Would you want to be a teenager again? Sure, there were perks: free rent, sleeping in. But there were a whole lot of challenges (hello, hormones!). Being a teen is not for the faint of heart, which is why it’s so important for teenagers to feel like they have their own space to relax and unwind. While it might be hard to find ways to connect with your style-conscious teen, interior design could be the key to working on a fun, meaningful project together.
A teen’s bedroom walls are a blank canvas, and while you could certainly choose paint, there are so many options for bold wallpapers that let a teenager make a creative statement about their own identity. Whether your teen is about refined neutrals or punk-inspired street art, there’s a wallpaper out there for them — and don’t worry, the designer-approved picks below are stylish enough that parents will be happy, too (we can’t help you with the piles of dirty laundry, though).
If your teenager’s college wishlist consists of Columbia, NYU, Barnard, and Fordham, let them experience the Big Apple from the comfort and safety of home with this super-cool wallpaper from Pottery Barn Teen. The digitally printed design has a sketched-by-hand feel that makes it more whimsical (and more design-savvy) than the average map. Its grayscale tones let teens keep it neutral with the rest of the decor or opt for lots of color instead.
Astrological charts. Meditation. Indie movies and Spotify playlists. Sound like what your teen is into? Then check out this West Elm ombre wallpaper, which creates instant aura. The colors skew more feminine and look especially great with white and brass furniture, but this backdrop could also suit more industrial pieces to create a dreamy yet gender-neutral space.
Combine bold tones and faux texture with this Dripping Rainbow wallpaper from Rebel Walls. Try it as a statement wall, then pull paint color from the wallpaper’s many hues (we’d personally opt for the warm greige — which looks a lot like Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist — or the punchy, mid-tone teal).
Go graphic with the Hilltops wallpaper from Rebel Walls. The black-and-white colorway lets teens choose whatever color palette they like, although it’s also available in a softer blue shade for a more toned-down approach.
Let them channel their inner Henri Matisse with this sketched wallpaper from West Elm. There’s also an opportunity to improvise: fill in blank spaces at the eyes or lips with different shades of paint for a pop of customized color.
Is your teen all about vintage? This terrazzo wallpaper from Livette’s Wallpaper will surely speak to them. Plus, parents can help guide them toward a colorway. While the paper comes in a brighter-toned option, you can also opt for the “Elegant Neutrals” palette — a toned-down version with the same retro allure.
Give them the look of a plant-filled room without the upkeep. Pottery Barn’s Pacifico Palm wallpaper has an of-the-moment feel incorporating several shades of cool-toned green. It’s a surprisingly versatile color that plays well with blues, pinks, yellows, and neutral shades alike.
If your teen is into Shakespeare and high-school crushes, this “I Love You” wallpaper has their name written all over it. The small pattern size and thin script make it surprisingly refined, while the simple, black-and-white palette serves as a neutral backdrop for whatever furniture and decor their heart desires.
Need help translating your teen’s style? Point them to our design quiz! (There’s no need to study for it.)