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How to: Transition your Child's Room to a Teenage Retreat

The time comes in every parent's life when their child decides it's time to take control of their room décor, usually as they approach the teenage years. And while it is nice to let them pick and choose things they like, you still need to have a hand guiding them, as, after all, you'll be footing the bill. So here are a few tips on ensuring the 'transition' goes smoothly and, more importantly, lasts the distance (ideally till they move out of home!)

Declutter First!

The most important place to start is with a declutter of all their current toys, bits and pieces. If they don't want your help with this part, provide them with three large boxes to sort their items into, throw away, give away and keep. This will allow them to make some definite decisions over their possessions with what can stay and what needs to go.

Keep the main elements neutral.

Just like in the rest of the home, it is best to keep the large surfaces of the room neutral. This includes things such as the walls and window coverings. You certainly don't want to be re-painting every summer or switching up the curtains with each change of season, so ensure the selection process here includes muted tones. Think modern and fresh, but stick to greys and whites; you'll be adding in colour later.

It needs to be practical.

While you want the room to serve a nice purpose, as a bit of a retreat, or hang out for your teenager and their friends, it still needs to meet everyday needs. So, don't forget storage and if the space is on the small side, invest in a really good wardrobe setup. Help them maintain good habits (and lessen the load for you) by using labelled boxes so they can give all their possessions a home.

Think about all sorts of other organising elements, too, like shelving and hooks, as the less left on the floor, the better. And a desk! These days you can shop online and find all sorts of very trendy homework stations that are more chic and sleek rather than officey and oppressive. Plus, because technology easily hides away when not needed, 'i.e. laptops and tablets,' a desk can be multi-purpose.

A couple of core colours.

With your base elements kept neutral, this means that the accessories can inject some colour into the room. It's best to keep it to two or three, and try not to go overboard as it may come across as too 'matchy-matchy' - you're looking to achieve a relaxed, casual feel.

Temporary wall stickers are also a good way to add something a little special to the walls and are easy to remove/change/update.

Keep it simple. Tastes change.

It's likely your child will have a favourite pop star, TV show or sports team. And while that is the flavour of the moment now, it will change. Whether that's in six months or two years, you don't want to have to remove all the décor and start again. So, try to steer them clear of focusing just on one aspect, but rather choose items that will last over time.

Cosy and comfortable.

A teenager's room needs to be a restful haven where they can recharge and unwind, so we recommend adding a few comfortable features to the space. This includes accessories such as a soft floor rug, a throw, a cushion or two, and a window treatment that provides the right overall environment for the room.

Be inspired, research online together.

Think of it as a great opportunity to spend some time together by coming up with a plan for how their room will look. Do some research online, starting with Pinterest of course, and don't forget Instagram, in fact, here's six of the best New Zealand Interior Instagram profiles to check out for some local inspiration.

There's certainly no need for your child's room transition to be stressful or overwhelming. The process doesn't have to happen overnight, and if you make it a team effort, you and your new teenager are sure to be very happy with the end result.

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