Sugar & Spice: Transitioning From Little Girl’s Room To Tween (and beyond)!

Some of my favorite projects have been kid’s rooms.  It is so fun to let one’s imagination run wild while creating a fun and whimsical space for a child.  Sadly, the years go by and the stuffed animals are replaced with dolls, then out go the dolls to make room for the Barbies.  Eventually, it’s all about the texting, clothes & make up…..sniff, sniff!

Just as the transition from little girl to tween is a major transition, so is the transition from a little girl’s room to a tween’s room.  I wish I could tell you that it’s as easy as changing out the bedding and drapes; it is not.  This update will likely cost the most of any update you do to your daughter’s room.  However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune.  There a few key updates that will help take your tween through teens and beyond. As with any space, this can also be achieved in stages.

After about 5-7 years most rooms need to be repainted.  When girls are young the colors we choose most are pastels with cool undertones.  Pink and purple are the most common.  Tweens require a bolder palette.  They speak louder, dress bolder and basically do whatever they can to exert their new found autonomy.  Therefore, the colors they lean towards are usually richer, more pigmented and warmer in tone.

Here are a few paint palettes I like:

As much as I love the use of bold colors such as this hot pink and turquoise, I like to be practical about design as well.  I think painting an accent wall, or the ceiling adds the perfect amount of color without having to paint the whole room (the same goes for a bold, fun wallpaper).

When I paint an accent wall a bold color like the ones above, I usually choose a neutral color for the rest of the walls.  I like gray, beige or white 3-4 shades (color value and intensity) lighter than the accent wall.  Some of my favorites are:

(**A huge caveat to viewing paint chips on a computer/phone/tablet is that based on the way your device is calibrated, these colors can and will look different.  I strongly suggest you get the paint chips of the colors you are looking to use, and bring them home to view in the space you will be using them.  I also suggest looking at the colors at night because they will look different under artificial light vs natural light**)

Another change that one should consider is upgrading from a twin bed to a full bed.  This is the bed she will likely have until she goes off to college. Why not make this a bed that she can be comfortable in and grow into?  One money saving tip is to choose a bed frame that has a platform; therefore, you can forego the box spring (which is usually what makes mattress sets so expensive).

Below, I created a bedroom using a hot pink, gray & white palette with pops of turquoise & navy.  I also used mirrored and gold accents to elevate the room from being too childish, into one fit for a girl who will use all of these reflective surfaces to check out her appearance.  The mirrored accents are repeated on the picture frames and night table drawer fronts.  The gold accents are repeated on the etagere, pouf, picture frame and accent bow pillow.  The turquoise on the lamp, mirror and vase add a bright pop of color to this palette.  I try to keep my designs very balanced visually so one side of the room doesn’t feel “heavier” than the other; however, I usually disrupt this balance just a bit by throwing an element or two to cause some visual tension.  I do this by placing a single lamp on the left night table, and by using the “XO” wall decor only on the right side of the mirror.

Tween Girl's Room

Tween Girl’s Room

When it comes time for your daughter to leave “the nest”, you can swap out the bedding, pops of turquoise and the fluffy chair to make this a beautiful guest room.

This post was based on numerous requests for help on this topic (I will be tackling tween boys next).  Please let me know what you would like to read about, and what other design questions or challenges you have. Also, always feel free to message me to inquire about where to shop for these pieces. It is so fun for me to create these posts.  I love being able to help those who struggle with a topic that is as natural and easy to me as breathing.

Thank you for reading!!

XO Laurie