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A child’s bed­room is their sanc­tu­ary. It is a place for them to sleep and to find pri­va­cy. It is a room in which you read to them and, one day, they read to you.

It is also an impor­tant retreat for old­er chil­dren who need their own indi­vid­ual space dur­ing their growth into adult­hood. For that rea­son, a well-designed and dec­o­rat­ed bed­room feels all the more wel­com­ing and com­fort­ing, and the process of cre­at­ing the aes­thet­ic can be reward­ing for you and your child.

In this arti­cle, we out­line some help­ful and inspir­ing tips for dec­o­rat­ing the bed­rooms of your tod­dler and your teenager.

Design­ing a bed­room for tod­dlers and teenagers is a very dif­fer­ent chal­lenge in terms of the final prod­uct and the process. There­fore, we have divid­ed our tips into two dis­tinct cat­e­gories, and we begin with toddlers.


- Safety

Safe­ty must always be the first pri­or­i­ty for your child’s room. A safe room can also be beau­ti­ful. Include child-safe toys, fur­ni­ture and lay­out, as well as remov­ing any poten­tial haz­ards and beau­ti­fy these secure ele­ments through the colour scheme and design.

- Open space

Give your child as much open space as pos­si­ble. That gives them room to play, explore and spread out, and on rainy days allows them to burn off some ener­gy. Con­tin­ue this idea with open shelv­ing, which allows small hands and limbs to find toys eas­i­ly and to put them away. Also, be smart with stor­age to cre­ate more open space.

- Learning

Tod­dlers are always learn­ing. Every act in their dai­ly lives has the poten­tial to teach them some­thing about them­selves and the world around them, and you can encour­age this learn­ing through the choice of ele­ments for their room.

Keep­ing safe­ty in mind, you can include objects such as a black­board and chalk, plus draw­ing equip­ment, to devel­op their cre­ativ­i­ty and their hand­writ­ing. You can add toys that devel­op their fine, gross motor skills and their cog­ni­tive ability.

- Aesthetic

That is where you can be cre­ative. Will you focus on one or two colours through­out the room or cre­ate an explo­sion of bright, mixed and fun colours?

You can also let your imag­i­na­tion run wild with the items you include. An art wall or chalk­board, a small swing, a rock-climb­ing wall, a bunk bed slide or even a car­go net sus­pend­ed from the ceil­ing. Take inspi­ra­tion from where your child likes to play and adapt the design to their per­son­al­i­ty and hobbies.

Final­ly, design your toddler’s room in the knowl­edge that their needs will change as they grow older.


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Before you can help to dec­o­rate your teenager’s room, it may have to be cleaned.

- My teenager, clean a room?!

That may seem like an impos­si­bil­i­ty, but it is achiev­able and will ben­e­fit both you and your teenager.

First­ly, divide your think­ing about your teenager’s room into two cat­e­gories: Order and hygiene.

You may have to con­cede defeat when it comes to order­ing. The real­i­ty is that most teenage bed­rooms will nev­er be neat and order­ly, but they can be hygienic.

The mess that cov­ers seem­ing­ly every inch of your child’s room could be just that, a mess!

Con­sid­er whether your teenag­er is func­tion­ing well in oth­er areas of their life; social­ly, aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly and with their hob­bies such as sport, music, dra­ma and art. If they are gen­er­al­ly cop­ing with life, then per­haps a messy room is not such a big deal.

Hygiene, on the oth­er hand, is a source of con­cern. Wet tow­els, dirty clothes, unwashed sheets and old food do not belong in anyone’s room, espe­cial­ly for extend­ed peri­ods of time, and should be removed before any form of dec­o­rat­ing can take place.

- How do I convince my child to clean their room?

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Show them the end result. Show them a clean, order­ly room in which they can find what they need, which is relax­ing and calm­ing, and does not smell like…a teenage boy’s bedroom.

To achieve this, you may have to help clean. This may fly in the face of your phi­los­o­phy of par­ent­ing because, right­ly so, you believe that any teenag­er is old enough to clean a bed­room. How­ev­er, the end result is what is impor­tant, so offer­ing to help clean up may be necessary.

Of course, you can use the tried and trust­ed par­ent­ing meth­ods of bribes, incen­tives and pun­ish­ment. You can also estab­lish a strict rou­tine, some­thing anath­e­ma to most teenagers.

