Kids are heading off to school, happy sigh! If you are now thinking about redecorating your tween’s room, designer Kristen Finney has several great tips she’s using in her girl’s bedroom at Nashville’s Southern Living Showcase Home opening October 21 in Dorset Park.

“Transitional decorating is important when making your tween happy and ultimately saving you design dollars,” says Finney, a veteran home show designer. “The Southern Living Showcase girl’s retreat takes on the challenge of making this in-between kiddo, between 9 and 12, happy today and tomorrow,” Finney says. “Color choice is important and fear of selecting the perfect pink has driven a lot of people toward yummy shades of coral.  Ultimately, when chosen well, this color can have a longer wall-life for your teen.”

Finney has chosen a Mellow Coral (Sherwin Williams – #6324) and paired it with cheerful, plaid bedding. She warns do-it-yourselfers to start with the bedding and work out. “Many a re-do has been frustrated by not finding the perfect bedding to go with your room color. Start with the bedding and then hit the ground running.”

Kristen Finney’s tips for tween decorating:

1. Save yourself frustration by finding your bedding in stock or securing plenty of fabric at your local store. If ordering on-line, get a swatch before purchasing because catalog colors can vary greatly from the real deal. She’s found her plaid bedding for the showcase home at USA Baby in Franklin, Tennessee.

2. Create a cozy spot or reading nook. Tweens love to read and write in their diaries, so encourage that creativity.

3. Warm lighting is important for an inviting setting. Don’t forget to add a nice lamp.

4. Add a little whimsy to the room with a cute accent rug. There are plenty of good choices these days and it will be a nice accessory for your theme or color-scheme. This can also be easily changed to update the room’s look.

5. From Barbies to soccer socks, you’ll need storage, storage, and more storage.

6. Finally, original art is the perfect finishing touch. Ignite a love for art by allowing your little Da Vinci to paint their own canvas or bring in a favorite local artist. Knowing the history of a piece adds so much more to long-term enjoyment. Finney will be featuring the work of Milton, Tennessee artist Robert Power, found locally at ReCreations Furniture, in her child’s room at the Southern Living Showcase Home.

You’ll want to plan on bringing a camera, pad and pen to the Southern Living Showcase Home open select dates October 21 through November 6 at Brentwood’s Dorset Park neighborhood in southern Davidson County.  Finney is part of a team of a dozen designers and faux artisans who are bringing their own decorating magic to the area’s only Southern Living home this fall. For more info, follow the build on Facebook and Twitter.