Now the second rod can be removed from the wardrobe to leave full-length hanging space. You can dispense with window bars. The play top is going to do double duty as part-time work top so, to ease the transition, add an angled light for homework. A couple of upright chairs can come in at this stage. The pinboard can stay, and the trolley will now become useful for holding models, games, perhaps a tv set or a small home computer to amuse a child and to help with learning.
The bunk beds can now be dismantled and turned into two single beds. If space permits, place the beds at right angles to one another and put a small low table between them, to serve both. By day turn the beds into sofas by adding tailored covers, some bolsters and cushions.
The floor may need some attention too: it could be carpeted or covered with matting or painted and stencilled. Or you could simply add one or two rugs. Window blinds can be changed for a new fabric roller or curtains and walls re-painted, papered or otherwise decorated to the teenager’s wishes.
Teenagers have very much more sophisticated needs than younger children. They will more than likely feel the need to make their room into a bed-sitting room of some kind. Extra seating, in the form of bean bags or covered foam slabs, is reasonably cheap and always seems popular since it is less formal. Or a spare comfortable armchair, if you have the space, makes a comfortable place to sit and read. Cover the bed with a fitted cover and scatter cushions to turn it into a sofa by day. If space is short, provide a large kneehole dressing-table which can double as a desk. Otherwise, television sets, cassette players, computers and school books can be placed on the laminated work surface. A more extensive wardrobe, musical and electronic equipment (guitars, synthesisers and so on) will maximise the need for good storage.
With any teenager, it is a good idea to install a washbasin in the room, to discourage them from monopolizing the bathroom! Dressing-room style light fittings around a mirror will be particularly appreciated by girls for make-up practice.
The great thing is that, although the room looks quite different and fulfils changing needs at each stage, the modern furniture remain substantially the same over a good number of years. No change of stage costs very much money, except perhaps for the final transformation.
As well as being very budget-conscious, such a plan is highly flexible. It allows first the parents and then the child himself enormous scope for adding, changing and indulging individual tastes and interests. As long as the original basic plan is simple and includes plenty of storage a room can go on developing along with the child it caters for.