Parents of teens will agree that broaching the ‘bedroom’ topic is no easy feat – it’s hard enough to get them to keep it tidy, let alone embark on a complete design overhaul. 

Thankfully, interior stylist Julia Green is here to help. Knowing how to blend personal style and functionality, Julia is here to help you create a room that ticks all the boxes.

“Colour is your first step,” Julia says. “It’s the quickest and easiest way to breathe life into a room and will give you the foundation for a space your teen will love.”

The original bedroom was functional but uninspiring, with a green feature wall and very little colour elsewhere. 

“I loved the room’s architectural features and wanted to highlight them with paint,” Julia says. “I also wanted to ramp up the fun-factor with some surprise colour hits and introduce texture and softness for a cosy, welcoming feel.”

Making use of Dulux’s striking Identity palette – one of four palettes in the 2019 Dulux Colour Forecast – Julia used the bold, saturated brights and clashing patterns for inspiration. The result was confidence and fun, which is perfect for any teen space. 

“My starting point was a playful, modern artwork in a riot of blue, orange, yellow and black,” she says. “I hung it above the desk to create a focal point in the room and used the colours to inform the rest of the scheme.

“As this is a bedroom and needs to work for quiet times too, I opted for a soft shade for the feature wall – Dulux Wash&Wear in Apricot Fool – and kept the adjoining walls and trims as is for contrast.” 

Then, it was time to get to work introducing the louder brights through smaller accents in the bedding, accessories and furniture.

The best part? You can do all of this without blowing the budget.

“Keep the budget in check by upcycling existing pieces where you can – it only takes a few minutes to repaint old furniture and accessories in a fresh colour to give them a whole new look,” says Julia. 

Julia transformed the plain timber desk with Dulux Aquanamel in Italian Clay and the drawer in Red Clown, a section of the surfboard with Dulux Wash&Wear in Mitchell Blue, and the top of the bedside table with Dulux Aquanamel in Mondrian Blue.

Another budget-friendly quick fix? Updating the bedding.

“The bed is the centerpiece in a bedroom, so it was important to get it right,” Julia says. “I added funky, retro-patterned bedding and a dramatic denim bedhead to frame the bed.

“Mismatched bedding is all the rage right now – and works brilliantly with this playful look – so I laid the bed with sheets in contrasting colours and piled it high with cushions in different colours, shapes and textures. This also gives it a lounge-like feel, providing a spot for friends to sit when they come over.”

So, how can you apply Julia’s tips and tricks to your own project? She says that having your teen’s involvement from the very beginning is key.

“Teens have strong ideas about colour and trends and you’ll want their new room to be a space they’ll love,” says Julia. “And be prepared to try something new – a child’s room, which is separated from the main living areas of the home, is the perfect spot to be a little adventurous with colour.”

Julia’s Styling Tips:

  • Use the colours in an artwork as inspiration for your palette. And remember, statement bedding, or a rug can act as artwork in a bedroom too. 
  • For a fashionable, tonal effect, use the main wall colour in a different strength on one two or three other elements in the room, such as a desk chair, shelves or a bedside table. 
  • If you’re cautious about using a bold colour on the wall, paint a smaller patch first and live with it for a few days. If you change your mind, you can simply paint over it and choose something more low-key. 
  • A teen’s room needs to multitask – include a comfortable bed, sturdy desk and chair for study, somewhere to relax with friends and adequate storage. 
  • Give the bed an on-trend ‘undone’ look; layer it with a duvet, sheets and pillow slips from different sets, and finish off with a medley of comfy cushions in a variety of colours and fabrics. 
  • Add a floor rug that to anchor the scheme and provide softness underfoot. Dimensions are key; it should be big enough to connect with one or two pieces of furniture in the room, and not so small that it gets lost in the space. Look for a style that picks up on the key colours in the scheme. 
  • Include greenery; a beautiful trailing plant or two on the desk or shelves will bring nature into the room and freshen the air. 





haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.