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tenage boys bedroom ideas

Style Inspiration for Decorating a Teenage Boys Room

One of the topics you’ve been asking me to post on for a while is decorating a teenage boys room. So today I finally got around to it. It’s pretty timely, actually, because I’m working with a client at the moment and making over her son’s space.

So the tips you’re going to get in today’s post are the real deal. You know, the things I genuinely consider when I’m putting together a room design for a teen boy. Hopefully by the end of this article you feel a little more confident about working on your own lad’s space.

It’s really all about working through a bit of a process, so let me guide you on where to start first. I promise it’s not as hard as you might think.

PS the dreamy image above is via Bed Bath N Table and you can shop the bedding here.

teenage boys bedroom ideas blue and tan colours

Let’s Start with Function

I always start with asking questions about how the room will function. I know, it’s such a snooze right? You totally want to dive right into all the fun colour and style stuff, but function has to be the starting point.

Take some time to write down what your teenage son is going to use the space for. This sounds tedious and unnecessary but it’s really worth it. What this will do is ensure you don’t go into the store wandering aimlessly for hours. What happens when you don’t go in with a game plan: you buy the wrong things!

Some ways your son will use his room:

  • For sleeping in, obviously (between the hours of 2am and 9am usually!)
  • Watching TV and computer games if he’s lucky enough
  • Doing homeware after school and on weekends (I’d like to think!) 😉
  • Having friends over (or a significant other) to hang out together
  • Getting ready for school of a morning, getting ready to go out

The list above is what dictates your shopping list for the space. I didn’t ask you to write it out for nothing! So now that you know what the room will be used for, you can write out your list of must-haves for the space.

Of course, the shopping list will be vary depending on the size of the room. In the image above, for example, your teenager should be thanking his lucky stars to get a bed and a chill-out lounge zone.

teenage boys bedroom decorating with navy bedding

As a guide, here’s what you might be shopping for:

  • A bed, and I’d recommend a double or queen for longevity’s sake
  • Bedside tables (he might not need two, but two is ideal if you can fit them)
  • A desk and chair to do homework at (or play computer games – let’s face it)
  • A chest of drawers to store foldable clothes in (here’s a list of some good ones)
  • Bedside table lamps, or pendants if you’re feeling generous
  • A pin or mood board above the desk where he can make the room his own
  • If an armchair will fit, grab one so he can play X-Box from it (here’s some affordable options)
  • The walls will need some art, so pop those on the list as well

The above is a start. These are the base pieces you’ll need to get the room functioning right. Below, I’ll walk you through how to choose pieces in the right style and vibe.

Stylish Parent Award: If you want to go a step further, try wallpapering a feature wall behind the bed. A black and white patten is a nice idea. The hero image of this post showcases a brick pattern and I think it’s a really good choice. If you wanna see more easy-to-live-with wallpaper options like that one, see this post.

kids retreat area with navy blue cushions

Now Let’s Establish a Colour Palette

When it comes to decorating a teenage boys rooms, there’s a mood and colour palette I go right toward. The images in this post give you an idea, but I will elaborate for you on the colour palette first.

I tend to veer toward a mid-toned timber for the base pieces of furniture (bed, bedsides, desk etc). The reason for this is because a mid-toned timber is masculine but not too adult. And that’s kinda what a teenage boy is right? He’s past the all-white furniture stage, but he isn’t mature enough to embrace all-black. This isn’t a bachelor pad/man cave, after all.

On top of your mid-toned brown timber furniture, I like to work with four or five accents colours.

Accent Colours to Pair with Mid-Toned Timber:

  • White/grey, on a larger scale like walls and possibly bedding
  • Black, in moments like picture frames, lamps bases, and furniture legs
  • Navy blue, in artworks, accessories, the armchair in the corner etc
  • Mustard, in smaller doses but to balance out the darker tones (like in cushions)

These four colours work really well together and they don’t feel too childlike. Your teenager is looking for a space he can feel mature in, and these tones are also quite timeless.

The images above are actually from a previous season of The Block. They are a good source of inspiration to show you how you can put together a space that feels relaxed, boyish but still clean and contemporary.

Hunting for George Bedding - Dark Blue Bedroom Walls
This classic scene from Hunting for George has ‘Teen Boy’ written all over it.

