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Styling Spaces for Teens and Dorm Decor

Styling spaces for teens can be hard to get right. There is often a disconnect between what you want in your home and what your teenager wants. We can all remember being teenagers and plastering our rooms with posters of our favorite celebrity crushes, but there is a point where teens want a more grown-up feel, like when they are moving into their freshman dorm room and want to leave the “little kid” world far behind. From creating a relaxing experience to getting the light right, here are some ideas you can try.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

Emphasize Personalization

Teens love personal space, and this extends to their bedrooms. When they can personalize a space, it becomes their safe sanctuary. It can be just what they need to let go of the trivial stresses of the day. It will also help them feel much more comfortable, which is needed when they need to study. Their favorite artwork and style, including Palm tree, jungle and tropical wallpaper if that’s what they want, will help form a place where they feel comfortable and safe.

Create the Perfect Lounge Space

Teens getting home from school or college need somewhere they can relax and study. Of course, the bedroom is going to be the main place they will want to do this. Creating a lounge feeling is a great way to make the room feel and look more inviting to boost productivity:

  • Choose shades that accent each other perfectly, such as gray, white, and blue.
  • Add comfy spaces for sitting, studying, and even gaming if that’s what they like.
  • Invest in electronics like a smart speaker, custom lighting, and entertainment.
  • Provide plenty of space-saving storage ideas.

While a lounge-style room must be comfortable, there needs to be distinct areas for sleeping, relaxing, and studying. Having plenty of floor space will help when dividing up the room. It also makes the room feel lighter and airy, which boosts motivation when they need it the most.

Play with Stripes for Teen Dorm Decor

When used correctly, stripes look stunning in a room. Bright and airy rooms benefit the most from stripes, and males tend to prefer them. (This can be a big help when coming up with a theme since only around 32% of boys are interested in decorating their rooms.) A very male style, stripes can feel playful but not too childish at the same time. This can even stimulate young minds when they are studying for school.

Photo by Pixabay

Try a Minimalist Approach

Stripes and bright colors can cause sensory overload for some people, especially teens. Teens with special needs may also benefit from a toned down decor theme. A minimal approach with clean lines offers a functional solution. Straight edges such as square or rectangular mirrors, undraped windows and very neutral colors strips away the energy of some other themes. Instead, you are left with a more laid back style that can help improve mood.

What About Vintage Styling?

Classic and vintage decor helps teens appreciate the past and can even offer a segue into hobbies. For example, adorning a bedroom with vintage cameras, telescopes and old photographs could be fun for a photography enthusiast. There are some decor themes that are basically timeless, and the kids can learn to appreciate how the past influences us today.

Go All in on Pastels

You can add motivational and inspirational ideas to any bedroom. Above all, a bedroom should really emphasize comfort. Comfort means different things to different people, but it is hard to argue that softer pastel colors don’t offer a more cozy feeling. Blues, pinks, yellows and greens offer excellent shades for any decor scheme. Combine this with white and you have something special. Soft and rounded pillows and cushions help make a room ever comfier!

Make Teen Dorm Decor Feel Grown Up

A lot of teens are dying to feel respected as an adult. Of course, they aren’t there yet, but things can go more smoothly if you make them feel more adult. One of the simplest ways is to make changes to the sleeping area with features such as an alcove bed. Try these as well:

  • Change the bedding to include matching duvet and pillow sets.
  • But a matching nightstand and bureau to tie the room together.
  • Add a touch of elegance with bedside wall sconces and lamps.
  • Place a rug that fits the decor next to the foot or side of the bed.
  • Invest in a quality headboard and place high-quality canvas art above it.
  • Place a classy-looking hamper somewhere in the room.
  • Organize the closet space and ensure there is no clutter.

Removing childish features of a bedroom in favor of more grown-up ones will help your teens get the most out of their rooms. This helps to decorate their rooms in a way that you probably would, and you also don’t get the urge to change the minute they move out.

Brighten Up the Room

Some teens would probably live in eternal darkness if you would let them. You can help them transition into well-adjusted young adults by letting them be light. Brightening up a bedroom offers the stimulation and motivation they will need as they take on extra studies and prepare for college. You can mix pastels, neons, and white for a dazzlingly spacious feel.

Retro Furniture Always Helps

Somehow, young people like nostalgia. We all do, which is why it is a trending market today. Looking back to the past, a retro bedroom offers an inviting and homey space for teens today. 70s and 80s styles are very popular. This extends from the rug to the curtains and even the bedroom furniture. Teens today also love anything from the 90s. More than furniture, though, this includes things like vintage entertainment systems like NES.

Play with Cozy Spaces

A cozy bedroom will work wonders for your teenagers. Soft color palettes and even softer furnishing will help them relax, study and get the restful sleep they need. Pink, white and beige is a wonderful color palette for a girl’s room. Yet as cozy as this is, it can be enhanced. Providing cozy spaces such as a reading nook, will help with the self-care some people, including teens, lack. How about a hanging chair, a recliner, or even a Japanese futon?

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels

Try Some Shady Formality

Getting shading right can be hard. There are many things to think about when hanging curtains and putting up blinds. The function needs to be considered first. But what about the overall theme and decor scheme? If you are having trouble, consider some of these tips:

  • Add blinds or shades where they will function the most and are easily reachable.
  • Hang curtains above shades or blinds using a strong and bold curtain rail.
  • Choose curtains that match the overall theme and decor of the room.
  • Hang floor-length curtains wherever possible to make the room appear larger.

It’s no good adding blinds and curtains to places that are hard to reach. Combining both can help block out light for better sleep. And there are many design choices to be made. For example, the room can look strange and feel smaller if you don’t get the curtain length correct.

Bunk Up if it’s Needed

Not everyone has the luxury of multiple or large rooms. With a family, space can come at a premium. And although any teen would love their own room, it isn’t always possible. In a smaller room, your teen can free up space with a loft bed. These are excellent for combining comfort and practicality, as there is room for a desk underneath. When space is even more limited, teens of the same sex would probably get along better with bunk beds!


Teens love to personalize their room and styling spaces for teen kids should prioritize this. Of course, all most teens really want is to feel like an adult. Styling the bedroom in a more grown up fashion can help with this. Matching bedding, drawers and a well-organized closet space might help with this. But when space is at a premium in your home, loft beds and bunk beds can offer a tidy way to free it up. They also open up more space for areas of study and comfort.

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Family lifestyle blogger from
Tyler, TX
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