Decorating Your Bedroom Like the Grown-Up You Almost Are

How about this economy, folks? College graduates moving home with their parents. Married couples moving in with roommates. Whether you’re living in the room that saw your frightening adolescence, or you’re sharing an apartment with frightening adolescents, you’re probably hoping to instill your room with the feeling of adulthood that the rest of your life may lack. Here are some guidelines on decorating your bedroom.

Clean look

Clutter comes in two related forms: physical and visual. Clear out everything you don’t use or need. Your Barbie doll collection may be vintage, but it doesn’t scream “I pay attention to my credit score.” Then see what’s cluttering your visual space. Too many posters? Too many colors? Too many self-portraits? Eliminate this kind of visual disorganization as much as possible.

Quality materials

Unless you’re living in the 70s (hint: you’re not), rayon has no place in your bedroom. Ditto to Styrofoam, for whatever reason it’s there. Appearing an adult means appearing to afford quality materials in your furniture and décor. After all, you shouldn’t be growing out of it anytime soon. Cotton, wood, leather—you get the gist. If you can’t afford nice stuff, buy it used! Or go for a very modern, “spare” look.

Organized walls

Teenagers stick things on their walls whenever they feel like it, wherever it fits, with whatever adhesive is on hand. Adults choose their art carefully, hang it properly, and consider its interaction with other pieces on the wall. Buy a level. Do some planning. Hang accordingly. And avoid art that looks like it would work in a dentist’s waiting room.

Good paint job, preferably neutral

If you can hold a job (regardless of if you can find a job—that’s a whole different story these days), you should be able to paint in a straight line. No wandering colors on the ceiling or baseboards; if they’re there, it’s time for a touch-up. And consider a neutral color. I know an awesome person whose bedroom at home is still neon green. But I wouldn’t recommend it here.

Coordinated colors

Not everything in your room has to match perfectly, but neither should it clash. This is a room where you’ll spend a lot of time; don’t you want it to have some semblance of coordination? If not, fine, but I’m not sure why you’re reading this blog post.

Real storage

The days of wading through jeans are over. Your room should look like an adult lives there, not just designed it. Make enough storage space, and make it classy—drawers, cabinets, trunks, and shelves, not cardboard boxes and hampers.

A decent bedframe/headboard

Nothing says permanence and stability like a bedframe that’s not on wheels. Heck, you can even make a headboard yourself. No excuses.

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