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Beds Buying Guide
Enter at Your Own Risk: decorating a teen’s room
What Kind of Bed Should I Buy for My Teen?
The most popular size for a teen’s bed is the twin or single bed. Twin beds, also known as single beds, are 39” wide and 75” long. Standard twin beds come in a wide range of styles and materials, like metal, wood veneers, solid pine, laminates and medium density fiber board. The twin X-long or extra long single bed is the same width as the twin but is 5” longer and might be better suited for a teen’s room because of the additional length.
Your teen might be anxious to get rid of the “baby” bed and be ready for an upgrade. The double bed, also known as a full bed, is 54” wide and 75” in length. It is a popular choice for someone who wants more sleeping space. When buying a double bed or headboard, note that many of them will be able to accommodate a queen mattress. If space is limited but your teen still wants a double size mattress, consider selecting a platform bed that includes storage options.
A common choice when decorating a small or shared bedroom, the bunk bed is basically two beds stacked one on top of the other. Utilizing space vertically rather than horizontally, this creates more room for a computer desk or an extra chest of drawers. Supported by four poles at each corner of the bed, the top bunk is typically accessed by a ladder and is either fully or semi enclosed by railings to prevent the occupant from falling out of bed. Most styles of bunk beds can be converted into two free standing beds, allowing your teen more decorating options.
A variation on the bunk bed, the loft bed is essentially the top bunk only, providing free space beneath the bed for a study area or anything else within reason your teen might have in mind. Loft beds are available in a variety of configurations and materials, including storage drawers and cubbyholes, built-in or free standing desks. Combining the loft bed concept with the bunk bed, another version of the loft bed allows the bottom bunk to be free standing beneath the upper bunk, and might include a desk and optional storage.
The four poster bed is an enduring choice for a teen’s room. Depending on the style of the décor, they can be country charming, dramatically whimsical or comfortably sporty. They are characterized by four posts at each corner that are of equal or varying height. The most popular construction materials for four poster beds are wood or metal. Classic in style and elegant in design, a four poster can last through the early college years, simply by changing and updating the linens and the color scheme. Usually associated with more traditional furnishings, a poster bed can create a relaxed casual style.
Canopy beds can add a touch of elegance to a teen’s bedroom. The canopy bed is a four poster bed with a covering. Typically chosen to decorate girls’ rooms, a canopy bed can be the perfect focal point in any teen’s room, depending on the material and style. Canopies can be made of a variety of materials, even roped wire detailing; to soften the dramatic appearance of the four poster bed, select a fabric canopy with a border frill or one with draped swatches. A canopy frame can be added to most four poster beds where the posts of the bed are of equal height. When purchasing a canopy bed, check to see if the material is or is not included; some manufacturers will not include the material, allowing you the option to match it to your curtains, bedding and/or color scheme.
Sleigh beds are characterized by stylish, curving lines and a distinctive, romantic feel. The height of the headboard will determine how eye-catching the bed will be as a focal point; the taller the headboard/footboard, the more it will dominate the room. For decorating a teen’s bedroom, if you want the feel of a sleigh bed but would like to minimize its visual impact, select a shorter headboard.The most popular size for a teen’s bed is the twin or single bed. Twin beds, also known as single beds, are 39” wide and 75” long. Standard twin beds come in a wide range of styles and materials, like metal, wood veneers, solid pine, laminates and medium density fiber board. The twin X-long or extra long single bed is the same width as the twin but is 5” longer and might be better suited for a teen’s room because of the additional length.
A trundle bed, sometimes known as a pull-out bed, is essentially two beds in one. The second bed pulls out from underneath the first when needed and can be retracted when not in use. The majority of trundle beds are available in just twin size. Perfect for sleepovers or unexpected guests, a trundle bed is more convenient and manageable than an air mattress. When the extra bed is no longer needed, the trundle compartment of some models can be used as a storage area by removing the mattress.
What Style Bed Should I Select for My Teen?
Traditional furniture is characterized by silky finishes, elegant curves and graceful, flowing lines and are inspired by the trends, fashions and social customs of the past, ranging from the elaborate fussiness of Victorian times to the pastoral simplicity of English Country. It is probably for this reason that traditional-style pieces like a dresser or nightstand can make a room feel informal or formal, depending on the time period that has been used as inspiration. Traditional furniture can include rich detailing such as leaf or scroll motifs, bun or claw feet and ornate brass or carved pulls.
