While it can be tempting to simply outfit your tween's room with her favorite theme, this type of design could quickly fall victim to the fickle nature of the average pre-teen. Skip the trendy movie- and pop song-specific themes and design a room that your child can grow into as she enters her teen years: You can compromise with a pared-down version of their favorite theme or interest. For example, instead of investing in the complete bedroom set that's made around one specific doll or action figure, use the setting or time period of your child's favorite book or toy as inspiration. Try a Victorian or classic country look that can be modified as your child grows.
For boys, consider a more mature version of their must-have theme. If your son loves baseball for example, outfit a basic room design with posters and photographs of his favorite teams and players, but keep all the matting and frames the same for a consistent, pulled-together look.
If you simply can't wrest that Hannah Montana bedspread or leopard print lampshade out of your tween's hands, consider a compromise. As long as your child agrees on simple furniture and flooring, let them go slightly wild with accessories (we particularly like removable wall decals, which come in just about every color and pattern imaginable), which can be switched out as your child's tastes change. They'll be happy with their new space, and they'll probably thank you in a few years for suggesting the Justin Bieber bedspread instead of the tough-to-remove fairy princess wallpaper border.