Two Ways to Decorate a Tween Bedroom

Interior designer Lori Andrews takes us through the ins and outs of designing for two stylish tween sisters.

Photography by Lori Andrews


When interior designer Lori Andrews was hired to design the bedrooms of two "tween" sisters, she knew she had to design them in away that allowed for a bit of evolution. By including standout pieces that would take them well into adulthood, Andrews was able to create creative and beautiful spaces that showcased the sisters' distinct personalities and interests while providing room for growth in their tastes and styles.

“When designing a tween room, I recommend thinking much more long term and making smart, quality purchases that can last well into adulthood,” says Andrews. “It is a much more environmental way to think about it, as the quality items won’t actually need replacing.”

Andrews repainted some pieces to suit each room's colour palette, while other vintage pieces were customized by local artists. Andrews says that splashes of colour with neutral walls will keep things from getting overwhelming. She adds that going with bold patterns for drapery or bedding is an inexpensive way to keep things fun and cheerful without going overboard. Andrews also recommends quality wool area rugs as they are easily cleaned and comfortable in children’s spaces that have hard surface floors. 

Room 1

1970s-Inspired Feminine Boho 

After a few consultations with the client's mother, Andrews decided on a boho look for this bedroom. Both rooms were to be redesigned and completed as a surprise while the sisters were away over the summer holidays.

photograph by Lori Andrews

Andrews’ young client loves pink and aqua, which informed the colour palette for the room. The vintage dresser was repainted in a soft pink that adds character to the space without being too saccharine. 



The bright and colourful boho vibe was created simply with custom drapery, a textured wool rug from Urban Outfitters and a vintage 1970s peacock chair. “I started by choosing the fabric for the window coverings.  I wanted to do floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall drapery for the rooms as the sun can pour in very bright in the mornings with the east facing rooms,” says Andrews. 



A closer look at the arrow fabric Andrews sourced from “Don't be afraid to go with bold patterns on the drapery or window coverings,” she says. They are fully lined, cleanable and will last for many years.



“My client is a tidy girl with a penchant for books and art-making, so I wanted to create a space that would allow her to enjoy that,” says Andrews of the desk area. “Spending a bit more on the desk means that she will likely be able to keep it even as she moves on and out of the house later.” The Bend Goods copper arrow is from The UnCommons in Inglewood. 



The arrow print tapestry was found at Urban Outfitters and the aqua jewel wallpaper is from Chasing Paper



The mint green Ferm Living storage bin from Kit Interior Objects doubles as a bedside table. “We kept the existing bed and draped it with a new sheepskin, new stripey sheets and cute pillows,” says Andrews. “My number-one priority while designing these rooms was longevity. I wanted the decor to grow with the girls as they get older. Rather than designing on the cheap, we spent a bit more so that the items will last for years.”


Room 2

Put a Bird On It



“This young girl loves animals,” says Andrews. “In addition to her birds, she also adores the family dog and her hamster. I made sure to incorporate elements of her favourite animals throughout the whole room.” The compartmentalized storage shelf above the nightstand is from The UnCommons



“The drapery fabric from was a super easy choice.  The simple graphic black-and-white print of owls will easily transition into an adult space as she grows,” says Andrews.  



The wooden desk from West Elm keeps things tidy and out of sight when the tween isn’t working on homework or doing crafts. The chair was handed painted by local musician and artist Wayne Immonen in a fun folk-art style.  



The bright yellow sticker wall feature (from Chasing Paper) creates the perfect backdrop to the girl’s pet budgies, but are also removable for when she outgrows them. “The room is sophisticated but bright and fun so I think it will really grow with my young client,” says Andrews. 



The colourful birds feel at home in the bright and somewhat mid-century room. 


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