Casual teen’s bedroom furnishings are comfortable, warm and inviting. This style is characterized by simple details, textured elements such as lattice work, and horizontal panel insets. Rectangular and softly curved elements contribute to its casual feel. Furniture can be oversized or large in scale to emphasize its coziness and functionality. A full/double bed in the casual style is ideal for creating a teen’s room that will posses the comfortable, relaxed look of contemporary and the warm, charming feel of the traditional.
Transitional furnishings merge contemporary and traditional styles together. Typically this style blends austere lines with intricate curves, and natural wood finishes with lustrous metals. It also utilizes neutral palette finishes like taupe, tan and vanilla. Since it is a mix of other styles, it adapts easily and blends in with a wide range of designs and fashions. The versatility of transitional bedroom furniture, like a bedroom set, makes it a good choice for a teen’s room because it is eclectic and flexible.
Contemporary youth bedroom furniture is known for its simplicity of line, shape and form. A blend of modern, casual and traditional styles, the contemporary style emerged during the second half of the 20th century. Subtle and understated by underplaying the ornate lines and rich textures of more traditional furniture, a contemporary captain’s bed mixes natural elements with minimal detailing for a streamlined look and comfortable feel.
Simple style is even more pared down and leaner than casual furniture. With clean, uncomplicated lines, casual furnishings are inviting, warm and relaxing. A teen’s room, which might include a trundle bed, furnished in simple style may appear more uncluttered because of minimal architectural detail. Finishes are usually lighter than traditional or casual furniture. Because furnishings in the simple style are spare in form, it can be paired with other styles for an eclectic look.
Country furniture combines more formal traditional styles with a relaxed charm, and are known for being comfortable and welcoming. They might contain a distinctive period flavor like Colonial or Shaker. Country style furnishings are mostly constructed of wood, ranging from light to medium finishes, but they can also be produced of metal and wood or metal and glass. Some of the more common types of wood finishes are grainy, painted or distressed. Country furniture can include whimsical details like hand-painted stenciling, hand-carved insets, shutter style panels and French twist embossing.
What Kind of Material Should I Choose for My Teen’s Bed?
Most commonly known as MDF, medium density fiber board is made of recycled materials. It is more affordable than solid wood, but just as strong and durable. Engineered woods such as MDF and particle board are processed by using heat and pressure to glue wood fibers together. For bedroom furniture in a teen’s room that is easy to care for while having the look and feel of real wood, select a headboard made of MDF. Engineered woods are also referred to as recycled or reconstituted woods.
Wood veneers are created by gluing thin slices of real wood to the piece of furniture using heat and pressure. Since it can be applied to any smooth, flat surface, this is a popular material for bedroom furniture like a bunk bed or bookcase. When wood veneers are being used, the body of the furniture piece is often made of an engineered wood. Since it is not as expensive to manufacture, it also gives furniture the texture and appearance of genuine woods, while keeping costs down.
Laminates are produced by pressing layers of plastic, metal or wood together, then sealing them with a thermosetting resin. They are often used to make furniture since laminates don’t fade and have no grain; this will make it easier to match when adding additional pieces to your teen’s bedroom set. Furniture made from laminates is generally lighter than the solid wood versions and therefore more economical to transport. They are also durable and easy to care for.
Considered to be the most durable material for furniture, genuiene wood furnishings are constructed from wood cut from the trunks of trees like pine, mahogany or oak and are more expensive than engineered wood products. If your budget allows for a four poster made of real wood, it will be something that you and your teen will prize for years to come. Although, do keep in mind, that as a construction material for teen furniture, it will be the most labor intensive. Because is has a grained surface, depending on the type of finish, it can be scratched easily.
Metals are a popular material for youth beds because they are strong and easy to keep clean. Pure metals are too soft, too brittle or chemically reactive so alloys are used. Alloys are made by combining two or more metals together. Since all metals are subject to the effects of time and oxidization, you will want to choose a metal twin bed with a durable finish that is resistant to corrosion. Bed frames made from from heavy gauge tubing will retain strength and durability, while being lighter and less expensive.