Many children begin collecting stuffed animals from the moment they’re born, and come the teen years, that assortment can be extensive. Display only the most sentimental of stuffed animals or serious collections in your teen’s room, saving the rest in storage. If this still is too childlike, outfit the stuffed animals in more grown-up apparel. Drape a costume necklace over an elephant for a girl’s room, or find an old toddler T-shirt with a fun graphic to dress up a stuffed bear.
Ideas for Shelves
Whether on the wall or in a bookcase, shelves allow you to display stuffed animals with more age-appropriate decor, making the critters more fitting for a teenager’s room. Nestle two to three stuffed bears or puppies between framed photos, books, sports memorabilia or decorative storage boxes on various shelves. Make the stuffed animal less prominent by tucking it behind a framed picture or other piece along the back of the shelf, allowing just the head to peek out.
Balancing the Bed
Arrange animals that hold special meaning to your teenager, such as a gift from a significant other or a well-loved stuffed friend from childhood, in front of the pillows on the bed. Keep the arrangement simplistic and focused; just three animals, one large and two small, positioned in a triangle shape is decorative without being overwhelming. Tuck one or two smaller, less important stuffed animals behind the headboard, letting the arms or faces peer over the edge. With a canopy bed, wrap a few flexible stuffed animals around the railing. This keeps them out of direct sight while incorporating them into the room.
Displaying Single Animals
Smaller collections do well when spaced around the room; while a single stuffed animal can fit into even the most grown-up decor, a whole slew of them can appear too childish. Position a single, larger stuffed animal such as an oversize teddy bear from the state fair in the corner of the room on the floor or nestled on a reading chair. Place single, smaller animals on a desktop, tucked behind a lamp or tower, or on a dresser holding a signed baseball or paired with a photo of the friend who gifted it.
Tempering Large Collections
Some teens find it perfectly acceptable to have a wide collection of stuffed animals on display, especially if that collection is well curated and potentially worth money down the road. However, it’s still important the animals don’t get in the way of everyday life. Hang a dedicated hammock in the corner of the room, well above head height, to display a collection of vintage Beanie babies or secure a picture ledge to the wall. Perfect for smaller animals, the short lip at the end of the shelf keeps everything in place and ensures bookcases and dresser tops are clear for more age-appropriate decor.