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10 Terrific Ideas For Decorating Your Tween’s Room

Last night, Gallup released a poll indicating that spending has fallen more among Generation Xers than any other generation. The majority of Xers, including me, have kids under 18.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile, so given this news, today seemed like a great time!

Decorating Your Tween’s Room

The following are pics of my 11-year-old’s room, which we decorated on an extreme budget. Here’s 10 ways to decorate your Tween’s room. We created her room for around $400! (Not one thing was purchased at full price!)

1. Improvise – We live in a house that’s nearly 100 years old. We have large rooms, but very limited closet space. In fact, Juliette’s room doesn’t have a closet. So, we improvised. I bought this rolling rack, which is designed for sorting laundry, at a garage sale for $5. I bought the curtain at a different garage sale for $2. I was lucky it matched so well! I hung it on a slender rod, which I situated behind the bars. Since we situated it in the corner, you can’t see the mess!

2. Shop Garage Sales – I know garage sales vary from town to town and state to state. I have great luck with them in Oklahoma. Most of the items we purchased for her room were from garage sales including the white desk chair; the laundry rack; the curtain on that rack; and the sewing cabinet she uses for her laptop.

3. Shop Thrift Stores – I bought Juliette’s bed at a thrift store. I paid $20 for it, and another $20 on paint. Of course, it’s not the $550 bed I wanted to buy her from Pottery Barn, but it works! We bought new mattresses though. I couldn’t bear to bring someone else’s mattress into my house! I also bought an old hat/coat rack at a thrift store, which we spray painted black. That holds all her coats and bags, which also helps with the limited closet space.

4. Shop Antique Stores – I didn’t get a picture of it, but I bought Juliette’s dresser for $100 at a local antique store.

5. Use the Space You Have – Closet space is a huge issue for a tween. They never have enough. I utilized a tiny wall behind her door for a rack with three hooks. We use it for coats and hats in addition to the coat/hat rack we bought at the thrift store.

6. Shop Discount Stores – I bought all of Juliette’s green bins – the locker bins and the stackable bins – at Big Lots. I paid $2-5 each for them. They are great for storing her magazines, sweatshirts and jeans.

7. Choose a funky color – We built Juliette’s room around the green rug. Because it was a trendy color in the seasonal color scheme it was available. But, it was also the least popular and not the first to sell-out. Thus, we were able to find many pieces as we went along. Because green is a good foundation for any room, we were able to add other colors to it that she likes.

8. Try – I found the green fringe curtains on Again, because we went with a lesser popular color, we were able to find many items on the cheap. All of the curtains for her room cost me $60 including shipping and handling!

9. Know When to $pend – I bought Juliette’s rug at Carpet Depot in Oklahoma City. They sell remnants very cheap. You can find all kinds of funky designs and build a room around one. I’ve seen carpet with all kinds of designs from zebra stripes to the Solar System. The remnant we bought was from carpet that came out of a bank, so it’s great for high traffic. We paid less than $200 to have it cut to size and bound. That’s still a chunk of change, but it was a great investment!

10. Frame Your Kids’ Artwork – You’ve heard this 100 times. Kid art looks awesome framed!

11. Frame a Photo Series – I bought green picture frame matte boards at Pottery Barn on clearance. I bought five. So, far, I’ve had three winter-themed pictures framed using the mats. We’re building toward five. The photos I chose are of Juliette playing in the snow with her siblings. I love them! I think I paid $5 or so for each enlargement through Walgreens or Snapfish.
12. Try eBay – I can’t believe I’m plugging eBay. I have had such bad, bad luck with eBay lately and I like NEVER even use it. Still, I was able to find Juliette’s bedspread and one pillow sham at the local Kids Pottery Barn. I found the other one I wanted on eBay. It wasn’t much cheaper than full price, but it completed the look I was going for.

13. Buy on Clearance/Keep it Simple! I bought Juliette’s Pottery Barn bedspread on clearance. She’s had it for a couple years now and it’s still in really good shape. She’s getting tired of it though and wants something new. Again, since the curtains and carpet are plain, it will be easy to change out the bedspread and update the look of her room.

14. Let Your Tween Choose – When Juliette was a baby is did her nursery in Peter Rabbit. When she was four, I chose a Hello Kitty theme. When she eight, I did her room in a ballerina theme. Two years ago, when Bridgy was born, we let her choose. Of course, she wanted bulletin boards covered in junk and jewelry racks on the walls. I have a French antique bedroom set I’d love for her to use, but it’s hardly what a young girl would want. I just let her choose. She’s happier for it and it’s a way of respecting her style and preferences without earth-shattering compromise.

15. Keep a Little Bit of the Past – Of course, it doesn’t match, but this is the rocker that was in Juliette’s nursery as a baby. The green afghan was made by one of the Carmelite Sisters at Villa Teresa where Juliette attended school for several years.

What decorating ideas have you come up with to save money?

For great fun visit the Hooked on Houses’s Blog Carnival!

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. le @ thirdontheright

    just lovely matey – you are too clever for words – hugs le

  2. Andi

    I love the idea of the shower curtains, so easy to install and so many colors and patterns to choose from!

  3. jenX

    @YOGI – At this point, they’d have to pay ME to be on their show. After all the on-camera work as a PIO – my TV days are behind me (i hope!)

  4. Yogi♪♪♪

    Very creative and very cool result. Great job Jen!

    Are you going on Design Star next?

  5. Jennifer K

    What a wonderful room. I love the green theme. Green is one of my favorite colors. And you’re right; kids’ art looks great framed.

    You’ve really inspired me to get cracking on doing some decorating at my abode. It needs some updating.

  6. jenX

    @LANCE – I didn’t know you were an engineer!!! Make it three!!

    @JU!!! Hi, Ju! You read my post!! Sneaky! xoxo, mommy

    @BALONEY – That is such a cool idea. I might have to do do that!!! I’ved heard of putting down canvass and letting kids paint with their feet. Can you imagine the mess? Ha!

    @ZOE – Thanks, Zoe!!

  7. Anonymous

    A very cool post! Like one of those shows I enjoy watching, but with a better host!

  8. jenX

    @PEGGY – LOL! Let’s ask Naomi if she has a track on that. Ha! Have fun decorating your spare room!

    @STEFUNKC – Sometimes I wonder how Hobby Lobby can afford to sell stuff so cheap. I love that place!!!

  9. Stefunkc

    Such a cute room! I re-did the girls by shopping the Hobby Lobby outlet and of course Hobby Lobby 50% off. I only paid full price for the bed spreads. Everything else was a steal!

  10. Baloney

    Too cute. Green is my favorite color so I’m especially fond of her room!
    Having boys is just not as exciting. Decorating their rooms is minimal.
    One thing I did for them was to buy a canvase at Hobby Lobby and let them paint however they wanted. I hung them in the hallway between their 2 rooms. REALLY cheap and REALLY fun.

  11. Anonymous

    awesome post mom!=)

  12. miruspeg

    Jen I hope you are my mother in another lifetime!!

    Your attention to detail in this post is magic. Love the green theme in Juliette’s room.

    Appreciate you passing on your knowledge on decorating a room on a budget.

    What a fun post and I will remember your tips as I am redecorating my spare room at the moment.

    Blessing always

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