The Struggle To Design A Tween Room

There's a few things that happens with girls when they're eleven years old. They grow exponentially taller, they get fuller figures, they're always snacking, and they start to form opinions about their personal style. 

Kids Bedroom Design
It's that last one that has resulted in us being at a standstill with Chloe's bedroom for the last year and a half. When we moved into this house, we had a 7 year old and now we have a young lady on the cusp of 12. Tastes are changing, the rest of our home has been updated, so it's been difficult to determine what this room wants to be and how it fits in. 

Until now! We're finally tackling this problem room once and for all and getting it to a place where my tween - and I - are happy with it.

From Girl's Room To Tween Room I've never fully shown this room on the blog, because, let's be honest, it's not my best design work. But this is a problem many of us face. 

How do you create a room that kids and parents will love? 

How do you work with the furniture that you have? 

Or when do you decide it's time to make more drastic changes?
Kids rooms are challenging because the way they look and function needs to change over a relatively short amount of time. Change is inevitable and while you might constantly be buying new clothes for your growing kid, you don't want to have to be buying new furniture all the time.  
Unlike your own bedroom where you've pretty much determined what you like and don't like and create a room just the way you want, there's two clients to please with kids rooms. Kids and parents often have different ideas of what's stylish, what paint colours are attractive, and what should be on the walls. How do find that common ground?

I'm not one to force my design opinions on Chloe and decorate her room without her input and preferences in mind (though this process would go much easier if I did!). So let me share how we're approaching this co-designed space.
This was the state of Chloe's bedroom the first year after we moved. We didn't make any drastic changes and essentially just moved our old furniture in. The lavender and white walls were inherited from the previous owners (they had a fondness for bold primary paint colours).
Our old basement rug, Chloe's Pottery Barn kids bed and desk, and a storage ottoman added the needed function but did nothing for the style of this room. We planned to update her room in the first year so we weren't concerned with things looking a bit chaotic in the meantime.

Perhaps sensing the chaos in her environment, Chloe insisted on a white Christmas tree in her room that year. No colourful ornaments, no crazy lights... just... white.

A few things started to fall apart over time. Namely, the bifold doors on her closet. This was true for all of our closets! Apparently, we're tough on our closet doors because we've replaced them all over the last three years.
Knowing that we couldn't live like this for long, we began redoing this room in earnest in late summer of 2019.
A Girl's Bedroom - Version 1.0 Our first task was to cover up those lavender walls with something much more soothing. Going for a coastal look in this room, we decided on Bluestem Blue Faux Grasscloth wallpaper. 

We decided to wallpaper three walls and keep the remaining fourth wall (which is coved and wraps around the ceiling) painted white. This wallpaper is what I deem the easiest wallpaper to install for beginners and was super quick to put up.
We also dealt with that unsightly closet too and built in an IKEA PAX closet organizer. We perfected our method of installing bifold closet doors and soon this room was feeling much more neat and organized.
Which takes us to where we are today. Let me show you around:

Let's call this the awkward "in between" years. 
As things progressed with this room, Chloe grew up and started to have more opinions about how it should be decorated. Can you feel the design drama brewing??
So what changes have we made so far? Let me tell you about the changes Sean and I made... and in italics tell you the changes that Chloe has made alongside!
We changed the layout and placed the bed in the centre of the left side wall, with a side table originally to the right of the bed. Chloe said she felt like she was falling out of her twin bed, so we moved it right up against the window wall, and moved the side table to the left of the bed We moved her desk to the opposite wall. She needed additional space for books and her pet hamster's food and accessories so we added a bookcase too We changed out her old Pottery Barn Kids chandelier for this breezy blue beaded pendant. Chloe insisted on adding white fairy lights as well We added a patterned rug that had to be a specific size so it wouldn't impede with the moving in and out of her desk chair The aforementioned faux grasscloth wallpaper got trendy artificial vines on top. I do have to admit it made for a great Zoom background when Chloe was remote learning!

Luckily, the organized closet has stayed essentially the same. A LOT of the clothes have been outgrown (did I mention that she's taller than me now?), but what remains, she generally keeps hung up or folded nicely.

A few other items were added like the curtains and bamboo roman shade. The beach print is a photo I took on our Hawaiian vacation, and the grid duvet cover was Chloe's request for her last birthday.

So what do you have when you combine kid-sized furniture + coastal elements + accessories inspired by TikTok and YouTube videos???

Unsurprisingly, Chloe has rejected this hodge-podge of a room and has escaped to this most serene and calm space instead:

That's right... for the last year, my daughter has basically been sleeping in our guest bedroom. With its larger double bed, abundant light, and cohesive design, this room is calm and peaceful.
But I want my guest bedroom back!
And I want my daughter sleeping in her own room!
So this tween bedroom needs to be fixed ASAP. It needs a bigger bed. It needs a more effective layout. It needs less TikTok trends and more well thought out design.
And that's what we're going to do. Next week I'll share the revamped design plan. I'm excited to share because the bed arrived and it's looking even better than we hoped!
Now tell me... do you struggle with designing your kids rooms? Do they get a say in what goes in their space?

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KidsAndBaby BuildingProjects ThisPerennialLife