They grow up so fast, don’t they? It seems like only yesterday your little bundle of joy was looking up at you from their crib; now they’re waving goodbye from their new university room, off to start a new life of independence. Hold back the tears! We know you’re as proud of them for leaving as you are sad to see them go, but with them off and settled in their new home it’s time to be practical. What on Earth are you going to do with all of that space?!
Now, some of you might want to leave the room unchanged for when your child returns from university for the summer – close the door and keep that messy room out of sight, out of mind! We don’t blame you, but you shouldn’t feel guilty about changing the room. When they inevitably return it won’t be for very long, and your pride and joy is likely to be off making their mark elsewhere in the world, so won’t mind you personalising your home as you see fit.
So, we’ve put together our top 5 tips to the best and most inspiring ways you can update your teenager’s bedroom once they’ve flown the nest. You’ll want to keep it a welcoming space for your young ‘un to return to of course, but after 18 years it’s time to make your house your home!
Make it into a study
Doesn’t a study just feel like the ultimate in home luxury? Whether you need one for work or not, having a dedicated space where you – or any other member of the family – can knuckle down and focus on admin tasks or work-related projects can be a real boost to a harmonious home. Younger siblings will appreciate a place to work on their homework, whilst your other half might enjoy having somewhere quiet to go to watch the football – erm, sorry, we meant sort out the bills!
The nice thing about turning your newly empty bedroom into a study is that it doesn’t have to be a total transformation. Perhaps replace a cumbersome double bed with a cosy single or an adaptable sofa bed, and use the added space to house your new desk and chairs. Keep papers and documents filed away in your favourite folders, so that when the apple of your eye returns home they’ll still be able to use the bedroom as a place to sleep without all of your stuff in the way. Or perhaps, they’ll even use it do some extra studying!
Make it into a nest
If you don’t think your child would appreciate returning to a study-slash-bedroom, how about turning their bedroom into a cosy nest area instead? Not only will it be a great place to relax and hang out as a family when they’re away, but they’ll also appreciate the perfect place to chill once they’ve returned from a semester of serious study.
For the ideal cosy nest room, soft furnishings are key! If it’s not already, move their bed up against the wall and try to minimise the amount of bulky furniture in the room by perhaps recycling those drawers that are no longer needed. You can then invest in numerous soft throws from places like Trouva or We Love Linen, and channel a bit of 90s chic with some super squishy bean bags. String fairy lights around the room for some cosy ambience and move the TV into the centre of the room or invest in a projector for a full cinematic experience. Then all you’ve got to do is get cosy and pop on your favourite box set. Now what child wouldn’t like to return to that cosy cuddly environment, eh?
A craft room
Of course you’re sad to see your little ones all grown up, but look on the bright side and remember that now you get to focus on you! You’ve done all you can for your child and they’re now off to branch out on their own two feet, and all you can do is sit back and watch. But in the meantime, you can finally focus on all those projects you’ve thought about over the years but never had time for. Always wanted to take up knitting? Fancy yourself a master painter? Reckon you’re a dab hand with a glue gun? There’s only one thing for it – turn that empty room into a craft room!
There’s plenty of craft room inspiration on Pinterest, but really the best craft room is the one that inspires you. Move your teenager’s bed into the corner and remove as much bulky, cumbersome furniture as possible, and set up either a standing desk or a big table for all your crafty projects. It might also be worth investing in a roomy blanket box, so that when your child returns home you can neatly pack away all your projects and it’ll be as if you were never there!
Redecorate as your dream bedroom
We’re probably all guilty of spending Sunday evenings glued to our laptops or iPads, trawling through Pinterest and creating dreamy mood boards of our perfect bedrooms… Right? Thought so! Unfortunately it’s pretty rare that our ‘dream bedroom’ can become our reality, usually because we have to share it with somebody else. But, once your teenager has moved out of home, guess what? You’ve got a brand new space just begging to be turned into your dream room!
Chances are your grown up kid will be more than happy to let you redecorate their room into a spare bedroom, since they’ll only be staying there a few months out of the year anyway. So this is the chance to let you imagination run wild! Want the four-poster princess bed of your childhood dreams? Get it! Dreaming of an all-white minimalist décor with only the smallest splashes of colour? This is your opportunity to make dreams come true. Channel your inner interior designer and be as creative as you can, turning your new spare bedroom into the bedroom of your dreams.
Redecorate as their dream bedroom
Of course, if you felt like being really, really nice you could always redecorate the room as their dream bedroom instead. Now we’re not saying this is what you should do – after all, you’ve probably done enough for them over the years! – but there’s no denying you’ll feel pretty great when you see the smile on their face the first time they return from university.
So, if you know your child has always hated that blue wallpaper or they’ve out grown those My Little Pony printed curtains, then whilst they’re away is the perfect opportunity to redecorate exactly as they’d like. It doesn’t have to be an expensive redecoration – just a few licks of paint can make a big difference, or you can check out Kimberly’s guide to updating a room in less than 10 minutes for some inspiration. But if you fancy making some longer term changes, say goodbye to the old furniture they’ve always hated and invest in some more grown-up pieces from our solid hardwood bedroom range. Built to last, there’ll be no need to recycle in a few years!
Either way, redecorating your teenager’s bedroom whilst they’re away will give you a good project to keep your mind off of missing them until they return. And then when they do and see their brand new shiny bedroom, all the hard work will have been worth it to have them home and happy once again.
So, what do you think? Will you be transforming their room into a creative crafty space or giving yourself the bedroom of your dreams at last? Whatever you’ve got planned, we want to hear from you!