Stefanie from Maple Valley, Washington emailed me looking for help on bedroom ideas for her teen/pre-teen girls that share a space.
Of course my first stop was here..... I just love Pottery Barn.
Here are a couple tidbits you may find helpful when decorating a teen room:
Consider the function of the various parts of your teen's room. Most bedrooms should accommodate a dressing area with a mirror (near the closet and/or dresser), a quiet area (the bed and perhaps a comfortable chair), and a work area (a desk). Consider traffic flow from the main door to the various parts of the room. (The bed is generally the largest piece of furniture; don't place it so it disrupts flow.)
If siblings share a room, consider whether there's a way to create privacy within the shared space. Some families use bookcases as room dividers. You could also rig up some type of cloth divider. Or think about glass block (large bricks of glass). It's opaque but translucent, so it provides privacy but allows light to filter through to the internal side of the room. If the space is not big enough to divide (or if the siblings don't want a divided space), try to create separate storage areas. Having adequate space for each person's belongings can make shared living much more pleasant.
Does the room make a statement about the family attitude toward studying? A room with no bookshelves or study space may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if your teen prefers to study elsewhere in the house, provide space in his room for additional study materials. There should always be shelves for books—with room for both his old favorites and new discoveries.
Lighting is important. In addition to an overhead fixture, there should be good supplementary lighting by the bed, by the desk, or in any area where your teen may read or work.
Many home supply superstores sell new “closet systems” that are great space savers. They can help make a small closet seem larger by providing double hanging and shelf space in closets that were wasted with a single pole. You can have professional companies install this for you.
If you're having shelves built for additional storage, have a coat of polyurethane added. It makes for better storage and easier cleanup.
Most teens like to express themselves through what they hang on the wall. Tackboard that can be painted the same color as the wall can be cut to fill an entire wall, leaving plenty of space for tacking posters, pictures, photographs, and small mementos on the wall without doing any damage. This system also permits a teen to update her interests regularly. Though teens report that the state of their room is a relatively low priority most of the time, they do look at the space as a haven. If you can instill a sense of control that will bring with it pride, you'll have gone a long way toward creating a neater room.
Hope you enjoy the photos!