The other day I received an email message from my 11-year-old that said:
“Mom can I please have the room downstairs. I’m mature enough. I won’t be scared.”
Kaitlin will be 12 this year and 13 next year, which means she’s smack dab in the middle of being a tween. She’s tired of sharing a room with her sister Mikaela and she’s slowly distancing herself from being a so-called kid. And rightfully so, since she’ll be a teen next year and it’s the time when kids truly go through a lot of changes trying to find their identity. I have an empty bedroom on the first floor of my home and even though it’s difficult to admit, my little girl is growing up and her space needs to reflect it.
You can revamp your tween's room with a bright new wall color, furniture that does double duty and tons of cozy space for hanging with friends. Here are ways to achieve the change she’s looking for.
Begin with a paint color that reflects her personality. Is her style sleek, cool, fancy or fairytale? Disney offers an entire line of interior paints by Glidden that are sparkly with magnificent metallics and colors just perfect for creating girly spaces. In fact, there are 24 exclusive paint colors with a unique metallic sheen. You can surely brighten your daughter’s world with a splash of color.
In my opinion, hardwood floors don’t give off warmth and heart. To go for the cozy feel, opt for the comfort of carpet. Carpet is optimal for lounging and if you go with something simple such as Berber, a good vacuuming once or twice a week should keep things tidy. But if you must, for a more minimalist look, choose soft, pliable flooring like cork or bamboo over hardwood. And don’t rule out vinyl flooring. There are many kinds of vinyl that mimic almost any type of wood or natural stone. If you do choose a solid surface floor, accent it with plenty of plushy pillows and area rugs to make it more comfy and appealing.
This is important. A child this age needs several things in a bedroom: room to sleep and stretch, space to lounge and chill, and a dedicated workstation for homework and arts and crafts or whatever tickles her fancy. Kaitlin’s into art and loves to draw. But whatever she's into, whether it's scrapbooking, arts and crafts, sports or dolls, choose storage options that will give her plenty of display space. One of my favorite places to pick up functional furnishing options is IKEA.
Murphy beds: This is a fun bed. In the daytime you won’t even know it’s there since it folds up into a cabinet. Murphy beds fold down from the wall for sleeping. Very convenient if you are consciously seeking more space options.
Loft beds: This type of bed is elevated to lend extra room to smaller spaces. Under a loft bed is where she can have a workstation with comfortable seating.
Trundle beds: This bed has a second bed beneath it that pulls out for sleeping and pushes back under in the light of day. A great way to fit an extra bed in a small room.
Bunk beds: Bunk beds feature a bed over a bed. The space sleeps two in the space it normally takes for one.
My daughter loves art, so I’m thinking about a Paris-themed room. Your child’s room should be an extension of her personality. Involve your daughter in the process of cultivating ideas for her room. Choose accessories that accent the room. For instance, if she’s into music you can decorate an area with real records and she’ll probably ask what the records are. Include all the things she treasures most, like trophies, medals, dolls, collectible figures and priceless photos. Pier One, IKEA and even Hobby Lobby have tons of accessories to incite and inspire a girl to decorate. And let her decorate and put the items where she sees fit. She’ll take more pride in her room if she’s a part of the decorating process.
Remember to let your tween take the lead. The last thing you need is for the whole room-designing process to turn into a big debate. Instead, use this time to bond.
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