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Learning about design helps teens make sound choices for their rooms

August 26, 2013

Hardwood FloorsTeaching young people how to appreciate the difference between fads with a short shelf life and long-lasting value is a lesson not only in life, but in home design. There's no better place to start than by helping teens decorate their rooms so they can learn about classic design features like the hickory hardwood flooring in Anderson's Urban Pioneer collection.

Decorating for the long term in a teenager's room may seem like a contradiction since the years fly by quickly. But choosing interesting patterns and versatile colors during the adolescent stage will likely have staying power as the teen years progress.

"As kids grow up, it's really important to enable them to make decisions regarding the colors and decor in their rooms," Aimee Beatty, Pier 1 Imports' in-house stylist, told the Detroit Free Press."It's an opportunity for them to express their individuality."

Making Color Choices
Start by avoiding neon colors that will wear out their welcome quickly and giving teens a choice of toned-down hues for the wall color. Then the selection of accent shades for the room design can begin. Whatever their choice, parents will save themselves some energy by choosing a wall paint that can stand up to constant changes in posters and photo displays.

Since the bed is a major part of a teen's retreat, the bedding colors should be picked before other furnishings. It may also determine whether an accent wall color is needed as a backdrop.

Navy, deep brown or hunter green set off by plaids is a traditional look for a boy's room, as are florals for girls. For the teenager with an avant garde streak, stripes and jewel tones may be the thing. Buying budget-conscious bed linens allows teens to have dramatic colors that can be replaced in a couple of years.

Expressing Themselves
Most kids have no interest in chic, high-end looks, opting instead for free-spirited styles. The way to accommodate that is to let them create their own look with accessories and novelty furnishings such as beanbag chairs, oddly-shaped lamps and a pile of pillows to sprawl on when friends come over.

As children get older, repurposing furniture with a paint job and new hardware can give childhood furnishings a grown-up look that will carry into late teen years. Parents should also consider adding storage as a young adult's collections, sporting equipment and school-related items multiply. Putting in a new closet system with some decorative storage cubes is a great way to help them organize their belongings.