With paint and a few home decorating materials and accessories, older kids can unleash their creativity and put a personal stamp on their living space. Here are some tips from designer Genevieve Gorder, host of HGTVs Dear Genevieve, on how to add style to the bedrooms of preteens and teenagers.
Color. Let your child decide what color her room should be, Gorder says. Paint is a very forgiving medium, has a huge impact and allows you to change color later on. If your tween or teen opts for black, hot pink or neon green, suggest balancing the intensity of these colors with lighter tones on moldings, baseboards or bed coverings.
Display space. Create a wall-size bulletin board by covering one wall with inexpensive Homasote, a lightweight, fiber-based wallboard, and painting it to match the other walls. The wallboard will protect the wall underneath, Gorder says, so photos, posters and other mementos can be displayed and rotated easily.
Furniture. Be sure your child has plenty of study space, Gorder says. Tweens and teens need adult-size furniture so they can spread out. Even a small dining table will work.
Wall art. Painting a mural is a fun way for kids to transform a room. Natalie Miggins, 10, of Chatham, N.J. (pop. 8,460), is painting a beach mural in her walk-in closet. During the winter, I can go into my closet and remember the summer, Natalie says. A closet is a brilliant place to practice boldness, Gorder adds, and a mural is a great place to start and restart.
Lighting. Vary the lighting intensity with an inexpensive dimmer for overhead lights, a lamp with bright light for the desk, and a floor lamp, Gorder suggests. An adult may need to plan bedroom lighting, but kids can help select the fixtures.