4 Tips to Create a “Tween Dream” Space

How to decorate a room with your child

create a space at home for your tween

Does this conversation sound familiar? Parent: “Wait just a second honey, I couldn’t hear you — did you say want to paint your room black?” Child: “The official color is called “Midnight Crush.’”  Welcome to the world of tween decorating. Tweens are not quite ready-to-spread-their-wings teenagers, but they are definitely not young children anymore. They want their own space and have specific ideas about how they want that space to reflect their personality and sense of style.

This is an opportunity to work together and to score major parental cool points by showing that you see their point of view. But prepare yourself—after creating such an amazing space they may never want to leave. Here are 4 tips to get started.

1. Create a plan

Even though this is your tween’s room, you will be footing the bill, so set a budget up front. Before committing to a decorating plan, consult design books or magazines to give your tween some options. After they pick a theme or style, have them draw a sketch of the room they envision. Be sure they include furniture, posters, and bedding.


2. Color that grows with you

Choose a color scheme with your tween. They probably have a few favorites in mind, but pick colors that they will grow with. For example, if your tween is craving lime green walls, compromise with one lime green wall, or inexpensive accessories.

READ MORE: Set up a study space your child will want to use


3. Size it right

Scale is the most important factor in design. So many do-it-yourself-ers make the biggest mistakes by not measuring furniture before purchasing. If you have a small space, you will need to use small scale furnishings. The same holds true for a large space and large furnishings.


4. Buy smart

Tweens are ever changing. Odds are what they like today may be “out” tomorrow. Purchase expensive items like furniture in neutral colors. Spend less money on accessories. You can create a fabulous space without breaking the bank. Have your tween be actively involved not just in the choosing of the paint colors, but in the actual work. Use the makeover as an opportunity to teach them how to paint, clean baseboards, hang pictures, or even sew. They will appreciate it more and benefit from the experience of doing it themselves. 


Along with the chain stores like IKEA, PB Teen, and Marshall’s, check out local offerings, like The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Newburgh, for inexpensive furnishings. The ReStore recycles new, gently used, and antique items donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors, and individuals. All proceeds from sales go directly towards Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh’s house construction program.


Craigslist, yard sales, and thrift stores also yield a gold mine of fun and unique items. And, your tween can always put their creativity to use by making decorations of their own. Don’t forget, simply asking your tween where they would like to shop will show that you trust their design ideas.

Roberta Wagner is from Port Ewen and is known by her friends as the Martha Stewart of the Hudson Valley.