Do you ever feel like your teenage kids are taking over your house? Even just a little bit? Maybe just one room, or a little bit of every room? There is a solution! You can have your space – and your sanity – back in a few quick easy steps!

Enter the Backyard Teenage Retreat (*applause*). A new trend is emerging for flexible teen-friendly spaces where your children can spend time alone or hang out with their friends. The perfect space for teens to study, read, relax, and play their music and video games to their heart’s content.

Five key steps for creating the perfect teenage retreat

Step 1. Get your teen involved.

‘The aim is to create a space they love spending time in’, says Kate Abdou from Kate Abdou Design. ‘Teenagers are stepping into their independence and they are maturing, so it’s a good idea to give them some input – within reason, of course’, Kate says.

Having your teenagers input will make them feel valued and appreciated, and it will also invoke a sense of ownership for the area– it becomes their special little space, so they take on some responsibility in having to put it together and looking after it.

 For sale: 1 Bickhams Court, St Kilda East, VIC For sale: 1 Bickhams Court, St Kilda East, VIC

Step 2. Keep it separate.

As your teenager develops into adulthood, a natural desire for independence will make them seek their own space. A teenage retreat that is separate from the house is the perfect solution for this.

By giving your teen their own retreat, you help to foster the sense of identity and independence your teen will need as they transition into adulthood.

 For sale: 27 Vauxhall Road, Northcote, VIC For sale: 27 Vauxhall Road, Northcote, VIC

Step 3. Think: funky + functional.

‘Technology will nine times out of 10 be at the top of the list, but the space could also include comfy furniture to chill out in’, says Kate.

It’s important to ensure that your teenager’s retreat will be funky enough for them and their buddies to enjoy spending time in, yet functional enough to suit a wide variety of activities.

By using clever ideas such as a fold down desk, and a chalkboard wall you can achieve a great-looking and workable space that will suit kids of all ages.

 Image:  John Donkin Architect Inc. Image:  John Donkin Architect Inc.

Step 4. Establish guidelines for use.

As with any new privilege given to your teen, it’s important to set out what they can and can’t do with their retreat.

Think about establishing rules regarding food and drink (perhaps include a bar fridge or mini kitchenette?), cleanliness, and time restraints. Reaffirm that this is their space and you have created it for them, so it’s their responsibility to look after it and use responsibly.

 For sale: 27 Vauxhall Road, Northcote, VIC For sale: 27 Vauxhall Road, Northcote, VIC

Step 5. Motivate, encourage and inspire!

When it comes to schoolwork and study, a little motivation can go a long way. Get your teens to help you choose their favourite motivational posters and quotes to display on the wall near their study space.

Another study-enhancing idea is to create charts and reward systems to display and track their results. Also, make sure you display their past successes (i.e. trophies, medals, certificates) in their space – because, admit it, you’re proud of them too!

 Image:  Diana Studios Image:  Diana Studios

Adding a backyard cabana or studio space to your property is one of the easiest and most effective ways for you and your kids to create the perfect teenage retreat.

So, parents, are you ready to claim your space back? Ready to create the perfect teenage retreat that will make you the perfect parent the eyes of your teenager? Your future (happier) self will thank you, trust us! Click here to get started.

Author

Laura Jayne is the Content Coordinator at Melwood Cabanas and Garden Rooms. She loves connecting with clients, and helping them to find the ideal backyard building to suit their lifestyle. When she’s not doing that, she’s blogging, commenting and chatting on all things backyard-related. Company bio: Melwood Cabanas and Garden Rooms have been specialising in pre-fab, portable backyard cabanas since 1976. All Melwood cabanas come with a solid 10 year warranty, a dash of Aussie pride and a whole lot of character. Installation in Sydney Metro is fast and free.

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