Darren Palmer on Designing Tweenage and Teenage Bedrooms
Creating a Space to Free the Mind
Young adults need their own space, space away from school, their folks and a place that is theirs, reflecting their likes and needs.
If your child is sleeping in a kiddy room, left over from when they were little, you’ll need to ditch anything that isn’t sophisticated and adult like as your teen or tween will want to live in a room they feel they can grow into and grow with, that means creating something smart, well considered and well designed.
All people are different to each other but teenagers tend to group together, sharing likes and styles, conforming to fashion but also carving out their own style and niche within their peers so it’s important to engage them in the creation of their spaces.
Try and discern what they need in their rooms, obviously a bed, but what size do you want to provide, and what style. A good representation of a teenage bedroom was completed on Reno Rumble using a simple white 4 post bed. It looks substantial and mature but has the soft whimsy this particular teenage girl wanted for her space simply by hanging white sheer fabric over it. A metal bed might appeal to a more hipster youth, a wooden bed may appeal to another, so sit with your young adult and work through what they might like by asking some simple questions about style or better still ask them to prepare a pinterest board of their desired style so you can help them piece it together.
With Reno Rumble coming to Channel 9 again soon it’s probably timely to mention another teenage girls bedroom created on the show that I thought was beautiful and inspired, also fitting this particular young lady’s style and aesthetic perfectly.
I really love the natural approach to the bedhead, a wooden surround and low headboard made to fit under the window, framed with simple L shaped timber brackets in the same colour and texture to hang a soft draped piece of beautiful lace completing the cool, kinfolk look of the space.
The important thing in creating a visual style with your teen is to consider their desires, their needs and what they like. Whatever they’re into, find a way to include it in a stylish and appropriate way.
Look for opportunities to add in storage and structure so that they can keep themselves ordered as best they can. A place to keep everything and everything in its place is a great way to approach designing any space, a teenager’s room probably more than anywhere.
Young guys also need to have a sense of their own space, imprinting their personalities and hobbies onto their domain.
A simple palette of black and white is a great place to start, layering in their belongings in a structured way by providing plenty of shelves and drawers to keep things in their place.
Teenage gents are usually pretty basic and straight forward as is their style generally speaking. Give them a place to sleep, a place to hang out with their mates, maybe a place to game or watch tv and a place to work and they’ll probably be over the moon, or as over the moon as any teenager gets.
If you want to give them a more interesting place, engage them in a diy project to build a bedhead, suspend a bed from the ceiling (if your rafters will bear the load) or panel a wall in timber to give them a real sense of ownership and pride. Again look for some reference with them or look through their reference after they gather it and plan a project together.
Boys and girls alike can contribute to the customisation of their space through DIY or craft, either by painting the walls with patterns or shapes, applying their own wallpaper or creating their own painted effects on the walls. Their creativity and capacity is the limit but you can always lend a hand in application or creative direction.
Good palettes for blokes of any age are blues, greys, charcoal, dark colours up to and including black, compliments like leather, timber and stone, patterns like pinstripe, herringbone or camo all tend to appeal to a masculine mind.
Also think about the technical requirements of your teen’s space, do you want them to have a gaming console, a tv, a laptop or desktop in their space and their own AV system? The more you provide them the happier they will be to be in their room, though the common issue with teenagers is actually getting out of their shells to interact with the rest of the family so moderate what you think is beneficial and what may be counter productive to family engagement. Also it is possibly wise to have a communal computer in a communal part of the house so you can keep one eye on their online lives.
Lastly give some thought to the light in their rooms. You’ll want to give them enough light for homework or study at night which means good ceiling or wall lighting as well as task lighting over work/reading areas like the desk and bed.
Also consider how to filter light and provide darkness to the room in the early, and not so early hours of the morning as teenagers really do need quite a bit of sleep for their bodies to grow and adapt to all of the physical changes. Block out blinds or drapes are a must but it’s not a bad idea to open up the whole room to the light of outside when you really need to get them up and out the door.