Teen Bedroom Makeover

     Wallpaper! That kept me from redecorating my step-daughter’s bedroom for more than two years after we moved into this house. My previous experience with the stuff was enough to prevent me from ripping down a fuchsia-colored print that Liesbeth was never fond of. It covered only one wall; one with a slanted ceiling at that, thus not really even a full wall. Silly me! One day I finally decided to just take a peek underneath by peeling back a small piece in a corner. Fifteen minutes later, the wall was bare and the floor was covered with intact rolls of fuchsia. Except the wall wasn’t completely bare. It was covered in paint…fuchsia paint. Ha! It was also covered in several blotches of putty where the previous owners had attempted to repair some blemishes. I couldn’t leave the blotches as they were since they’d show up as uneven imperfections under new coats of paint, so I sanded them down and covered several other holes to smooth out the wall. All in all not a difficult task. That’s how this decorating project finally got rolling!

     We then focused on colors and furnishings. She already had a twin bed, two deep purple beanbag seats, a white IKEA desk, her grandmother’s rather old-fashioned armoire and a chromed ceiling lamp. I wondered where to start exactly. She takes drum lessons and likes heavy metal. She’d been through a ”goth” phase and was then into a “grunge” phase. She doesn’t like fuchsia and hot pinks but adores dark purple. Not quite sure about which direction to take, I simply let her make the first big decision by selecting the curtain fabric. Some people choose curtains last to help bring everything in the room together. I thought it best to start with something new that would suit her own taste. She chose something quite unlike what I anticipated! Something very sophisticated and grown-up! That should not have entirely surprised me though, as she’s 18 and just starting studies at a nearby college to be a veterinarian assistant. They grow up fast before you realize it, don’t they!

     I then had to scratch my head about how to tie in the purple beanbags with a fabric of darker flower silhouettes on a background of graduating shades from gray to beige. Challenge on! Given her love for animals, we decided to create her “sanctuary” based on the flora and fauna of the local nature preserve. We live near a heather marshland, so the beanbags became the “water” around an old coffee table that I painted purple to match and also applied a vinyl photograph of lily pads to the top. 

     We painted the walls a neutral greige as a backdrop for the curtains and the vinyl “birch forest” stickers on the opposite wall. (I found all the vinyl appliques on Etsy.) I used the leftover lighter beige shades of the curtain fabric to make a velcroed decorative top for the duvet cover. The duvet cover colors worked well in the room, but the zig-zag striped pattern didn’t, so covering it up with the removable fabric worked out perfectly. I also bought modular IKEA units to complement and provide extra storage.

     I added a bit of character to the old wall mirror by creating a sort of diorama of the nearby pond. I cut and glued a piece of wavy patterned glass to fit within the frame, then filled it with blue gravel that I found at a local crafts store. I added a miniature plastic rabbit and set of cattails as well as a couple of small twigs to emulate trees.

     I painted a colorful landscape on the face of the old armoire to emulate heather in the foreground, then grasses and hills in the background.

     Finally, I also added some paint to the ceiling lamp to cover up the chrome and make it look a bit more natural.

     Lies is very happy with the result, and it now provides her a serene place to study or relax!

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  1. 1

    Hi Jennifer! I must say that I am amazed by how you have reinvented the things you already had in this room! Your step daughter must love her new bedroom retreat! You have made it so bright and cheery and yes, serene at the same time. I love that light fixture! Beautiful! There are so may things to love about this room now. You just have a talent for creativity! Especially, by painting the armoire to coordinate with the theme. Incredible! Everything from the walls to that adorable mirror you have created! I am very impressed! 🙂

    • 2

      Thanks so much, Maria! I think the thing I like most about interior decorating is the infinite number of possibilities to be creative within a single living space. Often times I find that even more inventiveness is necessary when working with things already in a room instead of starting from a blank slate. Like you with your office space, I imagine we’ll continue to tweak things in the room as Lies settles into her college life…and then later (hopefully much later) after she moves out on her own and the room becomes something else.

  2. 3

    WOW! Jennifer, I love this. The sophisticated colour scheme makes it so serene and the projects you did made my mouth drop open! 🙂 Lucky Lies! Such thoughtful design! I can’t say enough about how impressed I am. I have been busy this year with new endeavors such as becoming a wedding Officiant, attending Weight Watcher meetings! I am currently down 78.4 pounds! I also find the days booked in running my mom around to her various errands as she no longer drives and gets very bored if she doesn’t get out once or twice a day. Thank goodness my sister is sharing the responsibility! I hope you and yours are in good health! Hugs!! 🙂

    • 4

      Thanks so much, Nancy! My, you’ve been super productive. That’s an impressive weight loss! Something like that takes a lot of determination and self-discipline. I wish you great success! All’s well in Belgium. I’m at 18 months now with no evidence of cancer! Life is good! (For some reason, the website is not allowing me to login, so I’m not sure if this post will reflect as coming from me…but, it is me. 🙂 )

  3. 5

    Nice job, Jennifer! I love the whimsy of this room, yet it is kind of sophisticated, too. Is there such a thing as sophisticated whimsy? That light fixture is just adorable painted that way! And I love the walls with the trees.

  4. 7

    Dang, lady, you really know how to make a room come alive and revamp everything to make it livable and beautiful again. I totally love every detail you have done to the room. There are so much textures and refreshing color hues. I can see myself relaxing and unwind in that room. I love the curtains, the light fixture, and the cabinet. I love everything in that room.

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