Designing a teenager's bedroom is no easy feat – by this age, they have developed their own sense of style and need a room that multitasks as a sleep, study and entertaining space. But with a little imagination and effort, creating a room that ticks all the boxes is possible. Interior stylist Julia Green shows us how.
"Colour is your first step," she says. "It's the quickest and easiest way to breathe life into a room and will give you the foundation for a space your teen will love." The original bedroom here was functional but uninspiring, with a green feature wall and very little colour elsewhere. "I loved the room's architectural features and wanted to highlight them with paint. I also wanted to ramp up the fun-factor with some surprise colour hits and introduce texture and softness for a cosy, welcoming feel."
For inspiration, Julia looked to Dulux's striking Identity palette images (one of four palettes in the 2019 Dulux Colour Forecast). "Filled with bold, saturated brights and clashing patterns, these images are all about confidence and fun, making them perfect for a teen space.
"My starting point was a playful, modern artwork in a riot of blue, orange, yellow and black. I hung it above the desk to create a focal point in the room and used the colours to inform the rest of the scheme.
"As this is a bedroom and needs to work for quiet times too, I opted for a soft shade for the feature wall – Dulux Wash&Wear in Apricot Fool – and kept the adjoining walls and trims that were already painted in a Dulux Wash&Wear LexiconR Quarter for contrast.
I then introduced louder brights through smaller accents in the bedding, accessories and furniture."
As any parent knows, redecorating a child's room can be expensive. "Keep the budget in check by upcycling existing pieces where you can – it only takes a few minutes to repaint old furniture and accessories in a fresh colour to give them a whole new look. Here, I've painted the top of a plain timber desk with Dulux Aquanamel in Italian Clay and the drawer in Red Clown; a section of the surfboard with Dulux Wash&Wear in Mitchell Blue; and the top of the bedside table with Dulux Aquanamel in Mondrian Blue, all of which provide pops of colour in the new scheme," says Julia.
"The bed is the centerpiece in a bedroom, so it was important to get it right," she says. "I added funky, retro-patterned bedding and a dramatic denim bedhead to frame the bed.
Mismatched bedding is all the rage right now – and works brilliantly with this playful look – so I laid the bed with sheets in contrasting colours and piled it high with cushions in different colours, shapes and textures. This also gives it a lounge-like feel, providing a spot for friends to sit when they come over.
"When starting a project like this, my top tip is to get your teen involved from the start. Teens have strong ideas about colour and trends and you'll want their new room to be a space they'll love.
"And be prepared to try something new – a child's room, which is separated from the main living areas of the home, is the perfect spot to be a little adventurous with colour."
Julia's styling tips:
Use the colours in an artwork as inspiration for your palette. And remember, statement bedding, or a rug can act as artwork in a bedroom too.
For a fashionable, tonal effect, use the main wall colour in a different strength on one two or three other elements in the room, such as a desk chair, shelves or a bedside table.
If you're cautious about using a bold colour on the wall, paint a smaller patch first and live with it for a few days. If you change your mind, you can simply paint over it and choose something more low-key.
A teen's room needs to multitask – include a comfortable bed, sturdy desk and chair for study, somewhere to relax with friends and adequate storage.
Give the bed an on-trend 'undone' look; layer it with a duvet, sheets and pillow slips from different sets, and finish off with a medley of comfy cushions in a variety of colours and fabrics.
Add a floor rug that to anchor the scheme and provide softness underfoot. Dimensions are key; it should be big enough to connect with one or two pieces of furniture in the room, and not so small that it gets lost in the space. Look for a style that picks up on the key colours in the scheme.
Include greenery; a beautiful trailing plant or two on the desk or shelves will bring nature into the room and freshen the air.