Guide to our tween bedroom makeover on a budget

Guide to our tween bedroom makeover on a budget

Some rearranging of rooms in our home meant my tween got a different bedroom. One with white walls and an older quilt, both of which were devoid of personality. It screamed for a makeover, personality or at least a modicum of color. We commenced operation tween girl bedroom makeover that was done in one weekend and shopping only at Target and the paint store.

Here’s the before and after:

What we did:

* First, I had my daughter select a new comforter as a starting piece and we used that as our inspiration for everything else, from curtains to a little throw rug. Target’s coordinating pieces are useful for keeping pieces in the same color family.

* Next, she selected a paint color that coordinated with the bedding and slapped it up on the walls. Yes, my tween picked it out. She has a better eye than I do. More on paint color below.

* Then, we shopped the sales at Target for wall decor, lamps, and picture frames. She learned the value of looking for items on sale as a way of stretching the budget.

We got 5 of the frames for $2.98, plus an additional 10% off thanks to the Target Cartwheel app and used them images we printed at home to make a snazzy photo wall for under $15. Not too shabby.  Pretty much everything was on sale, including the comforter, lamps, curtains

* We used existing furniture and Eiffel Towers but added some extra inspiration. I’m a writer, I think words are powerful, and this was a message both my tween and I really liked.


* Created a reading nook, because I think every kid, and adult, needs a space where they can get lost in a great book. We tossed a blanket over a papasan chair and found the fun light at, of course, Target.

photo 4

* Updated an 80’s ceiling fan by removing the glass tulips over the light bulbs and putting a white shade over all three. Although it wasn’t quite the drum shade I envisioned, the update was enough to make my tween feel better about the fixture. Sometimes good enough is exactly that. I tried some turquoise duct tape on the blades, but it just didn’t work, so they will stay as is for now. This was a weekend project, and time just didn’t permit the project of removing the fan and painting the blades.


* Added even more accessories. This was a chance to talk about the great William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Tween love stuff and while my girl finds many things beautiful, this was a way to help keep things under control and less cluttered, for now, anyway. This basket works for stashing blankets and a few stuffed animals that she may have outgrown but not quite be ready to part with just yet.


Also, you know your tween watches HGTV when she says that it adds some texture to the room and that she’s pleased with the tassels on the curtain sheers for the same reason.


I wanted to create a room that could grow with my girl and I think we achieved that, and stayed on a tight budget.

I read a few pieces that said to stick with neutral wall color because tweens and teens are fickle. That’s true, but what’s also true is that the white walls and white bed were making me feel like I was in a Victorian hospital and that freaked me out.

We opted to go with bold bedding and a lighter wall shade that will coordinate with other colors if she decides that she absolutely had to change things up (with the caveat that doing so would be on her dime, not mine. Given her meager allowance, she was clear that she had better pick something she could live with for a long while to come.

To accommodate changing tastes, everything on the walls is easily removable. The “Never Stop Exploring” is a sticker. The butterflies above the bed are just on adhesive, and I attached the flower canvases to the wall using the velcro command strips. No serious commitment required.


We declared operation tween bedroom makeover a success!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: “Designer Dad” Stephen Saint-Onge advises on creating tween-friendly spaces

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Filed under: Home Life

Tags: bedroom, makeover

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