Do you have a teen around the home and would like to encourage them to feel comfortable in their own home? That’s a daunting task when this is the age of privacy. A teen may not outwardly ask for it… or they might openly discuss the need for it. Either way, it’s rare to meet a teen who doesn’t want a little privacy, or even need it.
Sure, they have their bedroom. However, unless the room is huge, the bed and dressers probably take up most of the space, leaving very little room to spread out…or, entertain. Let’s face it; teens love to be with their friends. And personally, I would rather have my child want to be at home once in awhile, rather than always going to their friends.
So, I think it’s important to provide a space where they can feel comfortable and enjoy having a couple friends over…even if that means more ‘traffic’ in your home. I also value my privacy, but I’m willing to sacrifice a little, just to make sure my child has a place that is fun…and safe, where they can be themselves and spend time with their friends, all at the same time.
Tip #1 -Finding Available Space
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is to find some available space. This might the most difficult part of this process. Not too many homes have an empty room, just sitting there collecting dust. Most rooms in households are at least used for storage.
However, take a look at what you are storing. Is it really necessary? Or, perhaps it could be stored in a rented storage unit. The rates are reasonable, especially when you consider it could provide a safe ‘getaway’ for your teen.
Maybe it’s a spare bedroom, the basement, or even the attic. Now, the attic might require a bit more work, because it would most likely need duct work and dry wall put up. However, after a little elbow grease, it would be worth bringing such joy to your child.
Tip #2 – Prepping the Room
Now that you have the room picked out, you will need to prep it. Removing everything in it and finding a new place for the ‘stuff’, might be your biggest challenge. However, there will be more.
Make sure that the room has heat and air conditioning, so it is a comfortable temperature around the year. If it’s not, it won’t be used.
Once you have that completed, then you will need to make sure the walls are up and then painted. The flooring, I would recommend going with a carpet, because teens love to lie on the floor when watching television. If you prefer a hard surface, or one is already there, a throw rug and bean bag chairs might work in place of the carpet.
Tip #3 – Making the Room Special
This is the fun part! Making the room unique and interesting is vital in keeping a teen’s interest. Of course, it will depend on their personalities and interests as to what you should put in there. However, no matter which theme you go with, there are basics that I recommend you put in the room, such as a TV, games, music, and a non-alcoholic beverage and snack center.
To customize it to your child’s interest, here are just a few ideas:
- For the Retro Teen – It seems as though many teens are interested in retro styling these days, and I don’t blame them. We had a lot of fun back then, right? There are many things you can do for this type of room including old LP’s on the wall, a jukebox, beads hanging in the doorway, a disco ball, and a retro Coke machine for the beverage center.
- For the Jock Teen – Sports memorabilia is an obvious choice for this theme, with posters of their favorite players and sports, sporting equipment hung on the walls as art, and a snack and beverage center similar to what they would find at a sporting event.
- For the Movie Buff Teen – Turn this room into a home theater, complete with surround sound, projector, and theater seating. For the décor, hang photos of their favorite stars and movies on the wall, as well as the collectibles. And, of course, you can’t have a home theater without a concession stand…snack bar and theater-style popcorn machine.
If done right, and you respect their privacy, you will be providing a space that they are proud of, and will bring friends home…rather than going out all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that they never go out, or you try to keep them home all the time…just a place to call ‘their own’ and stay safe in their home once in awhile.
Sophie Evans is a freelance writer, who often writes on topics that she draw inspiration from on the Internet. In fact, for her latest series of articles it stems from when she visited www.menshideaway.com. Sophie resides in Balboa Beach, California, with her husband Rick and their son and daughter. As a self-confessed addict to Starbucks, Sophie can be found there on her laptop, researching her future projects. She and her family are also fans of Disneyland.