Self-expression is vitally important to the growth of a teenager’s personality, and one of the best ways a teen can express themselves is through decorating their very own hideaway. Even though teenagers often change interests faster than you can shop for them, creating the perfect teen’s hangout room is still feasible as long as you make them an integral part of the process. Unless your teen is extraordinarily laid-back, no one really wants to come home to discover their personal space has received a makeover without their input.
Not Every Location Can Enjoy a Permanent Facelift
When I was a teen my family often moved around a lot, so we never took the time to fully theme out a bedroom, let alone a game room for my friends and I to enjoy. In fact, my mother was often against the idea of painting walls, because they would need to be re-painted the original color when the apartment we were living in at that particular time needed to be turned back over to the landlord.
If your family finds itself in similar situations and you can’t really commit to giving a bedroom a fully themed makeover, consider operating on a budget and plan a trip to the dollar store or local salvation army branch. There are plenty of decorations that find their way into thrift stores, and it can be a fun adventure in creativity if you help your teen think outside the box.
Makeovers Don’t Have to Be Expensive to be Personal
- A myriad of posters can replace wallpaper and paint – Though I was a little jealous of my friends who had professional murals of cartoon characters painted on their walls, I managed to cover up my walls in posters. I had a teacher who gave away movie posters as prizes, her husband worked at the theatre or something along those lines. Along with the collection I’d amassed from her, I also had posters of bands, cartoons and famous quarterbacks that I followed through www.nfl.com meticulously posted over every inch of wall-space, which did a fine job of covering the wood-panel walls.
- T-shirts aren’t just for wearing – As a teenager I would go to band concerts and get a t-shirt signed, even if the headlining band wasn’t available for signing I’d still try to get one from the opening bands just to commemorate the experience. This sort of grew into a collection and soon I had a nice accumulation of autographed t-shirts adorning my walls, which lended to my credibility (and bragging rights) as an avid music fan when friends would come over to visit.
- Redesign old items into contemporary furniture – Some of my friends had milk crates for extra seating in their rooms, but I wanted to go the extra mile and build my own furniture. Too young and inexperienced to work with wood and power tools, my dad and I made a project out of nailing a couple of cheap surfboards together with wooden crates to create a makeshift bench. Even though it was already initially comfortable, it was even better after a trip to the salvation army for some throw-pillows.
- Shopping carts make great entertainment centers – Since one of my old neighborhoods had a problem with homeless folk taking shopping carts from grocery store parking lots, it wasn’t hard to find an abandoned cart just wandering around the neighborhood for a bit.
One day I saw a cart in the middle of the street, so I decided to push it home. At first my mother thought I’d stolen it, but the cart didn’t have any logos that specified it belonging to any particular store, so I was allowed to put it in my room. The child seat became my TV stand, and underneath the cart is where I put my video game consoles. The basket section of the shopping cart became my laundry box, and the wheels meant I could easily push the thing around to any section of my room.
- Give your teen’s room a “mature” feel – I frequently watch the DIY Network show called “Man Caves”, which turns men’s apartments into the ultimate bachelor pads. In one episode, the homeowner loved comic book heroes, so they installed a juice bar and put a silhouette of Gotham City from the Batman series behind it. When the juice bar lit up, the Batman beacon was shining on the wall.
The K.I.S.S Method Works
Creating the ultimate teen hideaway isn’t necessarily difficult because teen’s are generally happy with a space they feel they can escape to. Retro is always in style, and you can score points with your teen by taking them to a trendy retro thrift store or by shopping through awesome internet review sites. Finding cool 1980’s shirts is always a treasure, and if you see any retro neon signs or a vintage looking coca-cola machine be sure to snatch one up, those things are collectors items!