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How to Design a Room That Will Grow with Your Teen

Design by Katie Monkhouse Interiors

The internet is full of inspiration for spaces for babies and young children, but it is a bit lacking when it comes to tween and teen spaces. I know I am just beginning my own parenting journey, but I can already see the value in planning rooms for older kids who have developed their own interests and might be willing to come along side the planning process. Hopefully, they are also a little less hard on their belongings, and buying for them is a bit less stressful.

Here are a few ideas for planning a space that strikes that elusive balance between fun and youthful and mature and sophisticated.


tween bedroom with green wainscot

Design and photo by House Seven Design

Provide a Hideaway

This room is a young girl's dream! When Indianapolis designer Anissa Zajac updated the space for her growing daughter, she added teal board and batten and a fun, graphic wallpaper to match. I especially love the hanging wicker chair and can imagine that her daughter spends many hours there chatting with friends or reading (I know I would). Any time a room can be used as a haven from the world, the design is a success, and even more so during the tumultuous teen years. With jolts of pink on a ground of white and soft green, Kayden would be lovely in this fun space.

Design by Studio McGee

Honor Their Interests

Tweens and teens can be notoriously engrossed in their particular interests, but mom and dad may not appreciate walls papered with posters. Compromise can be found, of course, in the form of art choices that honor their interests. In this room, the designers from Studio McGee chose a graphic representation of a basketball court as art -- a sophisticated nod to a favorite sport that doesn't feel at all cheesy. If posters are still necessary for all parties to be satisfied, try incorporating a large pinboard covered in a fabric that coordinates with the room. If this space were in my home, I'd add a jolt of color and pattern with Tilly, a really lovely Hamadan from the 1920's.

bathroom with pink vanity and vintage rug

Design by Katie Hackworth | Photo by

Have Fun with Color

Even for the most color-cautious among us, kids' rooms rarely follow suit. Their lives are just inherently more colorful, so let's embrace it and have fun with it, rather than push against it! I love the fun tile that designer Katie Hackworth added to the bathroom that her two daughters share, but she didn't stop there. Even the sophisticated inset cabinetry is painted a faint shade of pink, and she upped the ante with a deep red vintage rug. Even still, with classic subway tile and grown-up fixtures, the room is definitely not childish.

teen boys bedroom with spindle beds

Design by W Design Collective | Photo by Lucy Call

Invest in Quality

Choosing quality furnishings during teen and tween years not only elevates the design of the space, but it is a smart choice for the future. Whether the furnishings stay under your roof and the room transitions after the child has moved on or they leave home with the child, durable, classic pieces will suit both scenarios better than flimsy, inexpensive pieces. The classic spindle beds and the handsome chest work well now with the industrial lighting and pared-down color scheme, and it's easy to see how they could all transition in a variety of ways down the road. Similarly, a quality vintage rug would lend a cool, worldly vibe to this space, and be a smart investment for the future (I wrote more on using vintage rugs in children's space in this blog post). I'd add Nadal, an acid-washed Tabriz with hints of brown and black, to this room. 

If you are shopping for your tween or teen's room (or any other space), take a look at my in-stock rugs here. If you would like my assistance in finding the perfect rug for your space, send an email to to chat about our custom sourcing service.