Teen bedroom design ideas, from storage to converting into a guest room


Within every home, there should be room for growth, whether it be to make room for new things, ideas, or people. There’s one room in particular that becomes increasingly important to design with those intentions: a child’s bedroom, especially as they become teens.

“Creating fun, comfortable spaces for children and teens is important to their well-being and development,” said Kaitlynn Johnson, Principal Interior Designer and Director of Interior Design Services at Old Brick Furniture. “It gives them a place to feel safe and secure, while also being able to express their creativity and imagination.”

Instead of keeping the kids’ bedroom design the same throughout their entire young life, these personal spaces can be updated in cost-effective ways to reflect changing interests, and still blend in with the home’s overall aesthetic.

One way to achieve this long term, Johnson said, is to lay the groundwork early by investing in the right pieces of furniture to leave room for growth.

“The most common mistake we see when parents are shopping for a children’s room is that they feel they need child-sized furniture,” said Johnson. “If your child’s room can fit a queen bed, I recommend buying that size from day one plus the coordinating pieces, so everything is the right size for an adult’s room.”

With the right furniture, a bedroom can flow seamlessly into your teenage and college years, and eventually into the guest room, without having to purchase multiple sets over time. There is an opportunity to personalize the space and ensure it meets multiple needs beyond being a place to sleep, but also a fun place to socialize with friends, focus on schoolwork or express creativity through hobbies.

“When dealing with any room in the house, our first question is always to ask what kind of activities are going on in the space,” said Johnson. “As for teens, they tend to accumulate a lot of items that don’t always have a specific home, so it’s important to consider organization in the design.”

Johnson likes to incorporate a bed with storage set into the frame, usually under the mattress, where it serves as an extra place to put things without adding additional furniture to the room.

“These types of beds have the same footprint as a non-storage bed, but provide added functionality. You can even replace a dresser if you’re tight on space, then add something like a small desk area for homework.”

Ashley Brown recently moved into a new home in Milton with her fiance and the blended family of four. Her eldest daughter, Greta, 12, has her own bedroom within the completed basement.

“We knew she would love this space when she was older, but I wanted her to feel extra special and to be included during the design process,” Brown said. “My approach with all of our kids is to ask for a general color palette or theme for the room, and then I pick out the details.” Greta chose a white and cream color palette.

Brown knew that storage would be an important component of Greta’s room to maintain the comfortable and quiet space she needed to be able to relax.


The construction process allowed Brown to create built-in closet organizers. To add more space, she bought storage cubes from the KALLAX series at IKEA. These cubes can be outfitted with baskets or fabric containers to accentuate the look and organize everything from clothes to toys, technology or art supplies.

One of Brown’s goals for Greta’s room was to make her feel mature, which she says fits the 12-year-old’s personality. For all of her kids’ rooms, she chose neutral, primary colors for the walls and went to sources like Amazon to find fun and affordable furnishings.

Other inspirations from Brown included plants around the room and a representation of one of Greta’s favorite bands, Nirvana.

“I went with artificial plants from World Market and Afloral since they looked so much nicer nowadays, and I knew she wouldn’t want to bother with a real plant long-term.” Brown said. She chose to incorporate Nirvana “without being too obvious” by framing lyrics from a song and using a guitar on a stand as a design element on the floor.

Because tastes often change over the course of the teen years, Johnson said it’s important to design with the intent that things can be easily swapped out or updated over time. Brown agreed.

“You can add a lot of personal flair to a space by choosing a bold color or wallpaper pattern for an accent wall,” said Johnson. DIY peel and stick paper can be applied, and can be easily removed when it feels a bit too youthful.

For more pops of character, personality, or subtle color, Brown and Johnson sees an opportunity in swapping out the bedding, pillows, or throw blankets, as well as replacing artwork since prints can be changed while using the same frames.

“It only takes a few touches of creativity to transform an ordinary bedroom into a space that truly reflects a child’s personality,” said Johnson.
And while a teen’s space should feel personal, Johnson and Brown said the space should resemble the look of the whole house in some way, in case the room must be used for guest, or if the door is left open and can be seen from another room or from a hallway.

“I know that allowing your children complete creative control over their rooms is something parents have different opinions about,” Brown said. “But for me, my mom has the final say in styling.”

For example, when her daughter requested LED lighting throughout the room, a popular teen trend widely seen on TikTok, Brown slipped by and found a set of soft, shimmering lighting from West Elm, which gave off a more subtle and sophisticated look.

Brown waited to show Greta the final space as the entire basement had to be finished during the construction process.

“Being able to surprise her made me so happy,” Brown said. “Designing spaces for my kids is definitely my love language.”

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