With a return to school just around the corner, your house will soon turn into an after-school snack central and hangout zone again. Each new school year ushers in a host of new friends after old ones make dramatic exits. It's just part of being and parenting a kid. But you know the routine — with new friends come new expectations. Your kiddo is probably itching for a bedroom redo, right? On the surface, they claim their room is too "baby-ish." Deep down, though, you know part of it is they want to make a big impression when their new friends arrive. And since everything old is new (read: cool) again, there's no better place to look for inspo than some of the most iconic childhood bedrooms from your favorite nostalgic Disney Channel shows.
In celebration of its 40th anniversary this year, Disney Channel just dropped an emotional tribute reel featuring moments from some of its most beloved series and movies. Watching it will tug on your heartstrings, sure, but it'll also remind you how obsessed you were with the bedrooms from your favorite Disney shows growing up.
"We hear often from parents who say they feel like they grew up alongside our characters, and now have the tremendous joy of watching their own children do the same," said Pamela Levine, Head of Marketing, Disney Branded Television and National Geographic.
And that feels... accurate. So, we asked Disney to share a few behind-the-scenes stills from some of the bedrooms from our OG favorite shows. Your kid might not be *quite* as obsessed as you were with the rooms in Good Luck Charlie or Wizards of Waverly Place, but that doesn't mean you can't glean inspiration from a trip down memory lane.
Each of these enviable TV bedrooms had key focal points that made their rooms swoon-worthy, and with a bit of updating, they'll hold up for your teen and tween, too.
Good Luck Charlie: A Unique Bed
Charlie's bed was ~everything~! It sat on a platform or stage that offered storage underneath and gave a bit of separation from everything going on in the rest of the room.
Your kid spends a ton of time in their room, often not sleeping. It serves as their private studio, living room, and office. So, physically separating their bed from where they work and play can help them relax a little better when it's time to turn out the lights.
Not sure you're handy enough to loft a bed? Ikea sells 'em. Or mimic the sense of separation by hanging curtains around their sleeping space.
Hannah Montana: A Cool Closet
We've been swooning over fabulous closets since the dawn of time (or at least TV). Before Hannah's retail-inspired closet, there was Cher's closet in Clueless.
No matter how much you micromanage that space, your kid's clothes will still end up on the floor. However, if you let them have a say in a special, unique way of organizing or displaying their favorite clothes, you stand a better chance of it looking nicer for longer.
That's So Raven: The Hangout Spot
Remember when "Hook Up My Space" turned Raven's room into the coolest hangout in existence? A couple of chairs and ottomans were all that was needed to elevate Raven's room from "bedroom" to "private space."
Chairs can be expensive, but you can find good deals at open box stores, outlets, or Facebook marketplace. You might even find chairs for free in your neighborhood waste-free Facebook group. Not the exact right color? Buy a cover, try your hand at dying, or simply toss a throw over them. Another suggestion: opting for ottomans or a side table with storage. Because, you know, your kid has too much crap.
Wizards of Waverly Place: "Grown-up" Elements
Yes, your teen is "still your baby." But they're growing up, and they want that reflected in their room. Alex's room on WOWP was by far the most "adult" of Disney's childhood TV bedrooms. While that level of maturity might not be your kid's style, there are a few key elements today's kids will get behind: namely, the mini fridge and the chandelier.
Funky or fancy lighting elevates any room, even a kid's room. A chandelier, in particular, will go a long way towards making your tween feel like you don't think they're a baby anymore (and it doesn't even have to be real). A mini fridge might seem like a bedtime binge waiting to happen, but you can choose to stock it how you like and steer the conversation about what goes inside. Note: You could even use it to stash skin care.
The Big Takeaway
Suffice it to say, in Disney Channel's 40-year history, there have been many details in our favorite characters' bedrooms that we coveted hard — some more unattainable than others. For instance, it seemed like every Disney kid had a window for friends to climb in and out of. And there certainly seemed to be a fair number of expensive telescopes in teen bedrooms.
What you agree to allow in your own tween/teen's bedroom boils down to each family's budget and priorities. But even just updating the comforter and adding one or two TV-inspired elements can go a long way in making your kid feel like they have a "cool" room.
Or, you know, talk your partner into building a loft for your own bed. You can stash all your kids' keepsakes underneath! If there's anything we've learned from Disney over the years, it's that you're never too old to be a kid again.