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DIY with Your Teen: Bedroom Updates

Get a new grown-up look for your teenager’s bedroom
Get a new grown-up look for your teenager’s bedroom

The day has come. Your teenager doesn’t want a “kids” bedroom anymore. Before they start hanging up posters on top of ballerina wallpaper, sit down and talk through what they want. With a few do-it-yourself ideas, you can work together to create a more grown-up look that you’ll both be proud of. Heck, it might even be fun!

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Teens (and tweens) usually want to update their rooms to show their personality and changing interests. Your teen rockstar might want to show his love of music (instead of Matchbox cars) and your little princess might be evolving to a glamour girl. Some teens want more space to do school work and use their computer, while others want to update closet space or remove childish wallpaper and artwork. Talk to your teen and pick a theme and color scheme together. You may even want to create a Pinterest board to collect and pin ideas together.

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A fresh coat of paint is the easiest way to change the entire look and mood of a room. After you’ve picked a theme and color scheme, head to your home improvement store and ask for large paint swatches. After testing and finalizing, buy paint and supplies in your color scheme. If the room is already white, you may want to just do an accent wall if the colors are dark. Have your teen talk to the store expert and get instructions on wall painting. You want them to feel empowered, and then you can hand off the bulk of the work to them. Work with them to make sure they tape off sockets and wood trim, but let your teen do the painting. That way it will truly feel like their room!

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Your teen may dismiss their current furniture as “kids stuff,” but many pieces can be easily updated with new knobs and paint or stains. After you’ve chosen a new look, work with your teen and share the updating work – sanding, painting and replacing fixtures. If some of the furniture is literally child-sized or can’t be updated, you may want to sell it on Craigslist (you need to be in charge of this task) and put the money towards more updates.

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Before buying new furniture, you may want to check the attic and basement for cast-off pieces you’ve forgotten about. A simple wooden table, sanded and painted a bright color, is suddenly a hip desk. An old lampshade, cleaned up and decorated, could replace a childish lampshade and make funky new lamp. Let your teen’s creativity shine here, if a piece has been sitting in storage forgotten, there’s nothing to lose if they get a little over-the-top.

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Set a date to hit the local flea market or discount warehouse to find cool accessories and small furnishings you can get creative with. Teens love their friends, so photo displays are super fun. Buy a bunch of old frames and spray paint them a wild color or metallic for a cool way to display those photos they usually just see on their phones. Look for fun lamps they can personalize – maybe in the same metallic as the frames, tying the rooms theme together!

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When your teen is in their room, they’re not just sleeping; they’re hanging out with their friends. It’s what teenagers do. Help them create a space to relax in with their friends – in person, not on their phones. This can be as simple as introducing an easy chair to the room (dad’s old lounge with some new pillows will do), or an old couch they can all sprawl out on after school. If space is an issue, some big throw pillows their friends can lounge on will work as well.

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