Five Lessons From Your Teenage Bedroom

This grown-up bedroom from an upcoming house tour puts the
best principles of a teenage bedroom to work.

Looking back on the bedroom where you lived in your teenage years, do you feel horror or nostalgia? We're guessing a combination of both. The mess and chaos of our teen rooms might make us cringe now, but there's also no denying that a teenager's bedroom is a sanctuary, a place to relax and recharge, and also a vehicle for free self-expression. And don't we all still want those things for ourselves? Maybe there are a few valuable lessons we can take from our teenage rooms and apply to our bedrooms today...

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Could this really be a teenager’s room? Well, maybe designer mom Virginia had him clean it up for the photo shoot... but still, we love the way her son Charlie's choices, like the vintage movie poster and the globe, give us an immediate sense of his style and the things he loves.

1 - Let your wall décor reflect what you love. Now, we're not suggesting that you resurrect your Kirk Cameron shrine or your Thriller album cover collection, but there's something to be said for surrounding yourself with reminders of the music, art, and friends that make you happy. If, like the couple who lives in the bedroom in the top photo, you have friends who are artists, hang their work. Frame favorite book covers, or look for vintage music and movie posters.

2 - Experiment with color. A pale room can be serene and lovely, but if you enjoy color, the bedroom’s a great place to use it. Many people shy away from color in the bedroom because of a fear that it will distract from sleep and relaxation, but wise color choices can actually encourage rest. If you’re wary, start small, with artwork and accent pillows.

3 - Give yourself a good place to lounge. Bean bags and papasan chairs might be a thing of the past (we hope!), but it’s wonderful to have a spot in your bedroom for relaxing that isn’t the bed. A little reading nook—chair, ottoman, and side table—is perfect if you've got the space, and if not, consider placing a chair close enough to the bed that you can prop your feet on it.

4 - Try to keep things relaxed. Now of course we aren’t advocating the traditional teenage mounds of clothes and unmade beds, but we get why they’re so common: in the bedroom, we want to relax, not work. Consider making it easy to keep your bedroom clean by simplifying your bedding. Despite the appeal of an elegant, well-dressed bed, if it’s too overwhelmed with throws and pillows and bolsters, you won’t want to lounge on it or make it up in the morning.

5 - Don’t be afraid to make frequent décor changes. Teenagers’ walls and rooms are constantly in flux, with new pictures replacing old, chairs getting shoved around, and so on. This is a good practice to follow for freshening up your own bedroom. Change around your wall art; change the angle of a chair to get different light; mix up your lighting, bringing in lamps from other rooms.

What are some things you loved about your own teenage room? Please share!

Photo: Virginia Armstrong of roddy&ginger, originally featured on BloesemKids