For exam­ple, tell your child that laun­dry day is a cer­tain day/s of the week and that their clothes will only be washed if they are in the laun­dry bas­ket on that day.

When your child’s favourite jeans, dress top or sports uni­form are still dirty and smelly on the day they sim­ply ‘must’ wear them, your teenag­er might final­ly sub­mit to keep­ing their room clean.

- Declutter

Teenagers have so much stuff. Then again, don’t we all. Teenagers, how­ev­er, have a way of dis­play­ing all of their stuff at once in their bed­room. They no longer use a lot of these items, so a thor­ough de-clut­ter is help­ful before the dec­o­ra­tion begins.

Dur­ing the process of declut­ter­ing, as with every step of the clean­ing process, small steps are impor­tant. Encour­age and help your teenage child to clean and tidy their room in small incre­ments a day or week at a time.

Forc­ing a total clean in one attempt may cre­ate even more con­flict in the parent/child bat­tle for a cleanroom.

If your child is nat­u­ral­ly ordered and clean, and their bed­room is well-main­tained, lucky you. Now, you can get straight to the task of dec­o­rat­ing their pri­vate sanctuary.

- Teamwork

Dec­o­rate your teenager’s room togeth­er. Allow them to enjoy a sig­nif­i­cant degree of input into the design and lay­out of the room. Remem­ber that this will involve com­pro­mise. You are bound to dis­like some of the ele­ments they want in their room, but remem­ber – it is their room.

- Professional help

Con­sid­er con­sult­ing a Decorist. They are pro­fes­sion­als who spe­cial­ize in inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion and can tai­lor the design of the room to suit your child, and they can be found online.

Dec­o­ra­tors will ask your child what they want out of the room in terms of aes­thet­ic, pur­pose and func­tion. They will then sug­gest ele­ments for the room as well as the over­all look, and even help to set a bud­get for acquir­ing new items.

- Workspace

The bed­room is where many teenagers study. There­fore, it must be con­ducive to work and think­ing. It must be as qui­et as pos­si­ble, be well-lit and well-ven­ti­lat­ed and have space for a desk and study mate­ri­als. Fur­ther­more, it must be designed in a way that encour­ages and moti­vates young peo­ple to study.

- Make a statement

A state­ment piece can make a room. One beau­ti­ful, bold or strik­ing item can cen­ter the room and can define the whole design aes­thet­ic. Impor­tant­ly, let your child choose this piece and have own­er­ship over the design of the room. That could be a light, a piece of fur­ni­ture or an accent wall.

- Go neutral

Choose a neu­tral colour. For exam­ple, use a white bed­spread, then add bright and bold colours in the form of pil­lows, throws and blan­kets. Con­tin­ue this prin­ci­ple in the rest of the room.

Paint walls a neu­tral colour and livens up the room with art­work, inspi­ra­tional quotes, pho­tos of your child and their fam­i­ly and friends, and even pieces that your teenag­er has made themselves.

- Fun

Teenagers want to have fun. Help them to cre­ate a space where they can enjoy them­selves either with their friends or alone, and keep fun at the fore­front of your mind when sug­gest­ing design ele­ments for their bedroom.

Think art, music and sport when search­ing for fun design ele­ments to include in your teenager’s room.

- Compromise

As men­tioned above, you may not like every­thing in your child’s room. With­in rea­son, how­ev­er, you must allow your child to express their per­son­al­i­ty and iden­ti­ty, and to take charge of the design process.

It is their room, where they want to relax and spend time alone or with friends, and it is part of the jour­ney of assert­ing their independence.

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Last but not least

Dec­o­rat­ing your child’s bed­room can be a reward­ing expe­ri­ence for your­self and your child. A toddler’s room can be joy­ful, colour­ful, fun and full of items that encour­age their imag­i­na­tion and devel­op­ment. It is also a space you can dec­o­rate by let­ting your imag­i­na­tion run wild, just as theirs does.

A teenager’s room serves an impor­tant func­tion in allow­ing them per­son­al space dur­ing a chal­leng­ing time. It must, there­fore, be designed in con­sul­ta­tion with them, and maybe a pro­fes­sion­al, so that chil­dren take own­er­ship of the process.

The more involved teenagers are in the process, the more they devel­op into adults, and the more like­ly they are to keep the room in an accept­able state of order and hygiene. At the end of the day, your house will enjoy anoth­er beau­ti­ful space!


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