Last week I addressed the topic of whether there is a recommended age that siblings should stop sharing a bedroom, if you missed this article you can find it by following the link above. This week I’m staying on the topic of room sharing by taking a look at a few bedroom ideas for kids sharing a room. I’m known for getting a little passionate about design, I do pity my long suffering colleagues who work alongside me in the office; the moment I start talking to customers about bedroom design, my voice automatically intensifies by at least another 2 pitches, I become animated, excited, just plain loud… sorry team (did you all enjoy the noise cancelling headphones this Christmas!?). Some parents can really struggle with how to plan and design a room, particularly when there’s not 1 but 2 children to impress! And I love to get involved, with many years in the industry under my belt, I like to think I have a few nuggets to share… and I guess I was of those kids that tigger bounced into their favourite classroom at school!
Often the primary consideration that affects how you design and style your kids bedroom is the size of the room. Ultimately this will be the deciding factor when selecting kids bedroom furniture and will influence your choice of the many kids beds options that are available. For example if you have a large bedroom to style, you may opt for, or have the luxury to choose, separate single kids beds; whereas the converse is true for smaller bedrooms, then the typical question I always receive is, ‘what kind of childrens bunk bed should I buy’. If you’re having to style a smaller bedroom then space saving furniture is a life saver and clearly that’s why you’re more likely to look at bunk beds as the most appropriate choice for the bed. Pop over to my ultimate guide to bunk beds for a much more in-depth look at these versatile beds. Always bare in mind that the recommended minimum age for a child using the top bunk is 6 years old, so a bunk bed is only an option once one of your children has reached this age. There, the mandatory, ‘but wait, please be careful’ statement is now behind us. Now… let’s talk design.
Of course choosing a bed is only one element of creating a kids’ shared bedroom, with double the trouble to accommodate (along with double of pretty much everything!), it can be daunting for parents to design a room that provides space and storage as well as fashioning a room that reflects the individual style of each child.
Grab a cuppa, settle down and read on for a few helpful tips that tackle common design challenges and will hopefully help you create a functional, stylish and happy shared bedroom for your children.
Creating a room for same sex siblings
Just because your kids are the same sex doesn’t mean they have the same style! They may be like two peas in a pod with an obvious favourite colour choice, or they may be like chalk and cheese with completely opposite colour spectrums on the wish list!
If they’re on the same page with a room colour choice, happy days! If not, I would recommend trying to stick with a reasonably neural colour palette, this provides a great canvas for kids to then accessorise with their own choice of duvet covers and other room decor such as rugs and wall art. To maintain the flow of the room I would suggest that you present your children with several options from a similar colour palette that they can choose from. Tip 1: allowing fewer colour options (all neutral) and discarding the bright blues and palace pinks will reduce the stress and keep the kids feeling they got what they wanted. But wait… a room full of bright crazy colours that on paper may sound like a terrible idea, sometimes looks absolutely brilliant. So, Tip 2: don’t be afraid to experiment, you can always paint over and revert to Tip 1.
Kiddy, a beautiful kids furniture range from our online shop cuckooland.com (shameless plug not even close to being over) offers a soft pastel finish suitable for both boys and girls. Combining different items from a range such as this creates differentiation for the kids whilst maintaining a stylish look.
Creating a room for opposite sex siblings
Styling a room for a brother and sister may fill parents with trepidation – however, if you try and stick with a gender neutral colour palette as a base, such as white and grey or go brave and inject a mix of white and primary colour, then you have a great foundation to begin introducing complimentary accessories.
We have a fabulous bedroom furniture collection, Vox Concept, that lends itself particularly well to a boy and girl shared room, offering furniture that is available in different colour fronts, so you can clearly define both their areas whilst seamlessly pulling the room together.
Design elements such as personalised name plates and wall art can be a great way of making them feel that the room belongs to both of them.
If room allows, you and your children may have decided on 2 single beds, enabling each child to clearly define their own space. Rather than going full on with themed beds that could be a little overwhelming and disjointed when styled together, you’re best choosing matching beds that keep the room well balanced. You could then opt for adding pops of themed accessories that have complementary colours but still reflect each of your child’s favourite characters.
As your children grow and develop, privacy becomes all the more important. Consider creating distinct areas by using room dividers or position furniture to establish separate areas.
Creating a room for different age siblings
This can be one of the most challenging of room shares, as children often have diverse needs at different ages, but don’t be swamped with anxiety, with a few simple tweaks and adjustments you can design a room that lends itself perfectly to a baby and toddler room share.
