Tween Room Designs: How to Plan for a Makeover

Think Ahead and Involve Your Tween

Young couple painting room, woman sponging wall
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It's only natural that a growing tween would suggest new room designs and decorating ideas to fit their developing tastes. Decorating a tween's bedroom is practically a rite of passage. For many tweens, it's a chance for them to put their little kid years behind them, shedding the Barbie decor or toy train decor for something a little older and hipper. For other children, a tween room makeover is a chance to show off their personalities and sense of style.

If your tween is begging to decorate his room, below are a few considerations you'll need to keep in mind.

Room Makeovers: Set Your Budget

No matter what your tween has in mind, he'll have to work within your family budget. Figure out what you can afford, and start from there. Very small budgets can produce great results, so don't assume a decorating project can't be accomplished just because you have a small budget. Even a new paint color can give a room a new feeling. There are also clever ways to find inexpensive decorations and knick-knacks for your tween's room. Yard sales and thrift stores are a good place to start. And, your tween can always put his creative mind to use by making a few decorations of his own.

Plan the Room on Paper First

One of the first things a professional decorator will do when tackling a project is to create a plan. Before committing to a plan, consult various decorating books to give your tween an idea of all the options that exist.

After he picks a theme or ideas for the tween room makeover, have him draw a sketch of the room he has in mind. Be sure he accounts for furniture, posters, and bedding. Once he has a draft, it will give you both an idea as to whether you'll need to make changes before the real work begins.

Think Long-Term

You want your makeover to last several years, so keep longevity in mind.

Try to choose colors, designs, and even a room theme that would appeal to both tween or teen. That may mean steering clear of tween trends of the day in lieu of something that's stylish, but not so short-lived. If your tween is really into a certain movie or fad such as Webkinz, you might want to reconsider basing a room around that fleeting interest. Instead, opt for designs such as geometrical shapes, or choose a certain color palette that she likes and has a much longer shelf-life.

Another idea is to take a fad, such as a movie interest and make it a little more general. For example, instead of decorating your child's bedroom around a person or singer, you could simply center the theme around music, and use that as your starting point. Or, if your child is into mermaids, you could decorate the room in a beachy theme, something that would last not only for the tween years but possibly also the teen years.

Tween Room Designs: Simple Themes That Are Sure to Please

Picking an overall theme doesn't mean you have to cover every inch of the walls, bedding and furniture with prints and patterns of the particular theme that's chosen. Think one or two items that reflect the theme, add some coordinating colors, then choose a few framed pieces of art that your tween can make to match the theme, matching bedding is optional as long as the bedding just coordinates with the colors and theme.


Some of the ideas for a completely new tween room design include:

  • Geometric shapes and patterns
  • Vertical lines or stripes
  • Polka dots
  • The Beach, surfing or marine life 
  • The Jungle or rainforest
  • Flowers (could be sophisticated, hippie, or retro)
  • Music
  • Sports or a favorite sports team
  • The outdoors, camping or wild life
  • School, College or university-themed, complete with color-themes that coordinate with a favorite team or school
  • Caribbean or Hawaiian theme
  • A less is more theme with simple furniture, clean lines, and neutral colors

But know that your child doesn't have to pick a theme in order to create a wonderful tween room.

Sometimes, all it takes are a few choice paint colors, a coordinating bedspread or quilt, and a few accent items to make it all pop. When it comes to colors, tweens and teens often chose bold colors, so if you're thinking beige will do, think again.

Clear Out and Organize

Use the room makeover as an opportunity to get rid of any toys or books that your child no longer uses. Make three signs labeled "Keep," "Throw Away," and "Donate." Go through your child's belongings (including clothes) together and put the items in one of the three categories. It's a great way to share family memories together, and get the room ready for a whole new look.

Enlist the Help of Your Tween, His Friends, and Relatives

The tween room makeover shouldn't be your responsibility. Your tween should be actively involved, not just in the choosing of the paint colors, but in the actual work. Put your tween to good use by using the makeover as an opportunity to teach her how to paint, clean baseboards, hang pictures, or even sew.

Your child's friends might be interested in helping as well. Tweens can paint, help cart trash to the curb, donate items to the thrift store, and other tasks as well.

You can also include family members in the project. A crafty aunt or grandmother could sew curtains or pillowcases. An uncle or older cousin could help move new furniture into the room.

Incorporate Your Tween's Passions

Make sure that your tween leads the way in the makeover. If you take control and make all the decisions, your tween misses out on an opportunity to hone his organizational and planning skills. It's also likely that he won't be as happy with the results if he doesn't have much say in the matter. Give him the opportunity to make the project his own, while you provide guidance and set limits.

Balance Quality with Easy Care

When choosing furniture, bedding, curtains, and accessories keep in mind that tweens can still be hard on their things. So keep durability in mind. Are the items easily cleaned? Do they stand up to a lot of use? Are they strong enough to take several years of use, and then some?

It Doesn't Have to be Perfect

Your tween room makeover doesn't have to be perfect or expensive, and little changes may be all that's necessary to please her, and give her the room of her dreams.

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