Interior designers share their easy tips for turning your childhood bedroom into a grown-up space

  • Updating your childhood bedroom to make it more adult doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
  • Insider spoke to design experts Ashley Moore, the founder and principal designer of Moore House Interiors, and Kevin Seitz and Rob van Wyen, the designers at Studio Seitz, about how to transform a childhood bedroom into a space for an adult.
  • The experts recommend getting rid of childhood memorabilia, adding layered bedding, and using statement lighting to make your space look more mature.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More people are moving back into their childhood bedrooms than ever, staying with their parents indefinitely.

But you might not have updated your room since you were a teen, with posters of One Direction on your wall, a bubblegum pink comforter on your bed, and trophies from regional championships still proudly sitting on your dresser, making it feel uncomfortable for your adult self.

Luckily, transforming your space into an adult haven doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.

Your childhood bedroom is likely filled with things you haven’t used in a decade, so the first order of business when redoing the space should be to purge it of anything you don’t need or won’t use regularly.

“If their rooms look anything like mine did as a senior in high school, then I would get rid of it all,” Ashley Moore, the founder and principal designer of Moore House Interiors, jokingly told Insider.

teenager bedroom with posters

It’s important to get rid of immature items.
Karen Moskowitz/Getty Images

“In all seriousness, I think the first thing would be to get rid of anything that didn’t have significant meaning,” she said of purging. “Put away old photos and high-school memorabilia and box up your pictures and awards.”

But Moore also said that it’s OK to mourn the fact that you’ve outgrown your childish belongings.

“I think it’s important to take time to remember that person who lived in that room, and celebrate them,” she said. “Then, pack up the stuff and either throw it out or store it in the closet.

“Create a space that reflects the adult that you’ve grown into,” she said. 

There might be important photos, collages, or awards you want to keep in your space even as an adult, and there are plenty of ways to do that.

“If you’re hesitant to throw those childhood keepsakes away, use shadow boxes and frame them in a tasteful way,” Moore suggested.

Posters from your youth can also look chic in your bedroom depending on how you display them. 

“It’s all about the context it’s living in,” Kevin Seitz and Rob van Wyen, the designers at Studio Seitz, said of posters. “Investing in a frame can transform it from a poster into a piece of art.”

So, upgrade the poster from being displayed with tape to having a place of honor with a frame. 

“If you can only spring for one big update, I recommend starting with your bedding,” Moore said, as the bed is typically the focal point of a bedroom.

Many children opt for brightly colored bedspreads or comforters, and although color isn’t inherently childish, a more neutral tone will elevate your bedroom.

“When creating a more grown-up space, choose bedding that is neutral in theme, and play with an array of colors to keep the space fun and vibrant,” Moore said.

bed pillows striped comforter nightstand

It’s important not to use too much color in a bedroom.
Shutterstock

Seitz and van Wyen agreed, noting that you don’t want to overwhelm the space with too much color. “Balance is everything — sometimes you want neutral bedspreads with more colorful throw pillows or at other times the opposite,” they said.

“Choose what works with your given space. Personality doesn’t have to stop at the bed.”

All of the designers also noted that layering bedding signifies you’re in an adult space, even if your bed is twin-sized.

“Beautiful textured linens can transform any bed, regardless of the size,” Seitz and van Wyen said. “Even bringing textiles to a headboard behind the smallest of beds can bring more sophistication and depth to a seemingly small piece.”

“Layering bedding is the key to giving it a more mature feel,” Moore agreed. “We love using both solids and patterns! A patterned quilt layered with a solid duvet is always our go-to.”

Harsh lighting or lamps that haven’t been thoughtfully chosen for a space won’t do you any favors. You want your bedroom to look cohesive, and lighting can play a big role in that.

“We always like to use layered lighting,” Seitz and van Wyen told Insider.

bedroom light chandelier

Lighting makes a big difference in a space.
Andreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

“Recessed and dimmable lighting, along with floor and pendant lights, allows you to transform your space with your mood or fit with your given task,” they said. “You can dim the recessed lighting and allow the pendant to shine or have a more intimate moment to read a book under your floor light.”

You can also make your lighting more decorative, as Moore pointed out.

“To give a space that adult feel, I recommend adding a chandelier or decorative hanging lights to add a little personality into a room,” Moore said.

The most important thing to remember is that your bedroom should be somewhere you feel comfortable and relaxed, so make design choices that reflect your adult personality. 

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