Take a glimpse into a teen bedroom designed by Rachel Cannon and you likely won’t spot posters of the latest teen heartthrob, brightly colored beanbags or the oh-so-popular LED light strips lining the crown molding (you can thank TikTok for that one). In place of these quintessentially teen décor pieces are features that any adult would be proud to call their own: custom-designed furniture, high-end textiles, original works of art. But that’s not to say the spaces are all business and no play. Rather, the key, according to Cannon, is balancing refined and functional design with a little youthful flair.
“For the most part, parents who reach out to us are tired of feeling like they’re hemorrhaging money every time their kids form a new obsession,” Cannon explains. “We want the kids to have the opportunity to tell us what they want, and we help them sort through and organize their tastes and preferences. They won’t have the language to say they want midcentury modern or neoclassical-style furniture, but most of them are very opinionated on color. We work within those parameters and try to do a mix of styles in their furnishings so that the room will have a long shelf life.”
One of the keys to establishing that staying power when it comes to design is ensuring that the space is built to serve the needs of its inhabitant. In the case of teens, that inevitably includes somewhere to read, study and, often, apply makeup. In the four spaces featured on the pages that follow, Cannon and her team came up with creative solutions for dedicated desk spaces—whether that be in front of a window or tucked away behind curtains. As kids head back to school this month, read on for the details on each of these rooms, as well as Cannon’s go-to tips for acing teen style.