I recently took it upon myself to revamp my eldest daughter’s bedroom. We gave her room an express makeover when we first moved house over three years ago, but I recently decided to remove some old wallpaper, meaning it all needed skimmed and repainted again.
This time around, however, my 12 year old wanted a say in her bedroom’s design and I suppose, why not? She’s the one who has to spend most of her time there, so it needs to be a space she can relax and feel comfortable in.
Updating older children’s and teenagers’ bedrooms is a tricky task, as you want the room to ‘grow’ with the child so that you’re not faced with the ongoing expense of redecorating it every couple of years. We all know teen girls can be incredibly fickle in their tastes, so getting it right from the outset is no mean feat! So… if you’re planning a teenage girl’s room, I thought I would share some styling tips with you to help you along the way to bedroom perfection!
1. Get your daughter on board!
First and foremost, remember it’s your daughter’s room you are redecorating, not your bedroom! Involve her in the planning stage from the outset and learn to compromise on final choices for decor. Spend time together setting out a mood board of ideas; this can be done on a computer by creating a Word document and copying and saving images to it, setting up a Pinterest board or simply tearing out and collating pages from magazines and catalogues. It’ll be a fun task to carry out together and will give you a clearer idea of her taste, and in turn, the overall look and feel you’re both after.
2. Consider her needs & lifestyle
Before deciding what furniture to replace or soft furnishings to update, take a step back and think about how your daughter uses her bedroom on a daily basis. Does she enjoy listening to music? Does she often have friends to sleep over? Does she prefer to do her homework in her room or downstairs in the kitchen? Is she an avid reader? Her bedroom needs to work for her, not only as a place to sleep, but equally as a place to study, relax and socialise.
If she enjoys having friends for sleep overs, a double bed or day bed with pullout mattress may work better for her. If space is at a premium, why not store an extra slim mattress under the bed or invest in a single chair bed that can double up as a comfy seat for reading on when she’s by herself.
A desk is a must for any teenager’s room, both for study and for hobbies, so ensure it boasts good storage and a comfortable chair, too. Remember it can also be used as a dressing table in a girl’s room, so make sure there’s a mirror above the desk or a free-standing one close by, plus a drawer or shelf within easy reach to store make up supplies.
I love this little corner desk – find it here – and the cork notice board is a clever addition, as it can easily be changed up to display photos, mementoes or school notes at exam time!
A flatweave rug placed under the desk can help to define the area and make it feel cosy. An alternative solution to regular shelving is a set of picture ledges, as they take up less space and can be used to display artwork or cool prints, as well as succulents and other trinkets.
If your daughter is a light sleeper or you live in a town, black out curtains or a blind are a worthwhile investment to ensure your teen is getting enough nourishing sleep. It’s encouraging them to awaken again in the morning that’s the real problem!!
Finally, take into account the location of electrical sockets – there needs to be one near the desk, obviously, but also beside the bed to accommodate a reading lamp and perhaps one close to her mirror for when she’s using curling tongs or a hairdryer.
3. Add some more grown up touches to the room
Perhaps your daughter’s room simply needs a few tweaks to bring it up to date again. In this case, you can easily elevate it to the next level without it becoming too formal and ‘grown up’.
A little greenery or a few succulents bring lots of life to a room, and can be popped into fun containers for an instant update. Faux greenery is also an option, but perhaps not for the eco-conscious teenager! Succulents are probably your best bet as they require very little TLC and are very much on trend right now.
A pop of monochrome pattern adds a punchy element to a girl’s bedroom, particularly if it’s dominated by sugary pink accessories or paintwork. The black and white will tone down other girly accents in the room and add an edginess that most teens love, whilst still preserving the feminine look and feel of the room. It’s ok to have pink when they’re post 12 – just ensure it’s a softer shade, perhaps teaming it with cooler greys or greens for a more grown up look.
Fill the wall space with something that reflects your daughter’s personality. This could be a relaxed gallery wall of framed postcards, prints and photographs that she’s collected up, or you could attach snaps of family and friends to a long string of mini fairy lights, stretching them across the wall behind the bed. There are some gorgeous, quirky wall decor ideas around that will also inject a fun element to her room – felt or papier mâché animal heads, light up neon signs and macrame wall hangings are all easily picked up on the high street.
4. Make it work as a cosy den
As highlighted earlier, your teen girl’s bedroom should be her sanctuary. Her own personal space where she can relax and escape the pressures of modern day teen life. It’s important that her room is somewhere she wants to retreat to, so make it really cosy and inviting for her. Teenagers love to lounge on their beds, so a cosy throw and some plump cushions can increase the comfort factor, as can layers of texture, such as faux fur and shaggy sheepskin rugs, which can equally be draped over a chair to create a snuggly reading nook.
Clever use of lighting will foster a cosy ambience, with strings of fairy lights, a soft table or floor lamp in the corner and of course, a decent (angled) desk light. For reading in bed, you can find good clip on lamp designs that take up very little room and are particularly handy if there’s no space for a beside table.
5. Don’t forget storage!
Lastly, on a practical level, don’t under-estimate the power of good storage even when your daughter is past the toy stage. Sports gear, make up, toiletries and clothes all need a place to live in a teenager’s bedroom and if you can get it right, it’ll be easier for your teen to stay organised when storing her belongings.
Wicker belly baskets can be used to store shoes, blankets, scarves, belts or even collections of teddies, and are ideal for adding a cool boho vibe to the room. There are so many gorgeous designs to choose from, or why not customise your own with sequins, metallic spray paint or pompoms, like the ones below?
How about a little trolley to store books, pens, tissues etc beside the bed in place of a more traditional bedside cabinet? You can find a similar one to this one in IKEA.
There are some really inventive ideas below for storing smaller items, which so often end up stuffed into drawers or under the bed. The little shelves are actually IKEA spice racks, which have been painted up (an ideal way to use up leftover sample paint tins). Perfect for displaying nail polishes and the like. Pretty storage boxes set up onto higher shelves or stacked up neatly in a corner can be great for clothing accessories, papers/magazines and craft supplies.
I will share some proper pictures of my own daughter’s room in a blog post soon, however if you’re currently planning your own daughter’s room makeover, here are some accessories and decorative items to inspire you!
- Terrarium duvet // from £10 // George @ Asda
- TJENA storage box // £2.50 // IKEA
- ‘Tommy’ desk lamp copper // £25 // Habitat
- KAPASTER throw // £18 // IKEA
- Round faux fur rug // £45 // Urban Outfitters
- Gold frame mirror // £17 // H&M Home
- Circle wire wall grid // £26 // Urban Outfitters
- Leaf trinket dish // £6.99 // H&M Home
- Poster // from £3.95 // Desenio
- Sass & Belle storage basket // £12.50 (sale) // ASOS
- Succulent in gold pot // £3 // Homebase
- RÅSKOG trolley // £50 // IKEA
Happy decorating! K x