If there is one thing about design that has transcended the generations, it’s that teens and their parents rarely agree on what’s hip. Understandably, parents are concerned about how their home looks because it’s one of their biggest investments, and they want to be sure it is maintained in a nice way, but teens want a space that suits their style and is on trend. It is possible to create a space that teens will love and parents will approve of; here are five design trends that are both hip and sophisticated.
Gone are the days of pale hues on the walls. In today’s designs, people are encouraged to live out loud and surround themselves with the colors that make them happy. Allow your teen to choose his favorite color, and then work together to find the right hue of that color. Don’t be afraid to paint the walls purple, pink, lime green, or dark blue; to get the ideal shade of your chosen color, match it to a version that occurs in nature so you don’t end up with walls that look over-processed.
Fun graphic patterns add an element of sophistication to a space while also being edgy. Look for stripes, chevrons, or funky geometric designs that can be used either as a focal point (i.e. bedding) or an accent piece (i.e. pillows or a chair). These patterns can be found in subtle hues or bright color combinations so you can find a balance in color that both you and your teen can agree on.
You don’t have to look far to realize that teens like to mix patterns, colors, and textures in a way that most adults don’t. And that’s exactly what design is all about: It isn’t about having everything be matchy-matchy anymore. Good design is about layering textures and patterns to create a space that is uniquely yours, and since a teen’s bedroom is the only place they can truly call their own (even though it is technically your house), they should mix and match accessories in a way that infuses their style into the space. Let them paint a plain pillow or shred the edges of it, or add a blanket that’s a crazy color. These accessories are easy and inexpensive to swap out, and they allow your teen to feel like the room is all hers in a way that is completely harmless to your home in the long-term.
Whether it’s surfing, skateboarding, guitar playing, or fashion design, incorporate the objects your teen uses for favorite hobbies as part of the design of their space. Hang a skateboard rack on the wall, make a favorite formal dress a piece of art, or cover the walls in album covers. Not only will it give you an extra place to store all those accessories, but your teen will be surrounded by the things they love -- and this concept has a much more personal and powerful impact than any poster you’d frame and hang on the wall.
Cleaning up their rooms is not typically a favorite activity of many teens, so it’s important to do everything possible to give them the tools they need to make it both easy and fun. (That’s actually the case for most people, not just teens.) One way to get them excited about cleaning up is to get creative with storage ideas. Swap out a standard closet door with a hidden door—one that actually looks like a bookshelf but opens to reveal your teen’s closet. It maximizes storage space, and your teen will love showing it off to their friends. Other fun ideas for storage include creating a loft space (or just raising the bed), adding a storage locker to the room, or stacking vintage bins or crates for an easy spot to store everything from shoes to books.