OK, so here’s the thing: You guys know me as a digital lifestyle girl, and this blog is all about how to make sense of our evolving digital lives. But lately I’ve been asking myself— why not fold in even more parts of myself? Parts that people don’t know about, but are itching to come out and say “hi!”
So I’m letting some of them out, starting with my love of interior design and “styling” every environment I can get my hands on. I dipped my toe by putting together a guest room makeover, which has a high tech twist (of course!), and I think the results were splendid.
Here is my second venture: My son’s room. And I have been clawing at the walls for weeks, waiting to show it to you! The stakes were higher here: His room was the least attended to of all of ours over the years— much of his “baby” furniture was still hanging around, and he had very clearly outgrown his double bed. Plus, he’s got some unique needs for table space, as you’ll see below, and the mammoth clunky desk he had prior to this served only to collect junk and wasn’t very functional. Plus we were dealing with lots of clutter, which I’m sure you’re no stranger to, whether you’ve got a teenage boy or not.
So here ya go! Have a look at our high tech teen room, and I hope there’s an idea or two that you might want to adopt in your home.
This whole remodel idea started because the kid went and outgrew his old mattress. Kids do that. So we needed to start with a mattress and I was lucky to team up with Saatva on finding the right one. I contemplated all kinds of mattresses— memory foam and traditional— and we bounced around on a bunch, but in the end we settled on a traditional coil mattress made from all organic cotton materials. This mattress feels luxurious-y at a price that’s not crazy for a teenager. Because they sell direct-to-consumer they don’t charge an obnoxious amount of money for their product (and don’t have pushy sales people), and it’s crafted with bio-friendly materials so I can feel good about his safety and the planet. I spoke for quite a while with their sales representative, who helped me choose a comfort level that was right for my growing teenager, and they delivered it right to the bed, unwrapped it and set it up.
Naturally, the bed came next. I have had my eye on this Blu Dot bed for, I don’t know… forever— and I was thrilled to find out that Wayfair carried it, and a few other key pieces in this room, and that they wanted to partner up on this post. I dare you to think of something they don’t carry in the home decor space— they’ve got everything!
Oh hai there!
Okay, next: The desk wall. The desks in this room serve different purposes: One is for sitting and doing homework, and one is for standing and DJing. So I found these great legs on Etsy that come in different heights, and put them together with some butcher block desk tops from IKEA. They’re simple, functional, and give off a bit of an industrial vibe, while still feeling warm. A photograph of Deadmau5, one of his idols, presides over his rig. The laptop stand is great for either desk— it puts all his songs at eye level while he’s DJing, and helps combat slouching and eye strain when it’s on his homework desk.
Any kid’s room has tons of cords and cables for charging various devices and things, but the DJ equipment puts the cord chaos over the top. I wanted to come up with a solution to keep things tidy under-desk, so I decided to mount a power bar under each desk with some adhesive velcro. This cleaned things up nicely: The only cord that dangles is the white cord down to the outlet, and I used some zip ties to bunch the other cords up high so they weren’t visible.
When we descended on his room for the shoot, there were dirty clothes everywhere. We decided to leave some of them for the shoot, to publicly shame him. Just kidding (sort of) but we did leave it because otherwise it just seemed unrecognizable as a teenage boys room! I am just as obsessed with this chair as I am with the bed (they’re both Blu Dot from Wayfair).
Apple was kind enough to loan me an Apple Watch, and my son was the lucky recipient: He’s been really enjoying it, and finds it keeps him off his phone (which I love). And this charging stand from NativeUnion gives it a special place to land at the end of the day.
This little shelf charmed me when I saw it at CB2, so we turned it into a little charging shelf for his phone. Usually I recommend that kids don’t charge their devices in their room, but he’s one of those ridiculously self-regulating humans who never touches his phone at night (I could learn a thing or two from him), and so, for the time being, it works to have it there. (It’s good for a drink too).
The desk lamp was ours from ages ago (vintage West Elm, I think), but the lightbulbs are very new. They’re part of a new Wifi-enabled LED lighting collection called C by GE that come in two styles: Life and Sleep. You can control the Life bulbs with your phone with no other hardware required— just the bulbs, the app, and a ridiculously easy set-up. You can dim or brighten them from the app, and group them together with other bulbs so you can control an entire room with one tap. The Sleep bulbs have all that functionality, but with a twist— they create the perfect bedroom light depending on the time of day– warm and calm at night, crisp and bright in the morning. This works with your natural sleep cycle, as studies have shown that bluer, brighter lights make it hard to wind down at the end of the day. We put these Sleep bulbs in his bedside sconces, and they work like a charm.
Welp, that’s it! I hope it provides some inspiration if you’re thinking about tweaking things in your teenager’s room. Thank you again to Apple, West Elm, Saatva and Wayfair for partnering on this room: It was so great to bring all these products together, along with a little style, to put this all together.
Now, time to go pick up those dirty clothes…
All photos by Daniel Collopy