Styling and Designing Rooms for Your Tweenagers and Children
When it comes to styling and designing rooms, just like your tween, no doubt you’re stuck in that awkward styling stage, somewhere between cutesy baby pink and too cool for school black. How exactly do you hold the interest of a nine year old moving into their teens? It’s a time of biggest change for our children, both body and mind, so it’s important to create a design that will endure an evolving young identity.
I came across the same predicament when styling our daughter, Rhiana’s room. We wanted a room that didn’t conform to pink for girls and blue for boys. Nor did we want to lock our daughter into a theme that is just another flavor of the month or considered ” too baby”in 12 months time. We wanted the room to be timeless and adaptable as Rhianna and her mind grows.
A nature based room design is timeless through a lifetime. Why? Well nature itself has seen time well before, and undoubtedly, well beyond our existence. So it’s pretty fair to say it will span beyond pop-trends of a year or two. When we design a room, we want our children to feel inspired to live a more natural and minimalist way. For us, we felt a botanical wonderland was the perfect theme to build upon.
Create the look
The bohemian trend lends way to an endless array of furniture and decor pieces, also allowing for completely unique and quite often almost abstract patterns. Similarly it aligns itself closely with nature based themes in which there are many different sub-genres you can choose. From a desert setting, to tropical, botanical, farmhouse and beach styles – you literally have a bottomless creative license in which you can drive your own unique style.
It is important to start with classic base colors for your walls and flooring. This way you can easily add and change the room to suit your child’s developing tastes. You can have some fun by decorating your child’s room in your favorite theme – in our case a botanical wonderland. Given the large array of themes you can implement in the bohemian style, you can still change your design easily, without necessarily changing your favorite furniture pieces. Also, don’t be afraid to look around the house for items you might be able to recycle, re-purpose or reuse. The Bohemian style embraces a sustainable, minimalist’ ideal and haphazard placement of pieces, so any old natural furnishings are a gold mine in delivering a special feature and the final look.
Once your theme is set, invest in your high use items. Find high quality handmade pieces that will last you through your child’s teenage years and if you can, select pieces that can serve a multi-purpose use to deliver that minimalist feel. You want to ensure your pieces will give a raw earthy look but sustain the carefree use that our teens may impose upon them! Rattan furniture is intricate in design and perfectly practical for restyling with its lightweight, hardy material.
Now here is where you can get really creative!
Build on your theme with unique decor pieces that show your artistic flair. You might find the perfect piece of driftwood to re-purpose as a hanging shelf in your beach theme, or trail a vine down over your child’s desk for a tropical study nook that will grow their own creative desires. Hang a shell or beaded chandelier, stack textured boxes or stagger 3D visuals mounted direct onto the wall as we did. You are literally limited by your imagination as the bohemian style welcomes the left of center!
Styling is just as much about texture as it is visuals. Color is an obvious choice to graduate or contrast, but also ensure you play with varied textures as you use different materials to create your look. You could stagger a thatched rug against a woven one across the floor or use a combination of linen, macrame and leather cushions to show your design diversity! It’s also a great idea to use contrasting shapes at the same time to really mix things up.
Finally, remember your overall arching theme! It’s nature based, right? What’s more natural than plants!? I liken them to the bohemian polish. It’s that perfect way to round off a room in true bohemian style without risking that rainbow unicorn glitter and gloss! Just don’t forget to keep in theme. If it’s tropical – then use lush tropical greens. If it’s farmhouse – think dried cotton branches, straw or sunflowers. Desert? Use cacti or aloe Vera.
All in all the possibilities are endless. I will say though, over your planning phase maintain one important key point. Always think functionality – a child’s room typically is an area to play, sleep and a place for study when they are older. There is no use designing a room, if all it does is look pretty. Ask yourself, where is my storage? Is it cluttered? Is it comfortable? Can my child use it? If not, can they reach it?