Expressive Teens’ Rooms

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By Vickie Williamson, Custom Framer and Interior Designer

Teenagers are apt to express themselves in numerous ways. One is to personalize their living space, which is often their bedroom.

Here are some ways to help them do that:

  • Give them freedom to choose the color scheme, within reason. If your 15-year-old wants neon orange walls and floors, you might need to use your veto powers.
  • Let them help build their own headboard. This is where the creative juices really start to flow. Have your teens research ideas online or search antique and salvage stores for items that can be refinished or repurposed into the perfect headboard for their space.
  • Shop for practical bedding that fits their design ideas. Many great bedding products can be found online or at local retail establishments. Or have the bedding custom- made with a fabric of their choosing. This does cost more, but provides endless possibilities.
  • Help them select window treatments that are creative as well as functional and practical. Use layering for greater creative expression. Consider unique items such as fishing poles or pool cues for curtain rods. Ready-made window treatments are the most affordable; custom-made treatments provide greater control over design.
  • Include a media center. Most teens these days have or need their own media center. Use a small dresser or chest of drawers dedicated to personal electronics.
  • Let them add accessories, wall décor and lighting. Girls may enjoy making their own jewelry hanger for the back of the door. Also, visit your local craft store and gather supplies, such as fabrics, ribbons and stencils, to turn a typical bulletin board into something amazing.

Giving your teens freedom to express their individual creative ideas allows them to feel valued and integral to the family. It also gives them a place to escape the stresses of being a teen in today’s world. One caveat: “Go to your room” may need to be replaced with “Go sit in the living room.”


Prince William resident Vickie Williamson owns Fine Design Custom Framing & Interiors in Woodbridge. She has worked in the fine art, framing and decorating industry for more than 25 years and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.


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