Family LIfe

Designing a Bedroom for Step-Sisters
by Jessica Ackerman

When families merge, it can be traumatic for children of any age. For parents, it is important to remember that although you are excited to have your new spouse share your bedroom, your child may not feel the same way about having a new sister invade her private space. The ideas below will help guide you through the transition of turning a single bedroom into a bedroom shared by step-sisters.

Before you pick up the first design book or lay out the first color chips, the most important step is to talk with your daughters - both together and separately. Validate their concerns, worries and, possibly, anger about losing their own space and having to move in together. Once the concerns are voiced, sit down with both of them and talk about what each wants on her side of the bedroom and how those elements can work together to create a cohesive room. There may be anger and trepidation, but there may also be a sense of understanding and compassion that arises between the girls. Talk it over until there is some consensus as to what the room will look like upon completion.

Separate Spaces
Even in the same room, it is important to create separate spaces for each daughter. One may be a fan of all things pink and feminine, while the other may be more into sports and rock music. Each child deserves to have her interests expressed in her half of the room. To create separate areas, consider hanging a curtain down the center of the room. If it is on a track, it can easily be pulled back and tied against the wall. It will allow the children to have much needed privacy, but also allows them to share the space when the curtain is open. Another option is to have standing room dividers that can be placed between the separate areas of the room. Using free standing bookshelves is a way to separate the room while providing storage, so their appeal is two-fold. Although you, as the parent, may not see the necessity of having a physical divider in the room, chances are that your daughters will appreciate the privacy that a partition provides.

Unique Style
Validating each girl's interests is important. Let each child design her half of the room. If the room was once one of the girl's own bedroom, let her have first pick as to which half of the room she wants and be particularly sensitive to what she is giving up. Allow both halves to be redecorated, not just the half for the new roommate. If the girls have completely different styles, the room may literally be two unique decors. If, however, the girls share a love for certain decorating elements, polka dots for instance, the two parts of the room can be pulled together with pattern. Color can also be a unifying factor if the girls can agree on a complementary color scheme.

The most important thing to remember when designing a room for new step-sisters is that communication is key. The girls are both going through a tough transition time, as well, and they need reassurance that their own likes and dislikes will be validated in something as simple as their bedroom's decor.

About the Author:
Jessica Ackerman writes for where she provides detailed instructions for decorating withmusical wall decor and metal tree art.

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