Cool & cheap things to do with a teen's room

Teens are often difficult to please, so when it comes to decorating their bedroom, you may find yourself in for a challenge. Even when you settle on a style or theme that they will agree to, the cost of redecorating the space can become an issue. However, if you are getting ready to redo your son's or daughter's room, do not despair. Several cool decorating ideas will pass muster with your teen and keep you from breaking the bank -- and they only require a little creativity and labour.

Splattered Paint

If your teen is pushing for bright neon colours in her room and you are not quite sold on the idea, consider a compromise. Instead of painting all of the walls or covering the floor with a bold coloured carpet, use a splattered paint effect to give the room a pop of colour and a cool, messy look. Let your teen choose several bright, bold shades, and take turns flicking brushes at the walls to splatter the colours in random patterns. You can cover all of the walls in a splatter effect or opt to create an accent wall by only covering one. If the carpeting in your teen's room is stained in certain areas but is otherwise in good shape, you can splatter paint on the floor instead of the walls for a wild, unexpected look.

Unusual Wallpaper

Your kids may not be enthusiastic about traditional wallpaper, but there are options for papering the wall that may wow even the most jaded of teens. Instead of purchasing wallpaper at the home improvement store, find other paper items that have a pattern that your teen likes. Maps, sheet music, wrapping paper or even pages from his favourite book can all be torn into strips and affixed to the wall like traditional wallpaper but with a much funkier look. Affix the paper to the wall with a mixture of white glue and water or a clear wallpaper paste. Covering an entire room with this method can be tedious, so you may want to create a single accent wall. It is also a fun look for the inside of a closet or the backside of bookshelves.

Faux Finish

Adding a faux finish to your teen's bedroom walls can create a variety of cool effects without breaking the bank. With paint and the proper techniques, you can make mimic the look of brick, plaster, leather, marble, suede, denim or other materials on your teen's walls. Most faux finish techniques require the use of tools other than a brush, such as a sponge or a rag, that impart eye-catching texture to the walls. If your son is a skateboarding fan, using a faux brick technique to recreate the urban look of a skating park is a good idea. For a daughter who enjoys the sophisticated feel of Tuscan decor, mimic the look of plaster on her walls. Faux leather and faux suede finishes are attractive options that match a variety of themes and decors.

Fun Lighting

While ensuring that your teen has sufficient task lighting to do her homework is sufficient, adding colourful lights to her bedroom can help spice up the space. Inexpensive holiday-style string lights in multicolors can be strung on the wall, along the headboard and bedposts and around the windows to create a festive look. Novelty string lights are ideal for use in a themed bedroom because they come in a variety of shapes, such as stars, flowers, palm trees, shells and animals. Add a lava lamp to a bookcase or nightstand if your teen enjoys a retro style. Neon signs that match the rest of the room's decor can be fun as well.

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About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.