Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The perfect pre-teen room!

Yorkshire Post - 18th August


Too old for Thomas the Tank Engine yet not quite ready for teenage love of black.  So how do you create the perfect room for a pre-teen?  Interior Designer Jamie Hempsall tells us how.

When it comes to designing a room for pre-teens, especially boys, you have to be really careful to choose a theme that is not too grown up, but that they will not be embarrassed by within a couple of years.

As the excess of bulky, brightly coloured toys get put aside in favour of X-box and board games, this age range need a room that is relatively smart and a little more mature, but that also reflects their childhood interests.

Generally, I would advise if you are designing for pre-teens to avoid patterned character or theme papers (as these can date very quickly), opt for a subtle wall colour (blue is fine, but avoid shades that are cold, bland or overpowering) and then dress the room with wall-hangings, pictures and accessories. In this way you create a theme that can be changed with relative ease, but if done correctly will last quite a few years.

This room in a house we recently completed was designed for two brothers who fitted the pre-teen category perfectly. A flag theme based around the Stars & Stripes indulged their passion for all things Stateside and allowed the use of blue as a dominant, but not dominating colour though out the room.

The walls were painted in Zoffany La Seine, a subtle blue that is relatively light, but still has plenty of body. This was matched with a plain carpet, some terrific oak bedroom furniture from Aspace, and plain duvet covers and pillow cases. Bunk beds are terrific space savers (providing room for those sharing or a sleepover treat) and always seem to be popular with children of pretty much any age.

The blinds and pelmets were covered in Calvi Lacquer Red from Romo, a simple stripe which hints at the American flag. I opted for chain operated blinds, rather than curtains as they allow the more independent young adult to be responsible for opening their window covering without the need to dress them neatly. I find curtains also tend to be more at risk of being damaged by being dragged open from those operating them at a lower height than most adults.

This simple colour palette, furniture and blinds provided a basic bedroom design that could be adapted as tastes develop without any further major expense.

Flags were introduced in cushions and bed throws, a star covered blue rug and the great square Stars & Stripes trunk from Halo. The walls were dressed with USA themed art and a draped “antique” American flag (actually a brand new cotton flag that was left in cold tea for a couple of days) to provided a final, strong focal point.

Jamie Hempsall is a member of the British Institute of Interior Design and one of the region’s leading designers. Contact him on 0800 0321 180 or visit his website www.jamiehempsall.com.

1 comment:

  1. i have American flag carpet . its prefect for this place