Adventures in Teenage Decorating

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There are few things that can strike more fear in the heart of a parent than hearing that your teen wants to re-​​decorate their room. Holy moly, they are a hor­monal and an emo­tional mess 95% (trans­la­tion 150%) of the time. They are friends with Suzie one minute and “will never speak to her again” the next. The jeans that are “per­fect” in the morning makes their butt look HUGE and must be burned by the after­noon. How will they EVER be able to make a deci­sion and come up with a cohe­sive design that will last until col­lage? More impor­tantly, how will you make it out alive?! Breathe, you can do this!

First things first. Pin­terest. Cheaper than buying tons of mag­a­zine to tear up. Have your teen set up an board and start pin­ning away. You will start to notice a theme and style emerging from the pins. Color trends will also start to emerge and this will be your starting point. Knowing an amazing home decor store (hint: Clayton Gray Home) helps too! THINK about the fur­ni­ture, as this is the biggest invest­ment. I went with black fur­ni­ture for my son when we gave his room a make over at age 10 and I feel it will last until he leaves for col­lege. When we did my daugh­ters room makeover, I went with sleek white lac­quer fur­ni­ture. Don’t forget to think ahead with fur­ni­ture. Your daughter may be 10 now, but at 16 will she want a vanity or a desk? If you are into matching fur­ni­ture, now if the time to make that pur­chase. I prefer eclectic pieces, for me it gives the room per­son­ality and frees up the oppor­tu­nity to switch out pieces with time. Next up is the flooring. Do you have to work with what is existing or can you start over. Luckily I have an “in” with the flooring industry so when we did my daugh­ters make over I was able to snag some left over vinyl wood that matched our existing hard­wood floors. It is a per­fect solu­tion for a spill prone child and it’s hard to tell that it is not really hard­wood. I then soft­ened the space with a carpet tile “area rug” in a strong geo­metric pat­tern. Peel and stick carpet tiles are an easy way to make a bold state­ment without a major com­mit­ment. If you have to work with what you have, you can always layer an area rug over carpet, paint hard­wood floors, etc. The piece de resis­tance of my daugh­ters room is def­i­nitely the 1960’s style bubble chair. Again, having friends in high places came in handy and you can get this little gem from Clayton Gray Home. An impact piece or focal point is a must in any room and this chair def­i­nitely fit the bill.

When my daughter said she wanted a tennis ball room I def­i­nitely scratched my head. It wasn’t as dif­fi­cult as when she requested a “French poodle, water slide and movie themed birthday party”. Viola! The French Riveria/​Cannes Film Fes­tival 5th birthday party was born! If I could do that, I could come up with a tennis ball room. When your kids come up with a crazy theme, ask what the theme means to them. For my daughter the tennis ball room meant black, white and yellow. We com­pro­mised on dark gray walls, white fur­ni­ture and small punches of yellow. We did stripes on the duvet, a bubble chair to represnt a big tennis ball and round pil­lows to do the same. I bought cheap frames and painted them yellow and white, then printed out pic­tures of her favorite tennis stars to hang on the wall. Pur­chased a couple of giant tennis balls for impact and boom! A tennis room that she claims “ROCKS!” My son hit me with an ESPN Sports Center room request and while it was a little more dif­fi­cult and required more com­mit­ment in the paint depart­ment, he still loves his room many years later. Acces­sories are best reserved for your punches of color. While a red dresser has the “WOW” factor, you can’t guar­antee they will love it for­ever. Acces­sories, pil­lows and bed­ding can easily be changed for a quick weekend room make over.

Bottom line, work together and listen to your teen. Pin­terest is your best friend. Once you get an idea board going, also make a final deci­sion board so you can get a good feel for the final design. It’s all about give and take. Remember, this is their space and their sanc­tuary, let them express them­selves. Let’s be honest, they will be out of the house before you know it and you can turn it into the craft, wrap­ping, bunco or exer­cise room that YOU always wanted.

Need help with your design? Clayton Gray offers design assis­tance, con­tact our “Home Stylist” at sales@​claytongrayhome.​com.

Photo: Dwell Studio Modern Border bed­ding, World’s Away Venus Pen­dant, Vail antler side table, Madison plat­form bed, Jonathan Adler beaded LOVE pillow, Trina Turk black and white Palm Springs Block linen pillow, Trina Turk Shanghai Links pillow, Athena table lamp, World’s Away Jared desk, World’s Away Acadia trash can, Bubble chair, Bun­galow 5 Brigitte dresser in white lac­quer, World’s Away silver leaf Ray­mond mirror, Tozai Home pat­tern boxes.


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