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Designing a Teenage Bedroom + Bathroom
The design of Jivan’s bedroom was a fun, albeit challenging, design exercise. Teenagers have strong opinions — particularly my son’s with his hyper-specific requirements (wonder where he gets that from?!) His laundry list of prerequisites included all black, gray was a happy medium, modern, a tv, a comfy place for friend to hang out, a queen bed, cubbies to display his sneaker collection, an extra bed for sleepover but NOT a kiddie bunk bed. And from there this bedroom was born.
As always my design process begin’s with a singular image that both inspired and shaped the direction of the design. I was immediately smitten with this Scandinavian raw plywood platform bed I found on Pinterest and knew that this simply material would offer both the modernist Jivan was after and be the perfect counterpoint (and relief) to the blackness he desired.
I also knew Jivan would need a desk throughout high school so I designed an entire wrap around built in that would connect the desk, the sneaker cubbies (which also became a radiator enclosure, the queen platform bed with a twin trundle below, and then turn onto yet another wall to house floor to ceiling closets.
My favorite design solution that unified the space is a series of padded felted wall panels behind Jivan’s bed. Not only injecting a more tailored look, the padding offers much needed cozy comfort for the gaggle of teenage boys that gather on Friday nights to play video games.
The one bit of advise I will share is to allow kids of any age to take ownership of their space by engaging them in design process. By simply asking them the color they want their private space to be, or the artwork that clads the walls, you allow their room is an expression of their personal interests. The photograph hanging in Jivan’s room is something he photographed himself thatI blew up and framed, giving him connectivity to his private space while quietly detailing my pride in him.
Similar to how I used inexpensive plywood for the millworker in Jivan’s bedroom, I used square matte subway tiles, a Home Depot score, in Jivan’s bathroom. I am always thinking about how could I use simple materials in clever ways to stretch my dollars. The basic off-the-shelf 4×4-inch tile received contrasting black grout to give it a teen-approved graphic edge. The round mirror (a Target find) softens up the hard edges.