Consider the stages of your children, if you’re in the midst of baby stage, chances are that sleep is disturbed by the familiar night-time feeding routine, so when you set about planning the layout of the furniture try to ensure that you can easily access your baby when the light is dim or non-existent (your shins will thank you too!), without causing too much disruption to your soundly sleeping toddler. Perhaps position the cot nearest to the door and try to place your toddler’s bed as far away as possible (I’m talking within the room of course – although I’m sure they’d wish to be elsewhere at times!). The objective here is to help everyone get through the night with the least amount of disruption. Which is also a good time to give my Blog piece on ‘Sleep Science: The Importance of Kids Bedtime Routines’ a shout out.
Create an area where your toddler can enjoy some play time, whether alone, with friends or with their sibling. Floor mats offer a soft surface to chill out on and can define the space within the room, and trust me, a baby or toddler falling on a soft mat or rug is far less stressful than when it’s a hard carpet. If room allows, you could use bookshelves to create a more private area for your toddler. Be conscious that as baby develops and becomes mobile it may be necessary to move toys upwards and out of reach, leaving baby toys at the lower level.
Room accessories such as rocking horses and play tents can be a great addition to this set up giving your toddler plenty to do while you’re busy changing babies nappies or sorting through the piles of washing!
Although it can be testing all round to make a room share of this nature work, many parents have cracked it and found a happy balance that works for everyone.
Try and incorporate their own personal space
Sharing a bedroom can infringe on your child’s personal space, whist many children cope perfectly well with this, others may yearn for their own zone where they can have a bit of down time.
No matter what size the bedroom is try and offer your children a little area that they can call their own, whether a reading corner, a desk or their own storage for their belongings.
Cabin beds can be a perfect room share bed, as your children not only get their own bed, they get a choice of other versatile additions, such as storage, desks and bookshelves. Due to their compact design they take up minimal floor space and furniture can be stored away neatly under the bed when not in use.
For older siblings, a high sleeper bed is a good choice as the space under the bed can be used to create a personal zone like a study nook or a quiet place to read (other than lying horizontal on the bed). I think we’d all agree, no matter how old you are, personal space is important.
Storage, storage and more storage
In a shared room, if ample storage is king, then encouraging your kids to use said storage is queen! If you can master these two – you’re onto a winning formula.
Depending on the size of the bedroom, you may need to get a little clever with the storage solutions, particularly if you’re a little tight on space, finding the space in one room for twice as much furniture can feel like mission impossible. As I mentioned above, there are several beds that come top of the leaderboard for being multi-functional and offering smart storage – cabin beds, such as the Trasman Girona Mid Sleeper Cabin, are a super versatile bed, with the inclusion of a pull out desk, drawers, a cupboard and plentiful shelving. The beauty of choosing this style of bed is that precious floor space is not eaten up by endless pieces of furniture.
If your children are old enough, you may decide to look at a high sleeper bed, as again these often come with storage solutions under the bed. One of my favourites has to be the Nest Bed from Vox, this is an awesome bed with lots of additional options so you can really tailor it to meet the needs of your kids.
For smaller bedrooms, bunk beds always make an excellent choice, providing efficient use of space.
Another nifty little storage companion is the under bed drawer, these handy drawers are perfect for stowing away clothing or spare bedding, they’re unimposing due to being housed under the bed. So you may think about doing away with a trundle and simply opting for the storage solution.
To maintain the flow of the room, whilst offering your kids some individuality you could consider modular storage furniture. Stige is brilliantly designed range available at cuckooland.com – clean lines and they’re so multifunctional, you’ll be wanting to move in with the kids!
Shelving is perfect for organising smaller belongings, they don’t take much space and can be placed above desks, drawers or beside a bed for night-time essentials.
Wall hooks create a place for hanging every day items that can be easily accessed, pop them behind a door or on the wall, you could even hang a name plate above to personalise for each child.
Cork boards for pinning photos, notes and school certificates also gets my thumbs up on the declutter list of essentials.
Take a look here for more brilliant storage inspiration, there really is a huge range that will help you design a bedroom that your kids will love.
I hope my advice has helped to dispel the myth that designing a room for siblings who share is an intimidating task. Embrace the challenge, get the kids involved (with boundaries of course!) and above all enjoy the process.
If you need some zealous enthusiasm and reassurance I’m always happy to help.
Right, I’m off to plan my next trade show. Until next time.