If you’ve got more kids than bedrooms in your home, learning how to create a shared space that both children will be happy in is the difference between a fight before bed each night and sweet dreams for everyone in your home. Sharing a room doesn’t have to result in nightly fights, through clever design and creative layouts, your kids will be able to grow up in a space that works for both of them and everyone else in your household.
The younger your kids are, the easier it will be to create a coordinated space between them as they tend to have fewer opinions on design. Older kids and teenagers will want their own space to express themselves and to have privacy from their sibling and everyone else in the home. While we can’t promise your kids will keep their newly designed rooms clean, we can promise these tips will help create a more functional and better-used space for the both of them.
Younger kids & toddlers sharing a room:
If you have a young child and a baby or toddler sharing a room, finding space for their different needs will be necessary to making a shared space work for them. Start by looking for furniture that can grow with them and is multi-purpose.
- A great storage solution is a loft bed. Similar to a bunk bed, but missing the lower level bed. The additional space that comes with a loft bed allows for different set-ups and versatility in the room.
- Try moving the crib, a dresser, or desk under the loft bed for an easy storage solution. By combining or stacking the bigger furniture items into one space on top of each other, it will help make their room more functional and create more space for additional items.
- When it comes to the design and style of your young kids’ shared room, think matching not identical. Pick a colour pallet and try to stick to it. By matching the colours, designs, and patterns used throughout, the room will look like a well designed shared space and not like two rooms that have been thrown together.
- Here’s an easy example: Finding identical sheet sets in the right size for a child’s bed and a crib might not be impossible but it will certainly be difficult. Instead, try buying bedding in the same colour but with different patterns. This will help bring the room together while giving each child some individuality.
- The same can be done for curtains, rugs, and any other touches you might add in. While everything in the room might not come from the same store, finding pieces to mix and match will make the room look like one cohesive space for your two children.
- As this is a growing and transitional stage for your young children, try to buy big items that are neutral and can be repurposed. While your child might really want that racecar-shaped bed, a solid wood or white bed will be easier to incorporate into the room once your toddler is out of a crib and into a bed of their own. Do you really want two racecar beds taking up an entire room?
Younger kids of similar ages in one room:
If your kids are similar in age and will be sharing a bedroom, designing a space for both of them to use and enjoy is a lot easier as their interests and activities are likely the same or very similar. While kids will always have their own individuality, designing for them at this age should be fun and colourful.
- Kids’ designers are now making furniture and textiles much more gender neutral these days. If your son and daughter will be sharing a room, worry less about defining a boy side and a girl side and make it a fun room for both of them to love.
- Try picking a colour pallet both kids will like or add a bunch of colours together to create a fun rainbow-inspired bedroom.
- If your kids are now at an age where they have a specific favourite colour and know what they want, we say embrace it. If having bedding that doesn’t match will make them go to sleep at night, let them have it.
- By keeping the bigger pieces in the room the same, such as the beds matching and the dresser being in the same style as the bed, you’ll make it easier on everyone to change up smaller things as the kids grow and their styles change.
- While the kids are similar young ages, create spaces they can use together, such as a school and crafts area. Instead of buying two separate desks that you have to fit into the room, buy one large inexpensive table they can both work at and learn to share. This will help them while at school as they’ll be used to sharing their creative space.
- If your kids are at similar ages, introducing a bunk bed is a great space-saving idea. If you opted to go with a loft bed when they were younger, consider getting a matching one, or simply adding a twin bed underneath it. Stacking the beds like this, and having one table or desk will ensure even the smallest space has room for the essentials, like a dresser or closet, as well as room for fun.
- As they get older you will also want to think about incorporating ways for them to have their own designated space. If your kids are the kind who won’t see bunk beds as a bonding experience, consider twin captain beds. Having separate beds with additional storage underneath allows for an easy change up to the layout of the room without having to compromise the built in storage.
Tweens & teens, how to keep them in the same room:
As your children grow older and they become tweens and teens, discovering and expressing their own style will become more important than the need for a fun space built for two.
- As your children age especially with one being a tween and the other still being a child, the need for separation will become greater as their interests and activities change. Now is the time to really think about breaking the space into two.
- As kids get older, privacy becomes a bigger issue. Your teens, especially a son and daughter duo, might be happier sacrificing space if it means feeling like they’re in a bedroom of their own.
- Privacy and having their own space will be a necessity to keeping them comfortable in the same room. Finding a creative way to create separation and storage will keep all of you happy while they’re both still under one roof. Consider using a large shelving unit as a room divider. This unit is a great choice as both kids can access their items without moving their sibling’s things.
- If your kids will be sharing one large room, and the budget and space is available, consider installing a small pocket door or divider to make them feel like they’re in separate spaces.
- If you can’t install or build in the room, either from budget or space restrictions, a large shelf is a great way to create some space and add storage. You could do the same thing with tall dressers, place them next to each other but turn them to face opposite directions. This will create a faux wall of storage and separation.
- If you want to get really creative, you could create an elaborate desk divider like the one pictured here. Creating separation and a dedicated space for homework is a win-win for a shared space between teens.
Hopefully, your kids will love the experience of growing up together in a shared room, especially once you’ve added some of our tips to create a cohesive and functioning room that looks great and works for both of your kids. Good-night and good luck!