Teen Bedrooms

UPDATED 04/21/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/21/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

KIRSTEN DUNST
She has starred with Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt (Interview with the Vampire) and Winona Ryder (Little Women), but Kirsten Dunst gets a total grip on reality when she goes home and has to share her bedroom with little bro Christian, age 9. "It's a pain in the butt," admits the 14-year-old actress, "but he lets me put all my stuff up. All the girly stuff is mine." Indeed, Kirsten's share of the two-bedroom Toluca Lake, Calif., house where she lives with her homemaker mom, Inez (divorced from dad Klaus, a New Jersey medical-supplies salesman), can be identified by the Barbie dolls, teddy bears and candles. Her tattered "blankie" is on the bed. "I've had it since I was a baby and I bring it with me when I go do movies," she says. Dunst also stashes away mementos she has scored from her films, such as her Vampire fangs and chandelier crystals from Jumanji. During sleepovers, Kirsten and private-school classmate Molly Hanrahan, 14, torture poor Christian ("They painted my toenails pink when I was sleeping!" he says) and make prank phone calls. "They're very good at doing voices," says Inez, who is building two stories adjacent to the house so that her daughter can have a room of her own. "They'll even call me from the other phone. The last time, I went, 'Gee, that was a

RIDER STRONG
When working on his ABC sitcom Boy Meets World, Rider Strong, 17, lives in an L.A. loft, but the rest of the time he chills out with friends in his attic nook at his parents' redwood home north of San Francisco. "They all sit around and play games," says his father, King, a San Francisco firefighter. "The next thing you know, it's 3 a.m. and they crash wherever they are." Rider, who also shares the house with mom Lin, a retired schoolteacher, and brother Shiloh, 18, says, "L.A. is where I am an adult and here I'm still a youth. I love coming home." Here, he writes poetry on his laptop computer and communicates with his fans via his personal Web site. He decks the gray walls with his collection of swords and rapiers ("I've always been obsessed with medieval stuff," he says), a photo of gal pal actress Rachael Leigh Cook, 17, and a map of the U.S. ("I put in red pins where I've been and green pins everywhere I'm going to go"). And Rider is constantly scoping out new acquisitions for his collection of first-edition books, including a signed copy of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. "That's my most prized possession," he says.

DOMINIQUE MOCEANU
Just how big is Dominique Moceanu's Houston bedroom? At 46-by-25 feet, with a cathedral ceiling, it's spacious enough for the 4'8" Olympic gymnast to practice some serious back flips. "This room is about the same size as the apartment where I used to live in Romania," says her aunt Gabriela Ababei, who frequently visits from Burbank. A 1996 remodeling of the family's four-bedroom, mock-Tudor home tripled the size of Dominique's old room. Mom Camelia, a homemaker, and dad Dimitry, a used-car dealer, then added a Chippendale four-poster bed, private bath with white marble Jacuzzi and a 53-inch TV on which Dominique, 15, and sis Christina, 7, play Nintendo. Dominique keeps her Olympic gold medal locked in a special case, and a pair of mini U.S. flags signed by all of the winning women's team except Kerri Strug ("She wasn't on the tour," explains Dominique) stand on her desk. "She's worked so hard all her life that she really deserves this room," says Camelia. Her daughter knows better. "My mom," she says, "just doesn't want me to ever leave."

NICHOLLE TOM
"This was the first time I ever had my own bedroom," says a wistful Nicholle Tom, 19, costar of CBS's The Nanny, as she packs up to move to her first apartment in Beverly Hills. Until a few years ago she shared a room with sis Heather (formerly of The Young and the Restless), 21, and as a baby she split the nursery with her twin, David, an actor. But when the three sibs and their single mom, Marie, a speech therapist, moved into this Pasadena townhouse, Nicholle discovered that ownership had its privileges, like redecorating. "I painted it, I put the wallpaper border up all by myself," she says. But her mom chides that "she never got the light-socket covers back up because that's not fun." Fun for Nicholle involves dressing up in her neon pink feather boa and diving into a box of beads and fake jewels that she glues onto picture frames, purses and sunglasses. She also displays a stuffed St. Bernard from her Beethoven films and access passes from premieres she has attended. "It's not like I'm putting it up to, like, show off or anything," Nicholle says. "It's just part of my life."

JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT
In her bedroom, Jennifer Love Hewitt of Fox's Party of Five prefers a party of one. "I never hang out in my room with my friends," she says. "I can listen to music here and just be alone with my thoughts." Love, as she's called by her family, began creating her personal sanctuary two years ago after moving into the Burbank apartment with her mother, Pat, a speech pathologist who has been divorced from Hewitt's dad, Danny, since Hewitt was a baby. The actress, now 18, packed away all but four of her 30 teddy bears and went for a romantic look with her antique-green iron bed and matching shelves. "I decided I wanted my room to be more grown-up," she says. Hewitt fills her shelves with her new passion, porcelain angels ("They make me feel safe"), as well as CDs, a boom box and photos of herself and boyfriend Will Friedle of ABC's Boy Meets World. But despite all the knickknacks, the room is spotless. "She's a neat freak," says Pat.

DEVON SAWA
Scan Devon Sawa's basement bedroom and there is no doubt that a teenage boy lives here. There are pinups of Cindy Crawford and Pamela Lee, a picture of a red Porsche, a collection of Spider-Man comics ("Spider-Man's way cooler than Batman," he says), Star Wars memorabilia and posters from Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Natural Born Killers. "I used to have all sorts of sports posters up, but they've come down as my acting became more of a thing and I got older," says the 18-year-old star of Casper and Now and Then, who lives in a Vancouver bungalow with his mom, Joyce, a housewife, dad Ed, a refrigeration mechanic, brother Brandon, 15, sister Stephanie, 11, German shepherd Gabby and beagle Lucas, named for director George Lucas. Quentin Tarantino is Sawa's new hero, along with Robert De Niro, whose autographed photo hangs above his bed. Since his mom says that Sawa "can do what he wants in there, as long as the stuff doesn't spill out into the halls," there's plenty of clutter. Like "all the food under my bed," he says. "I'm afraid to look at what's under there. It's probably all turning funny colors."

LEANN RIMES
When an exhausted LeAnn Rimes crawls into bed in the wee hours of the morning after a night onstage, it is not in the opulent surroundings expected of a Grammy-winning star. Her bedroom is a stark tour bus bunk area: 3 feet wide, 6 feet long, 2 feet high. Her keyboard player, Kelly Glenn, sleeps in the bunk below, and her tutor, Therese Stevenson, sleeps above. "It's like having a slumber party with a kid sister," says Glenn. "There's not much room for decorations," adds Rimes, 14, who travels the country-music circuit with her parents Wilbur and Belinda, who sleep in the back of the bus. She does manage to tape up photos of fellow singers Celine Dion, Bryan White and Tim McGraw. LeAnn daydreams about the Dallas house her family recently purchased, where she will have her own 900-square-foot space. "There will be a sitting room in the bedroom," she says, and "my drum set and a pool table." In the meantime, the singer has learned to make the best of life on the road. "You sleep with your feet forward or you'd hit your head if the driver hits the brakes," she says.

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