STALLINGS The mounds of clothes on the floor weren’t the only problem in Christopher Goetchius Jr.’s room.
He didn’t have a proper place for his computer equipment, his guitar or his model airplane projects. Most of the furniture didn’t really work well for him.
This is the challenge that designer Joycelyn Armstrong of the Interior Design Society’s Charlotte chapter took on for The Observer’s Worst Teen Room makeover.
Armstrong worked with a team of recent design school grads from Central Piedmont Community College to get Chris’ room organized before he returns to Porter Ridge High School for his junior year.
The team – all of them volunteers – had a budget of $500 for materials.
Their solutions can be used to improve any student’s room: Use the walls for storage, put some of the furniture on wheels to make the room more versatile. Even more important, get rid of the furniture that doesn’t suit the needs. Use paint to give the room personality.
Chris’ 14-by-9-foot room went from chaotic to mature and masculine.
“I think the room would function a lot differently than how it has before,” said Chris, who turns 17 this month. “I think it will be a lot easier to move around, a lot easier to have space to play my guitar. It’s definitely a lot more mobile since everything is on wheels.”
Readers posted dozens of photos on charlotteobserver.com during the search for a room to reorganize as a way to help families tackle their own teenager’s messy room.
Many of the posted pictures showed rooms that mostly needed intense cleaning.
Catherine Goetchius snuck into her son’s room while he was out. She snapped pictures that showed backpacks on the floor, an old chest of drawers and a tiny bookcase for CDs and games. His guitar was stashed in a corner.
Chris needed a better setup to get organized, Armstrong said. The design team took an inventory of his belongings and asked him how he wanted to use the space. Knowing that was essential.
“We listen more than we talk,” Armstrong said. “It’s all about them.”
Armstrong’s helpers were CPCC grads Ashley Zimmerman, Chrissi Millner and Lane Marcelli. CPCC interior design instructor Pam Hacker also volunteered.
The transformation started with Chris packing up about five bags of clothes, junk and other items to donate or toss.
In the meantime, his mom found a corner desk for $25. Chris uses it as a base for his computer and monitors.
The designers added a rolling rectangular table. Chris can use it for studying, working on model planes or welcoming friends and band members.
The chest of drawers, bookcase and old bed frame were moved out, although two dresser drawers were set on wheels and stored under the bed.
Two sets of wall shelves were added to keep CDs and other smaller items at eye level.
“He wasn’t unhappy, but they made it a home,” Catherine Goetchius (sounds like duchess) said of her son’s room.
Chris will hang more of his clothes in the closet, rather than stuffing them into dresser drawers. Three hooks behind the bedroom door make room for backpacks and an Army bag that holds dirty clothes.
With his belongings now set in place, there is just one thing that Chris, like so many other teenagers, has to find: discipline.
“If we can get him to keep it clean and organized,” said Christopher Goetchius Sr., “it will be a success.”
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less