And when it comes to textures, keep it masculine

I love me a pom pom throw. And I haven’t met a tassel cushion I didn’t like. But keep all of these embellished decor pieces for your main areas or your daughters room.

When you’re decorating a teenage boys room, look to materials like leather, suede, metal, timber and concrete. Keep the softness for zones like the bed, but don’t layer it up with too many bells and whistles. Think clean and uncluttered, but with quality materials.

What Styles to Take your Cues from

When decorating a teenage boys room, I look to two main styles: industrial or mid-century modern. The former would be the one I look to most, because it has a sense of rusticity and earthiness to it that bodes well for a male space.

But definitely also embrace a bit of mid-century in the furniture pieces as well. You can definitely blend the two together, but don’t take either too literally or OTT. It can be something as simple as a brown timber bedside with tapered legs, paired with a metal lamp (or pendant with a mesh shade).

The devil is in the detail here, so focus on finding smaller decor items that speak to industrial or mid-century styles and you can’t go wrong.

adairs navy blue bedding for teenage boys room
Loving the scene from Adairs. Click to Shop.

Let Him help with the Finishing Touches

I always think it’s best to let your teenage boy help decorate his room. I know, he’s probably groaning at the thought. Let’s not call it decorating then. Tell him he can pimp out his room a bit with smaller items.

It’s important that it feels like his space, so I always source base pieces of furniture, lighting, bedding and art for clients with teenage boys – but let them do the finer details themselves.

Why not take him somewhere like Typo, which has comical bits and pieces for desks and bedsides? It’s a good place to let him run wild and it’s super cheap. I always say that every room in a home needs to feel like someone lives in it, so let him personalise (bonus tips for personalising rooms can be found here).

As already mentioned, a cork board or mesh mood board is a good idea for above his desk, but also get some smaller frames for tallboys or walls. Let him fill them up with whatever he wants.

Some shelving might also be a good idea if you have the space. He can fill them up with all of his games and other knick knacks. It’s been so long since I was a teenage boy, so I have no idea what the kids are into these days. But I bet its not Spice Girls posters lol.

decorating a teenage boys room mood board

Decorating a Teenage Boys Room Mood Board

If all of this information is coming at you too hard and fast, fear not. Take a moment to digest it all and then take a look at my mood board above. It contains most of the things you’ll need to decorate your teenage boys room without the stress or too big a spend.

Just click on the retailer links below and you’re on your way:

  1. Stockholm 2017 Rug, $249 – Click to Shop
  2. Grassland Bison Framed Artwork, $229.95 – Click to Shop
  3. Wire Cage Industrial Pendant Light, $49.95 – Click to Shop
  4. Novelty Shark Bookends, $39.95 – Click to Shop
  5. Retro Gamer, $49.95 – Click to Shop
  6. Jasper Bedside, $699 – Click to Shop
  7. Luna Fabric Armchair, $299 – Click to Shop
  8. Wire Clip Noticeboard, $29.99 – Click to Shop
  9. Tall Artificial Palm Tree, $29 – Click to Shop
  10. Novelty Shaped Mug, $12.99 – Click to Shop
  11. Set of 2 Collapsable Storage Cubes, $5 – Click to Shop
  12. Jasper Bed Frame, $1599 – Click to Shop
  13. Malmo Linen Cushion in Honey, $59.99 – Click to Shop
  14. Hazel Quilt Cover Set in Queen, $9 – Click to Shop

decorating ideas for teenage boys bedroom navy bedding from adairs copy

Need more help Decorating a Teenage Boys Room?

Hopefully this post has given you some help and guidance on decorating a teenage boys room. If you have any additional questions don’t hesitate to drop me a line below and I can help you out. As always, happy decorating!


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Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Chris. Thank you for this blog. I’m sorry I never came across it prior to purchasing a few things. Looks like I’ve made some costly mistakes which I’m just going to have to work with now, but great ideas on the decor. Just 2 questions. If you need to put a desk in a small room, how would you do that without things lookin too cluttered and crazy with all the other things, like the chair happening in the room. Can you pull an industrial or mid-century modern look when there are plantation shutters on two walls of the bedroom?

    1. Hey Chrisi, thanks for the kind words. Keep the desk minimal in both size and design. Something with a thin/small profile. And then just keep the desk as clutter-free as possible. As for the chair, again small profile and something that will blend in with the colours of the room. I wouldn’t think regular white plantation shutters would work with industrial or mid-century.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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