We recently had a coworker’s son, Justin Mount, visiting the office for the day, and, of course, we put him to work. Below, he shares some ideas on how today’s teens feel about furniture and their bedrooms. Perhaps his insights and tips might help you and your own teen-aged child find a peaceful middle ground when it comes to the house rules, kids rooms and common living spaces.
At home, comfort is the most important aspect for a teenager. Teenagers want to know that there will always be a place they can go during their limited downtime. Most teens feel like they don't get much time to relax between school, homework, sports and everything else they deal with on a regular basis, so when they can sit down and just relax, it's really important.
Tip: Make sure your teen has some space in his bedroom for sitting and relaxing. Think beyond the bedroom set and how you might be able to add a chair or even a small sofa. This doesn’t mean you have to bring in a television and all a living room’s comforts – it’s more about respecting that at times, teens just want to hang out in their bedrooms.
Other factors that go into teens’ thoughts on furniture is whether or not they will like the furnishings a few months from now and if they feel like they'll be able to entertain friends. If their hangout space is boring, they will not want to spend as much time around the house and will instead go other places where there is more to do.
Tip: This does not mean your house must look like a romper room to keep your kids around, nor do you need a movie theater, bowling alley and more. You can create a home that appeals both to your older children and you. For example, if your child likes to play video games, make sure you have an entertainment center with lots of storage. Your child will be happy to have a place to store everything, and you’ll be happy that his electronics and accessories are not taking over your living room.
Lastly, your teen’s room or hangout area should reflect your teen. Consider decorating with his interests in mind, like cool patterns, sports teams, hobbies -- that sort of thing. If your teen has a favorite color, keep that in mind when picking out furniture or paint colors. No one wants to be surrounded by a color they can't stand.
Tip: Color, especially in your kid’s room, is one of the easiest – and most affordable – design elements to change. Even if you are not planning a complete bedroom overhaul, you can work with your teen to find accessories and bedding that better match his tastes. Also, if you have an informal family room or finished basement where your teen tends to hang out and is the primary user, consider allowing him to put his own design stamp on the room with wall decor and the like.
Remember: Depending on your teen’s age, he might be creating a home of his own sooner rather than later, so you won’t have to live with his sports posters forever – even if you want to.