Think of a classic color palette for a young boy's bedroom, and you probably imagine navy and denim blues, reds, khakis and tans, and dark wood accents. And while there's a reason so many boys' spaces default to those hues (they're cheery yet masculine, and they work for all ages), a less expected palette can feel just as appropriate. Check out the fresh, fun examples below. Cocoa brown and turquoise punch up this lively boy's space. The zebra‐print rug and striped wall treatment are kid friendly yet sophisticated, and they'll still look up‐to‐date when the stuffed animals give way to sports gear and electronic equipment. Here's another variation on that same color scheme. Because it's limited to just one wall, the robot‐print wallpaper would be easy to strip and replace with a more adult pattern down the road. Hot orange sparks this otherwise neutral boy's bedroom. Orange is a terrific color for kids – it's youthful and energetic, but not at all childish. This orange, white and gray palette gives a sports theme a chic spin. It's proof that you don't have to drench your room in the colors of your favorite team to show your spirit. Red and khaki look fresh all over again with a liberal dose of black. Mod accents, such as these pendant lights, are often winners in a kids' space – they have an inherent whimsy that suits young ones well. This chocolate and citron palette takes its cue from tennis balls. The round accent pillows are an especially fun touch. Tangerine, safety‐cone orange and neon green combine for a zesty, zippy toddler's space.
Decide which furniture to keep. As you are going through the room, note which pieces you want to keep and which will be sold or given away. But before buying anything new, consider updating existing furniture with fresh paint or knobs, and look around the rest of the house (including in the attic and the basement) for forgotten treasures. Shop for new items. Look for pieces that can also be used in a first apartment (or dorm room) to get the most bang for your buck. Small side tables, cushions, throw blankets, lamps, and small‐scale armchairs will all be most welcome in those first digs away from home. Go on a "cool junk" hunt together. Make a date to hit a flea market or antiques and collectibles fair to see what you can find. Bring cash (only as much as you want to spend), measurements of key areas and a dolly or cart to carry home your finds. Wire storage lockers like the ones shown here are superversatile – use them for everything from shoes and scarves to craft supplies and books. Incorporate photos of friends. One of the downsides to taking mostly digital photos is that we tend to print photos less often. As part of this project, be sure to give your teen the opportunity to have some recent pictures printed – some to frame and others to tape up in a rotating display. Japanese masking tape (also called washi tape) comes in a mind‐boggling array of colors and patterns, is easily removable from most surfaces and can be used in tons of ways (like in the photo display seen here). A set would make a lovely gift for your teen when this project is complete. Try a small DIY project.
Air plants and succulents are having a real moment in design, and they have the benefit of being easy to care for. If you and your teen are in the mood to tackle a crafty project, I love this DIY air plant terrarium tutorial on Houzz. It's chic and easy, the best combination! Update the homework zone. Ground the work area with a creative and useful chalkboard wall, or include a large bulletin board for pinning up lists, photos and inspiration. Pay attention to the ergonomics of the space as well, making sure the chair and desk are at the right height. Good task lighting is essential, and any additional storage you can squeeze into the space will help maintain order. At least consider a small filing crate and a basket for recycling. Add an entryway. In my experience, most messes come from the junk we put down as soon as we enter a space. Help prevent the big chaotic pileup before it begins with a few preventative measures: A coat tree or wall hooks will hopefully keep those coats and bags off the floor, and a dresser or table placed near the door can be a drop zone for mail, keys and other odds and ends. Provide hangout space. If you have the room, bring in a retired couch from the basement or attic. If space is tight, try a fluffy area rug with a few big floor cushions instead. Add an unexpected touch. Every room should have something that immediately catches your eye or makes you smile, and your teen's room is no exception. Make the room glow with a cluster of cheap and chic paper lanterns, scoop up a funky neon sign or a vintage marquee letter at the flea market, or frame a portrait of a favorite pet. Give hobbies and interests pride of place.