That Lightning McQueen bed might have been pretty rad when your kid was 8-years-old, but now it is straight up embarrassing.

As kids grow and change, so do their tastes.

Around age 13, when kids enter adolescence,  you’ll likely hear requests for decoration and furniture changes.

“The room that was once beautiful, functional, and met their needs is unlikely to continue to do so,” says Cristina Miguelez, content manager at, a remodeling website.

To turn a kid’s room into a teen’s room, you might opt for an extreme makeover and redo the whole space at one time. Or you may make small, incremental changes. Regardless of your approach, the following guidelines will lead to a satisfying result for both you and your teen.

1. Do the Project Together.

Start by decluttering the space with your teen. Look through old toys and books, and decide what to keep in memory boxes. Then donate or toss the rest.

As you discuss a new arrangement, keep in mind your teen’s tastes and preferences.

“Giving them final say on things like wall color and bed or desk position can go a long way toward buy-in for the design,” says Miguelez.

2. Switch Up the Colors.

“One of the best things you can do to transition a kid’s room into a teen’s room is paint the walls,” says John Linden, an interior and furniture designer in Los Angeles. “Trade in the old pink or baby blue for a new, trendier color.”

Pick out paint samples and test a small spot to see if the color is a good fit. If you keep the walls a neutral white, beige, or soft gray, consider adding accents with bold-colored pillowsartrugs, or lamps.

3. Get the Right Furniture.

Evaluate your teen’s current bed to see if it is the right size. If your teen is growing, it might be time for a larger bed. Also check the dresser and shelves to determine if they will still work for your child’s wardrobe and decorations.

“Every teen room needs a desk,” adds Linden. “Not a kid’s coloring desk, but a real work space. It helps to get them in the mindset of having slightly more responsibility.”

4. Include Ways to Relax.

If your child loves to read, add a couch or lounge chair to create a comfortable atmosphere.

Find ways to incorporate teen-friendly tech features as well. When redoing her teenage daughter’s room, Jean Paldan put in a projector that can be controlled with an iPad or phone. Her daughter can use it to watch Netflix and YouTube.

“The screen is huge and on the wall opposite her bed,” says Paldan, who is the founder of Rare Form New Media. “We took out the baby stuff, added in a bunch of bean bag chairs and pillows, and now she has a perfect chill pad for her and her friends to come and watch movies.”

5. Add Splashes of Personality.

Your child might want to hang string lights from the ceiling or wrap them around a mirrorPhotos of your child as a baby, toddler, and young child can be arranged on a shelf, or a photo display hung to depict your teen’s current favorite items.

“Let them pick out some posters, calendars, and organizers to hang around the desk,” says Linden.

6. Make Storage Easy.

Store items that are rarely used in a garage or storage space. Place seasonal gear such as jackets and gloves in bins under the bed.

“Closet organizers are also a big help,” says Miguelez. Use them to keep your teen’s sport uniforms, party clothes and accessories in easy-to-reach spots.

Rachel Hartman
Rachel Hartman is a freelance writer specializing in small business, personal finance, and lifestyle topics. More information on her writing and work can be found at