Fall teen room makeovers: How to turn your bedroom into the cutest place on Earth

The life changing magic of... color

With apologies to white walls, we’re beyond ready for a boost of brightness. Bringing in more color, whether it’s by painting your entire space (or, hey, even just a wall or door) or by adding bold bedding and punchy pillows, can redefine your room *and* your whole mood. That’s right: Surrounding yourself with specific shades can totally shift how you feel. It’s also the perfect way to hang on to that summer vibe as the seasons start to change (sunset pink, we love you). Ready to step outside your color comfort zone? We’re here to help.

Image from: Pinterest

FIND YOUR AESTHETIC When you walk into a light and airy space, how do you feel? How about a warm, earthy room, or somewhere dark and moody?

Color therapy (also known as chromotherapy) is based on the idea that color and light can be used to influence your mood. While it’s more of an art than a science, color therapy can nonetheless be super helpful in framing your thinking about how to incorporate color into your room. 

But before picking out your paint and products, start with a couple questions.

“Every color scheme evokes a different vibe, so it’s important to know what feeling you’re trying to achieve before you get started,” says Ariane Moore, senior design editor at Hunker. “When it comes to your room, ask yourself: ‘How do I use my room?’ and ‘How do I want to feel when I’m in it?’”

If you’re focused on rest and relaxation, dreamy shades of gray and violet might be in order. If you want to feel energized and invigorated, try seafoam or yellow, Moore reveals.

GET INSPIRED Once you’ve landed on your general vibe, to find the specific shade that truly speaks to you, think about a place, trip or time where you feel most calm, energized or creative. Is it near water? Maybe an ocean teal. That vacay to Hawaii you took two sum- mers ago? Try a vibrant green. In your grandma’s cheery kitchen? Peachy pink, avocado green or egg-yolk yellow could be a fit.

A moodboard here can be endlessly helpful. “Once you have your overall feeling in mind, the palette that reflects it can drive more elements of the design,” says Kim Taylor of Two Hands Interiors in Glen Ellyn, Ill. “When you pull together colors and patterns into a moodboard for a room, that serves as both a jumping off point and an anchor to make sure you’re staying on track.”

Aim to nail down just one hue that’ll become your signature. You can of course bring in some navy to complement your new lavender room, but the key is to highlight one standout shade so your whole space feels cohesive.

Image from: Pinterest

SEEK COLOR HARMONY Now comes the tricky part—pinpointing that perfect color. “When picking out a palette, take stock of other elements, like flooring and how much natural light your space gets. Both of these factors will affect your color scheme, so make sure the hues you choose complement your room,” Moore shares. In other words, if you’ve got sage green carpeting, that amber orange wall might not mesh.

Even if you’re not going the paint route, it’s still a great idea to visit the paint swatch aisle to see all the options in the same color family so you can find the exact hue of your dreams.

If you (and your parents) decide to take the plunge and paint, test three to four different paint samples on a small area before you fully commit to them, “so you can see how specific colors look and feel in your space at different times of day,” notes Moore.

Once you identify that so-you hue? It’s time to get creative. Here are some thought-starters...

The aesthetic: Cool and refreshing

Image from: Pinterest

The shade: Sky blue
Making over a space with one singular, soft color (like a pale blue) is a simple way to give your room a hint of hue while ensuring it still feels calm, uncluttered and peaceful.

Play with paint
REFRESH ALL FOUR WALLS. Coating your whole room in a cool blue hue is transporting, like you’ve stepped into an oceanside bungalow.
BIG SKY. For a lighter touch, try painting only the ceiling while leaving your walls white. (Bonus points if you add in some clouds.) 
DESK DIY. Painting an old wooden desk chair in sky blue positively refreshes your whole study situation.

Carry the color
Ever-blooming dried flowers and a textured throw serve as focal points with an organic feel.

Bedroom image from: Pinterest. Find items here: Dried hydrangea boquetTie-dyed throwNight stand.

The aesthetic: Warm and vibrant

Image from: Pinterest

The shade: Cheery coral
Playing with the depth of shade here is key—so select a lighter wall color to set the stage (or paint just one wall in a deeper hue), then let brighter accents play a starring role.

Play with paint
 “An accent wall makes sense when you want to try out bolder looks,” shares Taylor, like a poppy coral. It won’t be overpowering on just one wall: “Think of it like an oversize piece of art,” Moore adds.
SHAKE UP YOUR SHELVES. Consider painting the shelf backing on your bookcase for a pop of color that’ll make your books and trinkets really shine.
GO FOR THE ARCH. An earthy, dusky coral feels just right in an organic shape with soft, curvilinear lines. “Painted arches are really on-trend at the moment—just check your Insta feed for tons of inspo,” says Moore.

Carry the color
Hang a rug or even swap your bulbs. Rose-colored walls? Yes, please.

Bedroom image from: Pinterest. Find items here: LightbulbBasketClay table lampRug.

The aesthetic: Relaxed and calm

Image from: Pinterest

The shade: Gorgeous green 
Bring the outdoors in with friendly, welcoming greens, which feel both peace-promoting and energy- giving. “A lot of colors go well with green,” Taylor adds, which means you’ve got options.

Play with paint
 Got an old hand-me-down dresser? Sand it, then give it new life with a coat of emerald green paint (or simply swap the knobs for something verdant).
OPT FOR OMBRÉ. Handy with a paintbrush? “Consider an ombré accent wall,” says Moore. “It’s a fun way to blend a few shades in the same color family.”
PLANT LADY. Paint a few terra cotta plant pots in your fave shade of green and dot them around your room for a real greenhouse vibe.

Carry the color
Go graphic with fresh sheets or hang a few strips of (removable!) wallpaper to make a big statement—with only a little effort.

Bedroom image from: Pinterest. Find items here: WallpaperSheetsCandles.

The aesthetic: Energized and happy

Image from: Pinterest

The shade: Sunny yellow
A saturated shade like yellow is so happy-making, but the key is not to overuse it. Keep your big golden statements confined to an accent wall or bedding, but pop in yellow add-ons with abandon. Cheery!

Play with paint
 Coat a pair of salvaged nightstands in a deep golden
hue, then finish with brass handles and a gold lamp.
AT THE DOOR. Nothing says “welcome” more than a bright, pineapple yellow door.
FRAMED UP. Paint a few simple wood photo frames or a wall ledge in your gold shade of choice, then sprinkle them around your room.

Carry the color
Switch up your sheets, add art or try a sculptural chair for a stripe of sunshine.

Bedroom image from: Pinterest. Find items here: Swivle chairSheet setHexagon flower print.

​​SEEK + FIND Can’t decide on that just-right Goldilocks hue? The Datacolor ColorReader EZ color picker makes choosing a shade wayyy easier. Just open the app, hover the device over a nail polish, pillow or book cover you love and scan it to get a matching paint color recommendation. ($59,

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our August/September 2021 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.


by Jessica D'argenio Waller; Edited for digital by Addie Slanger | 9/18/2021