Teenagers can be tricky, everyone knows this. And this can be especially true when it comes to their living space. However, there are some things you can do to help you and your teen avoid potential conflict.
The first thing to consider is the versatility of the room. A room is many things to a teenager and your planning needs to bear this in mind. A teen’s bedroom is a haven, a workplace, a means of expression, a party place and a private retreat. The space needs to reflect all these things and more!
The trick is to allow your teen to express themselves without clashing on preferences. Remember that a teen’s room is less about your creativity and more about the functionality of the space.
By allowing your teenager to express their personality though their room, you’re actually giving them the freedom to grow, as they pursue their hobbies and interests in a place that allows them to do so. Instead of impinging your classy, stylish ideas on your offspring, let them teach you a lesson or two. Warning: this might take lots of patience, but the results could be worth it as there’s usually a way to accommodate everyone’s ideas.
An obvious place to start is the bed. Teenagers are notorious for not making their bed in the morning, so consider placing the bed in a part of the room where it cannot be seen as you walk past in the corridor, saving you the heartache of seeing a messy bed every morning.
Messiness can be a huge issue, so anticipate that and combat it in the planning stages. Opt for low-maintenance floor coverings such as wood or easy-to-mop tiles. You can always add colour and warmth using rugs.
Also useful in ‘The Fight Against The Mess’, is a well-planned storage system for clothes. Shelves, drawers and shoe racks are useful, as are boxes that can slide under the bed. Always include one or two laundry hampers (as you’ll be amazed how quickly these fill up).
Utility wall hooks can also be incredibly useful for hanging gym equipment, as well as hobby-related items such as skateboards. Decorating the room using items associated with a teen’s hobbies is a great way of allowing them to express themselves whilst creating a unique wall display.
A workstation is another vital part of this room. Nowadays, desk space needs to be big enough to accommodate a computer and all of its accessories. If room is an issue, there are plenty of space saving worktop designs that incorporate slide-away keyboards and adjustable shelving to help keep things neat and organised. It’s a good idea to choose a desk that’s big enough for two chairs for shared homework projects and group study sessions, especially of there isn’t room for a futon or sofa.
Finally, as teenage years are synonymous with watching TV and listening to music, an audiovisual station is probably necessary. Teens love a good sound system with a TV, DVD player, and a video game console or two.
Remember that it’s important to give them a place where they can hang out, away from the family, and watch television, listen to music, surf the internet, phone their friends, write in their diary and do the things that teenagers love doing. Don’t underestimate the importance of giving your teenager a private place to reflect, grow and enjoy themselves.