Teen Rooms present a unique challenge. As the mother of a teen daughter I can personally attest that a teen making a choice and committing to one are very different things. Some teens, however, know exactly what they want. I find the most successful teen rooms are an expression of the occupant. Engage them in the process. Ask questions and present options – but not so many as to overwhelm.

Very much on trend right now are white rooms. Anyone who has ever been a teen 😉 or known a teen understands that white and teens don’t always mix. Before the introduction of Crypton fabrics I relied heavily on Sunbrella and still do. If you are purchasing upholstered furniture from retailers like Pottery Barn & Restoration Hardware, look for fabrics that are primarily polyester as they spot clean more easily than natural fibers like cotton which can shrink, stretch and fade. Consider carpet from mills like Mohawk that have excellent stain and wear resistance.

If your teen is a conscientious sleeper and needs dark to doze, get blackout shades. If, however, they can sleep the day through, consider semi-sheer, light filtering shades so they’re aware when it’s daytime. Century Blinds honeycomb shades offer transparent, semi-sheer and blackout options. They are available to-the-trade and cost less than big name brands since they don’t have a national advertising campaign. For a more custom look, consider layered roman shades and draperies crowned with a cornice box.

In some cases, changing one focal point in the room is enough to update it. We simply replaced the princess pink window treatments for an elegant white roman shade, drapery and cornice box.

Does your teen study in their room? If so, good lighting is essential. I prefer recessed LED lights on a dimmer installed by a licensed electrician. Out-of-control hormones can cause teens to run hot, so a discreet ceiling fan is always a good idea. My fave are MinkaAire’s white ceiling huggers that disappear from view and offer a bedside remote. Speaking of power, we all know teens are addicted to their cell phones. Consider installing Legrand’s USB outlets bedside and deskside so there is no excuse for a low battery.

All bedding should be washable. For girls’ rooms, I prefer an all-white bed with affordable, quality hotel linens that can be dressed up with throws & pillows as the mood or season inspires. Thanks to Bree of Z Design At Home for turning me on to Living Fresh. I’ll get into more detail on my fave towels, pillows and blankets in another blog.

Now for the fun stuff: personalizing the space. A teen client recently asked me for an accent wall with marble wallpaper. I was thrilled to surprise her with Peerhatch’s marble non-ghosting whiteboard wallpaper so she and her friends can express themselves. Her sister wanted to hang lots of pictures but Mom didn’t want to damage the walls. My wallpaper installer put up Magscapes’ magnetic wallpaper. I realize there are lots of products on the market but not all compare to the quality of these brands. One of the benefits of working with a designer is doing the job once by doing it right the first time. These brands may cost more than others but their products are tried and tested. Another way to have fun and express yourself is through color. If you want a splash of color, consider keeping the walls white and painting doors or ceiling a fun color like this turquoise from Sherwin-Williams. It’s a lot easier to change than repainting an entire room.