Whether you’re a foster parent of teens, a biological dad of a teenage boy, or a stepmom of a teen daughter, you may be overwhelmed by your child’s long wish list of home decor items for his or her dorm or teen lounge in your house.
Here are three cost-saving and epic teen room decorating tips for parents:
1) Find home decor lookalikes
You and your teen may agree that the Graphic Bloom Leanback Lounger advertised on PBTeen.com goes well with the rest of the home’s decor. However, the supposedly earth-friendly, 39″wide x 31″ high x 31″ deep, black and white plush chair is out of your price range at $169. In addition, the great deal that you both found, a black shade, glass stem Art Deco Table Lamp for $69 is out of stock through LampsPlus. Most likely it’s because every teen saw this steal through LuckyMag.com in 2010. Think the hot pink, black stripe bedspread is too expensive through Target.com? What can you do? Find substitutes through Pinterest.com, Weheartit.com, StumbleUpon.com and Moreofit.com. Also check out teen-specific, dorm dweller and first apartment interior design blogs. Such bloggers give links to their favorite bargain shopping sites for furnishings. You can also go to brick and mortar retail stores such as Home Goods.
2)Prioritize your wants
What is the profile of your perfect furnishing? What is most important? Color? Dimensions? Energy efficient lighting? Sustainable materials? If your number one criteria besides cost is eco-friendliness for your teen’s room, then consult sites such as ReNest by ApartmentTherapy.com together for green home decorating. House of Turquoise Blogger Erin displays creative color solutions for unisex teen bedrooms. Christopher Lowell, of HGTV, gives great advice on furnishing cramped quarters with his book, You Can Do It! Small Spaces: Decorating to Make Every Inch Count. Take a permanent marker and piece of paper. Create a chart listing your mutual criteria and number that criteria from most important to least important. This gives you a roadmap or concrete strategy for furnishing a teen lounge according to shared values.
3)Make this quality time
You are entering a new stage in your relationship with your parents, Teens. Parents, your child has become a young adult. You are still so important in each other’s lives. How can you still bond if your child doesn’t need you drive him to the movie theater or choose her classes for college? Room decorating can be great activity for dads and moms to do with their teens. Parents, you don’t have to be perceived as merely a walking credit card by your teens! Teens, you can express yourself in your new living space while being considerate of your parents’ budget. What do you think looks good? What would be better? I know this is the second time I’ve mentioned this designer but Susie Coelho’s Styling for Entertainment book is full of DIY projects that would be perfect for a teen lounge. The Exotic Oasis, Asian Fusion or Tropical Paradise do not have to be temporary sets for parties. I recommend them as permanent room themes for bold teen men and college women. The longer the timeline you give your decorating project, the better the results will be and the cheaper it will be to complete the look of your teen room.
Renee Marchol is a former high school English teacher and senior high camp counselor.Renee Marchol worked as a case manager and youth counselor in nonprofits before attending business school. She specialized in consumer behavior statistics and graduated with an MBA. Renee is now social media marketing manager and interior design and home lighting copywriter at AffordableLamps.com