A Bed That Stores a Surfboard—And 10 More Far-Out Teen Room Ideas
Peep the playhouse-turned-hangout.
Published Dec 13, 2023 4:00 AM
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Teen room ideas should be listed amongst some of the most challenging design projects to bring to life. The client usually has a lot of opinions on how everything should look—but isn’t much concerned with the practical side of things, like where the laundry basket should go to ensure dirty socks actually make it into the washing machine. Still, parents and designers agree that collaborating with teens on their bedroom is ultimately a fun and freeing experience. Expect bold details that feel entirely of the moment (teens are nothing if not rebels with a big vision) supported by functional pieces (hello, under the bed storage and streamlined study nook) that keep it all together.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own teen’s bedroom, or you simply want to admire spaces that aren’t as predictable as a grownup interior, then scroll down for these 11 unique teen room ideas. Filled with exuberant color, playful pattern, and self-expression in spades, they underscore how exciting it can be to let imagination and emotion (of which there’s no shortage at this age) lead when dreaming up a space.
Give the Room a Platform
Storage and lounge space are key when searching for teen room ideas, and this clever Brooklyn design makes those goals look seamless. The secret? Well, first, to have your mom be designer Athena Calderone. And second, to create a Scandi-inspired platform bed that hides a second mattress beneath it for guests. The pine plywood actually wraps around much of the room, tucking away (then 17-year-old) Jivan’s things with stylish ease. “I knew kids would be hanging out on the edge of the platform and treating the bed more like a sofa,” says Calderone.
Maximize Every Nook and Cranny
Southern Californian DIY pro Marynn Udvarhelyi came to the rescue when her daughter, Hannah, was in need of a teen retreat that had more personality than the all-gray state it was in at the time. Hannah was about to start high school remotely and needed a place that would allow her to focus, too. The duo worked together to transform the room, lining the walls with subtle but textural shiplap and a bird-patterned wallpaper on the ceiling. But here’s the real scene stealer: Udvarhelyi replaced the window seat with a custom desk, ensuring that there was a balance between work and daydreaming.
Turn Up the Chromatic Volume
There’s a fair share of color in the Danish home of art director and photographer Céline Hallas—in part as a continuation from her own palette-pushing childhood room, much to her parents’ chagrin—so it’s no wonder that she would give her son’s space a chromatic makeover. “My thought was: Samuel will hate it no matter what we do because he’s a teenage boy, so we might as well go 110 percent,” she says. Given that the walls are beige and the floors are a honey-toned wood, it’s easier to let a kaleidoscope go wild: Ombre orange curtains frame the room, an IKEA Malm bed repainted in hot pink sits across from a geometric yellow chair, and a paper lantern comes straight from the streets of Tokyo. Even though it’s zany, it works.
Use Simple Paint as a Stand-Out Moment
Creative Julia Rouzaud’s family home outside Paris has two sterling attributes: It’s more than 3,000 square feet (even though it’s near the city) and had plenty of potential for her to bring modern color into a historic setting. “The palette is always the first thing I start with,” she shares. For her daughter’s bedroom, color-blocked shades in overlapping layers on the wall create a cool focal point (that could also serve as a “frame” for posters and favorite art pieces). As far as teen room ideas go, this is a great collaborative project to tackle over a weekend, using painter’s tape and the shades of your teen’s choosing.
Make a Few Grown-Up Tweaks
Designer Jo Sampson treats her London family home as her creative cocoon. It’s filled with things that make her smile—and she wanted to foster that same feeling in her daughter’s space. An accent wall is covered in a bright, lush jungle print, which acts as a mesmerizing showpiece. “We lie in bed counting how many monkeys we can find camouflaged among the greenery,” Sampson says. Another detail with visual impact is the graphic fabric that gives an IKEA storage unit a playful pop, as well as a streamlined spot in which her daughter can stow away her things. When designing a room for a tween who is just leaving the kid years, reimagining an existing bunk bed and adding more grown-up wallpaper can do the trick.
Play With Patterns on Patterns
Designer Cathy Nordström was dubbed “pattern girl” by her fellow design students at school. So it’s no surprise that her family’s abode in Stockholm is filled with her punchy textiles—and the bedroom of her second child, Malte, serves as a laboratory for her whimsical wallpaper. Blue trees sprout beside a window shade clad in red-and-white checks, which matches the blue gingham pillows and floral bedspread. Then, there’s the striped rug… The important thing to remember for this teen room ideas lesson? As long as the patterns all fall within the same color family it flows, giving an emerging designer plenty of options in choosing their own favorite mash-up.
Upgrade the Bed to Be Multifunctional
If you’d rather go monotone than maximalist, take a cue from Analisse Taft-Gersten’s Greenwich, Connecticut home. She fell in love with Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin, a shade that has a cool tint of blue, and used it throughout the home she shares with her husband and their surf-and-skateboard loving 15-year-old son. In his room, a clever L-shaped headboard ensures he can lounge at any angle, while also having a desk when homework requires real focus. Another hidden benefit: The bed can be lifted to reveal storage for—what else?—a surfboard.
Make The Room a True Creative Outlet
Teenager Lucy Lipofsky is a crafter, doodler, and art maker—and her mother, Jenna Cooper, embraces it all. Lipofsky’s room is bright and airy, taking full advantage of the Los Angeles sun to spotlight her creations. “I’d been collecting things for a gallery wall since I was 10 or 11, but I only started working on it during quarantine,” explains Lipofsky. Likewise, she began painting a green vine along a wall, much to her mom’s delight. “She was complaining about having nothing to paint, and I said, ‘Just paint on your wall,’” Cooper says. The best place to take it in? The back-to-back beds where Lipofsky can relax with friends and the family dog.
Turn the Playhouse Into a Hideout
Bay Area designer Lisa Furtado’s eldest son had long been campaigning for his own space—something away from the family, other than his room. “We always joked, ‘You can go live in the playhouse,’” says Furtado. When the opportunity to overhaul the backyard structure presented itself during the pandemic, she gave the dilapidated playhouse a modern overhaul complete with loft bed, desk, sofa, and storage. And while it only has electricity (no plumbing), it still tops the teen room ideas bucket list.
Infuse Classic Details With Personality
When Frieda Gormley and Javvy M. Royle, founders of House of Hackney (the British interiors brand coveted for its strikingly maximalist fabrics) were tasked with decorating their son’s bedroom in their Cornwall home, they obviously went big on the prints. But their 13-year-old son wasn’t interested in anything floral. Enter: A sky blue, navy, gray, and white striped wallpaper that reads timelessly cool. “There’s nothing babyish,” Gormley says of the refreshed space, noting, “It will still work once it eventually becomes a guest room.” Rounding out the mix is wall-to-wall animal print carpet and a color-blocked pattern on the bed—a place where their son can kick back and enjoy the view.
Look Back In Time For Inspiration
Hannah Carpenter originally painted all the walls of her Arkansas home white, thinking it was a clean slate. Then she, her husband, and their four kids temporarily moved to Tuscany, and she discovered that they’re actually a family of color lovers. “I wanted our home to be like stepping into a different world within our small-town life,” Carpenter says. She worked with designer Meta Coleman to take bigger risks, and in the bedroom for one of her teen sons, who plays in a band, they covered the walls in a ’60s print that’s very rock ‘n’ roll paired with an equally edgy eggplant-colored wainscoting. The results? Totally individual, and a whole lot of fun.