Adapting a Room for a Teenager
It happens before you know it – all toddlers suddenly turn into teenagers! And there you are, sitting at their bedside wondering, ‘how did all of this occur so fast?!’ Well that was me this summer. If I’m fully truthful, I saw the new needs coming for a while. This darling room that we so proudly made for our little girl, couldn’t really adapt well to a growing young woman any longer. It didn’t suit her defining personality. It couldn’t support her more specific needs. It couldn’t evolve anymore – it had reached its potential and as with many tweens, they themselves know they are ready to handle more. Giving them room to grow (pun, absolutely intended!) is always necessary as your child shifts from the younger years to the older. In my experience, this is a perfect opportunity to get them to participate in what will become a forever love of spaces. Not a bad by-product from what might seem like a daunting experience. By gathering input directly from your little person, you not only tailor-make a space that suits them, but you also get their immediate buy-in. And our little lady did just that – with a little professional help from her mom, of course.
Starting the project off, we looked back to the day we moved in. She and I went back to the room’s roots, looking at photos from long ago from when we first came upon it, and noticed it lacked personality and warmth. Not that she was aware of this at the time, but it was clear, one wasn’t sure how much time one would want to spend in there. Upon move-in, this is how the room started out. Bare and unimaginative, the original space couldn’t possibly tell you who lived there.
We moved in when my daughter was a toddler, so next this space became her toddler room. The transition from what the room started out as, to the finished product as seen below, was a monumental one:
With a rich version of her favorite color on the wall, a daybed for easy in-and outs, a much loved book displayed as artwork along the wall, and plenty of room for tumbling and spreading out toys on the floor. She was so grateful to have so much space and color and height. Many a day and night was spent in this room. Painting activities with large spills on the floor, twister and gymnastics abounding, and quiet singing from me as she drifted off to sleep at night.
But, her homework became harder, clothing storage needs got more pressing, and generally our girl began to feel that her room no longer represented her. So she and I planned to meet in the middle. She saved up some and we of course contributed as well, and we got to work. Here’s what that change looked like:
To soften the space given its height, we ship-lapped two walls and painted them a crisp white color. It was a lot of work, but the end result was well worth it. Here it is now — all ready to grow with her.
By taking out cramped built-ins, we opened up a large nook, now perfect for a queen (aka sleepover) sized bed. A gorgeous bench at the foot of her bed will easily carry into adulthood, and serves well for girl gatherings and middle school outfit-planning in the meantime.
Basically, she has reintroduced herself with this space, deciding what was a priority and what felt like her. She completely put herself into this project, even choosing to hand-paint this triangle pattern along her walls with me (one of my favorite moments!). Even though this project took some summer free time and elbow grease; it was a pleasure to go through it with her. Not only did she end up with something fabulous, but she ended up with something so her, and something that she created and thus, she thoroughly loves it. This room includes all it needs to accommodate who she’ll become in the years ahead. It’s very nice to experience this with any baby that’s growing faster than you can imagine.
Thank you my lovely teenager…XX
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