Flick through the real estate pages of your local newspaper and you will notice that more and more, real estate agencies are marketing properties with a teenager’s retreat on top of existing bedrooms. Teenager’s retreats are increasingly becoming a staple to the family home, and well worth considering for your own property.
Of course, much of the design for your teenager’s retreat will come down to their personal taste, the structural design of your property, and your budget. However, here are ten tips for you to consider.
1. It needs to be a retreat
One common way of creating a teenager’s retreat is to convert an existing room, lounge area, or garage, thereby avoiding any structural work. The second option is extensions, or perhaps a small cabin completely separate from the house in the backyard, space permitting. Regardless, it needs to be noticeably separate from the rest of the house – a place for your teenager to literally retreat away.
2. If possible, it should be bigger than a room
The retreat should generally be a self-sufficient place, with a kitchenette and bathroom as will be explained further below. As well as being a place away from the family, the concept of a teenager’s retreat is to give them a taster of living and caring for themselves, hence the need for a space larger than a bedroom.
3. It should contain something to lounge on
We all know that teenagers have a propensity to recline onto the bed, sofa, or anything remotely soft and sit there for hours on end. To prevent your teenager, and his/her friends from using the bed for this function, it is well worth putting in some armchairs, beanbags, or a coffee table in the retreat.
4. It should have some entertainment options
Once seated, your teenager and his/her friends will need something to entertain them. Budget permitting, a television and DVD player would be your best bet. If not, a computer and/or laptop will most certainly suffice, as everything increasingly moves online.
5. If possible, it should have a kitchenette
Once absorbed into the latest episode of their favourite TV drama, your teenager will likely want something to nibble on. Size depending, you may like to consider placing a small fridge, microwave, cupboard, and sink in your teenager’s retreat. This also allows them to have more autonomy with their food and drink consumption. Everything in moderation of course.
6. It should be a space with power points
This is an important and often-neglected aspect to creating a teenager’s retreat. These days, teenagers will need to charge, often on a nightly basis, their phone, iPod, and laptop, not to mention the TV, mini fridge, and microwave that will already need to be plugged in to the power point. A quick check now could ensure a lot less trouble later on!
7. If possible, it should have a bathroom
Even if it just contains a toilet and small basin, a bathroom could be well worth the investment. Of course, this is budget permitting – if you’re looking for new houses for sale or similar, ask if you can invest in building a bathroom in the property. It’s a pricey investment, but think of it this way: if it is your teenager’s own toilet, they should be the one doing the cleaning anyway!
8. It should have a space to study
Once the TV, fridge, and bathroom are sorted, your teenager may think they are ready to move in. However, given that the retreat is also their bedroom and by default, study room, it should also contain a desk, chair, and bookcase. Ideally, the desk will be wide enough for them to work on and face away from the television and fridge to minimise distractions.
9. It should have spaces for organisation
Spaces for organisation means anything from a clothesbasket for dirty laundry to a rubbish bin or a wall planner. The first two are rudimentary; the third is a helpful suggestion, particularly if your teenager is the type that dislikes any form of organisation and planning. The more individualised the wall planner looks, the more likely they are to actually make use of it!
10. It should be up to them
Ultimately, your teenager will be the one spending most of their time in the retreat…so ask them! Your teenager will appreciate being consulted on the type of flooring, wall colour, curtains, decorations, and so forth. If they’re lacking in inspiration, take them to a display centre and see what you come back with.
Grace Leung is a freelance writer who is interested in all things interior design and real estate. She loves browsing display centres and houses for sale