and an air-tight container to keep trainer odour under wraps. And get used to the phrase 'floordrobe'.
- Need to maximise space in a small bedroom? Shop our smart bedroom storage ideas
8. Turn the loft into a bedroom
Locate your teenagers in the loft – they’ll be further away from the ground floor so you won’t have to listen to Stormzy at full boar all evening. Plus it’s harder to sneak unauthorised guests up two flights of stairs. Go with the cool loft-living vibe and embrace industrial influences in the décor – try exposed brickwork (or wallpaper effect for a cleaner finish), rustic A-frames and steel venting. You’ll save money on boxing in and plastering in the process.
- Want to convert your loft into a teen bedroom? Find out if your loft is suitable with our expert advice
9. Go bold with the decor
Secretly love out-sized pineapple prints and neon signs but worried it might
look a bit ‘Mid-Life-Crisis’ in your living room? Teens love to experiment and
often have a burning desire to be ‘different’. Take full advantage by playing out some of your wackier decorating ideas. You’ll need to get your teen on board, but ideally you’ve learned how to persuade them it was all their idea. If not, there’s always bribery and corruption.
10. Plan in extra power sockets
Avoid the potential fire hazard of extension leads and over-burdened adapters by getting extra sockets with USB ports installed before you decorate. Position them near the desk, not the bed. The health risks of 24-hour mobile phone exposure are still murky but it’s better for their quality of sleep not to have devices pinging near them through the night. Furniture and lamps with built-in wireless charging are widely available (see the Ikea smart light with this function, above), reducing trails of cables.
11. Spend your budget wisely
Like any room, the key to longevity is to go for timeless style on the expensive elements, like furniture, and use accessories and accents to inject the latest trends. Invest in a quality bed or headboard with a grown-up feel for your teen now, and for the guest space their room is likely to become when they leave home. Ditto wardrobes. Upcycle solidly made secondhand furniture with paint. Rust-Oleum’s Satin Finish furniture paint is fast-drying and wipeable after.
12. Choose a space-saving bed
High sleeper and loft beds are taller than bunks, and designed with older children in mind due to safety. A bed guard is recommended – even adults sometimes topple out of bed (usually alcohol is involved). Underneath, it’ll have space for a desk, sofa and/or wardrobe. Make sure there’s sufficient head height for your teen to sit underneath without feeling claustrophobic. Changing the bedlinen will be challenging; flat sheets are easier than fitted. Find a ladder with decent depth flat rungs, instead of skinny rails that are painful on bare feet. Failing that, investigate beds with built-in storage and storage headboards – both great options for hiding and stashing clutter (and other stuff you probably wish you didn't know about).