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Designing A Living Space For Tweens

Designing Tweens Living Spaces

Commonly defined as children between the ages of 9 and 13, today's "tweens" are a rapidly growing and influential market of the population. Large discount stores are particularly adept at capturing this market's attention, as their products are both contemporary and affordable. Both boys and girls enjoy up-to-the-minute products, particularly in today's hottest color combinations. As the category of this age group falls between young children and teenagers, effective designs should be age appropriate; highlighting colors as well as motifs that grow with the aging child. The application of paint is a wonderfully creative and budget friendly way to incorporate fashion and function within a tweens living space.

As tweens are endlessly searching for ways to show their self expression, involving them in a redecorating project is a great opportunity to demonstrate their very definite opinions about their living areas. Ask your tween to check out magazines for cool ideas that implement both aesthetics and practicality within their space. Particularly at this age, children want to be daring and different. Consider allowing your tween to deviate from the rest of your home's decor by applying today's "hot" deeper jewel tones or dark earthy shades, rather than insisting on white or neutrals. (Bold, deep colors can effectively be accented with cream colored trims, allowing the eye a visual resting place and creating powerfully dynamic looks.)

Adding colorful painted furnishings and decorative accessories is an especially quick and easy way to transform unfinished furnishings, hand me down/mismatched pieces and flea market finds. Spray paint is available in an endless array of contemporary colors, and allows for quick coverage and a speedy completion of several projects. Focus on creating an environment that is tailored to study and relaxing using a myriad of furnishing choices, most of which can easily be customized with paint. Wall systems represent ideal entertainment centers or study areas for rapidly growing tweens. These units provide a variety of storage options and are often available in several configurations to accomodate specific room sizes and layouts. Typical accessories include side cabinets, hutches, cubbies and drawers. Explore ways of adding paint and color to unexpected places within the wall system, such as the interior wall of a cabinet walls or the fronts of cubby trim. Festively painted bookracks keep books and other items clearly displayed and at easy reach. Extra deep bookcases hold baskets that can house magazines, videotapes, cassettes, books and other belongings. Baskets, boxes and storage bins can be painted in lively colors and used to store items attractively within the wall system.

Explore the possibility of creating a gallery wall, to add a distinctively personal touch to the tween space. Let your tween choose the theme (ie. artwork, family vacations, a favorite sport or hobby, etc..), then create a focal point wall by mixing a variety of frames that depict the desired theme. Visually tie mismatched frame styles, shapes and colors together by applying one common paint color or special effect paint technique to all frames. Selecting a hue that vividly contrasts with the wall covering creates a powerfully dramatic look, whereas establishing an identical frame and wall covering color creates an elegant, monochromatic appearance. The fun part of this project is that it is an ongoing process that evolves with the passing of time. Frames can be embellished with handpainted freehand designs or stenciled motifs for an especially unique presentation.

With the beginning of the school year upon us, treat your tween to fresh ideas for their living space that are simply accomplished with a minor commitment of time, imagination and paint! Involving your tween in a project invovling their living space will help to create a fashionable and functional area where they will look forward to spending time in the coming years.

Brought to us by:

Gail McCauley and

PQI "Do It Yourself" Articles

Used with permission

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