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How To Encourage Your Teen's Decorating Style Without Painting Their Room Black

May 12, 2008
Ah, youth... What would the teen years be without rebellion and angst? Even teens who are generally good-spirited go through this to one degree or another. Whether their melancholy mood is part of their normal personality, or they are dealing with their first broken heart, being able to express their feelings in a creative way is an important part of processing their feelings and moving through them.

We all remember what these years were like. They're difficult. You've got feelings and hormones that you don't understand, you bicker with your friends one day and confide everything in them the next, your parents and siblings don't understand you and your teachers are always on your case. The only place you have to yourself is your room, which would be enough if only it reflected your true self and your true feelings. The pink wallpaper with the smiling cartoon butterflies that you swore you would love forever when you were seven, are now just a reminder of how happy you were then, and how unhappy you are now. Rather than cheering you up like your mum thinks it should, it just makes you feel like crawling under a rock. You may not have known what you wanted your room to look like during your teen years, but it certainly wasn't smiling cartoon butterflies.

So how do you help your teenager find a style that reflects their current mood and taste?

Talk to your teen and let them know that you understand they're not a kid anymore and you want them to decorate their room in a style that she likes. Rather than try to direct the process, let her be the guide. Your teen may know exactly what she wants or it may take a few months of watching design shows or sketching her own ideas before a plan comes together. Have your teen present the room as a project of sorts, giving you an overall idea of how she wants the room to look.

But what do you do if you end up faced with a teen who wants to paint their room black, with black bedding and black furniture, practically daring you to say no? Well, you buy a lot of black fabric. A cheap way to do this is to buy several black king-size flat sheets. Put grommets in the four corners of the sheets and you can attach them to the walls, and even the ceiling, with hooks. Use more sheets and drape the furniture with black fabric. Be creative with fastening the fabric around the furniture. Extra-large, heavy-duty safety pins, grommets hooked together with chain or rope or rough hand stitching can work in reflecting your teen's current frame of mind without harming the furniture underneath.

You may be wondering if a black room isn't where the line should be drawn. Not at all. It may be hard to believe when you have a surly teenager starting you down, but your teen wants your acceptance more than anything. By agreeing to something dramatic such as this, you are doing more than agreeing to something you may not like, you are showing her that you love her and you accept her no matter how differently the two of you may see the world.
About the Author
Decorating your home? Need designer furniture that is as unique as it is stylish? Have a look at the Beyond Furniture range and I am sure you will have a hard time choosing which piece of furniture you like the most.
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